"Amid the crowded streets of the market district, I stood there, pacing around the fiend. His eyes glared at me as he raised his dagger, slicing the air before him, to and fro. He lunged at me with a fierce strike that would have killed any ordinary man, but I jumped into the air, drawing my weapon. I brought the blunt side of my spearhead down with full force, right across the back of his neck. Needless to say, the crowd loves a sympathetic hand such as mine. He may be alive now, but he will rot in jail for his indiscretion against the council of Alvika."

Before Lemont stood Aiden, strong-arm for hire. While overly exaggerative in his tales, though true as they were, Alvika had heard several tales of his escapades in some of the greater cities as being a rather upright fellow. Lemont, half sober, gladly pulled his coin purse, totting up the total worth of the villain's bounty. Lemont took great care in adding just a few extra silver to his pocket, as he tended to look to men like Aiden with a happy heart. With the best smile his melancholy face could muster, Lemont began to spout off rather erratically.

"The townspeople and I greatly appreciate your services for catching that scoundrel. You wouldn't believe the price a man can tally for multiple counts of food theft in the market. A few more quick captures like that and we'll be hoodlum free again, for a time."

As Lemont rambled on praises, the strong-arm couldn't help but let his mind wander after his already searching eyes. Rogue's as simple as this one posed no challenge to him, but a town of such diversity would have little trouble being a haven for his remaining meal tickets. Somewhere along his surveillance however he found himself following a shorthaired beauty. He watched as the fair lady strolled down the streets, wandering about from stand to stand. He gazed upon her bangs as they fell carelessly over her face, keeping the main portion of her from site. More perplexing to the strong-arm was her odd attire. Fluid half dress matched with simple, effective bracers and a form fit cloth top could only suggest she was a permanent resident. No fool would travel in such frail outfit around these parts. Aiden's mind jumped back to his direct surroundings as Lemont questioned him.

"Something troubles you Aiden? Your face suggests something on your mind."

Regaining his focus yet again, Aiden quickly brought his curiosities into the light.

"I'd like to know about the remaining felons that your town is being plagued by. Anything you can help me with would be of great importance."

Aiden's words trailed off again as he found himself watching that peculiar girl stroll into a shop stand for only a moment before leaving. Forgetting his obligations once again, Lemont helped remind Aiden of them as he rapped lightly on Aiden's chest.

"Good sir, something troubling you? Would you rather I write down what we know and have a messenger send the information to your room at the Inn?"

Sounding rather distant, Aiden replied.

"That sounds fine. Say, do you know that lady?"

Stuttering out of various ill-repute memories. Lemont gathered himself with a laugh.

"I know many a woman about this town, but I'm sorry to say you'll have to be a bit more specific than simply that lady if I'm to answer your question."

Quickly looking back, the strong-arm found himself unable to locate the maiden he'd gazed upon only moments ago. Turning back to the warden, he rambled out a description as best he could.

"Small, no higher than five and a half heads in height. She had choppy hair with long bangs, and a peculiar style of dress that I've not seen before. Wish I could say I noted more, but I didn't see her that long."

Lieutenant Lemont chuckled lightly as Aiden's description ceased. Pulling his flask out from the inner workings of his tunic, he took a moment to drink before answering.

"That sounds an awful lot like Scarlet, but I do believe she's back at the Academy now. I had my two best men send her back there just yesterday. Sad case, that Scarlet. She's been a runaway ever since she came to the academy. She arrived twelve years ago under circumstances no one really knows. I've been told that her parents were important aristocrats in the Dark Legacy hierarchy. Her father was said to be second to the Great One himself. Word was they were assassinated, but as for why, I've never been told. However, this is to say that Lady Scarlet is the person you saw just now."

Lemont was on the verge of rambling further only to be stopped with the sight of Aiden dashing down the busy streets. With an all too characteristic farewell, Lieutenant Lemont spun around, making his way back to the wooden stool.

Never having been one for believing in fate or love at first sight, Aiden himself at a loss for words at his compelling desire to seek this girl out. Amid the market folk, the strong-arm towered over the average citizen at an outstanding six and a half heads. Even Aiden found himself a bit bewildered by the massive amount of movement overpowering his ability to focus sight. A fur-covered shoulder was enough to set the hunter back on his chase. Limber and lanky, he had no problem with stepping over the smaller citizens and sliding around, between, or beside the taller specimen. Still unsure as to why he followed this choppy haired damsel, Aiden found himself hiding behind a vendor's stall as she turned back to survey the market.

As his target turned to move on, Aiden left himself plenty of time before proceeding onward. He watched the beauty go from stand to stand, slowly noticing that she was making her way through each one, going to specific items. Closing the gap between himself and the maiden, Aiden started to watch her with more scrutinizing eyes. Tall as he was, the strong-arm figured she would have no reason to raise suspicion, as he ducked under the entrance to the market stall where she was currently window-shopping. Closing in, he couldn't help but notice the bushel of apples she was gazing at. As she brushed by the heap of fruit, Aiden caught a quick glimpse of her hand slipping back into her cloak. Not one to allow things of such caliber to happen, Aiden found himself in awe that he couldn't expose her. More intrigued still, was his inability to quit following her as she moved to the next stand where she proceeded to pilfer a loaf of bread and some grapes from a strolling market man.

