Volume 5 – The Adventures The Young Dragonborn
Chapter #266 – Catatoskr (2) : The Ragged Flagon
Finally an Extra! This one comes to you by (Merkur1) a bit late I know but there are more and I am taking my time…
“Welcome to the Bee and Barb, lord and ladies. If I can interest you in one of our special drinks, you let me know.”
Ah! It is Talen-Jei, the Argonian Innkeeper.
“Thank you, may we have a room for us three.” I said not minding my words.
“Sure sure… may I see your city pass then?”
“Here you go.”
“Oh! A local… not sure I have seen someone with your size around here before!”
“Oh! It has been years since I left Riften to roam the world. I am finally back, haha!”
“… So, in this world there is someone who is happy about coming back to this city… the world sure is strange.”
“Don’t worry, it is just a visit.”
“Wise words… a room for three, you said?” Talen-Jei said and glanced at Alina and Jull.
“A room for three I said.”
Talen-Jei smiled and led me to a room, there is a lot of weirdos like me in Riften but these two are my family, I will refrain from smacking Talen-Jei till later.
“A clean quiet room with a large bed away from everyone. Let me know if there is anything you need.”
Talen-Jei left and the girls finally sat down.
“This town is a bit extreme.” Alina said.
“No, it is Winterhold that is too lazy compared to here. People are always working in Winterhold but here, people are always stealing so make sure to keep in mind that everyone has bad intentions towards you.”
“How do people live in this kind of place?”
“Haha! You just get used to it.”
Riften is actually no different than a modern city on Earth. Just a bit lawless and people are more connected, they can smell outsiders easily and these are their normal victim. One of the reasons all the big trades happens outside Riften.
“Anyway, set up protection around this room, I paid for a week so let’s keep ourselves comfortable. The place here is safer than outside but don’t trust anyone and keep yourself under your hoods. You will get used to the place and people in a day or two so don’t hold back and… keep your swords away, use only daggers or throwing knives. I will be using Greed though.”
“That thing is so creepy.”
“Sorry about it.”
“Still, that’s a lot of rules for a lawless town.”
“Exactly, this is ‘Riften 101’ written a guy who actually lived here for fifteen years… the point is, don’t try to look like an outsider or a rich person unless you are pretty famous in town.”
“We’ll keep it in mind.”
And that how I started to teach the girls about Riften, it is pretty common for each country to have a Riften but if I was reincarnated in any place other than this town, I would have died of boredom.
But this trip wasn’t all fun and meeting old friends as I expected, and that brings us to the next day.
I was in the market square and the situation there was normal. I even met some old kids from the orphanage like Grumpy Grelka and hanged up for a while until I was approached by a small girl begging for money, I noticed the way the girl asked for money and pointed out something.
“How old are you, kiddo?”
“I see.” I patted the girl’s head and whispered to her, “That boy looking at us behind the stall, that is your friend right…”
The girl’s eyes widened up.
“If you signal for him to come, I will break his arm.”
Even Alina poked me hard when I said that. Well, I understand what is going on. These kids are the rats as we used to be called when we started running down the streets back then. The rats are the regular lookouts and cutpurses, they also do the dirty stuff like causing scenes and getting captured instead of the other ‘Senior Troublemakers’.
Still, there was one rule… no less than ten years old.
“Kid, you are an Orphan, right?”
The girl, who started shivering, nodded like a broken doll.
“I see. Let me take you to the orphanage.”
I took the girl from her hand and walked out of the market. I noticed that I was being followed so Jull and Alina took distance from me and kept an eye on whatever is happening.
I walked the old road I remembered but I came to a halt, there was a presence hiding in an alleyway. I only gave a small signal and two shadows jumped down from a building and captured whoever was spying on me.
I took the girl I was holding and walked to the alleyway, as I reached there, I found Alina standing and Jull apprehending a person.
“No… Sapphire!” The girl in my hand almost jumped when she saw the person under Jull’s feet.
It seems that this is the one who manages the orphans in the market… Sapphire, huh? She appeared in the game, not a really likable character.
“That’s okay for now. Take this girl and give and buy her some food, leave that to me.”
