Part 1 of Chapter 1:
Anwil straightened his leather boots while the young orphan went to collect her things, whatever "things" meant. He wasn't the most compassionate man, but he didn't mean he was heartless. In fact, Anwil had come to this sea-faring town on the shaky promise of adventure. To him, there was nothing more honorable than dying in some great battle, but he lacked the experience and despair that came with the hardiest and oldest wanderers: the worn souls who told their grandchildren of the joys and pains of the profession in hushed voices. However, Anwil wasn't stupid. He knew of the dangers, he knew of the dark.
Gredar, who was gutting his rabbit by this time, had some experience in sight seeing and bandit-camp raiding, since he had once been a solider, but that had been long ago, and he had never seen a war. He was lucky, and he knew it. He had his opinions about the kingdoms, and they were strong ones: so deeply rooted, no one could sway him, but he enjoyed listening to others' thoughts. He didn't care about the glory of adventuring and preferred his old retired days: taking care of his wife, and visiting his children when he wasn't doing his little side job with Anwil.
He and Anwil were very different, yet found ways to be friends. Anwil benefited from Gredar's experience and Gredar from Anwil's youthful energy. Together, they were the richest hunters in the Emperor's kingdom, and both hoped to become the wealthiest in the whole realm.
Shii rushed out of one of the alleyways. Someone was behind her, a tall and thin woman with a black hood over her head, someone Shii was leading. If you thought Shii was going to be our main character, then you were wrong. But no matter, everyone makes mistakes.
"Whose this?" said Gredar. He stood up as the woman stumbled forward. She wore a head to toe tailor-fit black robe and her hood wrapped around her head, showing only her lower face. Her eyes were hidden in dark shadow.
"This is my friend," said Shii.
"Why's she got a bag over her head?" said Anwil, staring at the two.
"I put it there," apologized Shii.
"Why?!" said Gredar and Shii shrugged. She whipped off the bag and the young woman started gasping for air. In a spilt second, she had her hands at Shii's throat, knuckles white.
"If I wasn't your protector," she hissed, "I'd have you hanged for that!"
The woman glanced about, releasing her grip on Shii, and Gredar and Anwil had a good look at her. She looked about 19, with teal hair that reached her upper back and shaggy bangs. Her eyes were the same color as Shii's, if not brighter.
"And who are these two?" she snapped angrily.
"I'm Gredar, and this is Anwil," said Gredar gruffly. "Who are you to the orphan?"
"I'm her guardian," said the woman. "Aomidori, 32nd generation of the famed Liyau clan that has protected the Eyus for centuries," she gestured to Shii, "We're bound by an ancient promise to protect them in life and death, in wealth and slums."
"You're a Liyau?" said Anwil. "Then where's your ears?"
"Hm?" said Aomidori. "We don't have ears like you, Elf. What do you take me for?"
"No, the animal ears. Arent the fabled Liyau's supposed to have animal ears?" snapped Anwil.
Aomidori gave him a leveled stare. "You snap at me, I snap your neck," she said in a low growl.
"There it is," said Anwil, jeering at her. "There's your inner beast, eh?"
Aomidori's eyes flashed, and Shii leapt to intervene. "Anwil," she said sweetly, "She'll kill you if you threaten her or me. Just be warned." she blinked her large eyes and Anwil backed away, easing his dagger back into his sheath.
Shii turned to Aomidori and handed her the dagger she had purchased. "I got this for you," she said. "For all the years you've protected me."
"I'll protect you for as long as you live, kid," said Aomidori. "You know that. And thanks, I needed a new knife." She opened her robe and slipped the dagger into a sheath sown into it. Gredar and Anwil saw the sword jutting at her side, as well as the bow resting on her back.
"Where are you taking her?" asked Aomidori to Anwil. Her demeanor had soften. She held Shii's hand, the girl at her side.
"The Ein orphanage," said Anwil, "But does she really need it with you around?" he spat.
Aomidori sighed. "I have different plans for her," she whispered. "We're joining the White Raven gang. At least, I am. You two want to come?" she asked, venom bubbling in her voice.
"He may have to," said Gredar "But I can't go. I have a family here, but I can visit."
"We need as much information about the White Raven gang as we can get," said Shii, "that's why I asked you. We need to know where their location is, so we can go. Do you know?"
"I know a guy who might," said Gredar. "C'mon, I'll show you."