I better get this clear: This is kind of a companion fic to amethyst3232's brilliant story, "Brynn's Diary," and includes some of the characters in her, and of course neopet's, plot. Yes, I did get her permission (THANK YOU!), so this is basically what Hanso was doing while she was training. After all, the thief had a story too, right?
Disclaimer: As much as he tries, it seems that Hanso has not yet succeeded in stealing the rights to Neopets for me. :( None of it or its characters are mine.
If this isn't what you read before, DO NOT PANIC! Calmly put down your pointy objects and go read the announcement in Ch. 45. If you already have, you know what to do. ;)
The Month of Sleeping (January) Age 7
I guess it all started with that starving little kid.
I was about three years old, running around in the kingdom of Brightvale after escaping my parents. Now, as their both Master Thieves, I'd mark that as an awesome accomplishment if I were you. Just sayin'. Anyway, I've always lived in that land of books and knowledge, and though I was never really interested in that type of stuff, just about everything is fascinating when you're small. I didn't understand yet why Mom and Dad kept me out of sight whenever guards were around. All they ever told me about the weird men in uniforms was that they were generally mean and don't like them much, so I never talked to them.
So there I was, going around nicking stuff and having a great time, when I see this Mynci maybe about two years younger than me. Okay, I guess he wasn't starving. He was hardly begging for scraps. But the kid looked like he was never full a day in his life, and he was looking so wistfully at a tray of cookies a guard person was handing out. I was great at 'liberating' items, and even if I was caught, it wasn't as if guards harmed kids, right? Anyway, I stole a biscuit and handed it to him.
The kid just stared at me, as if he couldn't believe anyone would do that. I guess what really sticks to me are his eyes. They were the color of golden amber, and when I gave him they cookie, they widened and turned into two round suns. Then he burst into a toothy smile and munched it up. "Thank you," he said, before he left.
I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. I mean, I ran away, I had a great time exploring, and I nabbed a cookie for someone while dodging a guard. Then suddenly a huge shadow loomed over me—the shadow of a grown-up. I thought it was my mom or dad, about to scold me and take me home. But no, it was that guard I thought I had lost. I put on my best I'm-just-an-innocent-kid face—but before I could make an excuse, the guard took of his helmet.
Or rather, her helmet.
I never saw a guard girl before. I definitely never saw a guard being nice before. She was actually really pretty, a yellow Zafara with bright green eyes. I especially liked it when she grinned at me and said, "That was nice of you."
"It was nothing." Then I remembered I wasn't supposed to have stolen anything at all. "I mean, what was nice of me? I didn't do anything."
She chuckled. "Nice try, kid, but you're a terrible liar. Still," she continued, smirking coyly. "If you're anything like your parents, no one can get three steps within arresting distance. You're driving them nuts with worry, by the way."
How did she know my parents? I wondered, but I couldn't ask her. A Draik came dashing up to her. "Summer, quick! Code #745!"
"Terrorist attack," she cursed. "Do yourself a favor, kid. Never grow up like that."
"I'm Hanso Laron," I pouted. She smiled even wider at my last name. "I'm not 'Kid.' And I don't wanna be a thug. They're mean."
She laughed again. "I'm Summer Vines." She hesitated, and then looked at me intently with those bright green eyes of hers. "You know, I have a saying I like telling people: Always believe in yourself. But if I'm right about your future, you'll end up being a…" She sighed. "You have a good heart, for a criminal. Don't lose it, okay?" Then she ran off to save a random citizen.
That was about four years ago, but since it's one of the weirdest and most important things that's ever happened to me, I thought I should write it down. I still don't understand what she means. I'm seven years old now, the youngest someone can join the Thieves' Guild. Training starts the week after the next. That's when all my adventures begin, or so my granny says.
You know, I was always good as picking pockets. It was just so easy: the person looks away, I see something shiny, and the rest is history. Helps that my mom and dad are both Master Thieves and they practically spoon-fed me thieving skills. In fact, my career had practically been chosen for me since the day I was born. As for me, I just went with the flow. I'm highly talented at thieving, if I do say so myself, and besides, even if I wanted to do something else, my parents are probably too well-known as criminals.
Like I said before, thief training starts next week. I'll be assigned to a bunch of other kids, and we're going to have to work together until we're around seventeen or eighteen. That's when we graduate. Then we could choose either to partner up or do the jobs of our rank alone (depending on what rank of the Thieves' Guild we reach at that point). I'm probably going to stay by myself. What's the use of talking to the other kids?
Training is supposed to be like normal school, except with a few weird lessons that we need to learn and a lot of trips to the marketplace to test our skills. Granny Leslie's making such a big deal about it, though. My parents are, too, but I think granny's exaggerating when she told me that my life would be 'filled with excitement' once I really join the Thieves' Guild.
"Filled with excitement?" I repeated skeptically.
"Of course," she said with a wink. "A thief's life is never easy, but it's also never boring. There's so many mysteries to unravel, so many things you'll want to know. And if I know you, little grandson, you'll be in the thick of all of it." She smiled. "You get more freedom than a lot of other kids, but at the same time, a lot of restrictions."
She suddenly turned grave. "Throughout your life, you're going to be judged unfairly, suffer all kinds of injustices. Those are your restrictions—no one's going to give you the benefit of the doubt. It's best to make friends when you can." She beamed at me again. "Back to the adventures. You're going to have plenty, and from each of them, you'll learn a lot. You might need help remembering, though…which leads me to my present."
She handed it me. "A journal?" I said, frowning. "But I don't even like writing! I'm not even good at it."
