- Job Details:
The attack from years ago was never forgotten, but even so the city of Hargeon had recovered so well that any newcomers might never notice that there had been attack unless it was pointed out to them. One of the advantages of being able to use many types of magic was that some of those magic types were also very good for construction, reparation and restoration. Of course these days the city looked less like a beach town and more like a naval base, but that didn't mean that it wasn't still a place where many people lived, loved and laughed.
Except for Akeya, who was running through the sewers as a black rat and listening in on a lot of conversations at once. Some people would have argued that shapeshifting into a rodent was beneath a dragon. Akeya would argue that it was beneath a dragon to dismiss use of a convenient form just because it looked weak. The fact that some dragons would in fact consider it beneath them to turn into something smaller just meant that dragons weren't infallible and that they could also be idiots. This particular dragoness wasn't planning to be on the list of idiots without functional brains.
She also wasn't planning to be on the list of idiot dragons who would let strangers steal something from their hoard and keep it. Of course in this case her hoard was the property of the West Fiore Trading Company and the hidden guild of Onyx Moon but that didn't change the details. A group of thieves had actually managed to steal something from the company and actually gotten out of Tolgalen unscathed. While it was an admirable achievement it was also something that she wasn't going to ignore or let go unpunished. Of course she was under orders to minimize casualties as those would just attract attention from the wrong kind of people. Didn't mean that she couldn't think of a way to make them regret their theft though. Maybe she could just steal some of their stuff at the same time as she collected the company's stuff.
For now though she was busy gathering intel. She was at the docks, where all the trading and exchanging occurred. Aside from the shops this where you went if you needed something or were trying to find someone who needed something. Given how problematic stolen ware could be most thieves wouldn't try to get rid of it in a shop if they could sell it in a more public place of trade and exchange where security would be laxer. And in this case the thieves might also think of keeping it for themselves given that they'd stolen some practical magic tools.
Even if she was disguised as a rat Akeya's sense were still very good. They became even better if she combined them with her magic. The light of day might drive the shadows out of open sight but they were still hidden in every nook and cranny, which meant that every nook and cranny was a place where Akeya could spy on people from. She heard about the weather, about pirates, about alcohol, about women, about alcohol, about work... There were so many topics from so many different mouths that it was difficult to keep track of them all. Normally she'd take it easier on herself by only paying attention to a couple at a time, but this time she couldn't really do that because one conversation she didn't listen to could be the conversation where information was discussed about the stolen goods.
Fortunately her patience and diligence paid off. While she was trying to ignore the building headache from getting so much information to process at the same time she picked up on the fact that a group of people had arrived from Tolgalen and moved into the city as quickly as they could unload their inventory from the ship. While they hadn't been running the fact that they'd waved away anything that might delay that betrayed the fact that they were in a hurry. It wasn't the best of leads but it was good enough for the black rat who was actually a dragon. A hurrying group with a lot of baggage was too suspicious to ignore. From what she heard they had quite a lot of stuff on them. With that kind of inventory, while being a group, and still being in such a hurry to not only get off the ship but also leave the harbour... If they were here for legal reasons they must have been some of the most poorly organized people Akeya had ever come across. And not a single person among them who knew how to make everything neat and orderly.
She listened for long enough to get an idea of where to find them and then ran off. The rat turned around and ran the other way through the pipes that made a network under the city. Rather than staying above ground where a rat might be attacked by some citizen afraid of illness she could squeeze her way through the unflooded pipes and skitter her way onwards to where she needed to be. They'd only arrived recently and their stolen goods included magic items, so if Akeya could close the distance she could track them the rest of the way by sensing the faint trace of magic items. While much more subtle than the magic of a mage even magic tools had some amount of trace. Only an expert or someone with some assistance could keep track of it, but if there was anything that Akeya was good at it was working meticulously and with great dedication. That and sicne she was a dragon she was a lot more sensitive to the flow of mana than the humans so her sensory abilities were nothing to scoff at.