Chapter 9:

Heated Delivery - Part 1

Gloudhaus


Shaking off the thing observing her from afar wasn’t that hard. In fact, it was almost too easy. Anna was carrying an even bigger trolley bag and had another bag on her shoulder, so she shouldn't be able to sneak around that easily though.

She thought it would take a little more, but no eyes were on her anymore after she left the overall area of Karim's house. Having her equipment was very helpful too, of course, but it was still too easy.

Either way, she now had a bunch of worthless gems and no people following her around, so it was finally time to work a little bit.

“First, to the Shop.” Annabeth threw the handful of jewels in her hand away and started to move without much hurry.

Without much worry still meant moving much faster than a normal human, but that was beyond the point. The only problem was a little detail on the fact that she didn’t know where exactly she was going and was only working on a raw map location.

Still, if she couldn’t find the right spot to receive her ‘package’, then she could always give up and report that it was lost. Even if her supplier disliked her, they would still send whatever she asked for. There was also the option of calling Louise at the police station later to get the 'donated' supplies she was holding, even if those were of lesser quality.

As she got deeper into the collection of condominiums or whatever, the clean-walled buildings gave way to less well-cared ones. And then, eventually, it all became makeshift-built shacks.

These slum-like areas seemed to go as far into the island as the condominium area went, but since it was around the proper city, they occupied more space. This city was more like a giant coastline around irrigated fields and a few mountains though, so that was expected.

Anna was guessing it all since she lacked anyone to ask right now, but again, that was beyond the point.

From the map, and if she would guess, this main island would be half farms, a third city, and a sixth undeveloped. The harbor area and its businesses made up most of the city, but the condominiums and slums still had a decent size.

It was fun that a city this big only had a single police station though.

The eyes glued on her as she entered the less fortunate area of the city was kind of an answer to why though. The best she could hope was that some of her observers decided she was a threat, but that was a personal preference.

Going this much around without a single fight was getting boring…

Either way, although she felt some small signs of hostility, nothing happened until she reached the place that seemed to be a recycling plant. It was the biggest building in the area, and maybe even the biggest in the slums, and it matched the location she was pointed to, so it should be the right spot.

There was also a weirdly hidden pub inside a dark alley and a conspicuously clean concrete building close by, but she could verify them later.

“Are you lost, missy?” A rugged-looking half-blood, seemingly the building's gatekeeper, asked as the redhead approached his position.

This one man was some kind of dog person, a hyena or whatever, and Anna could also see a bird lady looking at her from a vantage point behind the facility’s walls. Other than these, there were four or five other people in the area that could receive threat levels, meaning that this man had support. It was weak support, but there was some value in numbers.

The two she could see clearly weren’t anything more than half-bloods of some random race, so she wouldn’t even lose her time identifying these. And from the others, just one seemed to reach A-level, so they were irrelevant.

“Lookin' fer a friend. Some ‘package’ for delivery or somethin' of the kind with ya?” She winked to the gun in her hip as it was a good sign that she wasn’t from here. “Somethin' dangerous and that y'should never look inside.”

“Oh, so you came for that… You have our ‘delivery fee’?” The ware-something said while nodding towards some rusting appliances thrown on the side.

Annabeth almost reacted in surprise since she had actually gotten the location right on her first try. It would be unprofessional to do so though, so she held herself the best she could and gathered the pack of archipelean bills stored on her bosom.

“Glad makin' business with ya, friend.” She handed the bills and walked toward the scrapped refrigerators.

Before she could reach them though, a furry hand held the redhead’s shoulder in a way that, for a moment, made her almost burst into anger.

“This is less than half the agreed, missy…”

“Mah’ contact said the opposite, partner.” Anna glared at the hyena man while squeezing the arm holding her. “Take it and get yer hand off mah’ shoulder if you don’t wanna be in trouble.”

“I don’t think you got it, missy. You and your friends are visitors here, so don’t go thinking you can strongarm your way around the Free Guard, ok?”

The furry gave a sign fitting to his apparent race and Anna could feel the approach of a few other creatures from the nearby buildings. Two coming from the slums, spellslingers she guessed, and one other waiting inside the recycling plant, a melee fighter, most likely.

She could also hear the bird lady from her high stand taking some kind of old rifle and some other creatures moving around, but most of those seemed to be civilians.

The A-class threat she was feeling didn't move though.

It was way too little for someone trying to go for an inquisitor if someone asked Anna about it.

“Sigh… We doin’ it, partner?” The red-haired girl asked with a creeping smile on her face.

“Unless you’re leaving right now, yes.”

“Hit first, please.” The girl muttered as she shook off the hyena man’s hand and pushed down the handle of her trolley bag.

An invisible energy pulse was felt around the area while the bag changed form to become a weird gem-encrusted pole. Her sudden movements startled the extralegal militia members though, and they began their attack.

A bullet zoomed in front of Anna’s eyes as she dodged the angled shot from above by a hair width. As she did so, a pair of claws from the hyena man came next, leaving a small cut on her shoulder as she moved away just a little too late. 

“That’s article three for ya…”

And while saying so, she whipped out her revolver, fanning all six bullets before the half-blood could react at all. The warehyena fell to the ground with a single bloodied hole in his body.

Anna then rolled away from a second rifle bullet while also detaching the revolver's cylinder and attaching a new one from her should bag.

Two different waves of fire came toward the girl as she was stabilizing herself, but she answered by rising her vacant hand towards it without much care. The flames vanished in contact while causing some decent damage to the girl’s arm, but it wasn't much for the inquisitor.

Before she could counter though, a pang of pain hit the border of her chest as a bullet bounced against her top. Her gun was pointed to the origin of this pain before it could even reload and a bolt-action rifle blew up in the distance.

The next attack came right as the bird woman went down in the form of a charging humanoid bull, but he wasn't that fast. She easily dodged the charging mass of muscles and instead focused on the spells coming from the mages hiding spots in the sheds.

She had already marked off from where they came though, so they were easy to dodge now.

“Not even half a dozen and no major one...” She muttered while unloading her gun toward the wounded sniper bird. "Very dumb, ay."

Anna sighed in confusion as she had no idea why someone that dealt with inquisitors would pack so little punch. Either way, it wasn’t much trouble, so she didn’t even need to force her chains.

Many bullets were spent in the next few moments, but it wasn’t really a fight at the end. Even so, this small struggle had pretty much cost the same as the extra money she would have to pay.

Silver bullets were expensive.

It was more for the principle than anything though, and the almost half a dozen corpses wouldn’t be able to complain. All Anna had to do now was take her package and leave, but this seemed to be a problem too now.

“Why they thought they could fight me is already weird, but could someone please explain to me why...” She twitched while looking at the scraps where the package was hidden. “Why in the heavens this package is not mine?!”
Vforest
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