The Thief And His Sword
A large towering red Grarrl in a bristling silver chest plate walked up the grassy slope that overlooks the sea near the land of Altador. He stared at the lone tree by the edge of the bluff and saw a blue Gelert hanging out on a large rough hewn grey rock beside it.
It was just as intelligence indicated; one of Neopia's most wanted thieves was spotted in Altador. It looked like the notorious rogue really was staying nearby. The mighty red Grarrl had found his target at last. He smiled at the idea of the vastly handsome reward for the capture of the blue Gelert becoming his. Being known as the warrior who captured Kieran the rogue would also do wonders with his reputation.
As the bounty hunter got closer to the thief he was set to arrest, he soon came to realize that if it weren't for the descriptions and drawings made from the many witnesses identifying the culprit, he wouldn't have pegged the blue Gelert in his sights to be the infamous thief that would even dare steal from the Qasalan treasury or Brightvale Castle's vaults. The one before him certainly didn't look the part at a glance. He certainly looked younger than his information source identified his age to be in their research. His face had this sort of glowing aura that Antenor could only call as some sort of childish innocence. It was a very disarming mask for those unsuspecting town folks that became the thief's victims.
Not that it mattered. Antenor continued his approach and readied himself mentally. He touched the cradle of his golden handled long sword, prepared to make a rush for his prey if ever the young blue Gelert attempted to make a run for it. The thief took notice of the approaching figure by turning his head to his side and grinning in acknowledgment, but made no attempt to escape.
"I am Antenor of Meridell. Kieran the rogue, I have come to arrest you."
"Oh, so you're the famous Antenor I've been hearing about. The well-known hunter who's sent plenty of Neopia's elusive and hardened criminals to Skarl's dungeons, even more than the entire Meridellian army could manage on their own." Kieran shrugged as he turned his head away from the red Grarrl. "A simple lowly thief like me can't obviously compete with that. Looks like I'm really in big trouble here."
A bit of flattery swam in Antenor's head, but he was composed and focused enough to not let it get to him. He would not be distracted. He smiled and asked one of the few questions where the answer hardly mattered.
"I want to know... is what they say of you true?"
A nonchalant blue Gelert got up from the rock where he was resting and asked, "What is?"
"It's rumored that you're the fastest thief there is in all of Neopia," replied Antenor.
"Oh, well, I'm not sure about that," Kieran replied, "but I sure am faster than a lot of thieves out there."
"In any case, you're simply a common criminal that needs to be dealt with. Your speed will do you no good against me. I suggest you surrender now unless you want to test my blade."
"Maybe if I can win a fight against you even without my own sword," the thief said as he revealed his weapon which he had kept hidden behind him, "you'll let me walk out of this hill? I mean, I've no intention of going into combat with you at all."
"Perhaps, if you can somehow manage to accomplish such a feat." Antenor shrugged as he eyed the sword the young blue Gelert held. It was a long sword similar to his own sword, but the quality and craftsmanship was certainly at a lower level. The weapon would be no threat to him at all. This job was becoming less an arrest than it was a dare with the young thief. But an opponent without a sword should be easier to capture than somebody with one, so he might as well play along with whatever the young blue Gelert had in mind. One should always seize any advantage that would present itself.
The notorious thief stretched his arms vertically and got up with a yawn. Antenor thought that the blue Gelert was much taller than advertised, but it was not like that would do much to help for Kieran to get away. It seemed that the young blue Gelert hardly looked like he was trying to escape him anyway. The thief passed by the mighty red Grarrl with a complete happy-go-lucky expression with his arms crossed behind his head whistling. The infamous thief didn't even bother to meet the bounty hunter eye to eye. Kieran simply walked to the edge of the cliff overlooking the sea, and held out the sword into the bluff.
Antenor didn't utter a single word and instead waited for Kieran's next move. If the rogue was indeed as fast as the residents from the towns he visited claimed, he needed to be twice as responsive to any attack or attempts of escape. He would not allow the thief to try anything tricky against him. The red Grarrl patiently waited for any sudden movements from the young blue Gelert with a deceptive-looking smile.
But the attack never came. Nor did any attempts of making a run for it. Kieran simply let go of the sword and allowed it to fall from the edge of the cliff. He even squatted down to see the weapon plop into the sea with an unheard, "Oh wow, there you go," traceable from his lips. Antenor quickly ran to the side of the cliff, though a good distance away from his target, to confirm what just happened. He was left in complete disbelief. There was no need to act all composed anymore.
"You threw it away! Hahahaha!" Antenor kept on roaring with laughter to his heart's content. This was certainly the strangest encounters with a target he'd ever been in. "I can't believe it, but you actually did it. Why would you do that? How do you expect to fight me now? Do you think you can take me on with just your bare hands? Hahahaha!"
Kieran tried to restrain his own laughter, which came as short muffled bursts.
"You want to know what's even funnier?" the rogue asked as he watched gentle ripples forming small circles on the sea foams by the cove, his fingers acting as a visor to protect his wondering eyes from the sun. There was definitely no way of getting the sword back now.
Antenor just kept on laughing for a little while till he whizzed one and felt exhausted and out of breath. He looked at the young Gelert with a painfully widened grin and asked, "What?"
The thief turned to his side, exposing a very familiar looking long sword that Antenor could have sworn should be at the very bottom of the sea by now. Kieran pointed at the sea below, still bursting with laughter as the expression of shock slowly became evident from the red Grarrl's face.
"You never even realized it until now. That wasn't even my sword but yours!"