Chapter one: Rhen of Ruin
Rhen stepped off the sidewalk and into the shadows of the ruined city. The sun had set
long ago, leaving the city in darkness. She had been in New Orleans for two years, but it still made her uneasy. Despite the evening and the decay, Rhen was determined to find her bounty. It had been over a hundred years since THE GREAT SHIFT from technology to Magic. As Magic came to be, technology ceased to exist, and the event has forever been referred to as THE GREAT SHIFT; it happened slowly at first, then suddenly, people developed magical powers, and mythical creatures were a real thing as in there are unicorns and dragons now and all tech stopped working and started breaking down. People eventually started to get a grip on their powers, and from then on, you. Humans were born with powers. Then, of course, they had been born with hers and knew a life of nothing but Magic. You could still see the ruins of what technology had given the world, and they built on its ever-crumbling remains. As for why the shift happened, no one knows for sure. Some speculate it had to do with the alignment of the planets, and others say it was just time for Magic to be in and tech to be out. In either case, it's the reality of life, and instead of going to a GP for a check-up, you go to a medicine man or a shaman. Instead of driving a fuel combustion engine car, you drove a steam-powered vehicle that also ran on infused Magic; guns didn't work, so you used a sword or something along those lines, think medieval fighting, but most could only afford horses and lay lines to get around. Unless you were lucky enough to have the power to teleport or fly, some were. Things were vastly different, but the human race has always been adaptable and that they did and maybe not excellently, but it was life.
The Department of Magical Usage had given Zen the bounty to pick up Bousta. Zen and Rhen had been bounty hunters for the Guild for two years and never failed to bring in their targets. Rhen checked the time and realized that Zebadiah should have been there by now, but he was nowhere to be seen. She wasn't worried; that jackass was always late. Rhen knew she could bring in her bounty alone, but Zebadiah had picked up the ticked for this particular bounty.
Zebadiah approached as Rhen stepped from the building to head to her target. "Hey, Girl, sorry I got held up at the tribal meeting. Tribal business, you know that always comes first." Zebadiah explained. "Yeah, Zen, I get it, but this is a big bounty, and we finally found him, and he's unlikely to transport for a bit; we have a real opportunity to catch him. I need to eat sometime soon, you hear?" Rhen explains.
"Yeah, girl, I get it, sorry," says Zebadiah as he matches Rhen's pace to the building. They set out into the night to catch their target. With Zen and her trusty sword Fragon at her side, Rhen was sure they would deliver this latest bounty quickly.
They stuck to the shadows and quickly approached the target building. A crumbling shack of a thing. Probably a lovely three-story building in the days of technology. He has now crumbled down to one. The bounty or target would be one of the better accommodations. Based on Rhen's Intel, he was in the room the furthest west, the last room on the first floor.
