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Rated: E · Fiction · Young Adult · #2314092
This is the first chapter of a book I'm (trying to) do. It introduces the main character.
Shadows covered the streets of Ompik as the moon stood over them. Ruri looked up at the full circle glowing above her, which always made the teenager think she was being watched over.
It was scavenging time.
Nighttime often came hand in hand with lords visiting taverns, most leaving drunk and unaware of the dangers lurking in the dark corners.
None got back to their houses with the same possessions they left with.
Whether it be a simple watch or a jeweled wallet, everything had a price in the Trenchum. Some might call it a black market, but for Ruri, it was her way of providing her and her brother with money and food.
It was located on the outskirts of town, below a bridge that crossed the dry river. The Trenchum was made up of tents where you could find all types of resources and objects.
Silent as a shadow, Ruri's thin black hair trailed behind her as she approached her next target.
"This one's going to be easy." She realized, noticing that the lord she was following was drunker than most.
She waited until he rounded a corner, then made sure no one was watching before dropping beside him, pale skin shining under the moonlight.
Faster than lightning, she took his wallet from his back pocket and blended into the shadows of the wall.
"Hey," he said, voice slurred from the beers he drunk back at the tavern "That's my wallet!"
Ruri's eyes trailed his movements, knowing he wouldn't find her as he turned wildly, searching for her.
She watched the man for a few more seconds and then left the alley quickly, ready to sell the wallet and keep the money it had inside.
The black-haired teenager hurried to sell it to her usual buyer at the Trenchum before it got completely dark and the soldiers started to patrol the city.
"How much?" Ruri asked, placing the wallet in front of the old woman on the other side of the counter.
''I'll take it for 10 napke." Alaine's sharp eyes scrutinized the wallet before making her offer.
"Make it 20." Ruri negotiated "The man who... lost it looked pretty rich. You know how much trouble it could cause me if they figured out I found it?"
The older woman laughed. "You're lucky if I buy it for 13."
"Come on, Alaine.'' Ruri's ocean-blue eyes held a hint of desperation as she negotiated, her years of experience in trading teaching her how to convince others to buy her objects at a reasonable price, "Buy it off me for 17."
"I'll take it for 15 napke. You're not the only one with a family to care for," she huffed.
"Deal," the teenager said, exchanging the wallet for the money, then turning around and leaving.
As Ruri left the market and headed home, her ocean-blue eyes scanned the shops, looking for food at low prices.
As she examined a piece of cheese, she felt movement behind her. She narrowed her eyes and her hand began to reach for the dagger that was hidden inside her coat.
''Whoa, Ruri.'' The boy exclaimed.
The older girl relaxed slightly as she shoved her dagger back into her coat.
Ruri's eyes narrowed as she confronted Dai. ''What are you doing here, Dai? I told you to stay at home,'' she said roughly, shouldering past her brother.
''It depends. Do you prefer the sweet lie or the harsh truth? I can never tell with you.'' Dai told her as he chased after her.
''Good,'' she replied. ''that means no one else can. And I'd rather the truth.''
''I might have gone out to earn us some money. Good news is, I got 10 napke!'' he exclaimed.
''What? You should have stayed home, like I told you to!'' hissed Ruri, clenching her jaw as she worried about her little brother. ''The streets are dangerous these days. Soldiers are looking for something, and they are in a bad mood. Something must have happened in the palace, but even with that, if they catch you cheating-''
''I know, and I'm careful. I can hear them patrolling every day. I just- I thought you'd appreciate the help.'' Dai explained.
''I do, but... Let's just go home,'' she sighed. ''It is already dark and we have some shopping to do tomorrow.''
''We? Really? Thanks, Ru-Ru!'' Dai's enthusiastic response as he used the nickname he called her for as long as they could remember, demonstrating him as the younger, more lighthearted face of the coin they made.
''But do not call me that.'' She chastised, walking towards a little tent hidden by boxes.
It wasn't much, but they were only two and they needed the money for clothes and food. Dai was excellent at cheating at everything, but his best area was poker. Ruri stole and won the money, then gave some to Dai so that he could gamble (and win) and used the rest for resources.
Upon reaching their modest tent, a sudden commotion erupted - a group of soldiers hurried past, seemingly going after a criminal. Dai's wide-eyed gaze met Ruri's, and her stern expression softened as she gently instructed him to go to sleep, while shuffling closer to him attempting to make him feel safer.
''Do not worry about them; they will leave sooner or later.'' She whispered, lying down and closing her eyes, even though she had her suspicions of what had happened at the palace. They were not good, and therefore Dai didn't need to hear them.
Do not worry, she thought, no one is hurting you while I am here. Not like they hurt her.

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