Batic and Allula didn’t know what to expect of this new country. The rebel captain told them that he normally transports spices from the Everlasting Desert to the Lorconian Forests. The people seemed peaceful, but that was most likely due to their savage leadership. Instead of having a Sultan or single ruler, they had several divisions of the country ruled by a leader who provided certain service to the Lorconian forests. In this way they assured no leader would go to war with another.
Despite this system, tensions were still high in the country. The people were weaker and there have been invaders who expressed their intentions to settle in their bountiful country. Of course, the people are many and they have always pulled through and shown strength in numbers. Allula liked the idea of weaker people and hopefully they didn’t much mind to petty crimes like pickpocketing.
Of course, for Batic and Allula, they saw this new world as an escape from the last one. To survive in the Everlasting Desert you needed to be hard and able to take punishment. It had been countless years since Allula felt the drops of rain and perhaps in this land she could finally enjoy it.
“Where do you suppose we shall go first?” Allula asked.
“Perhaps this is the land where I can start anew,” Batic explained. “So I think I will start with finding work.”
“Work? As in making an honest living?”
“That is exactly what I mean, La.”
Allula shook her head, but did not try to talk Batic out of it. She too wished for a simpler life-style. It was because of circumstance that she chose to steal money so hard earned from average people. Allula didn’t believe she could do anything else, but if a man like Batic can turn away from cold murder to manual labour, perhaps, Allula believed, she could as well.
The two bid the rebels a farewell as they restocked in the shipyard. Allula knew they didn’t have any money to survive in this country so she wished Batic luck with finding work and told him to meet her near a certain building. She began walking in the crowded streets but found it hard to blend in enough to start pickpocketing. Everyone she encountered stared at her strangely and it wasn’t until later she realized it was her white and blue robes. The people of this country wore more practical outfits so she slipped into alleyways.
Finding a clothes line on its own was easy enough, but finding one with clothing that fit Allula was difficult. Eventually she saw an outfit that looked normal enough and snatched it from the line and changed in the bushes of the jungle. Returning to the city she now wore pants similar to her own, but less baggy. A white shirt and a hat made from what seemed to be local grass protected her. Now, when she returned to the street she flexed her fingers and set to work. The money she collected appeared strange and she was unsure of their value, so she collected as much as she dared on the street and moved to the next. By the time she had reached the end of one district she was being weighed down by copper and metal.
Allula returned to the building and leaned against it, waiting for Batic to return. It was a long wait, but she had patience. It was only by sunset that she began to feel worried for him. As she stepped forward to start searching for him Batic appeared from nowhere.
“Quick, follow me,” Batic hissed. Allula didn’t waste time in questioning him
The two cut through streets quickly and soon entered a secluded alley which Batic seemed to pace in while rummaged through his satchel. He soon retrieved a piece of paper.
“I searched for available work, but stopped when I saw this on one of the walls,” Batic showed. It was as they both feared. It was a wanted poster, but with description and no photo. “I am sticking out like a sore thumb and the guards are looking for me. I need to stay in hiding.”
Allula snatched the paper from Batic and began reading the description. Dark guard leathers, bronze skin, black beard, desert voice and origin.
“Your clothing needs to change like mine and should be fine,” Allula nodded. “And perhaps cut the beard too. I will find you clothing, stay here.”
Allula ventured out once more and left Batic to scrape his beard with one of his blades. By the time she returned he had cut himself several times and given up. Allula handed him the clothes so he could change and took the knife. Cutting the beard was simple with the blade, but the edge was incredibly sharp and his skin not smooth. Nevertheless, she cut his hair a lot easier than he did. Not only was his beard trimmed into style similar to the locals who left the centre of the beard, but she cut his hair as well.
“I have enough money, I think, for some food,” Allula replied.
“Give me some and I will get us food,” Batic replied. “I need to see how these people talk.”
Allula gave Batic some of the coins she collected and followed him curiously. Batic found a stand where somebody was selling bread and he waited and watched the citizens interact with the baker. They spoke in a gruffer, less deep voice than Batic, in the majority. As for the money, it seemed that the darker coins were worth less than the lighter ones. Batic collected the right amount in hand and handed the money to the salesman and talked to him.
Allula was impressed with Batic and his ability to adapt. She supposed that must have been how he slipped into the Royal Guards to get close to the Sultan. Batic returned with bread and fruit in hand, his voice returning to its relaxed state. The two ate, their first day passing in the new world and already adapting well enough to blend amongst the populace. Soon they would leave the coastal city, but for reasons they did not expect.