As she and Zen approached, her with Fragon, her trusty sword drawn, and Zen with his usual Bow and arrow. They quietly stepped into the building and could hear the commotion Bousta, their target, was having an excellent ole time down the hall. Indeed this would be quickly done, especially if Bousta was intoxicated or on some substance that would dampen his ability to transport and give Rhen the time she needed to slap the antimagic belt around Bousta's waist. As they rounded the corner, Rhen held up her hand for Zen to stop as the sounds of laughter and Rhen's intel hit her full force as she eyed the doorway. "Looks like Bousta has a few evening babes in there for company. That could make this difficult." Rhen sighed, looking to Zen for any suggestions. Zen paused momentarily before replying, "We don't have time to act stealthy: if we're going to deliver
About to, oAbout to, we need to act fast and intelligent." He nodded in encouragement, and Rhen readied herself. "OK, on three," She said, and they entered the doorway. Looking in, Rhen saw Bousta with two women, two men, and at least two other people, unsure if they were men or women. About to had About a full bottle of elixir in his hand and looked too happy with his current situation. Rhen and Zen knew it wouldn't take long for Bousta to figure out something was up and transport them out of there so fast that the antimagic chain couldn't do its job and stop him. Rhen stepped into the doorway, and everyone stopped and looked at her, nobody moving or saying anything at first. "Gentlefolk,
I hate to interrupt such a nice party, but I have been sent to collect Mr. Bousta Mackly; if you don't want to incur injuries or possibly Death, I suggest you peacefully exit the area. Otherwise, you and my dear sword Fragon will have a very intimate conversation," explained Rhen as she entered the room confidently and raised her sword for action. Everyone stopped what they were doing and momentarily paused, looking first at Bousta and then at Rhen. Without, realizing what was happening, opens his mouth, "Look here, you crazy sword-wielding bitch, ain't you or no other you gonna take me nowhere, no how, so just fuck off already and let me be, ya hear you dumb cunt!" Slurs Bousta. "Oh, Mr. Bousta, I declare you stole my heart, and I must have you now, sir. " Says Rhen as sweet as she can while simultaneously springing into the air and landing next to Bousta, slapping the antimagic belt around his waist before he blinks. "What the Fuck…. How the…What just happened!" exclaims Bousta as he's struggling to transport, but he's too stoned to pull his Magic together and transport. "Gotcha Bitch!" yells Rhen as she smiles at her accomplishment.
Rhen continues to secure Bousta; she hears the telltale sound of an arrow losing and hitting its mark, "thump." She looks to her left ever so slightly, and one of the two other men is on the ground with an arrow in the shoulder and a knife a few feet away. Zen walks up and says, "You know I always got your back, girl; that's my job, right?" Rhen nods and continues to secure Bousta for the horse ride back to the Department of Magical Usage for their handling. After the turnover, he was no longer their problem; he could go to the Guild ,nd collect their bounty.
Rhen sees the other fellow, and he raises his arms as if saying I'm out; I do not quarrel here. She looks at the women, and they are both scared and trying to cover. She nods at them and says, "You ladies are free to go; we have no business with you, and you too," she says to the other fellow. Quickly they all get out, and as they do, Rhen notices a few other men lying in wait, but they seem to be scurrying away as a sign of respect. Rhen grabs Bousta in the antimagic belt and drags him to the awaiting horse outside, throwing him in the back and showing Zen she is ready. " Let's go; we have a bounty to deliver and money to collect. I'm famished, Zen, and could use this payday," They set off at night to deliver Bousta to his final destination. "I can't believe I let you two lousy mercs catch me," mumbles Bousta as they trot off. "Hush now, or I'm going to gag you for the rest of the trip, and we all know that just wouldn't be pleasant. Besides, your bounty only requires your head. You don't necessarily have to be alive. I really would be quiet." Warns Rhen.
After they have secured Bousta with the Department of Magical Usage and collected the write-up slip, Rhen and Zen head to the Guild to collect their payday. Thankfully the Guild was only two blocks from the Department, which was either well—planned or just a fantastic coincidence.
Chapter T W O: The Guild
As they enter the Guild, it's the usual. The same old mercs are sitting around bullshitting about the days of old, and the newest are waiting to get their first assignments. They head to the activity desk and look for Lucian, the clerk. Lucian may not look like much, but he was the glue that kept the Mercenary guild running. He scheduled and assigned everyone their jobs based on their preferred territory and ability. He also handles all payouts, supplies ordering, and anything else. While Charles, the owner, a retired Mercenary of days, passed, supposedly ran the Guild, but all he did was hand out in his office. Charles Was of little help; he spent most of his days in the fishbowl—his glassed-in office upstairs with his weapon collection. Rhen would see him frequently but rarely spoke with him. She wasn't sure what Charles did besides polish his old weapons and hang out in his fishbowl.
