The clamor of tankards and raucious laughter filled the rank tavern with a background noise that was difficult to ignore. It was easy to get lost in such places, and the naerikk was more than appreciative of that.
"You sure about that lil' lady? You've already had six." The man eyed her with a raised, ragged brow, and if it wasn't for his rather gloriously curled mustache, she might have socked him right in his pout-y mouth.
"I said another," she slammed her tankard down and slid it toward him with a look in her amber eyes that broached no argument. There was a smirk on her lips as he shook his head and proceeded to fill it to the brim, the foam dripping down the sides. With a fluid movement that could only come from a seasoned fighter, she brought it to her lips and drank. Watered down drivel but it was good enough. "Call me lil' lady again and you won't have a mouth to frame that mustache on."
She disliked Andaris. It's tiered system and maze like streets, while a haven for someone in her line of work, afforded her no luxury of anonymity. It seemed the people all knew each other practically by name and while she could sometimes get away with concealing her Naerikk nature, many still mistake her for an Aukari, which, in itself, was perhaps the worst option.
The door slammed open in an instant, causing a momentary lull in the conversation. Maeve barely turned her head, eyeing the newcomer with a narrowed gaze as the hulking man raised a piece of parchment high, depicting an image of a woman with wild hair. "Anyone seen this Naerikk?"
"Thanks for the piss water," Maeve threw coins onto the counter and moved quickly, before anyone could have a chance to notice she was there. Slipping through the low window near the entrance to the tavern, she broke out into a run. Mentally cursing herself, the urgency of her boots kicked up dirt on the winding roads. Can't even lose a hunter in this fucking maze. The Naerikk glanced over her shoulder and saw the stampeding form of the man coming straight for her.
NOT today. The smuggler turned down a narrow winding road between a set of long, looming buildings. She hoped that the low light and sharp corners could make her lose her pursuer, but if he could track her down to an inconspicuous tavern, what hope did she have? Her efforts took her past Mid-Town, into the Crown itself, where she sought the refuge of the residencies. Yet, when she paused, catching her breath at the corner of a tall, modest establishment, barking sounds were heard in the distance.
Of course he's using a dog. She drew air as her lungs sought to catch up, and she noticed, in that moment that she had reached a dead end. With walls closing in on either side, and the ominous barks growing louder, the Naerikk scoured the buildings for anything. There was no way she would let herself be clapped in irons; not today.
It was a flicker of a light that drew her eye to a window that was cracked open. Climbing had not been her specialty, but sheer self-preservation fueled her movements as she gripped and hauled herself up. Fortunately, the climb wasn't substantial, and though she nearly slipped several times, momentum kept her going, until she forced the window the rest of the way and tumbled unceremoniously into the dimly lit room.
With gulps of air, the naerikk stood, her eyes adjusting easily to the lack of solid light, revealing the furnishings and decorations that denoted a bedroom. The bed, however, was empty, which brought the smuggler momentary ease as she kept an ear toward the window, listening to the distant barks of that blasted dog. Her amber gaze wandered back toward the room when she was satisfied that the hunter had momentarily lost her trail. Her curiosity wandered toward the shelves and the books that occupied them, one long, slender finger running across the well-worn backs. Home of a reader? What were the chances they'd remember something was missing? Her lips quirked into a smirk as she eyed the baubles and minor items of note in the room. A quick change for the trouble of being chased. At least, that was her relative thinking as she reached for the particularly lovely quill resting on the writing desk.
Common | Grovokian