I handed the small girl to Alina and took over Sapphire.
Sapphire seemed to be just a young girl around 16, her eyes are sharp and she was glaring at Jull. I raised her up from the nape of her clothes to my eye level and started to talk.
“Let me make one thing clear…”
“Eat shit, asshole.”
“… Is that clear?”
Sapphire’s circuits seem to have rebooted just now, she was still glaring though.
I raised my hand once again but she reacted splendidly this time.
“Good, I have a question.”
“There was that rule the guild had to not make kids less than 10 do stuff around the town… there is still that rule, right?”
Sapphire seemed to have frozen.
“Oh… I see that was your private business. Good good, very good.” I put her down but kept clutching to her neck.
Greed, which was under my sleeve, came out and tied the hands of Sapphire.
“Scream and your bones will bend in ways you have never thought they were possible.”
Sapphire only nodded.
“Cool! Let’s go.”
I kept my arm on her shoulder as I dragged her with me.
My direction was clear, the Ratway.
If someone asked ‘What is the worst place in all of Riften?’, then there is only one answer and that is ‘The Ratway’.
One can say the Ratway is the city under the city. Dark, dangerous, and no place for decent folk. An underground tunnel system beneath the city of Riften. It is the base of operations for the Thieves Guild and also serves as home for all sorts of weirdos, serial-killers, lowlifes and misfits.
Riften normally has two levels, the upper city where the normal folk lives and the undercity down at the canals where poor folk and cutoffs live, the Ratway is the extension of that undercity where a network of sewer tunnels run but it is fairly populated for a good reason.
I stepped in front of the main entrance of the Ratway and walked from there, normally I take another way in but I am not expected and I have Alina and Jull with me.
As we walked the dark smelly tunnels, I could hear, Alina complain every two seconds about something different. She is a princess so it must be hard for her yet Jullanar didn’t let it go and kept mocking Alina on everything.
These two are fairly strong now but I would be worried if I run into any one of the big fishes in the Ratway. The underground Arena in Riften is actually full of top-notch killers and people I would have a hard time fighting against but my current size is intimidating on its own.
Still, it was all the same as I remembered, even the traps and the lookouts were in their usual spots.
It feels as if time didn’t pass here.
After taking a few turns and knocking down a few skeevers, I arrived in front of a door that I simply pushed open. Behind it, there was a large circular chamber, a pool in the middle, pathway across the sides and a bunch of people at the other side of the room around what seemed to be a bar.
This was Riften’s most infamous inn, the Ragged Flagon.
I calmly walked in with Sapphire under my wind while Alina and Jull followed, the seemed to be in total full awareness about the place. As we approached the inn, some brute stopped in our way.
“You’re looking for trouble here, giant? Let the girl go.”
The brute sounded intimidating for sure, I could feel Alina taking out a dagger but she triggered the rest of the inn’s ‘patrons’.
“Girls, say hey to my friend Dirge.” As I said so, the place quieted down. “Fun story! Do you know we call him ‘Dirge’?”
“Cause he is a sad person?” Jull guessed.
“Cause I’m the last thing you hear before they put you in the ground.” Dirge said.
“Well, it sounds cool but that’s not true… I actually know the true story behind it.” As I said so, Dirge seemed to have figured out my identity as well as everyone else in the Ragged Flagon.
But before he could do anything, I waved my hand fast at Dirge’s head, held it then crushed it to a wall.
“… Because that sound comes out whenever anyone bashes his head to a wall, hahaha!”
I walked past the passed out Dirge to the middle of the bar.
“Well well… ain’t this a nasty surprise?” a voice came from behind me.
I turned around with a smile and let go of Sapphire.
“What? No hugs among thieves now?”
“I’ll hug you if you have something worth hugging you for.”
“Bleh, I won’t hug a nasty smelling old man like you even if I go to Oblivion for it… which actually happened and I would hug a Hagraven instead of going back there.”
“Eew! Jon, that’s nasty. Fine, I’ll hug you for free this time.”
“Come here, Delvin.”
It was my mentor and the man who set me on the path of nastiness, Delvin Mallory.