Chapter 10 Fools Rush In (To Their Pockets)
Last Seed 25
After recovering from my encounter in the Foreign Quarter of Vivec, and resting for a day and a bit, I sat on the steps of Vivec’s St. Olms canton, without any immediate plans. After some investigation by the Thieves Guild, it was brought to my attention that the murderer I had encountered at Nads Theran’s residence was a Hlaalu House agent.
Her name was Arvama Rathri and she had eluded capture. Something like the murder of a Thieves Guild member was not usually reported to nearby authorities, and especially not the ordinators, so for the time being, not much could be done. Gentlemen Jim Stacey had sent a few agents to investigate her presence in Vivec. It turned out she was a relatively low-ranking member of House Hlaalu, and little was known about her. All but the facts that she resided somewhere in the Ascadian Isles region, and was commonly seen at the Elven Nations cornerclub, was a mystery. The reason for her assassination of Nads Theran was unknown. Being a rather low-ranking member myself though, Jim Stacey had told me not to try and find out. He said I should rest for a few days and let the more skilled agents take on the case. I did not argue. As much as I did not want the death of a guild member to go unpunished, I was a little shook by the recent happenings, and was in no hurry to get into any life-threatening situations any time soon. I let the situation be.
At that particular moment, I had nothing important on my mind. I was drawing a blank, to tell the truth. I knew that in a few days, I could get back into the guild work, but for the time being, I was without direction. I soon found myself wandering around the St. Olms canton. It was nearing the end of Last Seed, and the sun had begun to set a mite earlier. It was about three o’clock, and I could tell by the gleam of light in my eyes, that it would be sunset in about three hours or so.
After I entered the canton plaza, an adequate sized crowd of citizens hustled through the halls. Shopping, working, and conversing. Whatever they were doing, I liked it. For a moment I was reminded of the overwhelming streets of Cyrodiil City. That thought gave me an idea. I stepped over towards a group of wealthy looking Dunmer women. I suppose, though, it wasn’t as much of an idea as it was a feeling, or an urge - an inner command from the mind, which the body reluctantly complied with. Nevertheless, my hand made its way along the side of one woman’s robe, as I scanned the hall for ordinators. Seeing none, I continued on my mischievous path towards the bottom of her pocket. I soon arrived, and found a cloth bag full of what I assumed to be septims. I retrieved the bag, and made a slow, casual retreat down the hall. After a brief inspection, I found out that I was right; about thirty septims. I exited from the busy plaza as my thoughts turned to a brief feeling of self praise. My merry state of vanity was very abruptly stopped, though, when a hand was firmly placed on my shoulder. I immediately stood erect, and my eyes went wide with anxiety. I had apparently failed to spot an onlooker, much to my surprise. I turned around though, with a big smile on my face. He wasn’t an ordinator, to my good fortune, and he didn’t have that confident, authorities expression on his face. He lacked the look that tells you that you’re dealing with someone who is far too used to the guile of thieves. Lucky me.
“I just saw you steal from that woman,” the Breton man said to me. I had no plan, so I found myself improvising, and quite well if I may say so.
“Yes, yes I suppose you did,” I responded.
“Well, what do you think would happen if I were to report you to one of the ordinators?” he asked me, with a very humorless sense of sarcasm. At that point, his intensified grip on my shoulder was a reminder of what my chances of escaping were.
“Well...I would think that your claim would be taken seriously, since you appear to be a character of upstanding class and civility.” At that point, I was quickly looking over his physical features and clothes, to try and pick up any pieces of information that might be helpful. By his forearms, hands, and stature, as well as the strength he displayed upon holding me still, I gathered that he was lean, fit, and someone not foreign to combat. I also noticed his imperial armor, and the collar line of a shirt that was commonly worn by Imperial soldiers. It underlined their armor. That made me regret what I had last said to him. It didn’t feel like he was a guard though. He was unshaven, and he spoke too slowly. His demeanor seemed that of someone who dodged Imperial brainwashing, or had already recovered from it.
“You’re avoiding my point,” he started again. “You stole from that woman, and I’m not about to let you get away with it.” By his sudden change of tone, I became nervous.
“I…well, right. You’re right. You’ve got me. I stole less than thirty septims from some rich Dunmer noblewoman. Right now, I’m more concerned with you, though.” The Breton frowned, and turned around to look for an ordinator, while keeping his grip on me. Somewhat flustered, I continued.
“As for the septims, I can return them, no problem. But what can I do for you? Surely there’s something that I can do to assist you.” His head turned back at me with a glare, showing his lack of enthusiasm towards my idea. I then noticed, for the first time in our brief encounter, a break in his demeanor. He did a double take after I had spoken, as if momentarily questioning his self. He then looked down at me and surprisingly enough released his grip.
“You’re a thief. So you probably know about the Thieves Guild,” he said to me.
“Yes. Of course! What do you need to know?” I asked him, with a desperate enthusiasm.
“I’m looking for a Khajiit named Addhiranirr. She is said to reside in the sewers of this canton. Do you know her?” I did not. But I didn’t let that stand in my way.
“Yes. I’ve heard of her, and…I can probably find her for you.”
“Probably?” he questioned.
“Well, with a high level of certainty, that is. As a matter of fact, I’m sure I could find her, now that you’ve narrowed down the location for me. Let’s go try at the least. You won’t be any worse of than you are right now.” He seemed to contemplate my words for a moment, and then agreed. He told me that he had already swept the sewers and found nothing, though. We walked down the hall and headed towards the sewer access. Before we rounded the corner though, his hand again landed on my shoulder.
“Hold on,” he said to me. I looked at him with a question on my face. He spoke again. “The coins. Put them back.” I smirked, and with a swift series of subtle moves, the coin purse had been returned to its original location.
We descended into the sewers. Although I had no immediate intention of running from him, he kept close to me, and remained suspicious. As we stepped down from the ladder, the murky odor of vermin assaulted us. An unpleasant expression ran across my face. The Breton did not seem to be affected by it. “What’s your name?” He asked me as we walked.
“Prophiter,” I quickly responded. His gaze did not turn to me, but instead kept a continuous scan of the dank sewers.
“My name is Belmont, Simon Belmont,” he said. I didn’t much know how to respond, seeing how we met so awkwardly. I did keep our conversation going though.
“Well, that was mighty fair of you, letting me go like that.” Again he paused for a moment, maybe checking his response for ethical error.
“Well, I won’t question why it is you do what you do, and frankly, I have more important matters to deal with than thirty missing septims.” I didn’t respond to that, but the Belmont fellow continued to query me. “How old are you? You look quite young.” he said to me.
“I am, I suppose. Although I’m older than I look,” I responded.
“Hmm. By the way elves tell time that isn’t a surprise,” he said back, making a point to the longevity of mer. Neither of us said anything else until we reached Addhiranirr. I showed him the path that I suspected someone may hide if one was trying to escape the law. And with the help of my good luck, I was correct. Simon Belmont had found his target. Up until that point, I had not even thought to ask why he wanted to meet her. Again, luck graced me as I found out his intentions were peaceful. Ratting out a Thieves Guild member wouldn’t have made me look very good. Not very good, indeed. He said his conversation was private, and told me to be on my way. I turned and began to walk away. After a moment or two, I heard his voice for one more time. “Prophiter!” he called to me. “Try and stay out of trouble.” There was no smile on his face, but I sensed that he meant well with his final words. Simon Belmont: not very interesting, but a nice fellow.