Just then, Lucian popped up. "Hey Rhen, what do you have for me today? I know you caught your bounty. Do you have your ticket from the Department of Magical Usage so I can process payment for you quickly?" "I certainly do Lucian, my love. How have you been doing?" says Rhen. "Oh, you know, working and working, and occasionally I get to go home and sleep, haha," exclaims Lucian. "Oh, poor sweet dear, you work too hard; they should pay you better and give you more respect and time off. Without you, this place doesn't function," says Rhen. "Oh, I love this place, and the pay isn't bad. It pays my bills, and I have money left over for fun stuff," explains Lucian. "Yes, Love, but when do you ever have time to enjoy the fun?" asks Rhen. "I see your point. I have asked Charles if we could hire someone part-time to assist me so that I can take time off here and there. I have yet to get a clear answer." Explains Lucian. "Well, you let me know if you need me to give Charles some convincing. I don't mind one bit, my love." Says Rhen as if this is nothing to her.
"OK, Rhen, your money is in your account; you and Zen have been paid. Is there anything else? Do you guys want another bounty tonight?
I have a few easy takedowns, or have you had enough for one night? "Asks Lucian. "Oh doll, I do believe this has been enough for us tonight, but you know I'll be back tomorrow; I am always; kiss," says Rhen as she heads out of the Guild back to her horse. "Guys, take care, and don't get into trouble." Rhen' gave him the best sly grin and a nod. I would need to handle you guys around here if you get yourselves into trouble. And all would be full of lost bounties without hunters like you guys," says Lucian with gratitude and a hint of pride. "Will do, Lucian; we'll keep ourselves out of trouble. Have a great night!" says Rhen, and they turn and walk out the door. As Rhen and Zen step out into the night, they feel good about how they spent their night. They've been paid; their bounty is off their list for the night, and best of all, they've seen Lucian's face light up in appreciation.
They both safely rode out into the night and headed home. The cool night air brushed against their faces as they trotted away. It was a job well done.
Chapter THREE: As it goes, it comes.
As they rode, Zen glanced over at Rhen and couldn't help but admire her. He had been
with the Guild for months before her, and being partnered with Rhen was like an experience never before. She was relentless and confident and had an air of mystery that he found alluring. Zen smiled; they had been working together for two years, and it never felt like work. They were two of the best bounty hunters in the area and had already made a name for themselves. They continued to ride until the sun started to peek over the horizon. Rhen and Zen found themselves content with the night's bounty and adventure. The reward, no doubt, was enough to keep them going for the next few days; they both knew it was time to call it a night as the sun started to rise. Rhen glanced at Zen, smiled at him, and offered her hand in celebration. He smiled in return, grabbed it joyfully, and took it as a sign of friendship. "Here's to another great day," he said as they returned home.
As Rhen and Zen arrived at what they liked to call the fort, they noticed someone had been by or was still around. The security measures they left in place had been disturbed; someone had left giant footprints in the dirt and hadn't bothered to cover their tracks. They weren't worried about being discovered or noticed, which to Rhen, was a good sign. They both glanced at each other knowingly and prepared to have to encounter possibly a struggle, to be on the cautious side; you never can be too careful these days. Crime was rampant, and law enforcement wasn't what it was in the days of tech. Everything was magic-infused and didn't always work as intended; things could go sideways quickly. A person could cast a spell only meaning to freeze and person and end up blowing their head off instead. Magic was finicky at the best of times. This is why Rhen did not rely on her magical talents and instead focused on honing her body to be a weapon that no other could compete against.
"Hey Zen, is this one of your Tribal people? Maybe stopped by to take care of some more business?" asks Rhen. "I wasn't expecting anyone, especially at this hour!" exclaims Zen. They look at each other with a questionable glance, wondering who or what awaits them.
They don't get visitors and don't have friends.
Everyone they knew was associated with the Guild, and they interacted at the guild headquarters in the city.
