Volume 5 – The Adventures The Young Dragonborn
Chapter #265 – Catatoskr (1) : Homecoming
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The past three years, the ruler of Riften, Jarl Lale Lawgiver, was having a peaceful time ruling her hold. Rather than the messengers of Ulfric Stormcloak and the few criminals she has to deal with, it was all easy.
But on this very day, all peace went away.
“What is the reason?” One may ask.
The answer took all the people three years to the past, a reign of terror they forgot… or rather tried to forget.
It was him.
The red cat, Catatoskr.
A name the whole Riften tried to bury and successfully stopped the rumors from spreading outside the hold, else, the rumors would put them to shame for many years to come.
How did they know it was him? The all wanted to believe otherwise but there was his sign, the black card with a red cat drawing.
Some of those who heard about this argued that it might be a troublemaker’s work but no, when a Catatoskr Card appears it happens after something big and that is always an absurd crime.
Yes, that was Catatoskr’s style, Absurd Crimes.
Too absurd to comprehend! How he did it and why he returned what he stole every time. That is why Catatoskr is only wanted alive to explain himself.
But right now, and because of today’s card, the market square was empty and guards were on every corner, the people hid in their homes and peeked through the windows.
It was not night, it was in the middle of noon and the busiest hour in Riften. But now… the market square was as empty as a tavern with no liquor.
Why is that?
Well… it is hard to put in words but… the whole market square was stolen.
Yes, just like that.
One second there was many people buying and selling and on the next second everything vanished from goods to stalls.
Only the people remained.
And what also remained was the question on people’s mind ‘how did this happen?’
They all started to remember the events when Catatoskr shock the whole town and people in the Bee and Barb tavern started saying which one was more terrifying.
“It is today’s time, he goes away for three years and now it happens like that in front of everyone’s eyes!”
“Exactly, ‘You Know Who’ has gotten more powerful, it happened where there are people this time.”
“But do you remember that time when he stole the Temple’s Bell?”
“… Yeah, it was similar to today, something vanishes just like that… crazy!
“Do you think that is something compared to that one time?”
“Yes… the city gate’s time.”
“…” “…” “…” “…”
“Shut up, no one wants to remember that time.”
“That’s because it is the most terrifying, ‘You Know Who’ stole the damned city gate… a city gate for the beard of Talos! This is insane! Brigands may have taken over the town because of that.”
“…” “…” “…” “…”
“Don’t remind us.”
“Fine, but you should remember the time when we found a ship in the middle of the market square.”
“You mean Bori’s ship? Ah yes, that one was bad too. Poor Bori! He was pale the whole day.”
“No no no, I can’t believe you forgot the time when he stole the Jarl’s voice, that was insane.”
“Yeah, I was there. Jarl Lela was making a speech and her voice didn’t work all of a sudden, then she found a Card of ‘You Know Who’.”
“What about that time…”
“No, that time…”
“There is that time too…”
The argument never ended. From the Market Square to the Temple’s Bell to Bori’s Ship to the City Gate to the Jarl’s Voice… Catatoskr was so infamous to the point that saying his name was something really scary on its own.
During all that, a man came running into the tavern.
“The market stalls… the goods… it all came back again!”
The gloomy mood of the tavern turned all cheerful at once but the people became silent once again.
“You mean ‘You Know Who’ returned the things he stole once again to where they were? They didn’t find the stuff or understand how he does it?”
“… No, just like every time.”
“Dammit! He is still out there doing god knows what and just mocking us while our city guards can’t even locate one man!”
“Tsk… Let’s just get back to our businesses, this town is no match for him anyway.”
The disappointment was clear as no one managed to stop the legendary Catatoskr just yet. No one even knows what kind of a person he is… is he a man, a mer or a beast? A male or female? A living person or a ghost?
Right now, the common belief is that Catatoskr is the Ghost of a Khajiiti legendary thief yet no one is able to confirm that anyway.
However, what the people fail to notice that each time Catatoskr strikes, a new change happens in town… a change for the better. Right now, Riften’s Market Square became heavily guarded and the Jarl appointed a new guards team to watch over the market.
How and why did that happen? Well… that takes us a few hours to the morning when Jon arrived in the town.
He was wearing a cloak and hood and so did Alina and Jull.
“Oh… the stench! *inhale* *exhale* This is Riften. DADDY’S HOME, BITCHES!”
“Lower your voice!” Alina poked Jon.
“Oh… sorry! Got a bit excited!”
“Next!” The inspection officer on the town’s gate called out.
“It’s our turn.” Jullanar stepped forward.
Before she reaches the officer, a large Argonian jumped into the line before her.
“Sorry, sweet thing. In a hurry.” The Argonian said.
“Hey…” Jullanar was about to lash but Jon held her shoulder.
“Don’t make a scene.” He said then looked at the Argonian, “You’ll owe me a drink, lizard.”
The Argonian seemed to be not intimidated enough and looked away but then, he felt a cold chill and looked over his shoulder to see Jon’s face closer than he thought it would be.
