Valmas, the weapon-dealing dwarf, had five bodyguards. Three dwarves and two humans. All of them were at the Soul Refining stage. In dwarven nations, Soul Refining stage warriors were like gods. The strongest dwarven warrior in all dwarven kingdoms was at Soul Refining stage level 5, and he served under Drogon, the dwarf king. Furthermore, Valmas had a secret hideout that even his bodyguards had no idea of. He would use a teleportation scroll to get in and out. Hence, why he survived for so long despite being one of the most wanted dwarfs and a weapons dealer. The streets of Embercrest were bustling with dwarves, with the air smelling like freshly brewed ale and piss. Everywhere Gaya turned, she saw the dwarves in clusters, drinking and laughing like it's none of anyone's business. Contrary to the elves, the dwarves seemed simple and honest.
The dwarves were hot-headed and honest folks compared to the elves, who were always scheming and using curses for hunting down their enemies. But that didn't mean all the elves were bad and all the dwarves were good. Both sides had bad apples, really bad apples. As Gaya was following behind Valms while keeping him close like a good bodyguard should, she noticed a couple of people following them. Even in the crowd, Gaya was skilled enough to spot her followers.
"Did I say how much I love the smell of the air? It feels like home. Now, who should I kill to get some freshly brewed Embercrest ale?" Valmas joined the dwarves in laughing out loud.
"Hold your horses, Valmas. We've been followed," Gaya's words immediately stopped Valmas's laughter. She felt good ruining his jolly mood. The three dwarven bodyguards looked dumb while the other human man with rune-engraved bow and arrows looked vigilantly around him.
"Don't look back," Gaya warned the others.
"Are they stronger than you dimwits?" asked Valmas.
"It'd be better if we find your room soon," said Gaya.
"It's just around the corner. The place is called the drunken whore,"
"Fucking hell," Gaya rolled her eyes as they turned around the corner to see a dazzling place totally opposite to its name. The place glistened with neon light and toe tapping music. Although it was daytime, the dark rainy clouds gave enough darkness for the neon lights to really shimmer. Countless dwarves stood in neat lines to get inside with their dates. In between the two lines was a red carpet and a few people received the VIP treatment by entering the drunken whore without waiting. Simply put, this place was the fantasy version of nightclubs.
Apparently, Valmas seemed to have the VIP card. He flicked his wrist as a golden plate appeared in his hand. But he stopped before getting closer to the place.
"Where are you coming, darling?" Valams turned around and asked Gaya.
"Inside?" She tilted her head. 𝗯𝗲𝗱𝐧𝗼𝐯𝗲𝐥.𝐜𝐨𝗺
"Nope. You are going to deal with those assholes who've been following us, or do you say. I want their heads," Valmas's eyes glistened with killing intent.
"What are you waiting for? I am paying you to do what I say, not to gawk like a dumb chicken,"
Gaya wanted to strangle the dwarf, but she managed to control her inner rage.
"The rest of you, follow me inside," Valmas gestured as the others followed him behind before throwing a 'you deserve it' look at Gaya.
"Azazel, I am moving away from the dwarf. Monitor him," Gaya said to Azazel through the earpiece while walking away from Valmas.
"Got it, Dark Queen," Azazel acknowledged her order and focused on the Spyder on Valmas himself. After separating herself from Valmas, Gaya entered a dark alley between two tall buildings. She noticed several dwarves on the ground, too drunk to get up. With quick steps and leaps, Gaya reached the top of the building. As a human among dwarves, she stood out like a watchtower. Trailing her followers in her current state would only put a bigger target on her back. That was the reason she chose to get on top of the building. Regardless of the size of the dwarves, their buildings were surprisingly tall and unguarded. Thanks to the buildings being in a cluster, she leaped from one building to another. Eventually, she spotted the dwarves who had followed her earlier.
The dwarves were gathered in a group and gawking at the drunken whore from a safe distance. Poor souls failed to notice Gaya straight on top of them, watching them like a hawk.
"How do we get inside?"
"I, for one, cannot stay in the line,"
"No shit. By the time we get inside, he would disappear like he always does,"
Gaya saw five dwarves conspiring against Valmas. Yet she didn't know the reason. To be honest, these dwarves seemed harmless to her. The one who looked like the leader had straps of white in his long bushy beard, and he was the strongest among them, a Core Formation level 3 warrior. Even if the entire group went against Valams, they would stand a chance against a single bodyguard, let alone all of them.