As they approached the front door, a shadow moved and then stooped up, presenting a hulk of a man. He didn't look angry, or like he were there for a fight, so Rhen relaxed her grip on her sword. "Hello there, Mister; what can we do for you?" "Hello Miss Rhen and Mr. Zebidiah. I came by because I needed some help, and well, I was told you two are the best, and well, I" m awful sorry to come to your house, but I didn't know where else to go," Rhen and Zen both instantly relaxed and smiled. "Well, let's get inside, have some tea, and talk, Mister?" Rhen asked. "I'm Tiddly or Mr. Tom Tiddly. Thank you," said Tom. They all retreated to the fort's interior and went to the kitchen.
Rhen and Zin were not decorators and could be described as minimalist. The fort or their home consisted of the necessities and weapons, many weapons of all kinds everywhere. The kitchen was just a bare kitchen with nothing decorative and strictly functional. They all sat at the table, and then Rhen got up and started to make tea. She put the kettle on to boil some water. Then got mugs for everyone, tea bags, sugar, and cream, and set it all on the table while waiting for the water to boil. She looked at the giant hulk of a man named Tom Riddle. "Well, Tom, what can we do for you that you can't do for yourself?" asked Rhen. Tom cleared his throat as if he were trying not to cry. "It's my Levee; they took her and won't give her back unless I do something for them. And I can't do what they're asking of me. Levee wouldn't have it, no how." Exclaimed Tom. "Wait a minute, hold up; who is they, and who is Levee?" asked Zin. "Levee is my wife. We've been married for going on twenty years now. And I don't know who they are; I don't know who took my darling wife. I was out working in the pasture, and she was done when I came in for the day. I was left with a picture of my sweet Levee tied up, her mouth taped shut, and a note that explained they would kill her in forty-eight hours if I didn't kill this boy that goes to the magical academy." explained Tom. "Wow, what boy, and do you have the note, picture, and any other information that might help us identify where she is?" asked Rhen. "The boy's name is Zorbic O'Brian; he's seventeen and attends the local magic academy. That's all I know besides the picture they left of him. Here is the note, the picture of Levees, and the information on Zorbic. I'm sorry, but how much will this cost me? I'm just a poor turnip farmer and have very little. I couldn't even get the Department of magical USE to swear out a wizard." "We'll worry about the cost later, Mr. Tuddly; let us try to see if we can even help with what you have, OK?" says Rhen. "Awe, Rhen, you aren't doing pro-bono again, are you? We really can't afford to do that again. If you keep giving our services to every Tom, dick, and Harry, everyone will always expect it; we have bills to pay and an awful big damn need to eat!" "Oh, just hush, you big jerk, we have plenty of money for everything we need, and if we need more, I have money saved. This may need help, and from his looks, he doesn't have much," explains Rhen. "Excuse me," says Tom, "Yes," say both Zin and Rhen simultaneously. When I went to the Department of Magical Use and was turned down, I heard these homeless fellas talking on my way out, and they told me about you two and where I Could find you. That's how I knew to come here," explains Tom. "See, this man did try to get help on his own, and he doesn't even have the fifty dollars needed to hire a Wizard from the department." Says Rhen. "Fine, I guess we can help him; based on this evidence, he's going to need us, and you're going to need Myra's help," says Zin. "Yes, I realized we would need Myra as soon as I saw the evidence. You know what that means?" Says Rhen. "Yeah, all the bounty collected is gone. I guess easy come, easy go.!" says Zin, "Alright, Mr. Tom, we can and will help you, but we'll have to consult a friend. She has a rare ability that will give us the information we need. This will take a little while. You can go home and rest or stay here; that's up to you." explains Rhen. "If you don't mind, I feel much safer waiting here for you folks," explains Mr. Tom. "OK, Mr. Tom. Please give us some time to freshen up, then back for this mission, and then we'll go ahead and get on our way. Now let me go ahead and fix us all some hot tea since the water is finally boiling," says Rhen.
