V – Light On His Feet
The figure knocked her as it bolted past her, banging the back of her head against the hard stone and taking their chance darted down the corridor when she closed her eyes and surging all her energy in her body, she flung her hand from out the pouch before her and out burst a tongue of fire that shot down the corridor and burst into a small ball just before the fleeing figure, who tumbled back in fright onto the floor, cowering as the heat filled the corridor before the fire extinguished.
All sorts of items went scattering around the floor, old pieces of silverware, a couple of expensive clothes tumbled out his hands and the thief tried scrambling up to their feet but she was had flown down the corridor and with a hand in her pouch, stood over him.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you” she said, heavily breathing when she realised that she was looking down at a young boy her own age with short dirty brown curly hair and tattered clothes way too big for his skinny body and a thin face with black eyes.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, don’t hurt me…miss?” he said as he looked up at her and looked shocked to see who had apprehended him.
“What do you think you were doing?” she said to him not keeping her eyes off him a second although this thief look that dangerous at all but she had been taught by Akello that appearances deceived.
“I…I was just taking a few things I’d left behind here. My mother, Gods bless her old and fragile mind, she closed the house up before I had had a chance to get everything I wanted” he said.
“You liar” she said angrily which caught the boy by surprise and he jerked back “I know the people who live in this house and I’ve never seen your face in the family portrait, unless you’re a long lost son of theirs.”
The boy was about to say something when it dawned on him he was caught out “Hey, can’t blame me for trying” he said as he went to get up, Dasha tensing up and she barked at him to stay down.
“I’m not going to try anything, trust me, I may be fast on my feet but I’m no match for a Magi such as yourself” he said putting up his hands before him and Dasha thought he seemed to be speaking honestly though she wasn’t entirely fooled.
“A Lemekian Magi, now I have seen everything” he said as he stood up before her.
“I’m not Lemekian” she said quickly.
“No?” he said “But your accent, it’s so heavy. If you’re not Lemekian..” he started to say.
“Stop trying to distract me” she said “You didn’t answer, what do you think you were doing, stealing from my friends house?”
“If you really want to know” said the boy “Seeing as all of us have to leave this evening, I thought I might find something in here that would guarantee me an easy way to set up a new life once we reached Bael.”
“That’s despicable” she said “How could you do that to these people? You don’t think they’d notice when they get back that their home has been broken into and their things stolen?”
The boy bit his tongue “Look girl, do you really think there will be a home for them to comeback to? If anything, I’m doing a favour by saving all of this stuff from falling into the wrong hands.”
“What are you talking about?” said Dasha. Maybe she should use her fire again for he was getting more annoying by the minute.
“Once the Decabians decide to attack, there will be no home for your friend to comeback to, no poxy items to reclaim and no Lemekia to return to. Trust me, I’d know, I’ve seen it happen before” said the boy.
Dasha shook and at first she thought it was with rage but she realised it was with fear.
She wanted to attack the boy for speaking such a damning thought but she knew all along that what he was saying, was a likely possibility. She had heard over the years of the power and strength of the Decabians, able to take the province of Omion for themselves in a matter of days. And he had seen it all, if he was to be believed…
“So you’re from Omion?” she said relaxing herself, ever so slightly.
“Yes” he replied and he looked at her “And you must be too otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to do what you just did there.”
“I’ve never been” she replied which only confused the boy further.
“What’s your name?” she asked him.
“M, Manniro but my friends call me Manny” he said.
“Manniro” said Dasha “Well you don’t know me but I’m sure you know my brother Akello? He’ll be glad to meet you, I’m sure you’ll both have a lot to talk about once I tell him what you were doing here.”
“Akello?” said Manniro when his face went pale “No, please, look I didn’t mean to, I mean, I was an idiot. It’s just me, all by myself in this world and I saw a chance to help me out in Bael, come on give me a chance. I’ll do anything to make up for my mistake uh…”
“It’s Dasha” she said.
“Dasha, please, I’ll do anything to make up for this just tell me but if you tell the law, I’m done for, please, you got to believe me” he begged her.
She thought about it to herself. He seemed to be genuine and his sort weren’t uncommon. The war had only been brief and though ten years had past, many people still bled from the wounds of that day and still hurt because of it and she had seen many people such as him, homeless, orphans and lost in the streets of Lemekia. They had been looked down upon by most in the city as they were known as being lazy, swindlers, liars and thieves.
Could she trust him?
“Fine” she said looking at him “You want me to keep quite about all this and not tell my brother? Well, you will have to help me with a small task I’ve got to get done.”