out on an assassination mission, a life is rescued as well.
| A dark night, light clouds blocking the stars in the sky. The only light from that illuminates the mansion is of the moon that barely shines through the clouds. The cold air chills the two guarding the mansion. A light gust causes one of the guards to shiver, as the cold chills him to the bone.|
A rustle of the leaves, and the guards turn their heads. The closest guard readies his spear, as he walks forwards. A cat jumps out of the bushes, then quickly runs off. The second guard walks up, putting his hand on the others shoulder. “You’re too stiff man, just relax a little”
A blur from behind them, as the first guard sighs. “Yea, you’re right.” behind them, a cloaked figure quickly, and quietly opens the door. He proceeds in, and closes it as quietly as he opened it, before the guards turn around.
The figure looks in the mansion, with paintings, and candles illuminating the inside. He looks around to see a beautiful chandelier, seemingly made of glass above him. He looks up the center staircase, and follows the path with his eyes. He looks at the door at the top left of the balcony.
He dashes up the stairs, as quick as he is quiet. He reaches for the doorknob, as it jiggles before he touches it. He turns around, then quickly dives off the balcony. As the door opens, he catches the side, and latches onto the side. A maid exits the door, pulling a cart. She pushes the door open all the way, to get the cart through.
The figure peers over the edge, he sees the maid push the cart out of the halway. As she walks away from the door, he notices she left the door wide open. He quickly pulls himself up, then runs through the door. The maid stops, and turns around, only seeing the open door. She walks over, and looks in to see an empty hallway. She shuts the door, and walks away.
The figure drops from the ceiling, and looks down the halway. He quickly runs down the halway, passing several different paintings of various landscapes. He stops a few doors down, and looks at it. He opens the door, and peers in. inside are several women sleeping, with several maid outfits along the far wall.
He quietly closes the door, then turns back down the hallway. He takes a step, then hears a gasp behind him. He turns quickly, throwing a needle as he does. A main stands before him, with a small needle sticking out of her neck. He dashes over to her, and catches her before she hits the ground.
He picks her up, then takes her over to another door. He opens the door, to reveal a supply cabinet of different brooms, mobs, and buckets. He sits her on the floor, as her eyes turn to him. “Don’t worry” he states “you’re just paralized, you aren’t my target.” he stands up, then exits the room, not making another sound.
He looks down the hallway once more, and back the other way, nobody. He continues down the halway, ignoring every other door he passes. He gets to the end of the hall, and a giant bigger, fancier door blocks his path. He puts his hand on the door, and slowly pushes it open.
The door moves slowly, and doesn’t make a sound as the figure peers into the room. From the dimly lit room, with the only light being from the partially blocked moon, he can make out a single figure in a giant bed. He enters the room, and quickly moves to the side of the bed.
He looks down at the single sleeping occupant, a slightly older man, mostly bald with a little white hair left. The figure reaches behind him and pulls out a dagger from his cloak. He reaches his free hand to the man's face, and cusps his mouth.
The man jumps awake, with his screams muffled by the other hand. “Ssshhh” he tells the other man. “I’m assuming you know why i’m here… well, my employer wants to send a message.” The hooded figure takes the dagger, and jabs it into the guy's neck. The figure removes his hand, and takes a step back.
Blood squirts out, and slowly spills onto the bed, as the man grabs at his neck. The man struggles for a bit, as blood begins to gargle in his throat. His eyes begin to roll back into his head, as his arms drop to his side. His head drops to the side as his whole body becomes still, and lifeless.
He stares at the man’s lifeless corpse for a few seconds. He turns towards the door, and walks away. He opens the door, and quickly slides through, still not making a sound. He closes the door, then turns to walk down the halway. He stops, as he sees a little girl walking away from him.
Her long messy brown hair barely hides her raggedy torn shirt underneath. She stops, and then looks over her shoulder at the hooded figure. “Huh?” she mutters, as she notices him. He stares at her, as she stares at him. She turns all the way around, then bows to him. “Goo.... good morning mister…” she mutters, her voice cracking a little.
With her head still bowed she continues “master is currently sleeping, i… would ask you don’t disturb him… I don't… want to get… p… punished again…” he looks at her, as his eyes soften up.
He walks up to her, and puts his hand on her head. “Wou…” he takes a deep breath, and restarts his sentence. “Would you like to get away from here?” she raises her head, and looks him in the eyes. Her eyes sorrowful, as if she’s not even alive.
“Master won’t let me leave…” she speaks, her voice cold. “He’ll punish me if I disobey. Master bought me a month ago, and said if I disobey again the punishments will only get worse… i…” the figure puts his hand back on her head.
“You won’t have to worry about him any more…” the figure sais, as he gently moves his hand down her head. He reaches up and removes his hood, and face coverings. He has short black hair, and a short pointed goatee. “Why don’t you come with me? I’ll take good care of you.” he pulls her in, giving her a hug.
“So…” she begins, as her eyes remain dead. “You’ll be my new master?” her voice cracks a little. He lightly pushes her back, to look her in the eyes. He smiles warmly at her, before wiping a tear that starts to form in her eyes.
