Legacy

Jave's life was normal, well, somewhat normal, being a thief in the common slums of the city. He was satisfied with his life as a thief, as there was plenty of loot to gather, and the authorities didn't give a rat's arse about thievery in the slums. But one day, as he is standing at death's door, Jave gets thrown into unwilling heroism, as he is placed with an epic destiny in his arms. This is the first part of a three-part story, called "The Khronum Legacy" following the descendants of a blessed bloodline. The next two parts are named "Heritage" and "Destiny".

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1. Chapter 1: Jave

Night has fallen. Darkness has consumed the damp streets and the shadows crept closer, as the night slowly reaches its peak. A cat discreetly made its way across the road, paws splashing on the puddles which lie scattered. It spotted a trashcan which seemed delightfully filled up. Licking its lips, it waddled slowly over to the trashcan, before jumping into it, burying itself in ‘food’. The shadows slowly filled the corners of the streets and the moon sends luminous beams of light down upon the sleeping city. The lights in the windows faded one by one, as people lay down to rest. A perfect opportunity. Suddenly, a movement in the darkness. A quick dash in the shadows, a figure moving quickly within them. Gone as quickly as it was seen. The cat rustled around, delighted in its trashcan, as other predators stalked the night. Predators of the city. There it was again! A swift jump within the darkened corners. Suddenly, a face was revealed in a beam of light from the moon. It was a man, well in his years, with several scars on his cheek. He smirked mischievously, baring his teeth on the left side of his mouth. He stepped hesitantly out of the shadows, but only briefly. He was covered in tight, yet ragged leather clothing. He wore much jewelry, necklaces of glinting metal, very likely gold. On his hands he wore more gold and silver rings than fingers. He held a rusty flintlock in his right hand, which he clutched tightly. He held one of his fingers on the trigger, ready for something unexpected. Expect the unexpected, or get crushed beneath the community. He moved into another pitch-black space, away from the revealing light of the moon. Scuttling closer to a window a few meters above ground, he sheathed his flintlock and smirked wickedly. He swiftly pulled out a strange contraption from his pocket, and drew it onto his hand. It was a strange metal device, which seemed like a huge claw or the likes. It seemed old, covered in rust and dirt. The wall before him was badly made, filled with holes and cracks.

He walked confidently over to the wall, claw held high, with a smirk on his scarred face. With a violent lunge, he clawed at the wall, causing a few more holes to break. It was rather noisy, but not enough to break the tranquility of the night. He pulled himself up, his other hand grasping at a few bricks which stood out from the wall. With another powerful lunge, he bore into the wall again with his claw. Bit by bit, he moved himself up to the window, and peered in. It was completely dark, no living soul to be seen. He pulled off his metal claw from his hand and pushed a little button on it. The long claws quickly retracted into a portable little chunk of metal, which he shoved into his pocket. He touched the window gently, before pushing it upwards, finding it fortunately unlocked. He smiled, relieved at this, as he didn’t have to go through the hassle of picking the lock. He opened the window slowly, and silently moved inside. It was too dark to see anything, so he simply fumbled blindly, trying to grab anything that felt valuable. There did not seem anything valuable in this home, yet he continued to search through the darkness. Annoyed, he grumbled, as he had little luck finding anything worth stealing- although, something suddenly struck his palm as he waved it around. He smirked joyfully at what he felt. It was a little pot which had that wonderfully soft touch of gold. He felt it with both hands, making sure it truly was gold. Yes. Yes it was gold! He grabbed it eagerly and stuffed it into a leather sack which he had brought with him. He giggled happily, satisfied with the spoils of this hunt. He slung the sack over his shoulder, before spinning on his heel. Suddenly, the floors nearby began creaking. The sound of slow, sleepy footsteps was heard. He spun around once again, seeing a faint glow of candlelight coming into sight.

“Hello? Anybody there?” A tired voice spoke. It sounded like an old man who slowly made his way to the room which our thief scuttled around in. “Bollocks!” he cursed lightly, before slinging himself under a nearby table. The table was covered in a long tablecloth, the sides of which hung down off the edges, hiding the thief slightly.

