9 A Warm Welcome
As Bai Qi turned the corner, he was greeted by an alley with twisted streets and narrow passages. The bustle of city life was evident, everyone was rushing about. The sides of the streets were littered with small shops.
As he navigated through the crowd, he heard different stores vying for attention.
"Selling swords at a low price, bargain, don't miss out."
"New merchandise, all good quality, buy today!"
"Discounts on armour, cheap and affordable."
"Looking to becoming strong quickly? The best equipment for the best prices."
As he walked through the crowd, he took notice of the different stores he came across. Some of them stood out with bright colors and flashy equipment. Others were more minimalistic, displaying only a few items. He came across a few taverns and one pill store, as well as an apothecary that was situated next to it.
After walking for 20 minutes and taking a few turns, he realized that he was utterly lost. Bai Qi didn't even know the way back to Silver Moon Inn.
As he tried to find his way around, he turned a few more streets before becoming aware of someone following him.
* 'Just noticed? There's a group of people following you. Different from Da Lao's entourage. Started a few stores back.' The thing smiled. 'Let them try to rob you, you don't have anything to lose.' *
Bai Qi was startled. "How are you sure? Where are they right now?"
* 'One on the roof and two following behind you making sure you don't see them. The roof is probably a scout, so we need to take him out first. As for how I know, I can feel their presence.' *
"Take him out? Are you crazy?! I need to run and lose them."
* 'Don't be too hasty. It's a easy way to make money.' *
"Hasty? These people are going to rob me."
* 'If you let them.' *
"You are definitely trying to get me killed." Bai Qi was panicking. He started to get visibly agitated. "I've never fought people before."
* 'You killed someone before, so calm down. Think of this as a way to gain experience, you will face unexpected situations later that you need to be wary of.' *
"Gain experience? I thought you were supposed to help me."
* 'Take a left in the next side street, then take a hard right right after. There's a gap between those buildings, so it's likely there's an alley,' the thing instructed. *
Bai Qi compiled, taking a left then turning right to move out of sight. He ended up behind a tavern, where the garbage was kept.
* 'Oh, this is good,' the thing said. 'There are a lot of footholds on the side of the building. Climb up as quickly as possible, we need to take care of the scout first. You may as well learn wind control now. Try to imagine yourself floating away. Become part of the 'breeze' that you feel, like you are about to dissipate into the air. Hold on to that feeling of lightness as you climb.' *
WIth those instructions, Bai Qi took a moment to clear his mind before trying to climb the wall. Surprisingly, he felt as if the ground was holding himself down. Jumping up, he easily jumped a good 4 feet into the air. Using that boost, he half climbed the side of the wall and half flew. The tavern was 2 stories high, so it wasn't very difficult to reach the top.
* 'Swing yourself over to the side and hide behind the smokestack. Act quickly now,' the thing continued to instruct him. *
Following those directions, Bai Qi quickly hid himself. "How far behind are they?"
* 'Just past the next roof.' *
"Why do we need to fight them again? This is a good hiding spot, I may as well remain here."
* 'You are never going to get any experience if you just shrink away from threats. Never mind that, here comes the scout.' *
"I'd rather not kill someone or even pass out."
* 'Nothing as heavy as that. Don't worry and just follow my instructions. Remember that light feeling pushing you? Now use that and surround yourself. Imagine an armour of flowing currents. Channel that to surround your hand. Aim and release that at the edge of the roof on my command.' *
Following his instructions, Bai Qi gathered the wind to form a gauntlet around his arm.
* The thing paused. Then suddenly it said, 'Now, aim and release the tension at the edge of the roof.' *
Bai Qi whipped around the chimney and released his shot. He saw a rugged looking guy leave the roof of the adjacent shop and jump over to the shop of the tavern. However as he was about to land, the wind projectile hit him with full force, causing him to be pushed slightly backwards.
He missed the tavern's room by a good margin, flailing his arms and falling into the alley.
* 'Ooh, thats gonna hurt. Now try flying.' *
* 'It'll be fine. Just imagine that light feeling again and gather everything around you. Then jump off the roof.' *
"You are actually trying to get me killed." Even though he was panicking, Bai Qi followed his instructions. He timidly left the cover of the chimney and walked to the edge of the roof. "Oh dear god."
He closed his eyes and took a step forward, channeling that light feeling.