Rhen made some chamomile tea for everyone, and she and Zintook their teas to their quarters, so they could shower and change and get ready to see Myra. She also informed Myra that the visit would be needed immediately and prepared the check to pay Myra. Myra responded with her standard answer, Why of course, my pet, you know the place, see you soon, kiss. Myra. Since Rhen had met Myra, she had been a bit teased and tried to bed her but not aggressively, and she always gave her a discount on her consult services. Myra's Magic could track anyone based on an object they had touched. All they had to do was present the letter and pictures, and Myra could use real-time GPS with her Magic, and they would know exactly where to go to find Levee. What bothered Rhen was why this boy at the magical academy; what was so special about him that someone wanted him dead this bad?
Rhen stepped out of her quarters just as Ziny did. Both wear their standard military gear and weaponry. They walked to the kitchen, bid.
Mr. Tom, still sipping his tea goodbye, saddled up the horses. As quickly as they came, they were off again without sleep. This was going to be fun, thought Rhen.
Chapter F O U R: Myra
Knowing Zen was already off to catch some sleep on the horse and not thinking about the situation until his mind and body were on the issues. On the other hand, Rhen wondered why someone would need a Mercenary and a Bounty Hunter to help the fantastic Zorbic O'Bryan from an evil entity. She was thrilled to be off, yet cautious about what she was getting into. Rhen was confident she would ace the task, as she always did. She had been a Mercenary and Bounty Hunter since childhood and had few misses. She had also been training in the arts of killing and deadly masters since she was a small child. Rhen was by all means a very harmful assassin but not in practice. Rhen thought as they brushed the wind off their faces that she and Zen made a great team.
They had been a team for two years, and they were usually able to take down any job, no matter how big or small. It was almost as if they could read each other's thoughts and the other would know precisely what to do, almost like they were mental twins. This was the life Rhen chose, and she was thankful for it; she was able to hone her skills and keep a low profile so as not to be noticed, which is how she preferred to live. She knew nothing else.
As they went from the economically challenged side of the town to the wealthier part, Rhen gazed upon the crumbling remains of sky scrappers and smaller buildings. It was a shame they couldn't do anything to save some structure and infrastructure with the downfall of technology. Since Magic came back to be realistic, technology wasn't a thing anymore. It was like it never existed, to begin with, and anything that was made in the time of technology was crumbling and falling apart. Homes and buildings were now made to be magically resistant and very expensive. Most people lived in what they could afford: scraps of metal put together to keep the elements out. They could see the two-story building that Myra lived in coming up. They would put the horses in the barn and then have to clear security as usual. Myra would be waiting for them, so security should let them in with no hassle; however, Myra liked to play games and sometimes would "Forget" to tell security they were coming. As they approached the building, a big square gentleman missing a few of his front teeth stepped out and said, "Are you, Rhen and Zebadiah?" "Why yes, sir, we are!" "Are you here to escort us to Mrs. Myra?" asked Rhen. "Yes, Ma'am, you can bring your horses this way. They will be watered, fed, and looked after, " the toothless gentleman explained. "Why thank you ever so much, sir," says Rhen. "Ever the polite southern Woman," says Zin. "You catch more flys with honey than vinegar, Zin." Said Rhen with a wicked smile. "Besides, I'm only nasty when they are, right? Aren't you the same way, sucker?" laughs Rhen.
They were escorted to the barn, dismounted the horses, and left them as instructed. They followed Myra's security guard through a doorway into the two-story structure. Inside waiting for them were two more security members, and they all escorted Rhen and Zin up to the second floor to the most significant and finest apartment the city had to offer. Myra opened the door, and the security team left without a word. As usual, this was always the routine when visiting Myra. Her talent was unusual and useful for several people, so they were willing to pay a large sum to gain access to Myra. Therefore, she was incredibly wealthy and could afford such a luxurious lifestyle.
