The billowing torches along the walls of the corridor provided little light, but our little thief had no need for such. With her ear pressed against a colossal lock she listened intently for the most miniscule of sounds. Click…click…click…and her fingers came to a halt. She gripped the enormous fastening, grinning from ear to ear; her dreams were soon to be realized. She pulled as hard as her thin arms would allow, but to no avail, the lock remained fastened.

"B-but…I'm sure! I unlocked it!" she said to herself, which she had a bad habit of.

She prepared herself and gripped the lock once more. She put her foot on the door, of which she wished to enter so badly, to add some leverage to her pull. She pulled again, but the lock didn't budge. At this point she started to become angry; she had dodged knights on patrol, and even crawled through sewers to get here. She would not let a simple lock stop her, which should have been the least of her worries. She continued her pull as sweat started rolling from her crimson hair onto her brow. She let go once more, her arms racking with pain. Her temper began to flare and she punched the lock as hard as she could. Luckily, she hit the switch, which released the lock when the proper combination was entered, though, most likely, her knuckles were shattered. She let out a scream, which seemed to be somehow mixed between joy and sheer agony as the lock fell to the ground, sending a large "CLANK" echoing through the halls.

She cringed; no doubt someone in these dungeon halls heard that. Wasting no time, she ran through the heavy metal door, and into the castle vault. It wasn't all she expected, piles of gold bars, crates of gold coins, but no gemstones. Such a disappointment. Still, it didn't matter, with even a small fraction of this gold she could pay off all of her debts with some money to spare. With this new thought in mind, she began filling her satchel with gold coins. Being a satchel, it could hold enough, but not so much she would be terribly slowed. As she was filling, she noticed a figure moving behind her… It was small, either a midget, or someone crouched down. Most likely the latter. She quickly spun around while pulling out two daggers from their holster above her romp. To her surprise, it was only her reflection in a nearby, finely decorated I might add, mirror. It had been a while since she had had a good look at herself. Considering her social status, the only place she could find a reflection would be in a pool of water, which weren't all that common. The continent she lived on, Darna, was mostly desert. She ran her fingers through her rose red hair, straightened out her no sleeved, rather stylish, white vest. She wiped a piece of sewage off of her small, tight and green denim shorts. She tightened her quartz studded wrist guards, along with her matching knee guards. She took note to wrapping falling off the leather greaves she wore. Feeling quite satisfied, she breathed in, and…

"Just who might you be? You don't look as though you're from the castle…" came a voice from behind her.

She spun around once more, though, this time it definitely wasn't her reflection. An ironclad knight stood before her, lance in hand. His birth was low, and eyes were soft. He was definitely not a battle-hardened warrior, most likely a new recruit.

"I'm in charge of…cl…cleaning the vault. Yes. Continue about your duties…" our little thief replied

"Show me your identification, then. Surely you wouldn't be permitted in here without it." The knight said with a it of sarcasm in his voice

"Well…"our thief replied as she casually walked around to the other side of him. "I don't really have one. Though, I suggest you just let me be on my way."

The knight gripped his lance, and grounded himself.

"As a knight of the Darna Kingdom, I, Delmud, must strike you down!" Delmud said as intimidating as he possibly could, which by the way, could easily have been seen though

"Oh…how valiant. In that case…then I, Leila, the famous thief, must escape here with my money. Most likely by taking care of you first." She said arrogantly

"Well, I' ve never even heard of you!" Delmud replied

"As a thief…why would I want people to know my name and what I look like?" Leila said so very sarcastically.

Delmud's disposition changed, and he went in for a quick lunge with his lance. A quick sidestep by Leila, however proved it to be ineffective. He tried this three more time, each time it was so gracefully dodged. On his third lunge, after her sidestep, Leila grabbed the lance directly above Delmud's hands, and pulled forward. Such a sudden jerk flung him forward, causing him to fall to his knee. When he arose, he looked around, but saw no one.

"Where could she have gone so quickly?" he thought to himself.

It remained a mystery until he felt a sharp pain in his back some half second later. This soon to be throbbing pain was caused by a swallow kick from the ceiling. He fell to his knees once again, but quickly recovered. He caught sight of Leila, standing with a smug look on her face. She gave a degrading yawn, and crossed her arms. From the looks of his feet, it appeared Delmud was going to go for another quick thrust. Leila instinctively sidestepped, however, Delmud had gone for a trick play and swept his lance beneath her feet, causing her to fall on her buttocks. Delmud held the point of his lance to her neck, believing he had defeated her. She wasn't through yet, though, and threw a small capsule to the ground, which exploded in white smoke. Leila's temper began to flare again. Apparently, she didn't take very kindly to such humiliation. Taking advantage of the situation, she formed a fist, and with all her anger still intact, went straight for Delmud's face. With the room filled with smoke, he had no idea what was coming, and received it head on. He stumbled for a few steps until his head hit the wall, where he fell. For good measure, Leila kicked his immobilized body, tipping it over. Satisfied, she ran from the vault and searched for her sewer escape route.

Elsewhere, through the dungeons, out of the Imperial City, past the fertile ground, and into the desert, our sights turn to a lone traveler. His skin was pale, too light to be a native from Darna. He wore heavy blue robes, those worn by the clergy of the Church of Yuria. He carried little with him, and no provisions. As he trudged through the harsh dunes, he looked back at the fading Church, on the outskirts of the Imperial City, in the distance. He shook his head, and continued onwards. The desert sun began taking its toll, and his choice of clothing was not helping. The sweat had soaked his emerald hair and his face had become bright red. He noticed his knees beginning to give out, his vision becoming hazy.

"Too far to go back…not knowing where I am headed, but I couldn't have stayed…" he said to himself

Some 100 yards away, the lone traveler was noticed by another. She was only seventeen or eighteen, around the same age as the emerald haired traveler. She ran to him, and seemed to be completely unfazed by the desert heat. Not a single bead of sweat fell from her brow. Through his fading eyes, the traveler could still see his rescuer. Her hair was lavender was cut down to her neck. Her skin was tanned and she had, what appeared to be, tattoos on both her shoulders. They were of a strange design, unknown to him. She wore a yellow lined, green robe with two tails, held together with a flexible chain ring girdle. She also donned steel plated boots, wrist guards and shoulder guard. Despite the warrior attire, many found her quite attractive, including our struggling traveler.

"Is this some fever dream… being rescued by one so pretty." He said aloud

"Hey, are you alright?" the warrior girl asked him, though it was painstakingly obvious he wasn't.

"What's your name, rescuer woman?" he said shakily

"S-Seneca…and you don't seem well. Delirious…definitely. We've got to get you out of the sun ASAP! Don't know if you can even still hear me, but…what's yours?" she replied

"My name Azel… you're eyes. They are blue…I like blue. I like your eyes…"Azel said as he slipped out of consciousness.

She chuckled to herself and using strength someone her size shouldn't have, lifted him over her head with one hand and was off.

"I wonder how Leila will react to me bringing him home…" Seneca thought as she looked over at Azel's limp body in her hand.