"You're Brightvalean, sweetheart," she said, giving me a kiss. "You're a natural. Besides, if you don't want to write it for yourself, write it for me. You know how I only get to see you every three years or so?" I nodded. Granny Leslie, my dad's mom, is a gypsy, and she's constantly on the road. That never stopped her from adoring me, and it goes the other way around. "I'll want to hear what you've been up too."
"I don't know…"
"I'll give you a bag of candy for it."
So there you are, the reason why I'm writing this in the first place. I'll do it for the bag of candy…uh, I mean, my granny. I'm going to miss her a lot. Granny, I mean. She tells such cool stories since she's been around the world with my uncles. Dad must have loved Mom an awful lot to stay here. When's the next time I'll see her? When I'm ten, eleven? I don't want to wait that long.
She better have that bag of candy ready.
That was interesting.
We had a Master thief Kyrii for a teacher. It was pretty obvious he was good; you can tell by just looking at him that he was used to holding his own in battle, as well as watching other people's backs. He didn't tell us much about himself, only that he'd decided to start teaching a few years ago. He didn't even tell us his name, for some reason.
He told us we were going to go to the marketplace a lot, as well as study a few subjects that would be useful for thieving. Already knew that. What I didn't know was how many subjects were supposed to learn. Besides the normal stuff that they teach at school, we were going to study Ancient Languages, Forgery, Escaping, Potion-Making, History of the Thieves' Guild, and Defense.
They expected us to learn all that? How would it be even possible? And how does this spell 'filled with excitement?' Granny was probably trying to motivate me or something, I guess. It didn't work. I was out of there.
"Leaving so soon?" said a scornful voice. It belonged to the black Acara who sat in the back. Despite her being a girl (really, who's scared of girls?), I felt a twinge of fear. Her steely grey eyes glinted; threatening to slice me to ribbons if I dared ignored her, forcing me to answer her question.
But all I could think to say was: "Uh."
She rolled her eyes and leaned back on her seat. "Ah. You're giving up. Typical—from the looks of you when you came, I knew you wouldn't be able to do it."
"Excuse me?" I snapped, firing up. "You don't look like much, either. Where do you come from, the land of black and white?" She was wearing completely dark clothing, matching her against the shadows perfectly. She glared, and for a moment I wished the Kyrii Master hadn't given us our daggers earlier that day. Be nice, a voice said in my head. I sighed. "Look, I'm sorry. I'm Hanso Laron. You?"
She arched an eyebrow. Before she could reply, though, the Master Kyrii came at us. "Are you two done?" I realized that the rest of the class was staring at us.
"Sorry," we both mumbled.
The Kyrii sighed. "I suppose I've been babbling too long anyway. Introduce yourselves, everyone, as Mr. Hanso Laron and Ms. Kayley Halvard have been kind enough to do."
"Kayley Halvard?" I said.
"Yes," the Kyrii answered for her. "Congratulations, Miss Halvard. It seems you've already made a friend."
"Not likely," she muttered, glowering at me. What's with her?
We introduced ourselves properly. I said a little bit about my parents and what they taught me. Okay, I guess I said a lot. That might've intimidated some of them, but Kayley just scoffed and said something like, "I judge people how good they are, not their parents." That shut me up. You know what, I don't think we like each other very much.
She didn't tell us much about herself, though we know her parents are thieves, too. She said something vaguely about her learning a few things. She didn't dwell on it much, but apparently she's brilliant at just about all the subjects. Not that I'd ever admit it. She's especially smart about the History of the Thieves' Guild; she vaguely mentioned that she'd always been fascinated about it.
There's Juliet and Julius Capulet, a pair of Wocky twins who eat a bit too much candy. Both of them have brown hair and chocolate-colored eyes. When they're not hyper (which is rare, but I've seen a few moments this week), Julius is quiet but observant, while Juliet's a little more talkative but sweet. They're both actually talented at most of the subjects, but the Kyrii Master has a bit of a grudge against them and refuses to acknowledge it. He's still mad at them for eating his secret stash of sweets.
There's also Razor Medici, a bespectacled Bruce who likes saying facts to sound fancy. During the week it was clear he couldn't do much, but he rivaled Kayley in History and beat everyone in potion-making. It's pretty clear that he never wanted to be a thief; his parents had made him. He's a bit of a klutz, and keeps to himself.
We're postponing Escape Training and Ancient Languages until later, thank goodness. Kayley's shut up about me not being able to do anything—we're both the top of our class, and competing for the best. But for some reason, she doesn't like being in the limelight much. Sometimes I think she's holding back, but I didn't really dwell on it. Served her right when I beat her in stealing a fake gem from the Kyrii Master.
I'm okay with class right now, but they better not give us homework.
The Kyrii said that there's something coming up. In May. I wanted to ask him why he was telling us about something that's going to happen three months from now, but I kept my mouth closed. Last time I didn't, and he made me eat asparagus (Which I HATE!). So I shut up.
He said that there's going to be a tournament for the guards and the guild wants to take a look at the new recruits. You know, to study them and see there weak points and stuff. He said that anyone can come, but they have to make it pass the people who are guarding the entrance. We have three months to think of a plan.
I'm a little interested. I've never been to a castle before, and I can't wait to see who I'm actually going to be up against. The Kyrii told us that we're going to have to avoid adult guards, which is a shame, since I really wanted to meet Summer Vines again. Maybe I will, at one point. Anyway, whoever shows up in that tournament will likely be the people we'll be up against for the rest of our lives. How cool is that?