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【书籍搬运】Thief 盗贼

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原文地址:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Thief_(book)

翻译:hheerraann

校对:pcsjx

作者:莱文(Reven)

如果有读者还未曾欣赏过伊斯拉夫·埃洛尔生涯系列的第一卷《乞丐》,那么他应立即合上本书,我不打算重叙。

亲爱的读者,我只能告诉你们这么多。我们上回提到伊斯拉夫时,他还是一个小男孩,一个孤儿,一个失败的乞丐,跑过天际冬日狂野的树林,逃离他的故乡埃洛尔加德。之后许多年里他到处奔波,直到他长成一个青年。

伊斯拉夫发现,在各种获取食物的方式中,乞讨是最麻烦的。比这容易得多的是在野外寻找食物,或者从没人看着的货摊上拿。唯一比乞讨食物更糟的,是乞求一份能挣到钱买食物的工作。那只会徒劳地使事情复杂化。

是的,在伊斯拉夫看来,他还是作为一个食腐者,一个乞丐,一个盗贼生活得更好些。

他在离开埃洛尔加德之后不就便实施了第一次盗窃,那时他在坦博卡南部树林里,就在灰秃子村东边的延森山附近的崎岖土地上。伊斯拉夫快饿死了,他四天里只是生吃了一只骨瘦如柴的松鼠。这时他闻到了烤肉的香味,然后发现了炊烟。一群年轻的吟游诗人正在野营。他躲在灌木丛中看着他们做饭、玩闹、调情、唱歌。

他本可以向这些人乞求些吃的,然而有那么多人曾经拒绝过他。于是,他冲了过去,抓起正烤在火上的一块肉,因为烧伤又缩了缩手,迅速爬上最近的一棵大树,在下面那些诗人的笑声中,他狼吞虎咽地解决了那块肉。

“你下一步打算怎么做啊,小偷?”一位有着刺青、面容姣好的红发女子咯咯笑道。“我们抓住并收拾你之前你怎么逃走?”

随着饥饿感渐渐消退,伊斯拉夫意识到她是对的。离开这棵树而不掉到他们中间的惟一办法是顺着一根悬在一条溪流上方的树枝逃跑,然后是跳下五十英尺的峭壁。看来这就是最明智的策略,于是伊斯拉夫朝着那边爬了过去。

“你知道怎么跳下来吗,小孩?”一个比伊斯拉夫大不了几岁的虎人朝他喊道,这个虎人身材苗条但是肌肉匀称,举手投足透着优雅。“你要是不知道,那你最好爬下来老实接受吧。摔断脖子可是很蠢的,而我们只给你几处瘀伤就放过你。”

“我当然知道怎么跳下去,”伊斯拉夫回应道,但其实他不知道。他只是以为跳落的要点就是下面没有什么障碍,自然而然地就能做到了。但在五十英尺的高度,任何人往下看一眼都会好好考虑一下的。

“我很抱歉质疑了你的能力,盗贼大师,”那个虎人又开口了,咧嘴笑着。“显然你知道在跳落时要脚先落地,并且让身体垂直放松,免得像一个鸡蛋似的被碰到。看来你注定要逃脱我们了。”

伊斯拉夫明智地听从了虎人的提示,跳进河里,跳落姿势毫无优雅可言,不过倒也没有受伤。在接下来的年月里,他又被迫从更高处跳下来许多次,基本上都是在偷完东西之后,有时下面连水都没有,就这样他的基础技能逐渐增强了。

他在自己二十一岁生日那天清晨到达西部小镇耶伦汉姆时,他没费工夫就弄清楚了谁是城里最富有的人,谁家最值得进行盗窃。城镇中心附近的公园里有一座固若金汤的宫殿,所有者是个名叫索埃布德的年轻人。伊斯拉夫不费吹灰之力就找到了这处宫殿并观察了一下。对他来说了解一座防守森严的宫殿就像了解一个人,在坚硬的外壳下有着自己的怪癖和习惯。

