The Thief of the Rose
Chapter 5

Copyright© 2012 by R22CoolGuy

The interrogation of Thalia took several hours. Micah had her sequestered in an unused part of the manor house, guarded by soldiers loyal to the Duke.

Aaron learned that the local guildmaster of the Thieves, the merchant agent assigned to the manor house, the village master of Dria, and the first-assistant to Master Gerard on the Guild Council were all involved. Not only were they associated in the plot to murder the Duke, and Aaron, to his surprise, but also the theft from the merchant trains, as well as the Realto tribute trains. Aaron was unable to ascertain the name of the house that was involved in the attempted coup, or Wheatstone's involvement.

Aaron put Thalia to death by the sword and had her body buried in secret, with only Micah in attendance. He planned to deal with the Guildmaster and then to journey to Dria and have a talk with the village master.

Aaron returned to the Thieves' Guild to find it empty, "Gods, now what?"

He searched the master's office and found nothing of value. He remembered the name of the woman that was in the outer office and went searching for her.

Several hours later he had a location and hurried to her home. He learned from questioning her that Drexil had a hideout in the lower part of the duchy, in the warehouse district. After leaving her with several silver pieces and a promise to forward her name on to the Guild headquarters, he set out again to find Drexil.

Aaron arrived at the warehouse district just after dusk. He slowly and silently made his way toward the building in question. The front entrance was guarded, and armed men stood across the street watching in both directions. Aaron circled around to the rear of the building, finding two roving patrols, and one guard at the rear door. He backed away from the building and weighed his options. There was an alleyway that separated the warehouse from the building next to it. If he could gain entry, make his way to the roof, he could possibly cross rooftops and enter the warehouse from its roof.

The backdoor of the second warehouse was locked. Aaron, after inspecting and determining that there were no traps, picked the lock and gently opened the door and slipped inside, relocked the door and searched for a way to the roof.

Climbing a stairway, Aaron found the roof access and silently made his way onto the roof. Aaron's choice of clothing made night work all that easier. Black pants, grey shirt, black leather jerkin and grey cloak camouflaged his movement in the dark. Aaron stood at the edge of the roof and looked across the narrow alley to the warehouse rooftop. After checking for movement on the roof and finding none, Aaron removed a small grappling hook and rope from his cloak. The grappling hook had cloth wrapped around the tines to lessen the noise.

Finding a chimney stack, Aaron aimed and let the hook fly, landing around the stack and pulled the line taut. Aaron tied off the line on his end, tested the rope and after making sure the patrols were not in the vicinity slipped over the side of the roof. Hand over hand, Aaron slowly made his way across the space between buildings and pulled himself up on the warehouse roof on the other side. After ensuring he was not discovered; Aaron slowly made his way to the roof access door, finding it locked. Listening intently at the door revealed nothing.

The roof access door was part of a small shack attached to the top of the roof. Aaron moved around to the opposite side of the shack from the door, and crouched low, and made a small hole in the wall close to the rooftop. Peering through the hole, across at the inside of the door revealed no guard and more importantly, no noticeable traps or trip wires. Aaron spent a few moments satisfying his senses that the area was clear. Using a small saw, he gently cut a hole large enough to slip through. Again after ensuring that he had not been discovered Aaron gently crawled through the hole and dropped quietly on to the stairs. Aaron slowly made his way down the stairs.

There was bustling activity in the warehouse. Three large horse drawn wagons were being loaded by four men each, with Master Drexil supervising the load. Aaron looked around counting bodies. 20 to 1 odds were not good, no matter how you split it up. It looked like the entire local guild was involved, he needed Drexil, but really wanted the wagons and their contents too. He decided to wait it out, if he lost the wagons, he lost them. Maybe the Duke's men would be able to intercept the wagons on the road, Drexil was his mission. He silently made his way to the office and waited. Sure enough after the last wagon left, Drexil returned to his office to clear it out. Aaron came up from behind him and quickly grabbed an arm pulled it up behind him and put a dagger to his throat.

"Master Drexil, I have been looking all over for you," Aaron pulled the arm up tighter. "Are you leaving town?"

"Master Aaron, what is going on?" Drexil replied. "I have not done anything wrong."

"Really, conspiracy and treason are not wrong?" Aaron pulled the arm a little tighter. "Who are your accomplices?"

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