Chapter 4:

Exploring the ruins

Defiling the Rogue

Laverna laid their naked on her bed as she read over the city newspaper. Amilie and Rozalin stood before her — their pride as thieves were shredded. She didn’t look up at them as she continued to read her paper on the scientific development of small circular lens that could improve one’s vision and a black powder that could ignite a spark.Bookmark here

“So, what do you two have to say for yourselves?”Bookmark here

“I have no words to excuse myself,” Amilie said.Bookmark here

“Really? Because I think we did what we could.”Bookmark here

“You beat two men unconscious, took the dagger off of him, and flee here.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, we’re thieves right? So, we steal.”Bookmark here

“Normally, I would string you both up naked for a few hours but seeing as how it is your first time, and Amilie did explain to you the rules of our guild, I will overlook your mistake this time.”Bookmark here

“Thank you.”Bookmark here

“Still, as punishment the two of you will do something for me. Do you know about the Ruins of Cadavers?”Bookmark here

“I do.”Bookmark here

“No, what is that?” Rozalin asked.Bookmark here

“It is an old abandon ruin who’s true nature has long since been lost. The ruins themselves are rarely explored due to the large undead population. So much so that it is completely blocked off from the public.”Bookmark here

“Okay, and what is it you want us to do?”Bookmark here

“I want the two of you to find me a valuable item.”Bookmark here

“How will we know what we’re looking for?”Bookmark here

“It will look valuable and expensive. Oh, and rare.”Bookmark here

Before Amilie and Rozalin could say anything Laverna sent them on their way. Amilie and Rozalin made their way to the ruins following an old dirt road that had not seen much use.Bookmark here

“This sucks.”Bookmark here

“You brought this on yourself. I told you not to do it.”Bookmark here

The two of them continued walking until Amilie heard something in the distance. It was the faint sound of voices. She wasn’t able to hear what was being said but she knew they voices were of human nature.Bookmark here

“Stick to the trees. I can hear voices up ahead.”Bookmark here

With haste the two of them moved off into the cover of the woods and moved silently. Amilie could hear the voices of two people talking, one a female; one a male. As they closed in, Amilie could see the ruins. Mounds of destroyed rubble filled the land — save for a large square building in the center. After scanning the ruins Amilie realized where the two voices were coming from.Bookmark here

Even though the figures standing in front of the large building were hard for Amilie to see she could make out the outlines of weapons — spears — held firmly in their hands. *Abandoned? Not likely*, Amilie thought as she looked to Rozalin.Bookmark here

“We may need to knock these guards out.”Bookmark here

“Just say the word and I’m ready.”Bookmark here

Amilie moved silently from the cover of the shadows as Rozalin followed close by. Once the two of them were in position, they sprang into action. Within seconds and in perfect harmony the two of them knocked out the guards without a sound and hid their bodies behind the building — out of sight from human eyes.Bookmark here

A large stone door stood between them and the inside of the ruins. The door had an immaculate craving of a detailed dragon curled up in a vortex spiral. Below the dragon was craving of runes that told a chilling tale of unspeakable acts.Bookmark here

“Any idea what that says?” Rozalin asked.Bookmark here

“I can only make out a few words. It sounds like a story.”Bookmark here

“About?”Bookmark here

“From what little I can read it sounds like a tale of a little girl who was a slave to a powerful dragon.”Bookmark here

“Is that all?”Bookmark here

“Well… It looks like there is more but I would rather not speak of it anymore.”Bookmark here

“Why? What happens?”Bookmark here

“You don’t want to know…”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“Let’s just explore the ruins…”Bookmark here

“Right…”Bookmark here

Pushing open the door, the two of them entered the ruins and scanned the large open room. The barren room wasn’t much to look at, however, lit torches on the wall told signs that the ruins were far from abandoned. Near the back Amilie noticed an open doorway that led downwards into the depths of abyss.Bookmark here

Amilie moved carefully along the outer walls — keeping to the shadows. Rozalin followed closely behind without disturbing a single spec of debris like a silent shadow. As they moved closer to the doorway Amilie noticed a stairwell that descended into complete darkness. *Guess there’s nowhere to go but down*, Amilie thought as she peered into the endless darkness.Bookmark here

Moving down the stairs with her right hand on the wall, Amilie continued to wonder what was down in the ruins. The stairway finally ended, leading into a labyrinth of hallways all five meter wide. The hallways were dimly lit but offered a bit of shadow to use as cover.Bookmark here

“So, where should we go?” Amilie asked.Bookmark here

“It would help if we had a map.”Bookmark here

“I can mark where we have been. One second…”Bookmark here

Amile grabbed a piece of charcoal from her pouch and inscribed a symbol near the bottom of the wall.Bookmark here

“What is that?” Rozalin asked.Bookmark here

“It’s a phantom mark. This symbol marks escape route.”Bookmark here

“I see.”Bookmark here

“I will teach you all of the symbols later, for now let’s see what this ruin holds.”Bookmark here

The two of them moved down hallway after hallway until they finally came to an open room. In the center of the room Amilie could see a strange symbol on the ground. It was a large circle with a pentagram inside of it. While Amilie knew of the symbol she became worried of what the ruins truly held deep inside them.Bookmark here

“Something tells me this ruin isn’t abandoned like Laverna told us.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, stay on guard. I have a bad feeling about this.”Bookmark here

“Right.”Bookmark here

After exploring the room carefully the two of them headed down a hallway until Amilie could hear the sound of someone crying — a small child. As Amilie and Rozalin entered another open area they were shocked by what they saw. Prison cells holding children could be seen lined up on the left and right sides. Amilie peered into the one of the cells but soon wish she hadn’t.Bookmark here

A little girl sat there dressed in tattered clothes, without shoes or socks. Her long black hair was messy while her pale skin made her look like that of a ghost. She was as thin as a twig from being malnourished for weeks on end. *This poor girl has been through a lot*, Amilie thought as she continued to move from shadow to shadow.Bookmark here

With little desire to stay, Amilie headed for a hallway at the end of the room. Before she could leave however, she felt a hand on her shoulder. Bookmark here

“We should free them,” Rozalin said.Bookmark here

“That’s not our objective.”Bookmark here

“So? We can’t leave them here.”Bookmark here

“Even if we do free them what would we do with them?”Bookmark here

“Hand them over to the guild, what else?”Bookmark here

“I highly doubt Laverna would want kids.”Bookmark here

“If you won’t save them, then I will.”Bookmark here

Amilie sighed as she closed her eyes. *This girl is going to get me killed one day*, Amilie thought.Bookmark here

“Fine. Let’s get them out and lead them back to the guild.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.