Nero exchanged his robe for some shabby clothes to further blend in the crowd and he got a few silver coins in return. This could prove useful when used right.
The city center seems to be bustling. A good sign of a well maintained population. Houses are made out of clay and bricks in the outer districts. I haven't been to the inner district but I'm assuming it is made of cobblestones and bricks. In my previous world, centaurs are good at construction whether it be the materials processing, or the building process. Fairies and Imps would show the most astonishing details for the interior and Nymphs would weave the best furniture. Though It's unethical to categorize specialties by their races, It sure is their defining craft. Oh how I missed the olden days. There's this one guy named Thatch, he's been with me when I first started as an adventurer. I remember that time on my 10th birthday, before my coming of age ceremony, he came rushing as he just learned a buff skill called Aurora. Even he didn't knew what it'd do, he just memorized the incantation from the village priest since it sounded cool so we then tried it. Who would've thought that Aurora would make your skin glow in prism shades as the light magic is stored above your skin so I went to the mercenary guild with my skin glowing as I was tested for my job change. The clerk took all his might to conceal his laughter and the group sitting in the hall were full blown laughing already. How I cherish those funny days. Days when getting caught for stealing chicken eggs is the gravest worry I could think of.
While Nero was reminiscing as he walked the food market, a group of kids were sneaking nearby a fish stall and one kid with a fat stature suddenly made a commotion. "My wallet! Someone stole my wallet. It has about 50 silver coins in it. Help me please, I think my arm is broken"
Then another kid completed the act by shouting "Someone look there! the perpetrator is running. Someone help us" he pointed at a kid running in a distance.
The nearby onlookers took interest in the scene when they heard the amount in the chubby kid's purse. It was common to view fat kids as sons of nobility as they are the only ones who can afford to fatten those smug brats.
A few people then rushed to the running kid but wasn't able to catch up as the kid slid in an alley and completely vanished.
The scene of someone getting robbed is all too common in this area and it's just bad luck if you're targeted by street rats.
Most of the time noble kids want to wander these side of the streets to flaunt over their wealth and these cases where young nobles would sneak on a market alone only to end up getting robbed is far from unusual. Soon, the commotion ended and the flow of people walking started again but the traffic caused by the scene made the people pile up and the amount of people were densely close as they slowly dispersed.
Behind the scene of everything a kid fully coated in robe took the opportunity to start snatching a few fishes in the fish stalls and coincided his timing when the fat kid bawled in grief. A good scheme as even for the observant few, he was not seen. A descent sleigh of hand at such young age surely amazed Nero. Though he applauded the bunch's scheme, the wrong can never be justified even with the right cause. He then walked to reprimand the mischievous kids when suddenly a thought struck his mind.
Maybe I should instead start my management training with these kids. They're just small time criminals and with the right attitude and upbringing, their days could become a lot brighter but to setup my plans, I need to have an impact where they'd open their linear processing thoughts and let other's views influence them. Surely, these kids have been coached by professional thieves so I still need to detach them from this shady organization and what better way to do this than be worshiped as a hero?
I remembered Haron when we first started the reform of that one kingdom, he setup a plan for the nobles to look like the villains and us as the heroes instead of some ravage invaders. Let's try this on a smaller scale this time. First, I need a fall guy. Nero smiled mischievously as he looked at the fish vendor.
When the robed kid started to blend with the masses, Nero notified the fish vendor using his magic and a loud scream was heard from the fish vendor. He then started to chase the kid with a butcher's knife in hand while his assistant butcher took reigns in guarding the fish stall. Nero then used his magic to direct the butcher in locating the kid while he walked to the opposite alley and sat in a corner just behind a wooden box. He knew that the other comrades of the robed kid would soon meetup in an inconspicuous area away from the crime scene.
Sure enough, the fat kid and his accomplice passed by Nero along with the kid that ran earlier. The gang is walking to the meeting place but Nero didn't move close. He knew the alley was a straight path with three inner streets but they all end up in the back of an old building when you keep moving north so he already deduced their meeting place.
After awhile, he started moving as he needed to 'save' the robed kid. This kid though has fast hands, could still be considered naive. His robe was hindering him from fully stretching his legs and with the fishes dangling in his inner pockets, his fleeing chance further diminished. They all put their plan into distracting the crowd and steal without getting noticed. The way the three accomplices were walking with a carefree phase towards the meeting point proved his deductions.
After turning in the corner, he saw the butcher kicked the robed kid. The butcher was accompanied by a thin man supposedly a bystander who was helping for some remuneration from the butcher.
The stage is right and the spotlight is waiting for him to shine. He then ran and kicked the butcher's sides as he grabbed the collar of the kid. The startled thin man acted and swung the wooden rod he was holding and was dodged by Nero by rolling in the side. Nero then pushed the kid forward and he then blurted, "Go, run fast!"
The kid didn't hesitate to run as he stumbled upon his feet but kept moving forward. The butcher, who was now standing diverted his attention to Nero and along with the thin man, started attacking.
The robed kid saw Nero getting overwhelmed and hesitated to continue running, He wanted to help but he knew he's unable to anything so after a short pause, he then resumed running away.
A few minutes later, he met with the other kids and told what happened. They then flee to a different location to avoid the possible pursuit.
After the kid was out of sight, he waited for a few more minutes and when he confirmed the kid was not getting back, he knew it was time. A kick was flying directed to his face and he dodged it by slightly moving his neck as he pushed himself upright.
