Vhalar 34 Arc 716
Clouds had started to darken the skies as of late, the trials becoming shorter the further the season progressed. Fortunately, there had been no real days with truly bad weather yet, Vhalar allowing the mortals to adapt to the change in seasons before actually starting the Cold Cycle. And then it still would only be a prelude.
Winds howled though, blowing the browning leaves from the trees and through the streets. The Marilyn skirts –barely a day old, and already becoming popular and scandalous-- worn by more daring women who'd had left their warm houses this trial were grabbed and lifted by the gusts. Lecherous eyes stared lustfully as the girls did try to hold their skirts down. They did succeed in concealing their underwear to those in front of them, but the perverted individuals walking behind them were still treated on magnificent sights. Yana did not suffer any of that –except for the view, that is, but she wouldn't exactly call it suffering-- as she wore pants. Not only because she currently was on a job, but also because skirts were a hindrance.
The Yludih went through the small list in her hands again, her eye flicking back and forth between the building she was keeping an eye on, while preventing the wind to steal the piece of paper away from her fingers. At first glance, the list was nothing special, just a list with names of different people. However, if one gave it more than a casual curious sideways look in passing, they would notice there were numbers listed next to the names, as well as the words “statue”, “beat”, “cat”, and “break j/f”. Those served to jog her memory, should she forget what exactly she needed to do. At first glance, though odd, the list was nothing special, and everything listed was separate. Yet, all items on the list had multiple things in common. Firstly, they had approached, or had been approached by Yana. Secondly, those numbers next to their names was how much they had offered to pay for her services –half of which the Yludih had already pocketed, having gone through exhausting negotiations to achieve it. And lastly, all people having enlisted Yana's services wanted something from Tristan Venora. Some desired payback, others a certain statuette of a certain man.
The first of her current clients she had met perhaps a trial or three ago. He had been looking for someone not unwilling to dirty their hands, and somehow had ended up at Yana's table at Ye Olde Inn. Jack White, a slender man with long bond hair, was an actor for the Rynmere Theatre. He claimed to be quite the prodigy, but for all his years of experience on stage, no-one asked for him to star in one of their plays anymore. He had auditioned for many roles, but never once got selected. Wacky characters were his favorites, his forte, but even those he did not get to play. And why? Because he had once been the lead in one of Tristan's earlier plays, a performance that been a flop. After that, his career, in full bloom up until that point, was over. No more roles for him. No big ones anyway. At first he'd still gotten smaller roles, side characters to play. A chance to redeem himself, the directors had said. But that was only early on. Later he was refused for each and every role in each and every play. People forgot about him, the greatest star, Jack White. And it was all Tristan's fault, for coming up with that debacle of a play! He'd been insistent on getting Yana to bury him alive, but the ridiculously high price she'd charged for that –on purpose, of course-- had changed his mind. He did not have that much money to spare, so he'd settled for a good old beating.
That request had made Yana think. What if there were more people who found they had a score to settle with Tristan Venora? What if there were more that wanted revenge for one thing or another? Claiming that Jack's money was insufficient, but that she was willing to make a deal, she managed to get the failed actor to tell any others he might know of her, and send them her way. At the same time, she did some digging herself. Results had come fairly soon, her own search yielding two other people on the same trial. Jack's help netted her three others over the span of the next two, and eventually, she'd even been escorted to a mansion, where an old, successful merchant woman wanted to speak to her.
The trial before
“I need you to collect a statue for me,” Gojira spoke, her old wrinkled face somehow resembling that of a really ugly bipedal Jocadon with bad breath. The woman was a prominent figure on the economic side of Andaris, perhaps Rynmere as a whole.
“A statue.” Yana made no effort to hide her frown, but did keep her disgust at the poison cloud of perfume wafting from the woman suppressed.
“Indeed. Is that a problem?” Her tone made clear that if it was, Yana had no further business in her mansion.
“It depends on the size,” Yana stated calmly, not really impressed by the sharp tone with which this woman tended to speak.
“I've been told it is about three foot tall, perfectly movable.”
It would still take some considerable amount of effort though, Yana thought, fingers steepled, doubting she'd ever get that thing out of the house and to this mansion without some sort of--
“Naturally I will be providing you of a cart to transport the statue safely, as well as a sail to shield it from rain and weather conditions.”
The Yludih nodded, that would be helpful. Like this it could be done.
“Can I ask why you wouldn't just buy it?” Surely Gojira had money enough.
Madam Gojira Godmounter crossed her arms and huffed in indignation.
“I tried buying the statue of my fiancé,” she said, “but that sculptor refused to sell it! He'd only sell it to the model!” Fire gleamed in her eyes. “Get me that statue by any means necessary. I will use my influence to cover up any illegal methods used, or any charges filed against you. Along with a reward as handsome as my husband, of course!”
Except that the model of the statue had risen from fiancé to husband in the span of mere trills made Yana doubt the woman had everything together in her head, the deal did sound really attractive. She nodded.
“But,” Gojira warned, one finger raised, “that is only if you succeed.”
The Yludih only nodded again, not making any promises. “That's a deal,” she said after a moment of consideration, after which she was escorted back out of the building, given some more details on the location of Tristan's house, as well as where she would find the cart.
There were more names on the list of course, but save for one, they were not very memorable. One rival playwright, who'd had his own scrips refused in order for the Theatre to focus on Tristan's time and time again, wanted Lord Venora's jaw and fingers broken, so he would not be able to pick up a quill for a long time, and his speech would be impaired as well, thus rendering him unable to relay his ideas to a scribe. Petty really. There was also a gambler who believed Tristan had been cheating, having teamed up with a thief during many games of cards, causing Yana's client to lose dozens of gold nel. Yet another--
Her eye detected movement, the door to the Lord's house swinging open. Two men left, one which Yana did not care for, the other matching the description she'd gained from her clients perfectly. One peasant, and one Tristan Venora were leaving the house. Did he have his slave come with him on errands? Apparently so. But Yana did not think it a problem. Surely she could handle a spoiled Lordling and his slave. The Yludih gave chase, not running, but with fast strides to catch up. The both of them turned into an alley. This was perfect! Yana upped the pace, managing to bridge the distance just before the two reached the darker part of the alleyway.
“Excuse me,” she called, twisting her voice to sound a little demure and shy, batting her eyelids in the presence of his Lordship, pretending to be charmed by his looks. “Lord Tristan Venora?” It was a question she did not need to ask, but it was merely to make him turn around. She had managed to get close enough already. In an instant her acting fell away to reveal indifference as the redheaded woman threw a punch, fist aimed for his stomach. The goal was to have him double over because of the impact, then knee him in the face.