"We cannot let him sell the blueprints. Once they get out, who knows how many people will die?" the leader dwarf stuttered.
Judging by their looks and words, Gaya thought these dwarves were innocent and almost formulated a lie to tell Valmas about their bodies. However, her thoughts were shattered by what they said next.
"Who cares? We aren't here to save people. We are here to get our money. I almost died snatching those plans. If anything, I should have gotten a bigger cut,"
"Don't be ridiculous. I was the one who found the location of his workshop," said another dwarf.
"Stop following around, you morons. None of us got paid, not a single coin. That bastard has to pay us with coins and with blood if we played our cards right," said the leader of these little dwarven thieves.
"Let's get to our safe house and plan our next move. I have someone on the inside who could tell us where Valmas would be next," said another dwarf.
"Azazel, anything hot happening with Valmas?" asked Gaya as the dwarves began to dismantle their group.
"Nothing so far, my lady. He's just drinking and dancing with dwarven ladies. I don't think he would be able to do anything for a few hours judging by the amount of booze he drank," said Azazel. The demon was quite surprised by Valmas's ability to drink gallons of ale and stay awake.
"Good. I am trailing some dwarves who might have some interesting insights,"
"Happy hunting, Dark Queen. I will keep you updated on Valmas's status," said Azazel as Gaya trailed the dwarves to their hideout. The tables had changed, as it was Gaya who followed the dwarves this time. While she was following them, Gaya noticed the dwarves looking behind to see if anyone was following them, a trait of a thief.
She was certain that these dwarves were thieves, but the question was whether they were working for someone or alone.
The City of Embercrest was built like a labyrinth. There were more alleys and turns than straight streets and more taverns than any other stores. Luckily, no one was on top of the buildings or watching the skies. Otherwise, they would have seen Gaya jumping from building to building, parkour style. After almost jumping from building to building for fifteen minutes, Gaya reached the outskirts of Embercrest, where the infamous dwarves liked to live. This area before her had no tall buildings or lavish stores. Instead, all she could see were tiny huts in clusters and dirty river running across them.
Gaya was standing atop the last tall building overlooking the outskirts. One more step, and she would be visible to all the dwarves on the ground. Even if she could sneak without getting detected, she doubted she would fit inside one of those huts. They were barely four feet tall. Thanks to Michael's inventions, she had a drone at her disposal. With a flick of her wrist, she took out a drone the size of her palm. It was transparent, as the wire and gears inside were visible to the naked eye. The back of Gaya's neck let out a dim light when the drone started to fly upward. This glimmer of light was a chip that allowed Gaya to control the drone without his or Azazel's help. On top of that, this tiny drone was specially made for her as his gift. It was fast, soundless when flying, and equipped with various types of gasses to deal with enemies lethally and non-lethally.
"Fly, my beautiful night owl," Gaya controlled the drone to fly ahead,
"I need to work on my naming skills," said Gaya, watching the drone fly toward the dwarves. Suddenly, everything the drone saw popped up in the corner of her vision.
"This is how he feels, huh," Gaya thought about Michael controlling several drones at the same time. The drone swooped into the hut through a fist-sized hole. The dwarves were too busy searching for mugs and booze. A sane person wouldn't live in the hut for a minute. It looked shabby, dirty, and housed countless cockroaches. Yet, the dwarves didn't seem to mind their house guests. Instead, they filled their mugs and took them to the only piece of furniture that looked relatively new, a table.
The dwarves sat around the table to discuss their future plans. They had no idea a drone was hovering above them, listening and watching them. Before they uttered a word, each took a large gulp of ale and didn't bother to wipe their mouths.
"When will we receive intel from your source?" a dwarf asked.
"He can't fly here, moron. He has a pet owl that would bring the intel to us. We just have to wait," said the leader.
"Let me guess. Your source is a human. A damned elf would use magic mumbo jumbo. any decent dwarf would use a crawler. But only a human would do something so stupid," the dwarves laughed.
"Don't be too hard on my contact. Without him, we aren't getting near Valmas,"
It didn't take a genius to figure out the dwarf's inside contact. Because the only human Valmas had around him was her and another bodyguard. But Gaya could care less about him. The only thing she needed from the dwarves was what they sold to Valmas.