“Come, let's just get out of here for now. I’ll explain everything when we get to your new home.” he looks her in the eyes, and grabs her hand. “Here” he states, picking her up, and putting her on his back. “Just hold on tight” he says, before starting to run down the hallway.
He moves quickly through the hallway, before stopping at the door. He opens it a crack, and peers through. He opens it the rest of the way, then shuts it, all without making a sound. Continuing down the stairs, he watches the main door. He stops at the bottom of the stairs, before moving slowly to the door.
He steps to the side of the door, before resting his hand on his back pouch, as he looks over at the girl. “Doing alright?” he asks. She nods, causing him to smile. “Good, now I need you to be quiet, understand?” she nods twice, as he pulls out a rock from his back pocket.
He throws it at a window on the far side of the room, causing a window to break. “What was that!” one of the guards outside yells. The assassin takes a step back, as the guards throw open the door. Both rush in, and run straight for the broken window.
“Quick search the place!” one of the guards yells. They turn to the door, to see nobody there. The assassin on the other side of the door rushes into the woods. The guard rushes out the door, after the assassin disappears. The guard shuts the door, and continues into the mansion.
The assassin runs through the forest, along a dirt path. The girl holds tight to his back as he passes trees on either side of him. He begins to slow down, and look around. Walking up to a tree, he looks up. There’s a small sack hanging in the tree, where most of it is blocked by leaves.
He kneels down, then turns to the girl. “Alright, go ahead and get off for a second, alright” she nods, then puts her feet on the ground. He stands up, and immediately jumps up into the tree. Quickly climbing the tree, he grabs the sack, then drops to the ground. Landing on his feet, he turns and smiles at the girl.
He stands up, and opens up the sack. He pulls out a fancy looking nobles coat and pants. Turning to her, “hey, give me one minute, I just need to change.” he goes behind a tree, as some rustling is heard. He comes back fully dressed in a black black and white nobes outfit, with black pants. He turns to her, and thinks for a minute.
He pulls a knife out of the sack, and cuts a few holes in various spots on his suit. He then grabs them, and tears each cut heavily, causing the suit to look beaten and torn. He then drops to the ground, and rolls in the dirt for a minute. He then stands back up, and looks at the girl.
She turns her head, confused by what he's doing. “Don’t worry” he said “just trust me, i’m still taking you home, i just need to get a ride.” he walks back to the path and looks up and down. He reaches back to the girl. “Grab my hand, from here on i won’t be carrying you.” she nods, as she takes his hand.
They both start walking down the path, slowly. After a few minutes pass, a carriage can be seen in the distance heading for them. “Perfect” he said. Keeping his eyes forwards, he continues “I need you to listen closely. Just stay behind me, and if anybody tries to talk to you, just cling to my pants ok?”
She nods. “O...ok.” She lets go of his hand, but moves a step behind him. He takes a deep breath, then slowly exhales.
“Hey!” he yells out, throwing his arms into the air. “Help! I need help!” the carriage speeds down the path, and slowly comes to a stop next to them. “Hey! Please help!” the man at the reigns looks down.
“What happened to you guys?” he looks at him, then down at her. “Are you guys ok?”
“We’ll be fine, we got attacked by bandits up the road. We were barely able to make it out alive. They took everything, and killed my guards. Can… can you guys please take us back to the city. The roads aren’t safe with those bandits…”
The guy nods. “Yea, get in. i’m just a merchant so there’s room in the back. Get in, I'll take you back to the city. No sense in me continuing if there’s bandits on the road.” he looks down at the assassin, and then turns his eyes to the girl. “Oh, and who is that?”
The girl takes a step behind him, and grabs his pants leg. “That’s my daughter, Zia. her clothes got torn during the run, and this was all i had to cover her. Thank you” he says, walking towards the back of the carriage.
“No worries'” the coachman says, tipping his hat at the two. They both jump into the back of the carriage. The inside is filled with various sized boxes, and a few large barrels. “There’s some apples in the barrels if you want some. Don’t worry about the cost, i’m just glad to help out.”
“Thanks again” the guy yells out. He pops open the lid of one of the barrels. The inside of the barrel is filled with red apples. He picks one up, then hands it to the girl. He picks another up with his other hand.
She takes the apple with both her hands. “Zia…” she states looking at the apple. He takes a bite of his apple, as she continues to stare at hers. He swallows the bite, then sits down against the side of one of the crates. “Zia” she repeats, as a slight smile forms on her face.
“Oh, you like the name?” he asks. She looks up from the apple and nods. “I’m glad. From now on, I'll be your father ok?” her smile grows slightly bigger, as she nods. “Good… now eat, i’m sure you’re hungry.” she looks back down at the apple before taking a small bite.
She chews the bite slowly, as she stares at it. Tears begin to flow down her face, as she keeps chewing. “It’s so good.” she mutters, taking another bite. The man just smiles, as she continues to eat the apple.
He smiles at her, then leans his head back on the crate. “Wake me up when we stop. I’m going to get some sleep.” he states, closing his eyes. She looks up at him, as his hands fall down. He begins to lightly snore, as she looks back at the apple and continues to eat.
