SS Baqer the Thief (Religious Alpha #4)

Let’s keep this up.  My series is just so… childish.  Shall we laugh together?

Genre: Adventure, fantasy
[WIP: Religious Alpha] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books] [About Cat Hartliebe]


Most thieves cannot live past age thirty or so.  When any adventurer or thief reaches age fifty or so they are well experienced and normally sit back waiting for death to take them to their next adventure.  Baqer has been waiting for several years now.


Baqer stands in his office as the messenger hands the note over to him.  “Thank you, Hans.  Who was it from?”

The messenger smiles.  “It is from her again.  She is asking you to repay her.”  He leaves.

Baqer shyly opens and reads the letter.  “Dear old friend, Have I got a student for you.  His name is Blaz, he isn’t the best thief but he willing became my friend after I let him go.  He tried to steal something of my, but in the end he was helpful.  He tells me his father and mother left him an orphan and the only one who would take him in made him steal for a living.  He was not good enough, so as soon as the young boy hit age thirteen, they threw him out.  Blaz has been wandering through his last few years glad to be alive trying to accomplish the only thing he knew and yet his skills are worst than yours were.  He is quite good with his silence and hiding in shadows, but everything else…  I will hope you come and visit soon.  I do want you to make a “man” out of this child.  Love, Miss Bleu aka Madame Dreame aka Madame Beauix.  P.S.  Do kill the messenger before leaving, please.”  He nods at the note.  “I have a new student.  I hope he is better than the last one.  Boris died that first night.  He almost got me killed, but I still got my skills even with my age.”  Baqer smiles and looks out his window.  The birds were singing and it was a beautiful day.  “As soon as the rain comes I shall head off.  She knows I do not go in sunshine.”  He hides the note in one of his many pockets and goes off to murder the messenger.

***

      Blaz sets the table yet again for the evening meal.  He has adopted calling Madame Beauix Mother and her husband Father.   “Mother, the table is set.  Is there anything else you need me to do?”

Madame Beauix had become pregnant in the last three months, so she allows her new son and her husband to most of the hard work around the house.  “Can you call your father to supper, he has got himself interested again in one of our many books.  Use whatever means necessity.”  She leans into the dining room where Blaz was standing.  She smiles her good-hearted wicked smile and goes back to fixing supper.

Blaz smiles and sneaks out of the room.  He knew where Father was, but to get Father without Father knowing the best way to enter the library is through the secret passage from the den.  He does well at sneaking into the library and Father is sitting in his favorite chair.  This time it was facing the secret entrance, but he was too entranced in his book to notice the wall move and a new shadow appear.  Blaz slowly, quietly sneaks around the room until he was behind Father’s chair.  Blaz then looks over his shoulder and starts reading out loud the book.  “And she kissed his stomach and continues down kisses and touching so carefully…”

Father slams the book shut.  He jumps out of his chair and turns around to look at Blaz.  “Again… I thought…  See you are getting better at your skills.  I thought for sure I would notice you enter the room.”

Blaz smiles.  “Yes, but my sneaking around was always pretty easy.  That is why they kept me so long as a child.  I was the one who learned where everything was hidden.  But once I was out of my sneaking around mode I trip and fall and am quite clumsy.”  He goes to the window and stares out.  “Plus, with this rain pouring on all day and yesterday too I get a little help.”

Father nods.  “Yes, of course.  That noise can drains even my footsteps at times, but it is not so loud right now.  I hear someone coming up the walk.”

Blaz looks at the entrance to the house.  ‘No one.’  “You’re hearing must be going… No, wait!”  He points to a moving shadow sneaking his way up the door.  The shadow picks the lock and allows himself in.  Blaz runs to the entranceway to greet this thief.  When he gets there, no one was present.  The door was open, and another pair of shoes was under the coats.  He looks around.  He shuts the door.

A voice whispers behind him.  “You must be Blaz.”  An old man stands behind Blaz with only a few inches separating them.  “What did you notice as you entered the entrance hall.  Where did I hide?”

