It was an oft-quoted saying among the guards here that 'crime did not pay'. Largely, in Gen's opinion, because they lacked the imagination to come up with anything more pertinent of their own, and so simply repeated the smug utterances of their superiors.
Initially, he had had to bite his tongue in an effort not to correct them. Not to point out that he had, in fact, made a quite lucrative career for himself in Sounis alone. That his patron was a god for whom crime had apparently paid quite handsomely. That he had, in fact, successfully stolen one of their country's most precious items, which would have made him a very fine profit had he not had other agendas.
It was not crime itself that proved unhealthy for one's prospects, in short. It was being bad at it that had you paying.
He did not say any of that, of course. In part to avoid the retribution that would have followed - he had no interest at all in providing that kind of sport for his captors, thank you. And in part, too, because at this point he was beginning to wonder ... if they did not, perhaps, have a point.
It had seemed so simple, at the start. A fine plan, one worthy of Eugenides himself. To create so sensational a crime that the Magus, who would shortly be departing on his quest, could not possibly choose another thief. To lure the man in, and make him believe it was his own idea, and not Gen's. Yes. A fine and worthy plan.
But the longer he was here, the more he began to question it. The thinner and hungrier he became, the more he began to wonder. The more bruises he added to his collection. The deeper and more painful the wounds on his wrists grew. It had seemed a fine idea, in the beginning, a smug little insult, to slip his shackles when they were not looking, and remind himself that they could not really hope to hold him. A fine idea ... right up until the shackle galls began to grow.
Much like the endeavour as a whole, really.
He would not admit to doubt. Not now, not ever. He was the finest thief in three kingdoms, the best to be had. His plan had merit. Even still, with all the days that passed with no sign of his target. Even still, when he was beginning to wonder if he would be physically capable of stealing anything by the time they got up off their lazy behinds to start the quest. Even still, even so, he would not admit to doubt. This crime, this little act of deception and theft, would net he and his country the largest reward of all, and that would surely silence the smug platitudes of his current keepers.
And yet. He wondered, a little. Keeping his tongue still behind his teeth, letting the shackles rest around his wrists.
This once, if this went on much longer ... they might yet have a point.