A cough and distant talking stole Makai’s attention. “Sohjie…. We have company.” He listened intently for more sounds coming from the other side of the heavy oak door. Sohjie placed the herb jar back on the shelf. They took up positions on either side of the door.
It opened painfully slowly. An drunk man with smears of food and excrement stumbled into the room. His attention was solely focused on the shelves on the opposite wall. So the door closing and huge brute stalking behind him went completely unnoticed until much too late. Makai wrapped the drunk in a choke hold. The drunk struggled for a while, but eventually passed out from the lack of air.
Sohjie opened the door just enough to peek down the hall and closed back the door. “The hall is clear. Let’s finish this.” The both opened jars and searched the contents. Sohjie gently lifted out of the ninth jar a gold necklace with a medallion. Four diamonds formed a square while five larger rubies formed a cross. “Got it!” The turned in unison and walked quickly to the door. As Sohjie secured their prize, Makai peeked down the hall.
The hallway was clear. He moved quietly and quickly towards the intersection only a couple dozen paces from the door. A guard came into view. Makai assaulted the guard with a series of punches to the face and throat. As the guard collapsed to the floor, he heard the gasp of the two guards down the intersection. Makai pulled from the sheaths in his lower back the two long knives he had named Tooth and Claw. One of the guards stammered, “G-go g-get s-some help!” The other tried to flee, but Makai threw Claw. The hilt struck the guard at the base of the skull dropping the man. In three short steps Makai closed with the remaining threat who fell to floor in a helpless heap.
This wretch was no warrior. Makai grabbed the shirt of the now whimpering mass. He looked in the wretch in the eyes just an inch from noses touching. “Be quiet or unlike your friends, your death will be slow and painful.” Dead silence once again filled the hallway. He retrieved Claw.
Sohjie padded quietly to the intersection and peeked around the corner. Makai gave her a signal to stay there. He continued on, checking for guards, and signalling Sohjie to follow. They avoided 2 more patrols before reaching the cellar. Noise errupted as leaders barked orders, the thump-thump-thump-thump of those searching the house for the intruders: Makai and Sohjie.
Sohjie grinned at him and chimed, “Good thing we made it.” Makai shook his head. He answered, “Not out of the woods yet.” He grabbed hold of a large flat bottomed section of the cellar wall. Muscles strained as his brute force pulled the massive weight just a few feet. Sohjie darted into the opening behind. He heard the door to the cellar shudder from a massive impact. Without even stopping to consider, he pushed the massive stone back into place. Sohjie screamed, “What are you doing?” His only reply, “No time. Go! Get that thing out of here. I’ll buy you time.”