Blaz turns and looks at the old man.  “But…” He taps his forehead a moment.  “In the cloaks.”  He pulls aside the cloaks and shows the ledge.  “If you drop your shoes so they blend.  I noticed them. And then hide behind a lady’s cloak it will only seem as if the lady’s cloak has another cloak behind it.”

The old man laughs.  “Did you hear my crack or did you see me jump out of it?”

Blaz smiles.  “I felt your presence there.  I hear nothing but the rain.  You are wet to, so I heard the six raindrops from you to the ground.  I knew you would know about the ledge being you came before in the spring. And I saw you sneak out and stand behind me.  Many of these tricks I use myself.  It is nice to meet you Baqer.”  He bows low to the old man.

Baqer smiles and has the boy stand straight.  “I am your master, but never call me such.  You are my apprentice, but I will never call you such.  We will be stealing from many of our friends, but we will never tell.  And above all else, you never say there are more than just you anywhere.  Repeat it.”

Blaz nods and thinks back to his first words.  “I am your apprentice, but never call me such.  You are my master, but I will never call you such.  We will be stealing from many of our friends, but we will never tell.  And above all else, I never say there are more than just me anywhere.”  He smiles.  “Supper is ready are you hungry?”

“Supper!”  Madame Beauix yells out to them.

Baqer smiles and laughs.  “Of course.”

***

      Baqer knew he found a good thief.  One who wants to learn yet has a few problems.  He was never really taught the tricks of the trade.  Baqer smiles as he sits down with his new apprentice to supper.  This is gonna be one hell of a coming year.  Afterwards, it will be even trickier.  He chuckles to himself.  ‘Finally, some one to train that can learn all my secrets.’   As the supper was ending, Blaz took most of the dishes into the kitchen.  Blaz was eager to please everyone and thought this gave him leeway to listen to their conversation without be a bother since he was doing something.  At least that is what Baqer thought.  “So, you were right in telling me about his boy.  He will make a fine apprentice.  I just need to bring him away from here for a year or so.  Then we will return and practice some more here.  I just need him to know the basics first.  Would you be okay with that?  I know he is not your real child, but with the way you act it will feel like that when he leaves.  But I notice the lady is pregnant, so…”

Madame Beauix looks down at herself and then at her husband.  “Really?  How do you know?”

Baqer smiles at them.  “Trick I cannot teach you, and I feel as if Blaz will be the right one to teach it to.”  He smiles to himself as he thinks of his new apprentice like a favorite toy.  “That boy has a head on his shoulders, but he fails to see how it is useful.”

***

Blaz almost bursts being so excited. He could not wait to start the training.  He leaves the dishes in the kitchen and returns to get some more.

***

      Baqer nods at his friends.  “We will leave tomorrow at sundown.  Please, give us bread, cheese, wine, and put him in all black clothes.  Scratch that last one; I will set him up with some real theif’s garb.”  He gets up from the table.  “I will take the fourth room from Blaz.  Do not worry when he comes and sees me tonight.”  He leaves the room slowly.

Madame Beauix smiles at her husband.  “Me being pregnant explains a lot.”  She rubs her stomach.  “What book were you reading?”

Fearghus, her husband, smiles.  “Ah, the one with Hans and Rubertha.”  He laughs and takes his wife in his arms dragging both of him away from the table.  “Blaz get the dishes done and put away; wipe down the table, and take a bath.  Go to bed not too late, and it doesn’t matter if you go and see Baqer tonight.  Just remember, you won’t be getting too much sleep tomorrow night.”  He takes his wife up to their room.

***

      Blaz nods to himself.  He had already started the dishes.  He always gets the job when Father reads that story.  He finishes, wipes the table down and heads to his room.  He goes through all of his clothes.  Most of them are black or brown.  He thought and decided to pick a black outfit out anyway.  He goes and takes a bath; he makes sure he is very clean before getting out.  He slicks back his short hair and throws on his black garb.  He wraps up his ankles so that nothing could climb up his pants.  He throws on black sock-like clothing and tosses on his brown heavy leather boots.  He looks at himself in the now fixed full-length mirror.  He smiles wickedly; he knew he could scare most people in his full black outfit, but he loves the way it moves.  Blaz heads up to his new master’s room.  He passes the Beauix’s room where a lot of noise was coming from even though the door was shut.  He shakes his head and laughes.  “Almost every night.”  He runs the rest of the way to his master’s room.

