“Hold them there! Let none move!” shouted the old man Vicente as he coughed. “Ricardo! Did you get in already?”
“A moment!” shouted a man from behind the counters.
“Gentlemen! We will soon have some company!” Ivan pointed out; he was still keeping his eyes on the bankers, holding them at the end of his pistols.
Jon was in there too, his blade drawn, keeping the people in check. He knew what would happen if they would spend another moment here. He had seen it before. They were in the capital bank of the Liberators as they called themselves. As high as their organization seemed to be, the bank was far from beautiful… or safe. The room was dark, the only light being whatever those small dusty windows let in.
He and his fellow robbers were are dressed in cloth and leather, made to look expensive. They all had cloaks on their backs, covering their shoulders, while their heads were darkened by their vast cavalier hats. His own was white and had a blue feather attached to it.
“Ricardo!” Vicente shouted, his head pressed against the front door’s glass.
“I’m in!” shouted Ricardo from the other room.
Ivan nodded to Jon, thus, he sheathed his blade and jumped over the counter, entering the safe room. There, he saw Ricardo kneeling in front of the safe, pulling out vast riches, such as gold, silver, and precious stones. Jon could see the vast and smug smile behind Ricardo’s matted long black hair.
He turned to him and threw him a bag. “My friend, we’re going to make a difference with these,” he laughed as he pulled out a few more bags from the safe before they both run out.
“We got them!” Ricardo announced, stepping over the dead guard that laid on the floor. Jon moved past it a bit hesitantly, for there was a small pool of blood covering the dark floor planks.
“Thank God, gentlemen,” Vicente sighed as he put on his brown hat. “We must leave now!”
Ricardo threw one bag to Iven, who nearly dropped it on the ground. Jon was already at the door with the others, waiting for Vicente’s command. He was the mastermind behind all of their operations and though his face had turned wrinkly, tired, and bearded, he was still the father of their entire movement.
“What about the civilians?” objected Bruno, a man dressed in a blue coat. He had a harsh look on his face as if he was disappointed that they were leaving.
“What about them?” Vicente wondered, “we’re not killers. These people are the ones we’re trying to save. Their lives are not ours to take.”
Jon kept his eyes on Bruno, who still stood at the few civilians who were laying on the ground, their hands on their heads, shivering in fear. Bruno had his pistol in his hand. Jon shared a disapproving look with him, urging him to come to the door. Bruno struggled for a moment, but in the end, he put down his pistol and moved to the others.
Vicente nodded his thanks to Jon.
“After we go out, we’re bound to be spotted by the spies. You remember the sewers just a few minutes from here?”
“AYE!” everyone shouted as if from one mouth.
“Alright then. Ricardo, Jon, Bruno, you get there with the loot. I will remain behind with Ivan. We’ll make some noise so you can return to our safe house. The wagon is waiting for you at the gates.”
The others nodded in agreement, but Jon hesitated. He didn’t want Vicente to remain behind. He wasn’t as fast as he was before. He was sick, he could hear it from his bloody coughs, yet he knew that he couldn’t question his master, thus, he only bit his lip and remained silent.
“God bless you all…” Vicente said as he pushed open the doors and they moved out.
The blinding light of the sun beamed down upon them from the clear blue sky and as the light nearly too Jon’s vision, he felt the incredible wave of warmth hit him almost immediately.
They stood at the crossroads of two cobblestone streets, populated by dozens of confused people. Wagons rode by them as they crossed the street, keeping their heads down. Jon did his best to hide his face with his hat, though he didn’t know how successful he actually was.
The street they walked on moved through the entire city. It was a popular place with hundreds of buildings all around them and more eye pairs to match.
Ricardo soon hit Jon’s arm with his own.
“See that?” he whispered without stopping, hinting forward.
Jon raised his head a little and spotted a liberator party of three men. They were dressed in black coats and had muskets already in their hands. Jon moved closer to Vicente, but before he could open his mouth, the old man said, “I know. Keep your heads down–your hands on your pistols. As long as there is no alarm and they haven’t spotted us, we remain quiet. ”
Thus, Jon moved back to his place, to the tail of the group with Ricardo.
How could they not spot us? he wondered for they all had a silver cross painted on their capes and coats; it being the symbol of their order.
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They joined a large crowd of people now, which blocked Jon’s direct view of the Liberators. A wagon rode on his right, while more people rode on his left. The Liberators would be fools if they started shooting here, though he wouldn’t be surprised if they wouldn’t care about a few bystanders getting shot if it meant Vicente would be dead.
They moved forward calmly as if nothing had happened. With the corner of his eye, Jon studied the crowd to his right, trying to spot the Liberator men before they would have the chance to do the same.
But before he could see them, the bells began ringing.
So it begins, he thought as he assured his grip on his pistol and sword.
The crowd around them began running faster. Panic seemed to take hold of the folk as everyone run out of the open. The bells were a signal of either a siege or an attack. The Liberators had those damn bells under their control and would use them whenever they wished.
As the crowd scattered, Jon caught a glimpse of the Liberator soldiers. They were running towards the bank.
Vicente turned to them all and nodded, drawing his pistols.
