2009-01-09: From Rags to Riches

Global Edition

From Rags to Riches / 貧乏から金持ちに

Author: Draconi Published: January 9, 2009

Ricardo had gotten thinner.

Imprisonment in some forsaken, glorified mine shaft could do that to a man, Avery reflected. Where were they? More importantly, why hadn’t he ever heard of a prison like this? “Well Captain,” Ricardo was interrupted by another spasm of coughs, “Looks… looks like I’ve lost a little weight since ye last saw me? Eh?”

“Gods man, what’ve they done to you?”

The infamous thief’s bony frame shook with mirth – at first Avery feared for the shackled man’s mind, but then the laughter bubbling out became genuine and full of amusement.

A string of hacks and wheezes insinuated themselves throughout the laughs as Ricardo calmed down, gazing at the bruised and beaten man of arms on the floor.

“You’re not looking to good yourself, you know?”

Avery grimaced. “They wanted information.” He spit to the side, pulling himself up. “I didn’t have any to give them.”

Ricardo laughed again, triumph in his eyes: “Then we share a common problem, friend!”

“How so?”

“I’ve been here for, well… mon-, no wait, a yea-, hmm, a long time,” his thoughts trailed off, his eyes lifting gradually to the ceiling, losing focus.

“And?” Avery rejoined.

“Ah, right. A long time, and, obviously, nothin’ to share,” another laugh, “no, ‘intelligence’ I’m supposing.”

“Then why are you still here? What do they want from you… us?”

Ricardo’s chains swung forward as far as they could go, he leaned in, staring right through Avery. “Examples?”

Avery wasn’t a dumb man, but his lips faltered a bit and the thief coughed again, discretely this time. “That is to say, a pair of executions, I’d imagine.”

“I’ve done nothing wrong!”

“Uh huh. Let me guess, did you cross the wrong man, by chance?”

“No! One minute I was in the service of mi’lord, the next he, and,” Avery paused here, realizing Ricardo knew nothing of the recent events plaguing Britannia, “and he, and everyone else on the Council, they were dead!”

“Dead?” Ricardo was more quizzical than concerned.

“All murdered in Castle British itself!”


Avery stopped again, considering. “Well, no, Lord Casca was kidnapped by the assailants. We tracked them, rescued…”

Ricardo interrupted, “Lord? I’m sorry, did you say ‘Lord’ Casca?”

“Yes, Royal Ambassador, found him taken prisoner, ended up fighting with some sort of witch – I …” Avery was looking down at his hands, disbelief at the events still evident across his face.

Britannia’s thief thrust a hand forward, motioning him to stop. “A lord. My, my, and Royal Ambassador?” Avery managed half a nod and Ricardo continued, “Why, he’ll be King at this rate!”

Avery looked up, the pieces all finally falling into place for the loyal soldier.

Without warning a third voice broke through the gloom – a high pitched voice, and somehow tiny.

“Excuse me,” Sherry the mouse squeaked, “Need a paw?”


孤独に打ち震えながら、炭鉱の坑道を軽く手直ししただけの厳しい環境に閉じ込められるとこうなるものか、とアベリー(Avery)は反射的に思った。彼らはどこだ? そしてもっと大事なことだが、何故彼はこの監獄について何も聞いたことがないのだ?

「よう、隊長」 咳き込んで一時中断してからリカルド(Ricardo)は続けた。「見ろよ。最後に会ったときから、結構痩せただろ俺。どうだい?」




アベリーはしかめ面をした。「奴らはな、私から情報が欲しいのだ」 つばを吐き、体を引き上げる。「そんなものは無いというのに」



「俺はここに、そう……何ヶ月も……いや、何年か……ちがうな、まあとにかく長いこと居るわけよ」 彼の思考は一時その場を離れ、目は天井を彷徨い、焦点を失う。


「ああ、すまんすまん。そう、長いこと、そして本当に誰も居なかった」 また笑う。「『知性』あるものはね」

「それなら何故お前はまだここにいる? 奴らは何を欲しがっているんだ、お前……いや我々から?」





「それもない! 私が主君に仕えている間に、彼の」 そこでアベリーは止まってしまった。リカルドは最近の出来事について何も知らないのだ。「彼と、その他の評議会員たちが全員死んだだけだ!」




アベリーは再び止まった。考えながら続ける「そうだ、いや、カスカ卿(Lord Casca)はただ誘拐されただけだ。追跡して、救出した……」

突然リカルドが割り込んだ。「卿? 待て待て、今カスカ『卿』と言ったか?」


盗賊は手を前に払い、彼を止める動きをした。「卿。なんてこった、王立、王立大使だって?」 アベリーが半分うなずきかけたが、すぐにリカルドは話を続けた。「ふん、やがて王になる気なんだろうぜ!」



「すみません」 ねずみのシェリー(Sherry the mouse)が言う、「手を貸してくれませんか?」