* 'Open your eyes idiot, you need to see where you're going' *
Bai Qi opened his eyes. Surprisingly, he wasn't plummeting to the ground like he thought he would. He wasn't flying either, he was gliding downwards.
Looking down, he saw 3 people, the rugged guy among them. That first guy was clutching his leg, which was twisted in a weird angle. Bai Qi could see the pain in his face, then the fear as their eyes met. The guy yelled out, panicked as he had just seen someone flying above their heads. The other two guys looked up and also panicked. One of them even ran off as soon as they registered that they were caught.
Bai Qi used his rudimentary powers to slowly glide down. He couldn't control it well enough, so it was a bit shaky and he even lost control about a foot above ground, landing with a heavy thud. However, this much of a fall allowed him to make a landing and awe the two people that were chasing him.
"Speak," Bai Qi thundered in a fake voice, mustering all the courage he had. "Why were you three following me?"
"Esteemed sir," the thug that was standing said, as he bowed down, taking a knee. "We didn't realize that you were this strong. I beg of you to let us go."
The guy on the ground just whimpered. He cowered in fear because he had never come across a situation like this. Usually the people they targeted were people new to the city, easy to discern by the way they travelled with no specific direction. They came across Bai Qi while he had just left Silver Moon Inn and thought that he was a good target.
* 'Get some money from them, you need spending money.' *
"Are they really that weak?" Bai Qi thought. "Why was I worried?"
* 'Don't get too cocky now.' *
Bai Qi looked at them and put on the most serious face he could. "Now off with your valuables. Chop chop."
They guy was about to burst into tears. Never in their wildest dreams did they think they would be robbed by their own mark. "Sir -"
"No questions. I'm a busy man, I have places to be." Bai Qi was enjoying himself.
* 'Have you no shame.' *
The two thugs quickly complied. They had no choice, as they had seen the other party push someone off a room using wind, and even fly. Quickly leaving their rings and accessories, as well as their money behind, they got ready to leave. The scout slowly stood up, with the help of the other thug, limping heavily.
"You don't expect me to pick those up do you? Now who do you think I am. Put the things in your pack and pass that to me. Oh and your weapons as well."
* 'Good catch. They probably had weapons if they meant to rob you.' *
The two people were at the end of their wits. They quickly took out their daggers, and couldn't help but curse at their rotten luck. Putting them into a pack, they passed it over to Bai Qi.
Bai Qi frowned. He liked toying with them, so he decided to go just a step further, and scare them a bit more. "How are you guys going to make up for the third guy that ran away?"
"No excuses. Come on, pay up."
The duo were in tears. They had already put all their wealth in the pack that Bai Qi held, so they didn't know how else to pay.
"I'm a nice guy. I'll let you off if you can point me towards the mage tower."
"Esteemed sir, it's just down a bit that way. Go straight and make a left, then follow that road until you reach the main street. Follow the main street into the city square and locate the mage's section of the city. The tower is the tallest structure in the city, so you can't miss it." The guy didn't hesitate to answer Bai Qi's question. The sooner they could get rid of Bai Qi, the better.
Bai Qi nodded. Putting on a solem air, he shooed them off before turning around and walking away.
As he turned the corner, he broke out into a large grin.
* 'Feeling happy now? Hmph, as soon as you get some confidence you think you're some big shot. I still think you should have killed them, leave behind no eyewitnesses. Pity the fall didn't kill the scout.' The thing sighed. 'Still some gore is better than none. Did you see the way his leg was twisted, and the look on his face.' *
"What, no, why would you say something like that." Bai Qi was horrified. "They are still human, no matter their intentions."
* 'You're such a killjoy.' The thing said while smirking. *
Sigh. It's been a busy week.
Thanks for everyone who voted, I'm going to keep this short. Silverbro for mvp.
Leave a comment, and a rate. It would mean a lot and give me more of an incentive to write :))
We didn't reach 100 votes, but we did reach a all time new high. I will try to release 3 more chapters, 1 tomorrow and 2 in the course of the week. :(( I've been busy so this is more of a offhand.
We reached 10k views, so that's a milestone. :))
Here's a short song I wrote about the lack of comments :)) Just comment, say hi if you must, 2 letters :))
I feel so lonely, no one besides me, in this comment section, of a novel far from perfection, but none will ever comment, leaving me to lament, and wonder what I did wrong, so I wrote this little song, but they are to blame, they should be ashamed, for not having the decency, to leave behind frequently, just a single comment.