"Why tickle me pink and call me uncle!" Exclaimed Myra. "Shut your pie hole, Myra; you knew we were coming. And you know why we're here, you big tease and rip off.!" said Rhen. "Yes, Yes, you do know I stay so utterly bored, and I do like my fun where I can get it, don't you?" giddily explains Myra. "Do you have my fee?" asks Myra. "Yes, here's your check for fifty thousand, as usual." Says Rhen. "Alright then, you have me for two hours, then it's another fifty after that; you know the rules," says Myra. "Yes, Myra, I know all too well. Will you let us come in, or will we conduct our business in the hallway?" Says Rhen. "Oh, do excuse my rudeness, please; both of you come in and have a drink. We'll conduct our business in the living room if that is OK. Samar will serve drinks." explains Myra. "We'll both have water." Says Rhen as they walk into the apartment and head to the living room. "What is nothing more exciting or better? I have all the finest liquor available; all you need do is say the word?" says Myra. "No, Myra, we're on the job and must stay sharp. There's a strict deadline, and a woman's life is on the line. We need to have clear heads. Water is all we need. Thank you." says Rhen. "OK, I do see the point; I always drink, but with my metabolism, I never even get drunk. It just
tastes good to me. Now show me what you have, so I can find who you are looking for, OK my Sweets?" says Myra. "You know I hate when you call me pet names. I'm Rhen, just Rhen, always Rhen." says Rhen. "OK, don't get so testy," says Myra. "Uh, do I need to leave you two alone?" Says Zin. With a glare that could kill a million men, both women stare at Zin, and he just takes his water and sits.
Myra takes the paper and pictures from Rhen and starts pacing. She looks at Rhen, down at the print and writing, and walks some more. "Oh my, what have you two gotten into this time?" asks Myra. "Nothing, we're just trying to help someone who needs it. A nice gentleman that couldn't afford the help of the Department, and he was referred to us," Says Rhen. "Well, I don't know who your friend pissed off, but it looks like you are dealing with the Russians, and I don't mean the nice ones either. These are the nasty death priest that prays to the god of death and war types. Awful, terrible, bad guys, you don't want to get mixed up in this at all." exclaims Myra.
"We'll be fine; we are always." Says Zin. "Yes, I agree." Says Rhen. "OK if you insist. I'll write down the address where they are holed up with this woman in the picture. It's across town, closer to your neck of the woods, but I'm afraid to tell you it's in the Desiree Projects." says Myra. "Ugh, you couldn't have told me worse news, Myra." Says Rhen. "That place is a damn maze and almost impossible to get out of once you get in if you get in." Says Zin. "I'm afraid that is the truth, and you know that's where the Russian death priests like to stay. I can give you the exact coordinates. The rest is up to you, I'm afraid." says Myra.
Myra hands Rhen a piece of paper with an address and coordinates on it for the location of Levee and the Russians' death priests. They stand up and say goodbyes as Myra pages security to escort them back to their horses. As if on cue, the security team appears and walks them back down to the barn. They load the horses and prepare to journey back through the beloved decrepit city. As they start to ride away, Rhen thinks that her life never ceases to amaze her and that she wouldn't trade her world and career for anything else. Rhen of Ruin and Zin continue their ride back to their side of the city. On the horizon, the sun was just beginning to peek out as if announcing the end of the night and the start of a new day and adventure for Rhen and Zin.
