The 30th of Saun 718
Continued from here
No matter their flimsy structure, windows were more of an obstacle than one would think.
The average burglar was no stranger to picking locks and clambering up to an open window to get inside a building. However, if all were closed, getting inside became a bit trickier. Unlike a door, windows did not have locks that could be picked, and could only be opened from the inside. Naturally, this could be circumvented quite easily by just breaking the window, but that wasn’t usually a valid option when trying to be quiet. The noise of shattering glass was more than enough to wake all but the deepest sleepers. If one wanted to make a ruckus, they could just as easily try and kick in the front door.
Option number two was using a glass cutter, but such a tool was expensive, not to mention quite large. Carrying it on your person resulted in a not so inconspicuous lump even a thick cloak could not hide. It got in the way of climbing too. On the plus side, the cutter was lined with sound-eating cloth on the inside, making it a very effective tool for silent infiltrations. However, since both hands were needed to operate the tool, it wasn’t very feasible to use it while dangling from a windowsill.
Thusly, Oberan would have no choice but to keep climbing in hopes to find a window he could access. More to his right there was a small balcony with a fancy glass door he could easily utilize, which, by his estimation, would take him inside a bedroom or salon in the same hallway as the study. Unfortunately, the strip of light shining from between the drawn curtains made it quite clear that the room was occupied with non-sleeping people. He’d have to take another approach, which would result in him emerging in a different part of the mansion, and the longer he was inside, the more chance there was of him being discovered.
As such, he would go through the study window.
Carefully he shifted his balance on the sill so he come make certain that there was no-one inside. Then, with the appearance of a frown, he focused. The window handle turned and twisted, the locking mechanism clicked, and the glass panel swung open.
Barely a sound betrayed his presence as Oberan’s feet touched down inside the study. For a bit or so he didn’t move, instead glancing around and letting his vision get used to the murky darkness of the closed off space.
It was larger than he had expected it to be. Apart from the desk and cupboards he’d believed he’d find, the study also possessed a small tea table, comfortable chairs and a sofa. The floor was covered by a thick rug, and the walls were lined with various paintings.
Oberan silently closed the window behind him, then began searching the desk for the place where the ledgers were kept. He went through the drawers one by one, as well as the towers of documents neatly lined up on the desk top. Letters and correspondence, notes, envelopes, but nothing important. The Mortalborn put everything back the way he’d found it, then let his eyes fall on the waist-high vault hidden in a corner between two bookcases.
Perhaps hidden was the wrong word. It wasn’t covered up, nor had any attempt been made to make sure it was out of sight. However, the plain and dull metallic color of the vault did not catch the eye, especially when flanked by two mahogany cases filled with brightly colored books. Not exactly concealed, but not in the open either.
It was no surprise that it deterred thieves with a combination lock imbedded in the door. One didn’t need to know math to understand the futility of trying to crack the code without a clue or hint. There were too many possible variations that they might as well be infinite. Oberan was certain that this type of vault was advertised as being an impenetrable defense against criminals, but the people making those claims had certainly never heard of Djas, Mortalborn of Thieves.
He needed but to will the vault to open, and the knob started to turn left and right in quick succession, entering the required code on its own. A heavy dull clank echoed from within, and just like the window had, so too did the vault swing open. Easy as pie.
Oberan smirked. There was nothing that could remain closed before his power, nothing but –well, he didn’t speak about that. He didn’t even think
about that. The last thing he needed was to start doubting his own ability. The Mortalborn shook his head to clear his mind, then focused on the sight before him.
As predicted, the vault contained what he had been looking for. Multiple stacks of papers bound in leather cases, detailing the finances of the business, as well as other accounting nonsense. No cash here though, that was probably kept separate to prevent being robbed blind when thieves managed to crack a single vault. Any smart man would keep their money hidden across the house, split up in equal parts, all difficult to find. A smarter man still would keep most of their assets safely in the bank, insured for robbery.
The thief did wonder if any of the documents in the vault were worth anything. Perhaps if he could sell them for a lot of money—but no, these would be missed, and the ploy would be easily found out. There shouldn’t be any traces left. Oberan simply placed the faux ledger instead, closed the thick metal box back up, spun the knob, and headed back to the window.
Job done, now all that was left was getting back out in one piece, which really shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
Cautiously he clambered back out the window, kneeling on the sill to pull the window back shut before he began his climb back down.