Tristan awoke on his rooftop pondering how best to convince others to tidy his freshly ruined house, despite his best efforts he found himself drawing a blank. “Odd, that’s been happening a lot lately,” he thought out loud as he watched clouds lazily roam the sky, free of the burdens which chained so many of his friends to the ground. Suddenly he felt something prickly on the back of his neck, it was too late for fast talking now. “Don’t bother we sent them home, the three of us will clean up.” Lisa said cheerfully while kaylie held the broom against Tristan’s neck. “Oh good, you brought a friend to help you clean for me.” He replied with a grin but it was much too late, they always knew when he was lying though he could never figure out how. It started from the very first time he met them, the day his brother died.
“Fine, you win I’ll actually clean with you. But only because it was Lisa’s party and even I’m gentleman enough to help the birthday girl.” He said with his usual air of confidence before taking the broom and sweeping the interior of his large home.
Cutting Edge was the size of a metropolises, or at least it was, with two abandoned regions and a giant factory abandoned generations ago, for unknown reasons. “I’ve been having the dreams again.” Admitted Tristan ” the ones with the purple dragon or the one with a all the hats?” Asked Lisa absent mindedlly as she picked up bits of trash, tossing them effortlessly into the waste basket. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Questioned Tristan as he stopped sweeping to look at her. As he did he noticed Kaylie turning half a shade pinker than her usual hue. “On second thought never mind, no one needs to know all your insane secrets.” He quickly returned to sweeping. “Are you still stealing?” Inquired Kaylie suddenly, Tristan was taken aback, how could she possibly think he would change his wicked way and not consult his best friends. It was evident from her tone she wasn’t sarcastically implying he should quit, but that she genuinely did not know. “I shouldn’t even justify such slander with a response, I’ll have you know this entire party was a scam and I stole over six hundred gold coins from our guests last night!” He remarked with scarcely veiled fury pumping into his voice. “What I mean to say, is that I won’t just stop without informing my biggest fans.” He said quickly, calming down and regaining his usual confidence. Lisa and Kaylie began laughing, they laughed so hard it required all of their strength to keep from toppling over. After what felt to all three like hours but was really only a minute the laughter stopped. They returned to cleaning without addressing his accusation. “What time is it? I’ve got another job in progress it involves that Gale kid, the one with blue hair.” Tristan said looking towards the dusty grandfather clock. “I’m late!”
“We’re not cleaning this place while you’re gone you know.” Lisa reminded gleefully, “Actually, I don’t want you to go, Gale has been through enough as it is, she doesn’t need help from the likes of you!” Kaylie said dramatically pointing. “Fish have to swim, I may leave you and your family be, but I need to live. Sorry magic girl.” He said with a small chuckle before jolting out the door, leaving them to fend for themselves.
He rushed to the spot he said he would meet Abagale, he did think it strange when she approached him the prior night claiming to need his help, promising to pay upfront for an investigation. A small clearing near the forest. The usual cheery birds seemed suspiciously absent, replaced instead with a large murder of crows. Fortunately for Tristan the birds were silent, there were no distractions it was just him and the man in the mask.
“You again? Always where I expect you least, why am I even surprised any more?” Said the man in his cold dark voice. “Who are you?” Tristan asked instantly forgetting why he went so close to the forest. “Gear’s the name, I’ve no time for your games today child, my men should be ready for my arrival at the palace. “Fine be gone, I’ve got things to do anyway.” Tristan said with a mischievous smirk. The man in the mask walked past him slowly as if he wished to say something else but couldn’t form the words, he left in silence.
Tristan stood there for an hour before deciding he arrived far too late and Abagale already came and left. He marched joyfully to a song in his head, on his merry way to the market. Tristan arrived at the market and began charming shoppe keeps and distracting shoppers alike chatting up a storm. The words flowed so effortlessly it was practically a song, one he was used to sinning one he would never tire from. Instead of heading north to his house he decided to head west, through the populated district for the chance of finding a new mark. As Tristan strolled casually through the streets, he found his mind drifting between the three strange things happening in his life. Who was the masked man? Why would Gale ask for his help? And why has he been having dreams about his family again? “Maybe they’re connected?” He asked aloud. “Maybe what are connected? The stollen food in your bag? I thought you still had all that food from yesterday? You do this for fun don’t you?” Asked Rich Watt as he ran up to Tristan. “One at a time man.” Tristan replied as he jotted down a few notes on a large house at the corner of the street. “Not that one that’s where Greg Grey lives, you know the stories, if you really have to do this, try the red house.” Rich said attempting to be helpful. This seemed to be happening to Tristan a lot lately, people wanting to help him, at first he figured it was due to his public services, (which was his way of saying pointless party) it was begging to annoy him as they usually weren’t actually helpful. “Ask your one question and go, I’m on the clock.” Tristan said in a cold but calm tone which sent shivers down Rich’s spine despite the size difference. It wasn’t that Tristan was short he was around six feet tall, but Rich came from a long line of tall muscular people he was seven feet tall and weighed approximately three hundred and fifty pounds. Despite this difference he was terrified at that moment, scared of the man from the mansion in the ruins, someone trusted by far too many and too far from trustworthy. As far as Rich was concerned, Tristan was the devil. “I wanted to know where my girlfriend is, she said she was going to hire you for help.” Rich said, regaining his composure at long last. “I was late for the meeting with her and she left before I arrived however, if you would be kind enough to let me know the job I’d gladly get to work right away.” Tristan said in a tone that seemed both sincere and mocking at the same time, as if he wasn’t sure if he wanted to laugh at Rich’s misfortune or help him in truth he wanted both. “She wouldn’t say, only that it was the reason she hated your place so much.” Rich said tensing up at the thought of his love keeping secrets. “So even you two had secrets from one another, I think there’s a lesson in that somewhere, I doubt I can help her out without more info on the job though. I can hardly believe anyone even remembered I used to do investigations.” Tristan said as he took down his final notes on the house he chose ignoring Rich’s advice. Without another word he stood up and headed north for the abandoned district.