The Unlikely Bandit Contest Submission #46

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Name: The Unlikely Bandit by Steve Vu

The Bandit is a lonely scavenger who wanders the desolate lands alone. Long ago, he straggled behind the rest of his hunting party and was lost. Somehow he persisted and survived. The Bandit wandered about and ate scraps from corpses and scavenged gear left behind by the less fortunate. He would run long distances to escape prey and search for things to scavenge.
One day the Bandit watched hidden atop a cliff as a hunting party was battling a glorious Phoenix. One by one the skilled fighters fell. The last man standing, a fencer equipped with a beautiful sword and silk coat, did not stand a chance and eventually aged out of existence. Once the Phoenix moved on, the Bandit scavenged to the area and took the sword and coat for himself.
The very next day the Bandit came across another hunting party, one much less experienced. He had a rare idea! He hid behind a large rock. Once the party drew near, he leaped out from behind, shouted a bunch of gibberish, and posed and lunged with the sword like he’d seen the fencer do. The inexperienced survivors, not knowing what to make of his fancy appearance, ran away. In their great haste, they dropped some resources. Thus did the Bandit find his calling.
The trouble was that the Bandit didn’t really know how to fight. Having chosen to rob a survivor with foolhardy levels of courage, the Bandit lost his left eye. Much to his surprise, the eyepatch he eventually used to cover the socket just added to his mystique. However, he learned the value of running away should his quarry not immediately surrender. Over time, he came to rig his heavy clothing to fall away with a quick tug on the tassle. Should something grab him by the coat, he could shed himself of it like a lizard sheds a tail and run away into the darkness. Eventually, he would turn back and reclaim his coat and sword. If his target was foolish enough to take the coat for themselves, well it was bright and easy enough to track…and they had to sleep sometime. Even a poor fighter can manage to slit a throat.

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