"Show ends here" He then twisted his body as he moved forward to the butcher landing his elbow to the butcher's face and following it with a reverse body twist to perform a full mid kick in the butcher's body. His vitality is getting low and his energy is almost at it's limit, He's still not accustomed in estimating the capacity of his current body so he finished the thin man with a single kick. He knew the butcher was a lot tougher to fall from just a weak mage's kick so he dropped another kick to the butcher who was about to get up. When both his opponent were down on their feet grabbing their sore body, he grabbed the silver coins he got from exchanging his robe and threw it near the butcher. "This should be enough compensation for your time" he said with a menacing smile but deep within, his entire body was screaming in pain so he hurriedly turned sideways to another corner and blended with the crowd. It'd be bad if the fish vendor thought that he still has more coins and start to make it all more trouble some.
This body should need some workout. I'll go find a training center once I've settled the stuffs with these kids.
When the sun was about to go out, he finally found the robed kid in a dark alley, with trashes piled in the corner who was now with a larger group. These kids wore clothes riddled with holes and looked a lot skinnier. The only one familiar aside from the robed kid is the small kid who the duo pointed earlier as the 'robber' while the duo was nowhere to be found. Before closing in, he counted the total kids and observed if they have any adult with them.
As he was already injured and his bruises were now fully visible, pulling this act should be a lot easier. so he then uttered in a joyful tone "I've finally found you!"
The kids were startled and went on high alert. The small kid who ran earlier grabbed a stick and covered the other kids behind.
Nero approved of the kids' attitude but bravery and foolishness has a very thin line of difference. Before Nero tried to ease the situation, the robed kid went forward and inquired, "Aren't you the one who saved me earlier, why did you come here?".
These kids sure are cautious. The mage hall should learn from these kids.
"I was amazed by your performance earlier. Those hands sure is fast"
"Not fast enough" The robed kid shrugged but took pride in his skill. "The next time I get a chance, that butcher won't realize he's losing fish even without distraction"
"A bold statement, kid". Nero smirked and said, "Your skills are wasted with these petty thievery"
When their conversation started, Nero got near as he explained his story and some made up scenarios he first thought of to convince the kids. "I am starting a small group and as for the purpose, well, let's just say it's about people relations and as for you-"
Before Nero finished his words, the robed kid interrupted him. "A week ago, the city guards started the clean up in the underground streets. We're one of the strays left after they rid of the ring leaders. I've never seen you before so either you're someone from the outskirts or from the other territories trying to make it big in this side of the street but you sure sound convinced of your words but in the end, you don't know anything".
"You think we're so naive that we'd fall for a plan that is obviously going to fail?" The small kid retorted "or this might be just another entrapment. Either way, you won't gen anything from us. Get the hell out of here!"
Then another kid who stood up retorted "Your eyes see only us as some disposable pawns. We're used to those eyes and to be honest mister, you look like some low-key crook that thought he could strike it big since the big shots are now out of the way".
The sharp words these kids were saying strikes heavily to Nero's pride. Scheming and cunning tactics sure is not Nero's way of dealing with things. He tried to imitate one of his party members but ultimately failed.
"AHAHAHAHAH" Roland laughed as he sat in front of them,
The kids were dumb founded and realized the person in front of them turned into a mad man.
Nero realized that no matter the time or circumstances, what you're bad at is never going to change. He then decided to do it the usual way.
"Listen kids, I was the one who informed the butcher of your schemes. I even directed him so he won't lose you"
"You-" The robed kid was surprised and became agitated.
"But!" Nero raised his hand as a signal for stop, "Scheming ends here. Trying to set up and becoming a hero? What was I thinking." Nero laughed again
"Okay, back to business. you kid" Nero pointed at the robed kid. I'm guessing you're now the protector of these other kids. With your story earlier, I've grasped all of your situations. No wonder the back alleys earlier were a lot quieter than I've expected. Let me help you".
"So what if I am? Leave, we don't need your help"
"I'm not actually asking, time to wrap this up little runts". Nero jumped up and activated his magic "Scream!"
A roaring sound came from the kid's robe and before they could react, Nero swiped his leg and tripped the three kids. Taking advantage of their fall, Nero used his finger to pressure their the carotid vein in their neck, causing the two kid to fall unconscious. with the robed kid being a bit farther away, Nero gripped his rock and aimed it at the kid's stomach.
"Heavy Rock Strike!" Nero shouted as he uselessly named his special move of simply throwing a rock
*wololololololololo* The rock that wen flying was emitting a weird screech and an over exaggerated tug sound was emitted as it hit the kid's stomach who then belched his intestinal fluids and fell unconscious.
"Worry not. I'm kind of a pro in this. They'd wake up fresh and happy in a few hours" Nero tried to ease the situation upon seeing the other frightened kids. He then performed the same 'ritual' to the others and ended with 7 unconscious kids.
"Now this is my style, simple and effective. Time to wrap up". Feeling satisfied, he dismantled the tents and turned it into a sack. he then grabbed the hemp ropes and tied the 7 kids into a bundle like a wheat stack. finally, he retrieved his rock and the bag containing the fishes and started walking out the alley with the bundled kids, getting dragged inside the sack.
Thank you for your support guys and gals. As I've a 9 to 5 work, I'll try to post a chapter once a day.
I'm trying to create a villainy dark edgy character but ended up with a funny one. Oh well...
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