“Come in, boy.”

Blaz opens the door hurriedly; he did not knock, knowing that Baqer knew he was there.  He shuts the door behind him and waits for instructions from his master.

Baqer smiles.  “So, you are Blaz?”

Blaz nods.  “I am Blaz.  I came from Davenport and before that I was in Wingington.  I was born in Ravenswood though between Raven and Hawk towns.”

Baqer nods.  “Yes.  You have no brothers or sister you know of?”

Blaz nods.  “My parents left me alone when I was very young, I was not even a year old some say.  But I feel I was maybe three.”

Baqer nods again.  “Yes.”  He looks at the boy.  “Black?  Do you own a lot of black?  You were in brown before?”

Blaz nods.  “I only own black and brown clothing.  Most of it is new.”

Baqer smiles.  “Of course.  You were brought up as a thief.  I have some excellent clothing I can give you back at my house in Vermunt.  We will be heading there first.  Then, we will go to a lady’s house… Withmore?  Do you know her?”

Blaz shakes his head.  “I’ve never heard of her.”

Baqer’s jaw drops.  “You never heard of her?  Every thief knows of Withmore.  She is willing to help any thief out.  The only other person who does that is the lady you found, Madame Beauix, or as every thief knows her Miss Bleu.”  He sighs.  “I’ve got a lot to teach you.”  He pulls out a small book from his clothing.  “Before going to bed tonight I want you to read this.  It is several rules set up years ago for any real thieves.  If you follow these rules then the ladies are allowed to help you, but if you don’t, the other thieves can kill you.  That is one of the rules.”  He tosses the book at Blaz, who catches it.  He lies down on his bed and closes his eyes.  “Now, leave.  I have traveled far today and tomorrow we will be going the great distance back.  So read the rules, sleep well, and be ready for traveling tomorrow.”  He does not move.

Blaz nods to him.  He leaves, closing the door behind him.  Blaz opens the book.  ‘If this book were to fall into the hands that were not for thieving or the like that person must be killed, if this is not possible, just burn the book.  Try to keep this book alive and well though.  These are the rules of thieves.  These are the rules of stealers.  These are the rules of poor who take an item.  These are the rules of masters who can pick any lock.  These are the rules of thieves.’  Blaz turns the page.  ‘Rule one: If anyone were to disobey these rules, they shall be killed.  No thief may disobey the rules in any situation or let them die in a matter that the one who catches them see fit.  If all these rules are upheld then allow them to see the masters of the rules, Miss Bleu or Withmore.’  Blaz enters his room and lies down in his bed.  He reads through all the rules.  He falls asleep after the last one.  There are only seven rules so many thieves learn them in one night, Blaz made sure he knew each one word for word before falling asleep.  He woke up late the next day.  He only had a few hours to ready for the evening leave.

Baqer kept him drilled on the rules, and he kept him busy with various things to do to get ready.  As dusk approached, Baqer said good-bye to the Beauix’s and waited on the steps for Blaz to say good-bye.

Blaz smiles at his Mother and Father.  “I will see you eventually.  Everything will be all right.  I have the food hidden.  I will keep a good eye out for animals and I will make sure nothing happens to Baqer.  Good bye Mother and Father.  And congratulations!”  He hugs them and leaves behind his master.

It takes them the entire night and into dawn the next morning to get back to Baqer’s house.  Blaz is given a new outfit perfect for a thief and they wait out the day sleeping.  As night approached again they head out for Withmore.  Once there, Blaz meets the famous thief-protecting lady and studies for a good year and a half.


[WIP: Religious Alpha] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books] [About Cat Hartliebe]

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