“Gentlemen, see you at the safe house.”
Ivan drew his pistols too while Bruno began running to the alleyway to their left. Ricardo began running as well and Jon was soon on their tail.
“Glory to God!” he heard Vicente shout as he fired. More bells soon began singing as well. As he ran in the dark alleyway, the rate of guns firing increased. As long as shots were heard, he knew his master would be fine.
“Alright, gentlemen! Let’s get the hell out of here!” Ricardo laughed as he glanced at Jon. Bruno was already at the end of the alley, peeking out of cover to see if the street they were going to cross was empty of foes.
“Five coming this way,” he soon noted, drawing his pistol before turning to them.
Jon was prepared and Ricardo seemed to be thrilled about the upcoming firefight. Jon nodded his assurance to Bruno, who then jumped out of cover and fired.
He heard a man cry out in pain as he ran with Ricardo. Soon enough, they were with Bruno. Jon could see the remaining four Liberator soldiers run for cover as his friends fired at them. Jon felt his palms get sweaty as his heart began to race. He took a moment to aim before firing his pistol. His bullet sank into the man who was close by, just before he managed to get cover.
“Let’s go!” Bruno shouted as he fled to the alleyway. Jon was next to run, while Ricardo still fired at the foes, laughing.
“The sewers are just behind the corner, lads!” Bruno pointed out as they ran.
Jon glanced behind him and was relieved to see Ricardo alive and well. He ran and was trying to load his pistols, though it seemed that he didn’t find much success.
“Damn! I barely hit one. Don’t know if he died or no.”
“As long as we’re not dead, we should call this one a success,” Jon added.
Bruno was already turning the corner, waving at them to come along. Jon was soon behind him, taking out his other pistol which was ready to fire.
“There!” pointed Bruno. In the cover of a pile of barrels, the entrance to the sewer system awaited for them. It would lead them to their safehouse.
Jon peeked the corner, but before he could turn back to Ricardo, he heard men scream, “There!”
All of them turned and saw a group of Liberator soldiers aiming at them.
“GO!” shouted Ricardo. Jon fired at the men, not daring to look back and see if he hit his mark.
They crossed the street with haste, but before they managed to get to cover, the men already fired. The sound of the bullets striking against the barrels and stones pierced his ears, but the one sound that really pierced his heart was the sound of Bruno shouting his curses.
“They got you?” Ricardo asked as Bruno fell on his knees.
“Yeah… on the leg…. dammit!”
Jon kept looking behind them. They were already in cover and the entrance to the sewers was just before them.
“Come on, I’ll help you up,” Ricardo said as he pulled Bruno up from his knees and continued walking. Jon was still looking back, hearing the men shouting commands and running towards them.
“Let’s go, Jon!” Ricardo shouted as the creaking of the iron gate sounded in the alleyway.
Jon bit his lip and ran at them, his blade drawn.
“There, get them!” he heard a man shout. He could feel his back burn as if he was already shot. He jumped from side to side, bitting his teeth together as if to prepare for the pain.
He heard a gunshot, but it missed him and both men who walked in front of him.
They kept walking the wet and shit covered sewer path, where no light could pierce the darkness. Jon remembered it would take a few minutes to get out from this shithole and after that, their safehouse wouldn’t be far away, just over the city’s walls.
Bruno was grunting as he stumbled forward. Jon prayed the wound wouldn’t kill him.
A moment later, he saw light at the end of the tunnel. They made it.
Ricardo and Bruno climbed back to the streets, Jon following them. The sun felt incredibly bright in his eyes again and it took him a while to not feel dizzy as he walked.
“Over there!” pointed Bruno. The city’s gates were just ahead.
“How many?” Jon asked as he reloaded his pistols with haste, glancing around him for any more Liberator soldiers.
“Two,” Ricardo said, “Jon, get them!”
Jon ran to the guards, only his other pistol being reloaded and fired. The one on the left collapsed on the ground as his chest spat out blood, while the other began aiming at him.
“STOP!” the man shouted, but Jon moved forward. He struck the man’s musket off with his sword, but before he could thrust his sword through the man, the man drew his own blade and parried Jon’s blow.
The guard struck from his left, Jon parried it and went for a thrust in the middle. The man wasn’t fast enough and Jon’s blade pierced the man’s stomach, thus, he collapsed on the ground, coughing blood.
“Good work!” Ricardo shouted as he limped to Jon with Bruno. “The wagon should be close by.”
Thus, the group ran away from the gates, leaving the two Liberator men to die in the sun. Jon ran in the front, moving on top of the small grassy hill. From there, he spotted the wagon. They were safe.
“I’ll get the wagon!” Jon said as he ran down the hill, nearly losing his footing, though he got to the wagon unharmed. He made sure his blade was securely on his waist and his pistols both loaded before he hopped on the brown wooden wagon. The horses were calmly waiting for him to order them to move, which he did shortly after.
He rode at his friends, who soon climbed on board.
“You know the way,” pointed Ricardo as he helped Bruno get in. Jon nodded and got the wagon moving again. He rode with speed, still hearing the bells.
May they both be safe, he prayed in his mind as he held the reins in his hands.