Things used to be different before.
Back then, he was barely close to being called 'mischievous' and if he was, there was always a good reason to be. But I suppose his eye for neopoints and anything that looked expensive came from the fact he was belonging to a poor life. He lived on the streets after his parents passed away during an accident, though what exactly happened, he never had the eagerness to tell. But really, who would want to say?
"Look, look~!" I saw him lift up a thin silver chain, having a emerald pendant carved into a flower. His smile was larger than most, so I guess he was happy. "Some merchant dropped it!"
I would have frowned at him and scolded him on not giving it back, but I decided to play the innocent pet. "Oh, it's really pretty!"
For a moment, I thought I saw his smile fade slightly.
Slowly, that smile turned into a grin. His free hand pulled out one of my own, and opened it to place the necklace in my palm. "Why don't you keep it? It'll be a special present from me - and you'll look really pretty when you wear it when you're a~ll grown up."
I blinked, looking at the chain and then at him. "But you could sell it for a lot of money..."
He only shook his head, the grin still there. "Yeah, but I can always get some more expensive stuff from all those nobles. I have a whole treasure chest full of it!" I doubted the latter part was true, but I laughed anyway. It was funny in its own way.
"Okay. I'll keep it."
"As something important!" he added with mock scolding.
I just smiled, soon starting to drag him off to some other place as I let the silver chain slip into my pockets. I had the strangest feeling I was doing something wrong, especially to him, but I ignored it.
The next day, he vanished, leaving behind a silver necklace.
I shifted to Brightvale a few years after that, slowly becoming used to my new home. There was nothing to do here really, and I had no desire to make friends either. I had already finished my education, so I usually spent my days wandering or sitting at home.
But slowly, I became interested in becoming a knight.
The standards were hard, but I still wanted to go. Eventually, I managed to get in as a watch guard - the first position anyone in the army will be in. It did cost me a few codestones and hours of training along with slight researching, but it was well worth it and certainly better than sitting at home watering fern plants.
The first round was simple and went through the market only. I just had to keep an eye out for thieves, rouges or anything similar. Nothing more than that, but it was enough.
"Caught you!" I grabbed the pick-pocketing pet's arm, stopping him from trying to escape. He was wearing simple (if not slightly ragged at the edges) clothing and looked around the same age as I was. His hair was uncut too, but enough only to make small pigtails at the back. He seemed simply annoyed that he got caught before he even managed to get out my neopoints, but didn't try protesting for some reason as I took him to the dungeons to be locked up.
"So he's the guy who stole from you yesterday?" I asked a green Eyrie guard, who was in the middle of locking the barred door. I once saw a description that perfectly matched the thief, so it was a rational thought.
"Yeah." He looked up at the Ixi, frowning. "He's never been caught too, so I never got the chance to get my valuables back either. But as a thief, I guess he already sold it and now it's probably sitting with a kid in Shenkuu." He laughed at his own joke. "But seriously, it made him one of the top wanted thieves around here."
I glanced at the thief, who was muttering something inaudible. "I guess he makes up for his lack of strength with his speed then." The Eyrie only nodded, the key pulled back from the lock and returning to hang on a hook from his belt.
"Well, I have to go. Prisoners might not be many in Brightvale, but there are still some. They can hard to deal with as well. Keep up the good work, and you might start being called 'Captain Brynneth' soon." He laughed at that too, soon hurrying off and leaving me to resume my round.
I had, apparently, missed the look of surprise on the thief's face.
The rest of the day went rather pleasantly, nothing disrupting the peace of the area. It was already becoming evening, so I decided to speed up my pace in returning home. It was close by the castle, so it would take only a few minutes or so. Once I reached my modest house, I was midway through removing my keys before I accidently pushed it open. That spelt only one thing.
"So, how was your day?"
I had stopped and turned, staring at a blue Ixi with a pick - a lock pick - in his hands which was being flipped into the air like a coin. He eventually stopped that, putting the pick into a pocket while a grin grew, much to my annoyance.
"You... you're the thief I caught today!"
The grin seemed to grow at that. "And I escaped! Isn't that interesting?"
"Like it is for me," I responded flatly. Looking at the pocket with his pick, I wondered absent-mindedly if that was how he actually got out. I better make a note to look through them and see what he's got there...
"So... you're name's Brynneth, huh?" he cut in, grabbing my attention again. "That's pretty long for a name. Why don't I just call you Brynn? It's easier to remember."
I snorted. "It isn't long. And why should I let a thief call me that?" And why am I not trying to catch him? Is he just trying to distract me so he can find some chance to escape? Possibly, but even I can't try to catch him immediately; I need to find an distraction as well.
He shrugged. "I don't know. Because I'm a friend?"
I just raised an eyebrow.
There was silence following that, the grin of the Ixi looking a little forced now. He soon started to walk off with what looked like a cheerful expression, whistling some tune that was oddly familiar - or was it actually hidden disbelief? I shook that thought out, entering my house and checking if everything was still in place. Somehow, I just couldn't get myself to drag him back to the dungeons.
Everything was still there. Everything was still in its original place as I could last remember it. Everything, except for a silver chain, leaving behind an open glass box.
I was heading to Faerieland on Hagan's orders, representing Brightvale's aid along with Altador in the search for finding the cause of the recent crisis. While it was on duty, I felt relieved to be away from my work as Captain. Heh, funny, since that Eyrie once joked about me becoming Captain. But I suppose things have changed from those times.
As I climbed the ranks, I had kept seeing that thief - on too many unwanted situations - and he somehow kept escaping. By either picking the lock, or by securing the key (I needed to get better guards for this) through some method, the dungeons looked more like a temporary home to him.
I sighed, looking out the window. The skies were not my attention, but my faint reflection was. When I compared myself to before, I didn't seem too different. I was still the same as I was when I first entered the army, though the one thing that changed was my own hair.
I had no clue why I left it to grow. Usually, I'd cut it if it started to go past my shoulders.
Besides my reflection, I saw cotton-candy clouds past by, soon revealing the towering buildings of Faerie City. I immediately got out once it landed, thanking the Unis before I left to find Altador.
The cobblestone paths were deserted, the delicate mist halting to a stillness that seemed to match with the silence. I would be lying if I found it a little... disturbing, so I tried to take my mind off that by listening for any voices. It would either belong to Altador's group or to maybe a neopian who might have seen them.
I should have just concentrated on where I was going really.
I accidently slipped on some round object, causing me to crash into the ground (in the most undignified way possible, but I was lucky to not have anyone around). Forcing myself up, I picked up the object and inspected it. It only took two seconds, though.
It was a slightly chipped emerald pendant, shaped like a flower while a silver chain was strung through it.
"You'll look really pretty when you wear it when you're a~ll grown up."
When I wore it a few hours later, I heard him ask if I had an "old, boring necklace that probably has an emerald". He had dropped it apparently. I asked him why, but he only shrugged.
"Just an important thing."