C1 Chapter 1
As yet another person entered the little pub, the bell tolled for what felt like the hundredth time that day. He appeared to be simply another stereotyped, muscle-bound bounty hunter. Everyone there was pretty much the same and had presumably assembled for the same reason. There was a story going around that both scared and fascinated people. Everyone within a fifty-mile radius had heard it at this point. Albus, the famous sorcerer, had been spotted.
"Did you hear?" one man asked another. "He was spotted just outside of the town."
"Was that really him?" enquired a woman sitting nearby.
"Without a doubt," the boy next to her stated. "It was none other than the Devil's Advocate himself."
Xyra discovered that her glass held more interest while the bounty hunters spoke on. She was turning it with her fingers, watching the liquid within glide around. This was one of her favorite beverages—a special, light wine that was fairly common and significantly less expensive than other cocktails. Today, though, it appeared to have an almost bitter aftertaste, as her peace was broken by the continuous talk that filled the bar.
She sighed and unintentionally twirled a strand of her light, reddish brown hair that had slipped from her very sloppy ponytail. But such a recurring behavior could only keep her interested for so long, and before she knew it, she was once again listening in on the bar customers' interactions. There was nothing else to do. She couldn't reasonably be able to tune them all out. Their irritating conversation could be heard from the other end of the room. She'd merely observe them while hiding away at her little table in the corner.
Everyone appeared to be talking about Albus for some reason. Xyra was perplexed as to what the big fuss was. He was basically another sorcerer—someone born with the ability to cast spells. That was all simple as that. He just happened to be a more powerful sorcerer than others. He was likewise on the run. No one knew what type of crime he had done, but his reward was so huge that no questions were asked. She was shocked that he was in their town in certain ways. As far as she knew, it had nothing to offer. What would draw such a great person to such a distant small place? It was about the only question that caught her curiosity.
As another bounty hunter joined the group, the door chimed once again. She couldn't take any more of it. These folks were starting to annoy her, and their continuous, repeated conversation was giving her a headache. This was one of the few spots she loved to go since the ambiance was always relaxing. It was now being invaded by intruders. Only three of the folks at the bar were not bounty hunters. She was one of them by chance. She had a completely different job, but it paid just as well. Many individuals today are willing to employ thieves.
She sipped her drink one final time before putting it down for good. There wasn't much left, and she didn't seem to like the flavor today. She merely wanted something to distract her mind off her most recent work failure. She hadn't been able to take what her employers required; thus, she hadn't been paid. The majority of the money she had earned from her prior work had been spent the day before on meals, a bath, a bed, and breakfast in the morning. I need to think of something quickly. I'm almost out of cash.
The door chimed as she unlocked it, and she swore she'd snap if she heard that sound one more time. That had to have been the hundredth time! It was a noise that was grating on her nerves. Then again, everything seemed aggravating just now. Nothing seemed to be going right for her. I failed a job first, and now I can't get another. Even if I did, with all these bounty hunters around, I'd be apprehended!
Xyra sighed exasperatedly and sat down on a nearby bench outside the pub. She needed to find out what she was going to do next. She needed to come up with some way to make some money, and because she didn't have a job, she'd have to do it the only way she knew how. She didn't like the approach and only utilized it as a last option, but this was one of those instances. She wouldn't have enough to eat if she didn't acquire some money quickly. Her only choice was to pickpocket.
This was going to be a difficult job for her. She rather liked professional thievery. Her conscience was too little to feel guilty about it. People she stole from often deserved it, and her employers, despite their willingness to hire a thief, have always been nice. It wasn't a nice job, in fact, it was just the contrary, but she could handle it. She needed money. Need had the capability to push others. Guilt didn't seem so bad if it meant getting to enjoy a great food afterwards.
She wished she could have found a new job or moved to a different location at times. Nothing she had attempted had worked out, so thievery had become her only option. If she had been able to reach one of the cities, she might have been able to find a respectable job, but people had to make the most of what they had. She had been really fortunate to have gotten this far. For individuals who didn't know how to protect themselves, traveling was frightening. Demons hunted throughout the plains and woodlands. She'd be slain if she went without an escort, and demon hunters were pricey. It would be difficult to employ one because she chose to pay with just money and didn't have nearly enough of it. As a result, she was trapped exactly where she was.
Slouching forward a little, she leisurely watched the folks go past, unsure what to do or who to steal. She had to be cautious if she was going to steal from someone. Anyone may be a bounty hunter, and if she attempted, she would definitely be caught. All of these intruders were making her job extremely tough. Anger flooded through her as she tightened her fists and pursed her lips. Albus is a douche. Bringing so much attention to such a little place...
With her current predicament in mind, she rose up and began heading down the street quickly, hands tucked in her pockets. Hopefully, she'll be able to obtain some money soon. She wanted another job...or someone who couldn't see a pickpocket. The latter was probably more plausible, and as fate would have it, she happened to run into the right individual.