Chapter F IV E: Desiree
Rhen smiles and pats her horse on the neck, signaling it's time to saddle up and ride. She and Zin are saddled up, leaving Myra's and heading to the dreaded Desiree projects to face the Rusian Death Priests, hoping to save Mr. Toms's wife, Levee. In addition to the problem of safely entering the complex, they also have the issue of the evil Magic the Priests of the Russian death priests use, which is highly deadly. Thankfully Rhen grabbed two totems that made them immune to Magic for four hours. This would prevent them from suffering from any spells the Death priests cast. She had a feeling this was going to be a nasty encounter. It was the entry to the Desiree projects she was primarily concerned with. To further elaborate, even though the Department of Magical Use occasionally enters the Desiree projects, they
never return. They only hoped to find Levee quickly and escape with minimal to no contact with the Russian death priests. This proved more difficult than initially anticipated as Mr. Tom didn't know which building she was being held in, only that the address given was somewhere in the War District. But with Myra's Magic, they could determine the exact building where she was being held. With the street map, their last task was to formulate a plan of attack. As they got closer to the projects, Rhen and Zin started to develop a plan of attack. Rhen had always been the most strategic thinker between the two of them during times of battle. So she devised a program where they would cause a distraction; she thought a small bomb would do nicely. This would direct the priests' attention away from the building and Levee briefly and have them investigate the incident. When the plan failed, it would, of course, so they created a second plan of attack where Rhen would use her knowledge of the projects to get her and Zin inside unnoticed. This was a risky plan, but they had no other choice. Rhen and Zin arrived at old housing projects at night, with the least security. Rhen knew the back paths and sewers from her experience of living on the streets when she first arrived in the city and hadn't established a job and home yet. This would be the second plan of entry and exit as well. No one but the street kids used the sewers, and Rhen was still friends with all of them. One of the benefits of being a bounty hunter is that you are not easily frustrated and can take your time in order.
"Are you sure this will work, Rhen?" Zin asked as if almost scared. "Do I detect fear in the great Zin's voice? Should I check your undies? Are you telling me that you're afraid to go to that place? You don't trust me?" Asked Rhen. "I trust you, Rhen. It's the damn Russian Priests. They pray to the god of Death and war. They have nasty death magic," exclaims Zin. "Oh Hon, ain't nothing you have to worry on. Don't worry about the Russian Priests; I know something about muting their Magic. Here, I brought two totems for us to wear, which will make their Magic null against us; this one is for you and will work for four hours. They won't be able to do anything unless they physically attack us. I had a hunch this was a big case from the start, so I b, brought them before we left for Myra's." Explains Rhen. "If you say so, girl. ." Says Zin as they venture closer and closer to the project further. I was further turned still.
The wind appeared to have stopped altogether, and the cold night became apparent as the chill hit their ears and hands. The castle of darkness seemed to stretch out before them, making it impossible to tell what was in the shadows and what was alive. More obvious security than before noticed them as they ventured closer.
They recognized Rhen but could not yet decipher her deeds or purposes. This was a standard security check, but Rhen conveyed a threat with a simple gaze, almost like a warning not to move a muscle. The priests were spotted in the same building Las was supposed to be in. Rhen and Zin approach slowly but stealthily, careful not to alert the Priests too soon.
"We need to stick to the shadows to set off the bomb. That should draw everyone's attention and may give us a chance to grab Levee and jet out of here unnoticed, but I fear this isn't work, and we will have to go with my plan B, which is the sewer entrance. "Explained Rhen. "I've been here more times than I can count. I know where the entrance to the sewer is located; I can take you there." Rhen looks at Zin and smirks, "That's a brilliant plan, right partner? Let's go." Rhen Zin swiftly makes their way toward the building in the darkness to set off their first plan, the distraction bomb. Rhen had a magically-infused brick C4 sure t,o make a loud commotion commotional for everyone for about three miles. There was a situation here in the area.
They did their best to stick to the shadows, go unnoticed, and get as close as possible. They were close enough to see in through the windows and could see Levee. She had three guards, which wasn't bad odds, but there were two guards in the hall and two more outside for yards or Death priests. That could prove to be one too many. Rhen secured the C4 to a piece metal pole and added the ignition switch. The bomb was ready. She gave Zin the thumbs up and slowly backed away. They retreated to a safe distance, the sewer entrance using this as cover. At the same time, they implemented the distraction plan and snuck in through the sewer. Rhen notices a few street kids watching them as they prepare to enter the sewers, and she gives them a silent nod of thanks.