那不是一座古老的地方,很显然是索埃布德最近才花钱搞到的。宫殿有守卫定期巡逻,可以看出这位富豪很担心失窃,这也合情合理。宫殿里最显眼的要数那座塔,高过周围石墙一百英尺,毫无疑问能给守卫者提供很好的视野。伊斯拉夫估摸着,如果索埃布德真如他所想,是个偏执狂,这座塔一定也提供了监视宫殿库房的有利视角。这位富豪一定会留意他的财富。也就是说他的宝贝不会直接放在塔下,而是墙内院中的某处。

塔内整夜灯火通明,于是伊斯拉夫大胆认为盗窃的最佳时机是趁着白天,索埃布德很可能在睡觉的时候。那才是守卫们最想不到盗贼会下手的时候。

就这样,当正午的阳光洒过宫殿,伊斯拉夫敏捷地翻过距前门附近的围墙,然后藏身在垛口处。内院平坦开阔,藏身之地很少,但他发现那里有两口井。其中一口井守卫们时时取水解渴,但伊斯拉夫注意到另一口井守卫只是经过,从不使用。

他一直等到守卫的注意力被一辆坐马车的商人的到来分散了一会儿,那驾马车装载的是为宫殿运来的货物。守卫们盘查马车的时候,伊斯拉夫优雅地纵身一跃,脚先着地,从墙头跳入井中。

确切说来这次不是个如伊斯拉夫所想的软着陆,井里的不是水,而是黄金。尽管如此,他知道在跳落以后接一个前滚翻,所以伤到自己。在潮湿的地下仓库里,他把口袋装满了黄金,正打算从一扇他觉得是通向高塔的门离开,这时他看到了一颗苹果一样大的宝石,价值比余下的所有金子还要高。伊斯拉夫在裤兜里腾了点地方收好了宝石。

那扇门的确通向高塔,伊斯拉夫沿着蜿蜒的旋梯而上,走得轻快而安静。在顶端,他发现了宫殿主人的私人房间,华丽而阴冷,墙上挂着无价的画作以及用来装饰的宝剑、盾牌。伊斯拉夫推测毯子下打呼噜的那团就是索埃布德了,不过他没有靠得太近观察。他爬到窗口向外望去。

这将是次困难的跳落,毋庸置疑。他需要从塔里跳出,越过围墙,落到墙那边的一棵大树上。树枝会刮伤他,但也能接住他的跳跃,而且那里还有他预先放置的稻草堆防止进一步受伤。

正当伊斯拉夫准备一跃而出的时候,房间的主人突然惊醒过来,大喊道:“我的宝石!”

伊斯拉夫回头惊讶地盯住他几秒。他们长得太像了。一点都不奇怪,因为他们是兄弟。

伊斯拉夫·埃洛尔的故事将在《战士》一书中继续。

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Thief
by Reven
The second chapter of the adventures of Eslaf Erol


