A/N: My new Neopets story, hope you enjoy! Chapters will generally be short like this one, and update speed may vary from a few weeks to a few days.
"There is nothing a thief values more than freedom. A certain Ixi seems to be getting none of it lately."
Brynn had once joked that as a rule, the Brightvale marketplace was always sunny, and that day was no exception. In the scorching Brightvalean summer heat, the hazed and dehydrated shoppers could've sworn they saw a trickle of melted stained glass drip onto the floor, but the heat rising out of the ground made it hard to see.
"Him again?" the orange Kougra groaned as she spotted that pesky thief pocket a few rosy red apples from the stall, whistling innocently and ducking as the exhausted stallkeeper tried to whack him with his pitchfork. "I swear I caught that guy yesterday, stealing jewellery. How'd he escape that fast?"
Her companion, an electric Draik called Desiree, shrugged. "Beats me." Obviously too lazy to catch the thief, she leaned against the wall and stared up at the sky.
"Fat lot of help you are."
Grabbing her handcuffs, Brynn forced herself to stagger the few metres to the stall and snatch at the thief's flowing trench coat. She caught it neatly in her fist and raised her sword to the thief's neck. She'd been practicing this on other criminals lately, and she'd been getting pretty good. She didn't trip over like she had the first few times.
"Hi," the Ixi grinned. "Nice to see you today."
"Hi," Brynn grumbled back. She snapped the handcuffs onto his wrists and tightened them. There was silence for a while, then when Brynn stepped back, the criminal spoke.
"You don't look very happy today. Why shouldn't you be? The weather's glorious, there's not one cloud in the sky…"
"Oh, shut up." The thief raised an eyebrow. "It's boiling today, and you're wearing a jacket."
He shrugged. "Oh, enchantments and all that. They come in handy."
"I bet you paid for it with your filthy stolen Neopoints."
The thief shrugged again. "Have to steal to live, young lady. Oh, by the way, what's your name? I'd like to know the name of the promising guard who managed to lock me in a freezing dungeon cell no less than five times."
Brynn was so startled by this question, and the fact that she'd caught him five times already, that she blurted out, "Brynn."
"Mine's Hanso. Great name for a handsome boy like me, right?"
Oh great. "Desiree… I need your help." The Draik was still leaning against the wall, looking over thirstily at the drinks stand and rummaging for her pouch of Neopoints. "Quickly."
Desiree snapped back to reality and walked briskly towards her friend. "What is it?" she asked, completely different to the exhausted Neopet moments before. "Caught that thief again?"
"Yup. And he's really annoying."
The way back to the Guard base was mostly filled with Hanso's super annoying comments and Brynn and Desiree's eye rolls. It seemed like much too long before the three marched their way down to the dungeons.
"Have a good day," Brynn waved, smirking as she locked the cell door, leaving Hanso the thief in his cold room.
Hanso sighed and tested out the windows, then grinned as he'd realised the windows were unlocked. He'd already spend most of his week in these dungeons, and he was eager to escape and be free.
Using his belt as a grappling hook of sorts, he hauled himself out of the window and landed softly on the parched grass outside. It crunched, and Hanso froze. Scanning the area for guards, his heart sank when he saw the flicker of a candle rapidly approaching. He shielded his eyes from the light, and felt a now familiar grip on his arm.
"And what do you think you're doing?" asked the Kougra through gritted teeth. Hanso grinned nervously.
"Oh, I don't know… just getting some freedom?"