The guild was dark. The fire in the bar was flickering gently as the guild member slept in the rooms in the back of the guild.
Charlotte was sleeping peacefully in her room filled with half repaired stuffed animals, her keys gleaming lightly as the moon reflected on them from the window. But as she slept, a figure appeared in the window, obscuring the moon. It creeped in silently, heading straight for the keys and snatching them without making a sound.
Erk and Dante were in Julio's room. The three had been swapping rude and embarrassing stories before passing out on Julio's bed. They snored softly as the night went on. Julio's flute was hanging on a nail that was sticking out of the wall near the bed. But as they slept, the figure reached and grabbed the flute, careful to make sure it didn't bang against anything and wake the three boys.
In Lorelai's room was a single bookshelf as well as a desk with sheets of loose paper and various pens that gleamed with the light of a candle that she had forgotten to put out before going to sleep. The candle fluttered as the figure opened the door to her room. He was quick in grabbing the pens, not wanting to linger around the light.
Tamashi's room was a mess. There were a few books that were left open on the floor, but the majority of the chaos came from her clothes that were scattered over almost every single available space. From shirts to underwear, there was more cloth to see than floor. She tossed and turned slightly in her bed, periodically pulling off articles of clothing from underneath the sheets and tossing them aside. "Too hot…" she would moan occasionally. From the corner of the room where her dresser was, there was a bra with sticking out of an opened drawer. It had very little material to it. Something that you wouldn't want your friends to see. But there was a clip in the middle shaped like a skull that, when her door was opened, shined slightly from the light of the fire in the main room.
The figure creeped in ever so quietly, making careful steps. There were so many articles of clothing that he wasn't sure when he might step on something that would break. He grabbed the bra and was about to turn to leave when he accidentally kicked a book that was hidden under one of her shirts. "Oh shit!" He shouted before he could stop himself.
Then he immediately slapped a hand over his mouth and turned to run when he found Tamashi sitting up in her bed, staring at him. They locked eyes for a moment before the shadowed figure pointed at her and said flatly, "You should really where something or you'll catch a cold."
Tamashi brushed her sleep ruffled hair out of the way as she looked down at her exposed chest. Then she calmly stuck her hand out and said, "Then let me have my bra back."
They were quiet for another moment before the figure made a strangled cry and rushed for the door. But Tamashi saw that coming that ran after him screaming, "Get back here you pervert!"
The figure was screaming as he ran from his pursuer. But as he ran, his scream woke up the others and doors from all of the rooms opened as people looked to see what the commotion was. Erk, Dante, and Julio opened their door blearily as the figure ran past, but they were shocked awake as an angry (and naked) Tamashi ran past them.
But the thief didn't pay them any heed. Reaching a window, he didn't think twice before jumping through it and into the night. Tamashi growled as she reached the window. Looking out, she couldn't see the thief anywhere. She slammed down on the window sill before running back to Julio and yelling, "Stop gawking, idiot and summon some birds to go chase that guy!"
But Julio was too dazed at seeing her naked body to hear what she was saying. So she grabbed him by the throat and brought him to eye level. "If he gets away," she said darkly, "they'll never find your body."
That was enough to jolt him back to reality. Nodding nervously, he went back inside his room, pushing past Erk and Dante who were still enjoying the view, and went to do just what she told him. But…
"Where the hell's my flute!?"
"What?" Erk and Dante asked, coming out of their daze. Turning back inside, they saw that, indeed, Julio's flute wasn't where he had left it.
"Tch. I thought he was just a pervert thief. But it looks like he robbed you too." Tamashi said dryly.
Crest stepped forward in a solid white shirt and black pajama pants and dumped a blanket on top of Tamashi, hiding her from view. Then he turned to the other guild members. "You heard her. The thief could have made off with more than just Julio's flute." He said in a commanding voice. "Quickly check your things to see if anything is missing."
There was a scramble as everyone started combing through their rooms.
"Nothing gone from my room." Dante reported after running back to his room.
"We're good too!" Lucinda and Sara said. Lucinda had been a bit grumpy at being woken up in the dead of night, but now she was a bit excited at the thought of them chasing down a thief. Sara was clinging to her side, frightened by the experience of being robbed. Lucinda was wearing a simple white t-shirt and black short-shorts while Sara was in a bright green onesie.
Becky just stepped out of her room and shook her head, leaning against the wall in her light blue, two piece pajamas.
Bertrand was wearing an old orange onesie as he shook his head. Next to him, Rosemary just looked annoyed at being woken up. She had a red sleeping gown on. "Looks like only Tamashi and Julio were targeted."
"Actually, all of my pens are missing." Lorelai said, stepping forward. Then they all heard a scream from Charlotte's room. As a group, they all rushed over thinking that the thief had come back. But they found Charlotte kneeling on the floor with her hands over her mouth, her eyes wide in disbelief. She was almost crying. "My…my keys…they're gone."
"What!" Crest yelled. The others couldn't believe it either.
"But why would someone steal spirit keys?" Erk asked. "They won't work for anyone but Charlotte right?"
"Maybe he didn't know what they were. Just took what he could and left?" Lucinda chimed in.
"Oh ho ho. Now now. No need to get upset everyone." They all turned to Jack walking up the steps toward them. Peeko was sitting on his head looking triumphant while there was something wiggling inside Jack's cloak. "If we want to know why he took those things, why don't we ask him ourselves?" Jack dropped whatever was inside his cloak in front of them and everyone stepped back out of surprise.
It was a person. He had pitch black hair that was ruffled messily. He wore mostly black clothes that had a few tears and holes. There were a lot of black feathers sticking out of his clothes and clinging to his hair. They didn't look like they were a part of his body, more like he just hadn't bothered taking them off after they got snagged on him. Oddly enough, he didn't wear any shoes. His feet look calloused and rough from running barefoot.
