Yay, chapter 3! It might be a bit longer or shorter than the other, idk. Enjoy!

Chapter 3

The scarf seller's shop was warm and welcoming. All sorts of scarves were everywhere. Some were hanging on the wall in display. Others were left in a messy pile against the wall. Some of the finer scarves were on the counter in elegant displays. There was always a scarf around the man's neck. The display of scarves seemed to be changing every hour, thanks to the seller's bargaining skills.

The old man sat behind his desk. "Sit."

The trio let themselves fall into the comfy chairs beside a fireplace, which was hardly used. Venisa was known for its warm weather. Last year was the only year in decades that the town had seen snow in winter. Warm clothes did not sell in Venisa.

The old man, known as Baba to his friends, looked at the young man sitting with Roy and Jasmine.

"You had some nerve there, Riori, taking from the Messa Delia of Venisa," Baba said firmly.

Riori just shrugged. "I was just borrowing it. I didn't even get my hands on it. Besides," he added, his eyes twinkling, "if you knew what it was, you'd understand it was worth it."

The other three perked at this.

"Even a Messa Delia isn't important enough to have a possession of it," Riori continued, ignoring his companions' reactions. "People even say the Pope, may he live long, isn't worthy enough to keep it."

By now Jasmine was on the edge of her seat. She had a creeping feeling that it could help somehow with finding her brother. Her heart jumped into her throat, pounding as fast as a rabbit's.

"Do – do you know what it is?" Jasmine asked. She winced at the stutter in her voice. Riori couldn't help but laugh.

"Do I know what it is, she says," he said comically. "Of course I do. I wouldn't have tried to take it if I didn't."

"What is it?"

Riori's face went grave. Jasmine had not idea if it was to tease her, or if he really was serious.

"Neptune's Gem," Riori replied in a dark tone.

Roy laughed. Baba looked unimpressed. Jasmine's eyes widened.

"What would Neptune's Gem be doing in Venisa?" Roy asked, recovering from his laughing fit. Riori, loosening up, shrugged good naturedly.

"Hell if I know," he said. "But it's here."

"You don't even know all that Neptune's Gem can do," Baba retorted. His tone suggested he was annoyed.

Riori shrugged again. "I know a lot of people would pay good money for it."

"Neptune's Gem," Baba began, ignoring Riori's comment, "gives its owner perfect navigations of the sea. It controls the weather over the seas. It is even said the gem leads its owner to their greatest desires." He looked at Jasmine. His eyes looked as if they were telling the story of the world. "It is also said that Neptune's Gem can destroy enemies."

There was a pause. Everyone thought of what they could do if they had their hands on Neptune's Gem. Jasmine knew it was somehow linked to her brother.

"However," Baba continued, breaking the silence. "It will only work in one, and only one, pair of hands."

"So, the Gem has a keeper," Riori translated for the other two.

"Can it help me find my brother?" Jasmine asked. She realized she was only mere inches from falling off her chair.

Baba nodded. "Indeed. It will help much with finding your brother if you are the keeper."

"And what if I'm not the Keeper?"

Baba sighed. "That we will find out when the time comes."

"It involves a sort of curse," Riori added. Baba glared at the man.

"Riori, I suggest you keep your mouth shut. You could scare someone, you know."

But Jasmine didn't hear. Her mind was racing. She felt her hands go clammy. A chance to find her brother again. It was all in that little blue stone. And it sounded too good of an offer to turn down.

Roy, who hadn't really been paying attention, looked over at Jasmine. "Jass? You okay?"

"We have to get that gem from the Messa Delia," Jasmine said. Her voice was soft, barely above a whisper.

Riori groaned. "Great. Now the girl thinks she can play hero."

"I'm going to find my brother," Jasmine explained to no one in particular, ignoring Riori's comment. She turned to the three men, her eyes serious. "And you three are coming, too."

The Messa Delia strolled through the streets of Venisa. He shoved aside anyone who got in his way, no matter who they were. He was already in a hurry before the quick-witted filch had tried to steal Neptune's Gem. Now he had to move faster, in case anyone else tried to take it from under his nose.

As he walked, the Messa Delia overlooked the vendors' stands, watching trades. Even though he had more urgent things to tend to, the Messa Delia still tended to his jobs in the head of security in Venisa.

The Delias were a large group of officers in the surrounding cities, including Venisa. They all wore impressive looking badges on their chests. Most people would respect the Delias as they passed. It was a great honor to be a Delia, especially a Messa Delia. You were highly respected. Usually There always were some people that sneered at the badges. The reason the Messa Delia was rushing through the market had no connection with his job.

The Messa Delia finally made it to the end of the long, winding market. Taking a swift turn to his left, the man swept past the people on the street. He kept his face unemotional in attempt to cover the anxiety rising inside. He had a strong, gruff reputation to maintain. The Messa Delia couldn't afford to look the slightest bit nervous.

Nevertheless, when the Messa Delia stopped in front of his small apartment, he nearly burst the door open. With shaking hands, he whipped out his wallet. It was an old, worn leather wallet, given to him years before from his father. There was a large bulge in the middle of it.

The Messa Delia anxiously fumbled with the wallet, and heaved a great sigh when he saw the gem was still in his possession. The blue gem twinkled from its little hiding place, nonplussed by its surroundings.

Kicking off his shoes, the Messa Delia stuck the wallet back in his pocket. He sauntered off to the back room of his apartment. As he strutted down the hallway with conceited confidence, the messa Delia smiled at the beaming portraits of himself that lined his hallway.

He finally came to the back of the apartment. With a pat of his pants pocket to reassure him the wallet was still there, the Messa Delia opened the door to the back room.

The back room was a small, dark room full with technology. It was a surprising sight that someone in Venisa would own that much technology. Venisa wasn't a very modern city. So gadgets were not seen everyday.

In the front of the room stood a large screen. The Messa Delia sat down in front of it and tapped something up. A few minutes later, he was looking into the frowning face of a balding man.

"Yes?" The voice was impatient.

"Sir," the Messa Delia began smoothly. "I believe I have something you want." As much as he enjoyed the small treasure, the Messa Delia believed he needed the money.

There was a pause. "And what, exactly, do you have?"

The Messa Delia pulled out his wallet. He opened it up and showed the blue gem off. The man leaned forward in his chair. "Is that –"

"Neptune's Gem?" The Messa Delia chuckled. "Yes, it is. I will give it to you for about 300,000 dollars."

"Already done," the other man replied with a wave of his hand. "When will it arrive?"

"In three months," came the response. "But, I can speed it up to a week if you add another 100,000 dollars to the fee."

The man hesitated. "I'll have to be patient."

"The Gem will be on its way then." The Messa Delia disconnected with the man. He chuckled to himself. Oh, was he good with deals.

I hope you enjoyed it! Review, please. :3