The old man walked in, illuminating the room with a candle he held. “Anybody here? If you’re a thief, I will notify the guards! They’ll skin you alive, you know!” The thief kept completely silent, as he led a hand down to his flintlock. He looked nervously at the old man’s feet, as the old man walked around the table. The floor creaked with each step, and the eerie silence grew frightening. Any moment, he could take a look under the table, revealing the thief. Caught like a rat in a trap. The light flickered, revealing several other valuable items on the shelves around the walls. He might as well have struck a gold-mine, by breaking into this house. There were ornamental swords of silver, more pots of gold, and several other fancy-looking items. How could he not have spotted this before? Shameful. But now was not a time to worry, now was a time to hope. Hope that the old man wouldn’t lift that tablecloth. The thief silently pulled out his flintlock from its sheath, as the old man suddenly halted. He stood silent, before kneeling down. The thief took a deep breath and pointed his flintlock at the old man, whose hand now grasped the edge of the tablecloth. With a swift movement, he pulled it up, and peered in under the table. The thief gripped the trigger of his flintlock, but held back the fire. He raised an eyebrow at the old man, who seemed completely reactionless, but held the candle out in front of his face, getting rather close to the thief’s face. The light from the candle shone upon the old man’s face, revealing something rather relieving. His eyes were obviously damaged, one of them being completely white in the middle and the other one flickering wildly. The thief held his breath, trying not to make even the slightest noise. The old man grumbled, before retreating from underneath the table. The thief let out a silent sigh of relief, as the light faded slowly from within the room, shadows creeping closer by the second. As darkness filled up the room again, the thief quickly yet silently moved to the window, taking his leave while he still could. The sun’s rays were erupting from the horizon, warning the end of the hunt. He should get back, before the guards found him, as they judge on sight, if they see anyone awake. Thieves were common in this rat-ridden city, especially in the slums. Of course, the thieves find more joy and excitement in stealing from the rich. This thief proved that quite well, though he could’ve made more use of that hunt. Ah well, another time. As he moved down the street, frowning slightly at a lost opportunity, he saw lights shining from within the windows, as people began to awake. The sack over his shoulder bounced as he took long, lazy steps forward, his feet splashing in the puddles of water on the ground. The roads were shabby and broken, holes almost everywhere. Peering around the city, he examined the windows, the silhouettes of people who, which were stretching their bodies and yawning. A satisfied smirk spread on the thief’s scarred face, as he walked steadily over to a small shack, hidden away in a corner of the city. The ground began to look even more broken and forgotten, as the amount of mud suddenly surpassed that of bricks. The shack was naturally broken as well, holes in the roof as well as in the walls. It seemed that those in the walls were replacing the absent windows.  The thief approached the wooden door, which seemed old and uncared for. He laid his hand on the handle, which to his surprise seemed golden. As he pushed the handle, it suddenly broke off and fell to the ground, the sound of clinking gold being music in the ears of the thief. He bit his lower lip, as he decided to take the golden handle and stuff it into his pocket. He brushed off some mud from his hands and proceeded to knock twice on the door. A sudden and annoyed grumble was heard from within “Arh, customers! Stay put, I’ll be there in a moment!”

It rustled from within, the sound of a plate crashing to the ground, quickly followed by a displeased swear. Slowly, the rustling and bumping quieted down, as the sound of heavy steps neared the other side of the door. Quickly, the door swung open, and inside stood a little chubby man. He was dressed in baggy clothing, which seemed to be hastily thrown on. His head was bald, as was his face. He wore as well a few pieces of jewelry around his neck, and on his fingers. He began chuckling at the sight of the thief “Ah, if it isn’t Jave, my favorite customer! Come in, come in, show me what you’ve got”

The little chubby man made a rather humorous and exaggerated gesture of welcoming, wearing a jesting smirk on his face as he did so. Jave snorted, but walked lazily inside anyway. The damp air of the streets was just as present inside this house, though it smelled strongly of sweat as well. There were a few chairs here and there, a small fireplace as well as a counter. It seemed like a shop or the likes, but with no signs outside.