If the reader has not yet had the pleasure of reading the first volume in these series on the life of Eslaf Erol, 'Beggar,' he should close this book immediately, for I shan't recap.
I will tell you this much, gentle reader. When we last saw Eslaf, he was a boy, an orphan, a failed beggar, running through the wild winter woods of Skyrim, away from his home of Erolgard. He continued running, stopping here and there, for many more years, until he was a young man.
Eslaf discovered that among the ways of getting food, asking for it was the most troublesome. Far easier was finding it in the wilderness, or taking it from unguarded market stalls. The only thing worse than begging to get food was begging for the opportunity to work for the money to buy it. That seemed needlessly complicated.
No, as far as Eslaf was concerned, he was best off being a scavenger, a beggar, and a thief.
He commited [sic] his first act of thievery shortly after leaving Erolgard, while in the southern woods of Tamburkar in the rugged land near Mount Jensen just east of the village of Hoarbeld. Eslaf was starving, having not eaten anything but a rather scrawny raw squirrel in four days, and he smelled meat cooking and then found the smoke. A band of minstral bards was making camp. He watched them from the bushes as they cooked, and joked, and flirted, and sang.
He could've asked them for some food, but so many others had refused him before. Instead, he rushed out, grabbed a piece of meat from the fire, and wincing from the burns, scrambled up the nearest tree to devour it while the bards stood under him and laughed.
'What is your next move, thief?' giggled a fair, red-headed woman who was covered with tattoos. 'How do you intend to disappear without us catching and punishing you?'
As the hunger subsided, Eslaf realized she was right. The only way to get out of the tree without falling in their midst was to take the branch down to where it hung over a creek. It was a drop off a cliff of about fifty feet. That seemed like the wisest strategy, so Eslaf began crawling in that direction.
'You do know how to fall, boy?' called out a young Khajiiti, but a few years older than Eslaf, thin but muscular, graceful in his slightest movements. 'If you don't, you should just climb down here and take what's coming to you. It's idiotic to break your neck, when we'd just give you some bruises and send you on your way.'
'Of course I know how to fall,' Eslaf called back, but he didn't. He just thought the trick of falling was to have nothing underneath you, and let nature take its course. But fifty feet up, when you're looking down, is enough to give anyone pause.
'I'm sorry to doubt your abilities, Master Thief,' said the Khajiiti, grinning. 'Obviously you know to fall feet first with your body straight but loose to avoid cracking like an egg. It seems you are destined to escape us.'
Eslaf wisely followed the Khajiiti's hints, and leapt into the river, falling without much grace but without hurting himself. In the years that followed, he had to make several more drops from even greater heights, usually after a theft, sometimes without water beneath him, and he improved the basic technique.
When he arrived in the western town of Jallenheim on the morning of his twenty-first birthday, it didn't take him long to find out who was the richest person, most deserving of being burgled. An impregnable palace in a park near the center of town was owned by a mysterious young man named Suoibud. Eslaf wasted no time in finding the palace and watching it. A fortified palace he had come to learn was like a person, with quirks and habits beneath its hard shell.
It was not an old place, evidently whatever money this Suoibud had come into was fairly recent. It was regularly patrolled by guards, implying that the rich man was fearful of been burgled, with good reason. The most distinctive feature of the palace was its tower, rising a hundred feet above the stone walls, doubtless giving the occupant a good defensive view. Eslaf guessed that that if Suoibud was as paranoid as he guessed him to be, the tower would also provide a view of the palace storehouse. The rich man would want to keep an eye on his fortune. That meant that the loot couldn't be directly beneath the tower, but somewhere in the courtyard within the walls.
The light in the tower shone all night long, so Eslaf boldly decided that the best time to burgle was by the light of day, when Suoibud must sleep. That would be the time the guards would least expect a thief to pounce.
And so, when the noon sun was shining over the palace, Eslaf quickly scaled the wall near the front gate and waited, hidden in the crenelations. The interior courtyard was plain and desolate, with few places to hide, but he saw that there were two wells. One the guards used from time to time to draw up water and slake their thirst, but Eslaf noticed that guards would pass by the other well, never using it.
He waited until the guards were distracted, just for a second, by the arrival of a merchant in a wagon, bearing goods for the palace. While they were searching his wagon, Eslaf leapt, elegantly, feet first, from the wall into the well.
It was not a particularly soft landing for, as Eslaf had guessed, the well was not full of water, but gold. Still, he knew how to roll after a fall, and he didn't hurt himself. In the dank subterranean storehouse, he stuffed his pockets with gold and was about to go to the door which he assumed would lead to the tower when he noticed a gem the size of an apple, worth more than all the gold that was left. Eslaf found room for it down his pants.
The door did indeed lead to the tower, and Eslaf followed its curving stairwell up, walking quietly but quickly. At the top, he found the master of the palace's private quarters, ornate and cold, with invaluable artwork and decorative swords and shields on the walls. Eslaf assumed the snoring lump under the sheets was Suoibud, but he didn't investigate too closely. He crept to the windows and looked out.
It was going to be a difficult fall, for certes. He needed to jump from the tower, past the walls, and hit the tree on the other side. The tree branches would hurt, but they would break his fall, and there was a pile of hay he had left under the tree to prevent further injury.
Eslaf was about to leap when the occupant of the room woke up with a start, yelling, 'My gem!'
Eslaf and stared at him for a second, wide-eyed. They looked alike. Not surprising, since they were brothers.
Eslaf Erol's story is continued in the book Warrior.

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