As she grazed past the owner of a particular butcher stall however, Aiden's fair-haired target suddenly had a turn of bad luck. As the young tracker closed in on his bewildering target, he was cut short by the sound of a grizzly voice from behind.

"You there, drop those cutlets!"

Aiden's mind, never to be hampered between wrong and right before, was too late in making a decision as the butcher took hold of the young lady's arm, forcing her to drop the cutlets she was in the process of swiping. Before even Aiden himself knew what he was doing, he had stepped into the squabble to mediate.

"My apologies good butcher! My lady hails from far shores. She is not familiar with our ways here. I'll be paying for those."

Taking his coin purse from his satchel, Aiden grossly overpaid the butcher, whose attitude quickly fell from that of a raging savage. He watched as the butcher made quick work of wrapping his purchase, rather pleased for a man who could have easily cleaved a skull not a moment earlier. As the mercenary took the purchase under arm, his free hand quickly found way around the lady's shoulder. He made his way rather quickly to the lesser parts of town. While they were not truly in the slums of the town, they were certainly out of the way of the hustle and bustle of the market district.

"I do believe these are yours milady. I do apologize for being so bold, but I couldn't vary well allow that butcher to discover all of your other purchases. I can't say much for being a man of chivalry, but I do believe in helping when possible."

From beneath her bangs, the strong-arm could easily locate a dark scowl. Confused for a moment, he forced himself to remain silent in the hopes of some sort of explanation or thanks.

"Where do you get off? I didn't ask for your help! I can handle myself on my own, and I don't take kindly to a pity offer from a pompous would-be knight. Now, if you don't mind, would you do me a favor and leave me be? Oh and you can take your pity offering back Mr. Savior."

The fiery girl hurled the wrapped cutlets back at Aiden with a dull thud as he looked up; He found himself alone on the bench, confused and slightly dumbfounded. As he rose to leave, an all too familiar voice cried out.

"Let me go you pig!"

Turning back, the Strong-arm found none other than the young lady he'd just finished conversing with. She stood in the middle of a group of three gangly and unkempt men. Aiden hurried over, drawing his spear, only to be left in awe as the young lady began to retaliate.

"I said let me go!"

He could only watch as her eyes blanked out, sheer white, and illuminated with an eerie radiance. The very earth around her feet rose with her hands as she gestured toward the skies. Aiden looked about with darting eyes as the young lady brought forth this unimaginable ability, only to see the terror and fear in the eyes of the surrounding townsfolk. Three pillars towered over each of the ruffians, as they began to tremble faintly. Each of the pillars fractured and crumbled, revealing golems that took an immediate fashion to their targets. One by one the golem lumbered toward their targets, looming over the now frightened men. Arms crossed, in a victorious posture, she stood before the men, shooting off her mouth more fiercely that of a barbarian after a bloodthirsty battle.

"Now, I do believe you should run on home before I crush a whole lot more than your pride. What do you say boys?"

All three of the rogues scrambled to their feet, allowing great stride to put distance between themselves and the young lady. The golems collapsed in on themselves, leaving only a fine dust behind as the young woman snapped her fingers. Her view quickly turned to Aiden, still in an offensive posture, with spear in hand. She glared heavily before assaulting him with a vicious onslaught.

"Planning to save me? Think I'm helpless? Well I'm not, so step back and leave me be, lest you wish to join those morons and be put in your place as well! These townspeople and the thought of friends just don't seem to agree with me, so if you're looking for a 'lover' or a 'sweetie' until you leave town, you're barking up the wrong tree. Now get lost!"

Without the slightest chance at retaliation or defense, the girl picked up her pilfered goods and left in a huff. Try as he might, the would-be knight was unable to track that peculiar lady down. A slow stroll and a troubled mind comprised Aiden's thoughts as he made way down the alley to the Inn. Passing up the counter originally, he had to double back for lack of remembering that Lemont sent information to the front counter. A little heavy hearted for unknown reason, Aiden fumbled through the paperwork the friar collected for him. A second glance brought the Strong-arm's attention to a particular image scribbled upon a piece of paper. Eyes in a daze, he quickly turned about and made his way back to the inner city.


Thanks for the commentary gang, This chapter took me a bit of time to work out. Had some straining issues lately. I may not be writing quite as frequently, but I'm gonna do my best. Vacation the 9th-15th, so I wont be posting for a while. That gives you all lost of time to read and get me some more reviews . Come on you know you wanna! Chapter 5, "Bad boys play rough" should be up within a week of my return.

-Joshua