She looks at Zin and says, "Are you ready, bud? Better cover your ears. This gonna be hella loud!" she presses the ignition switch, and BOOM! A loud explosion sounds, and they quickly enter the sewer. Zin and Rhen then make their way through the sewers, slowly and carefully, to avoid anything or anyone waiting to surprise them. After an arduous journey, the two make it to the other end of the sewers, where they emerge unseen and unheard by anyone. Now the real job begins. Rhen and Zin make their way through the building to the part where Levee is being held. They've circumvented the two guards outside, so they only have the five guards inside to deal with now. They come to a door that is locked. Quickly and silently, Rhen picks the lock, and they enter the room, where they finally find Levee. They have somehow circumvented the two guards in the hall. The three guards in that room are gone. That explosion must have worked better than she thought. Levee sat bound and gagged and just stared wide-eyed at them. Without a word, they untied her quickly. They took her to the sewer, where Rhen had left an extra horse in case of emergencies, and from there, they explained that Mr. Tom had come to them for help to rescue her. She smiles, nods, and gets, is on her horse. As they ride away, Lavee turns to Rhen and Zin We and says, "I can never thank you enough for rescuing me. You saved my life and showed me that no matter how hard life can get, there is always hope and that you can conquer anything if you fight for it. "Well, Ms. Levee, I'm just,t thankful there were none of those nasty priests we ran into. We got miserable means fortunate. There's still more to investigate, and I'm afraid you and Mr. Tom aren't safe yet. We still have no idea why they wanted Mr. Tom to kill that young man at the Magic Academy.
Chapter SIX: Reunited, another day
They must return safely before the priests catch on to what and who they
found. Rhen pulls out her pocket watch to check the time, and the sun peaks on the horizon. She wipes some dirt off her face and says, "I think we made it; I
mean, we did it. We saved Lavee. Now let's get this horse moving. We still have a few hours until the priests figure out we're not around. They will be looking for Lavee all over the city by now, so the sooner we get out of here, the better." The sun rises higher on the horizon as they ride off into the distance. Levee holds onto Rehn's horse tightly, thanking her repeatedly.
Zin studies the map which they have as all of them fall in for a quick trot. They make it back to the city by noon, and no one but them knows where they've been. Rhen and Zinny smile at each other, proud of their efforts and each other. They take Levee to her husband at their fort without exchanging words, thanking her as she runs inside to see him. Tears fill both of their eyes as the happy couple is reunited. Levee hugs Rhen and Zin tight, thanking them over again. They exchange a few words before Rhen and Zin start to explain this isn't over and you can't go home. Both Levee and Tom look at them with utmost confusion in their eyes. "But why?" Tom asks? "Because they aren't done and will just return and retake Levee. We still don't know why they wanted you to kill that boy, Zorbic O'Brian, at the magical academy. You may be reunited and safe for now, but you can't return home. Do you have any out-of-town relatives you can go stay with?" Asks Rhen. "Um, not really, Ms.Rhen, it has just been me and Levee for years, and even if we did have any relatives, we can't afford to do no traveling," explains Tom. "That's OK, you two; we have plenty of space here at the fort, and two spare rooms, so you can stay here with Zen and me, and you will be very safe. There is no place safer in the city, I assure you," says Rhen. "Are you sure, Miss Rhen? I've already caused you enough problems and don't want to impose on you and MR. Zen." says Tom. " We absolutely insist you two. Besides, If Levee gets retaken, we will just have to risk our lives to rescue her again, so you might as well just take us up on our offer and stay; it's no imposition. Good southern hospitality is still a thing, isn't it, sir?" says Rhen. They all nod at each other and turn to go inside, appreciating that they got in and out without any altercations with the priests and managed to get Levee back to Tom. Now they just had to find out why these Death priests wanted this Zorbic O'Brian dead so badly but couldn't do it themselves. Rhen could see this was way more complicated than she first thought and would require much more research and sneaking around.
The sleuthing was sometimes Rhen's favorite part of her job as a mercenary for hire throughout the Guild. She wasn't always looking for bounties. Sometimes she did some investigative work for the Department of Magical Use, which paid well. She smiled at everyone as they went inside, knowing that this was only the beginning and tomorrow would bring new challenges.