With his blue eyes devoid of their bright color, Jon spoke again.
“…” The Argonian was taken aback but he released a strong Aura not expected from a random person one just cross by.
Jon too was releasing his Tyrant Aura on a small scale to only affect the Argonian. A while later, both broke into a hearty laugh.
“Sure, I owe you a whole barrel.” The Argonian said.
“Good to know.”
“If you find me though…”
He said so and passed through the gate after the inspection guard allowed him in. Jon kept looking at the large Argonian with a grin. Even though the Argonian had a large body, he disappeared after he passed the gate like melting ice.
“I will find you though.”
Jon looked at the inspection officer and threw a wooden tablet to him.
“A citizen, I don’t recognize you tho… oh! Go in.”
Jon walked through the gate without any trouble followed by Alina and Jullanar.
“It was strange of you not to lash out.” Alina said.
“This is not Winterhold where I own the tiles on the road, so you two should act quietly around here… unless there is a fight of course.”
While Jon and the girls advanced through the town streets, there was nothing particularly good about it. It was rather worse than the new Winterhold town. Most of the buildings were made of wood and they had that rotten smell, even the streets were not that clean. Beggars and homeless people were lying on the roadsides and ruffians were staring at Alina and Jullanar rudely.
Jon would sigh every once in a while then give someone a death glare causing the ruffians to move away.
There was a weird language spoken in Riften, only someone like Jon would understand its content. When one glance at the other then they keep pointing with their eyes, this means trouble is coming. Jon would interrupt those stares and intimidate whoever is thinking willfully.
Not just that, he would even intimidate with his hands if someone got close to him.
A few boys tried to step in front of Alina but Jon carried one of them from the nape of his neck and threw him in a hidden alleyway causing the other boys to run away like rats.
“This place is a bit… fun. You should be extra careful about your surroundings.” He said.
Alina and Jullanar nodded silently. They didn’t expect crime to be this all-time high.
Even someone as visible as Jon was targeted this openly. What would happen if someone else was in his place? They thought.
“I haven’t been in town for some time so they don’t recognize me and I don’t know these new faces. Once we reach the inner city, we should be properly welcomed.” He said.
Alina and Jullanar looked at each other again.
“That was not proper enough?” They asked.
“This is not even a thing. They think of us as some reckless rich people… it is not wrong though.”
As they walked for some time inside the city, the passed the old poor areas and finally found themselves in somewhat a cleaner place.
“Are you done following us?” Jon spoke.
To his words, a few kids behind Alina and Jullanar moved away with displeased faces, it seemed that Jon knew what they were after and intimidated them.
“Who are they?”
“They are the ones who benefit in the chaos.”
“The one that is about to start.” He said and walked forward. “Remember, don’t rush forward without checking your back, that’s how they get you.”
As he said so, a brute appeared before him, he seemed to have some friends sitting on the roadside nearby.
“Well well well, what do we have here? Which mammoth gave birth to a giant like you? Hahaha!” the brute seemed to be very confident as he stepped in front of Jon.
Jon slightly smiled and shook his head.
“Never change, Maul. Never change.”
As the brute heard Jon’s words, he was taken aback for a second, the people who he came with were noticed the change for a second but Jon acted faster than them.
He waved his hands towards the brute’s throat and struck it. The brute face turned red from the pain and started coughing. Jon was still not done and carried the brute with his two arms then started running with him.
“Hey, stop him.”
“Fuck! What’s going on?”
The friends of the brute were fully triggered and ran after Jon. Jullanar and Alina were left behind so they decided to follow up but before charging forward, the looked behind them. They saw the kids from before trying to sneak behind them but as soon as they got noticed, they ran away.
“I see.” Alina and Jullanar made an understanding face before running after Jon.
Jon didn’t run far ahead, as soon as he reached the first water canal before the Bee and Barb tavern, he through the brute in the water.
“Hahaha! Who’s laughing now, Maul?” Jon laughed out loud then turned to the brute’s friends who were running after him and removed his hood.
“Zula, Nark, Fleet… missed you, fuckers.”
The boys paused all of a sudden.
“… Oblivion! What did this guy eat?”
“Shit! That’s Dare.”
“Oh man, I just had a bath this morning.”
Jon shook his head.
“Tsk tsk tsk! You guys are all going for a swim.”
Jon extended his hand and grabbed two of his old friends then threw them at the canal. The third tried to run but Jon grabbed him with ‘Telekinesis’ and threw him after them.
“Magic is cheating, Dare. It is cheating… Woaaa! Fuck you, Dare.”
“Fuck you too, Fleet… oh man, this is so much fun.”
Jon looked down the bridge and saw the four people swimming out of the canal.
“Fuck you, Jon.”
“This is payback, Maul, so fuck you.”
“Don’t let me catch you.”
“I want to see you try.”
“How is your mother?”
“How is yours?”
“Tsk! I am coming up. Don’t you Dare run away… wait wait! I forgot… no magic dammit!”