The chubby man made his way to the counter, and said in the finest manner he could: “So what can I do for you? A bronze plate from the rich-folks district, or even one of silver? Fine stuff, I am telling you. But I see you have something yourself in that bag, don’t you? Or has the hunt been disappointing this time, eh?” Jave grunted, before waving a hand back and forth in front of him “Both yes an’ no. I got meself a fine golden pot, but I could’ve gotten the whole lot! Bloody heck! Tha’ house was filled to burstin’ point of pots and plates of gold. I ain’t knowin’ whose house tha’ is, but I don’t care! The fella is loaded!” The chubby man whistled, impressed at what he was told “ Oh boy! Filled with golden pots you say? Hmm, maybe we should make a little expedition to this fellow’s house… “

Jave placed the sack on the counter, and rolled the golden pot out in front of him. It was round as a ball, with a movable lid on the top, as well as four golden feet to stop it from rolling around. The chubby man’s eyes flared with greed as he gazed at the golden pot. Carefully, he placed his hands around it, the touch of gold tingling in his palm. Though his mouth was silent, his eyes spoke clearly of twisted lust and unbendable greed. “Oh my… I think you struck gold here, Jave” “Ya don’ say…” “Arh yes, be a nit-picker… What I was trying to say was that this is quite the opportunity you’ve opened here. If I’m not mistaken, this pot is inscribed with the mark of the king. Here, have a look” Holding his finger on a barely visible carving on the pot, he held it out at Jave, who squinted at it. It was a six-edged star, with a crown in the middle, and a lot of decoration around it. Jave shrugged lightly, and peered at the chubby man with lazy eyes “So? I don’ see what good this’ll do, that the king carved some stuff into a pot of gold. Doesn’t that jus’ mean that we’ll get the law snappin’ at our heels if they find out? More than usual, that is” The man shook his head, while clicking his tongue in a lecturing manner “Nay, not at all. Well, yes the authorities will get madder than usual, but let me handle that. What I am trying to say is that this fellow obviously has some connection to the king, seeing how he is getting pots of gold from him. Maybe he is a friend, a relative, or someone who serves him well in a particular manner. In any case, this means that there is more to this than meets the eyes, my friend.” He tapped his nose with his finger, while smirking mischievously at Jave, who returned the smirk with a pleased chuckle. “So, what’s yer plan, hmm?” “No plan… yet… Wait ‘till tomorrow, then I might have something.” “Ah, right… Give the ol’ brain some thinkin’ space, eh?” “Exactly…”

Jave gave a quick determined nod, before spinning on his heel, heading towards the door. The floor creaked as his feet carried his leather boots across the floor, but the chubby man raised up the golden pot “Wait! Are you just going to leave this here?” Jave looked over his shoulder and raised an eyebrow “Hmm? Oh– right… Nah, keep it; you’ve given me a lot to think ‘bout. Thanks for yer help, by the way” The chubby man stood somewhat speechless, although thankful. Naturally. He gave a quick nod before pulling out a drawer, which seemed a bit shorter than he had expected, as it fell to the floor with a crash, quickly followed by a displeased curse. Walking out of the shabby door, Jave noticed it had begun raining. It was raining heavily, to his surprise, for he had not heard it from within the chubby man’s shack. The edge of the sun was now visible and it was about time Jave returned to his home. He tugged the collar of his jacket up over his head, and began trotting into the city streets. The otherwise peaceful silence of the night had been broken by the sound of the rain, and the sound of people’s doors slamming as they returned to their jobs. The streets were still somewhat empty, only the occasional worker disturbed the scene. Here and there drunkards stumbled down the streets to their homes, though little luck was with them. They usually ended up flat on their stomachs, in a daze of whatever intoxicating drinks they had consumed. Jave usually frowned upon this, seeing how drunkenness can be such a disturbing state. Your mind gets clouded, you can’t think correctly and anything in the way of nimbleness can be tossed out the window. After several buckets of rain and a few more drunkards, he arrived at a small hut, tucked in between two larger houses. He heard a scratching on the door, and a relieved smile appeared on his lips. In the shelter of the towering houses at his sides, he lowered the collar of his shirt and proceeded, still smiling, to open the door.

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