He was glaring up at Jack and yelling something angrily, but the gag that Jack had wrapped around his mouth kept it muffled. And the rope tying up his arms and legs prevented him from running anywhere or doing anything.
Reaching down, he removed the gag and the man started yelling loudly, "These are my shinies! You can't have them, caw!" Then Becky and Rosemary stepped up and gave him their most intimidating stares.
He rethought his position.
"Fine, caw. Free me and I will return some of the shinies."
"Okay, okay! You can have back all the shinies, caw!"
As they started untying the strange man, Crest studied him. "I've seen this man before somewhere." He mentioned.
"Oh? Where from?" Lucinda asked.
"Can't say…" He closed his eyes and tried to recall where he had seen him before. Then it hit him. "Right. He bought a melon from me the other day."
The man brightened at the word 'melon' and turned to Crest as he was being untied. "Yes, yes, caw! And you are the melon seller. Tasty melons! Want more, caw!"
Erk looked at him quizzically. "You know, if you want more melons, robbing the place where he lives probably isn't the best way to do that."
The man shook his head. "No, no. But my friends told me that if I get many shinies that I can trade them for a tasty melon, caw."
Crest furrowed his eyebrows. "Shinies? But that's the deal I have with the crows that live around here. Who told you about that?"
He raised an eyebrow. "I told you, caw. My friends."
Jack smiled behind his mask at that. Interesting. But then the moment the man was untied, he lunged. But it wasn't Jack he was reaching for…it was Peeko.
"Traitor!" He yelled furiously.
But Jack smacked him onto the ground before he could even get close. "Don't grab at Peeko!"
The man was rubbing his head gingerly as Charlotte kneeled next to him. "Can I please have my keys back now?"
He froze. He looked like he was going to run, but one look at Charlotte and he sighed. "Yes, caw. I felt bad for taking those. If I don't give them back, they'll yell at me later." Reaching into his pockets, he pulled out not only Charlotte's keys but Julio's flute, Lorelai's pens, and Tamashi's bra as well.
Julio snatched up his flute and rubbed it against his cheek. "I'm never letting you out of my site again." He told it lovingly.
Lorelai happily picked her pens back up before reaching down and grabbing Tamashi's bra as well. It was black and almost see-through. The tiny skull clip shined in the light of the fire. She blushed heavily at it. "Y-You actually wear something like this?"
Tamashi blushed slightly as well before her arm shot out from underneath the blanket and snatched it. "You weren't supposed to be the one to see that." She said testily. Her eyes wandered over to Erk, who was also blushing at how little material there was to it. They made eye contact before blushing more heavily and looking away.
Jack laughed. "Now that that's all settled, Charlotte would you please summon Lepus for me?"
Charlotte looked up in surprise at the question. "Oh, um, sure. But what do you need Lepus for?"
Jack grinned under his mask. All according to his plan. "I need him to deliver a message to the Spirit King for me." He grabbed the man firmly and made sure he wasn't about to run. "He needs to know that one of his spirits was caught stealing from a wizard's guild."
"He's a spirit?" Everyone practically fell over from surprise. Even Rosemary looked shocked.
"I believe so." Jack replied. He grinned down at the spirit, who was looking up at him in fear and tried to run away.
"No, no, caw! Don't call the King! He'll be very, very mad that I got caught again, caw!" He struggled and struggled, but Jack's grip was too tight.
"And not just any spirit, but one that has the ability to cross into the human world even without someone owning his key." He laughed. "Isn't that right…Corvus the Crow?"
"The crow?" Charlotte asked.
Jack nodded. "I figured it out when he said his friends told him about the deal with Crest. Only the crows would know about that outside of this guild."
Corvus nodded, resigning himself to his fate. "Yes, caw. My friends, the crows, told me about the tasty melons and how to get more. I thought that if I paid you stuff from here, then there wouldn't be any harm since you would get all the stolen stuff back."
"You're not very smart, are you?" Erk and Julio asked.
"Not like you two are ones to talk." Lucinda mentioned.
Now he's mine. Jack thought. He sat down next to Corvus and said slyly, "You know, we don't really need to tell the King."
"Really, caw?" Corvus asked, perking up.
Jack nodded. "Sure. I mean, we can't just let you go either. So how about this, since you don't seem to have an owner, why don't you give your key to Charlotte here?"
Corvus groaned. "But I don't like owners. They're always so mean and testy, caw. 'No Corvus, you can't have my jewelry. No Corvus, you can't take the silverware.'"
"Well," Jack went on, "if that's how you really feel, we can always just report you. Just imagine how much trouble you're going to get in."
"Caw!" Corvus shouted in distress. He glared at Jack. "You are a sneaky human. Sneaky as those bad ravens that always chase the crows away." He growled. "But fine, caw. So long as you don't tell on me, you can have my key." Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a silver key. The symbol on the handle looked the imprint of a crow's foot. The shaft looked like a cluster of feathers and the blade was shaped as a beak.
"Here, caw." He said, handing it to Charlotte. "I don't like fighting, but if you ever see any shinies you want me to take, just give me a call. We'll work out the rest of our deal later, caw." He got up and dusted himself off, causing a few stray feathers to fall to the floor. "But now I'm tired, caw." He glared at Peeko. "Traitor." He mumbled. Then he vanished in a puff of smoke.
Charlotte just held up her new key happily and attached it to her key holder. "I have a new spirit!" She cheered.
Crest, Sara, and the others started congratulating her, but Erk and Tamashi just stood to the side, gawking at Jack who was laughing merrily.
"Did he just blackmail a Celestial spirit into joining the guild?" Erk asked.
"Looks like it." Tamashi replied.
The looked at each other and shuddered. Scary.