Ye Olde Barton Town.
It was a fairly quiet place, to be sure. All the residents and shopkeepers seemed friendly enough. And yet, that’s precisely what was wrong.
See, when you make a living off of other people’s problems, peace and harmony isn’t exactly a good thing. No crimes committed means nothing’s missing, no one’s hurt, and no one in town has any need for a detective.
But I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much. After all ,everyone else was happy, and that should be what matters, yes?
…my grumbling stomach disagreed with me. I couldn’t blame it, though. With no work as of late, all I could afford then were Zurg energy drinks and some pastries from the Buttercup Cafe. Needless to say, there was no denying my sorry situation…
“You’re the local detective?”
And that’s when trouble decided to come waltzing in.
She was known as the Sentinel, though members of her cult knew her as Her Infernal Majesty. ‘Trouble’ didn’t even begin to describe this fallen demi-goddess. She was practically the embodiment of chaos itself. But, I guess that’s what I found so attractive in her.
“Yes, madame. Anything I can help you with?”
She didn’t want to seem to bother with my reply just yet, taking her sweet time to look around and scoff at her surroundings.
“You call this an office? Add a pen and you can call it a pig sty…pig already included,” she told me with a smirk.
“I don’t appreciate you coming all this way just to insult me, Sentinel. I’m already having it rough as it is. If there is nothing else, I suggest you leave.”
“You know very well you can’t tell me what to do, Loyal…but fine. I’ll leave. I’ll just take my case elsewhere…” She turned around as if she was planning to head for the door right after saying that. Now, if it were any other day, and any other situation, I might’ve left it at that.
Unfortunately, she was a woman who knew how to catch my attention.
“…what case?” I asked her.
She hadn’t turned around to face me just yet, but I could already tell she was grinning to herself. She knew that her words had caught my interest, and she had me right where she wanted me.
“Oh…just a small case, probably not even worth your time…”
I felt my blood boil a little then. The Sentinel certainly knew how to test my patience. Then again, she tended to do that with everyone. I stood up and placed my gloved hands on my desk.
“I’ll take the case, madame…just tell me what on Gaia it is…”
It’s quite possible that I had let slip a hint of desperation. Yes, I was in need of cash, but I wasn’t about to beg her for it.
Finally, it seemed like she decided that she had teased me enough and turned to face me, a grin on her face.
“You know that I’ve been looking after Gino for some time now. Unfortunately, I’m going to be away for a while on an errand. May be a few days or so. I certainly don’t trust anyone else to look after him in my absence, so…”
“…so you want me to babysit. That’s your case?”
“I’m still willing to pay you for your time, but if you don’t think it’s worth it…”
“I said I’d take it. I just wanted to be clear. I’m to babysit Monsieur Gambino until you return from your little errand?”
“That’s right. Take it or leave it.”
If I had any other choice, if I weren’t so desperate for money, I wouldn’t have stooped so low as to accept a job to babysit.
…but what else was a detective to do?