A few hours pass, as they exit the back of the cart. They’re now in a small town, as the sun begins to rise, people are exiting their houses and the streets start to bustle. “Thanks again. I don’t know what we would have done if you hadn’t gotten back here.” he states, turning to the coach.
“No problem. Safe travels then. Hya!” he yells, as the horses begin to move. The cart begins to move off into the distance. The guy turns to the nearest shop, the sign above it with a spool of thread and needle. He reaches down, and the girl grabs his hand. Together they walk into the shop.
“Ah, welcome back Zart.” the guy behind the counter speaks up, with blond hair and a slightly pointed goatee, and a thin mustache. “And who is this little one with you?” he asks, turning to the girl.
“Her name is Zia.” the assassin responds. “I adopted her.” he says, looking down at the girl. He kneels down to her. “Don’t worry, he’s a friend. He’s going to get both of us some new clothes.” she looks down at her ragged outfit. “You can’t wear that forever. So i’m going to buy you some new clothes, ok?”
She nods, then turns to the shopkeeper. She bows her head all the way down. “Nice to meet you, my name's Zia…” the shopkeep looks at her, then back at Zart. he raises an eyebrow at him, as he tilts his head back at him. He shrugs, then turns back to her.
“Alright then, Zia. come with me, and i’ll get you a nice outfit.” she straightens her back, as she puts her hands in front of her. She walks over to the shop keep, as he gestures her over to a small pedestal. “Just stand here for me.” she steps up onto the pedestal, as the shopkeep pulls out a piece of string.
First he takes the string, and uses it to measure from her neck, to her waist. Then uses it again, to measure from the side of her waist, down to her ankle. He moves behind her, then puts his left hand on her shoulder, then uses his right hand to raise her right arm. Lastly he takes the string, and measures from her shoulder to her wrist.
He pats her on the back, “alright, you’re all done.” he turns his head to Zart. “you’re in luck, i actually have something that will fit her. You’re style too. Or would you prefer something… cuter?”
“Whatevers fine. I haven't gotten paid for this mission yet, so I don't have a whole lot of extra cash on me.” the shop keeps nods, then walks into the back room behind the counter. Zart turns to Zia. “doing ok?” she nods, keeping a straight face.
“This isn’t the first time… but he was… gentler.” she says. Zart grits his teeth, as he begins to imagine what she meant by that.
“Here we are!” he asis, coming out with a pink folded outfit. “Now, young miss, if you would, take this, and there’s a changing station right there.” he said pointing to a curtained off room. “Go ahead” he states, handing her the outfit. She takes it, then looks up at him.
Zart goes to talk, but the shopkeep turns to him and begins talking first. “Don’t worry, i’ll give you a discount on this one. But only this one.” Zart smiles, and nods at him. Zia also nods, then heads over to the curtain, and shuts it behind her.
The shopkeep keeps his eyes on the curtain. “I’m guessing by the scars on her arms she was a slave?” he asks, his voice getting serious.
“I’m assuming so… yea…” Zat states, his voice also getting serious. They both look at the curtain that Zia is behind. Zart turns to the shopkeep. “Hey… brother… please…”
“Alright!” he says, raising his hands. “I won’t tell anyone, promise.” Zart smirks at him, as the shopkeep smiles back. “You only ever call me brother when you want something. Just… take care of her, she looks like she’s been through alot.”
“I will… I may be in this line of work…” his eyes drift downwards. He quickly sharks his head, and looks back up at his brother. “I may be in this line of work, but only because i’m good at it. You know i only take missions that will help others.”
“I know… it’s the only reason i haven’t reported you yet. If you didn’t take down corrupt politicians, or scum of the earth, simply put… if you didn’t take those guys out, I wouldn't agree with your methods. That being said, when it’s those that make the laws, and those that can just buy their way out of any situation… something needs to be done...”
Zart nods, as his brother continues talking. “So, who was it this time?” he asks. He turns to the curtain once more. “I can only imagine if he kept a girl like that as a slave…”
“He was a slave merchant… from where she came from I'm guessing she was his personal slave, not likely to be sold.” Zarts brother slams his fist into his other hand. Zart puts his hand on his brother's shoulder. “I know… thats why i had to get her out of there.”
“Well now i’m really glad you got her out of there…” the curtain opens up, as Zia walks out. The pink dress she has reached down to her ankles. The front of the dress has little white frills, with a few buttons at the center.
Brother “oh now aren’t you cute in that!” his tone of voice completely changed from before. He walks up to her, then kneels next to her. “Lets just make sure it’s not too tight.” he says, tugging slightly in various parts. The outfit tugs just a little bit, but not too much. “That’s good, it fits perfectly. Now then” he says, standing up. “You” he states turning to Zart. “you look like trash.”
Zia giggles a little. The shopkeep looks at her smiling. He turns back to Zart. “Come,” he says, walking over to him, and pulling him into the back room. In the back room, Zarts brother walks down an aisle of various shirts on his left, and various pants on his right. Each racking has clothes of different colors, styles, and sizes.
He walks up to a set of black clothes “i want you to make me a promise.” he states, pulling out a black outfit. “Don’t…”
“Don’t worry, she won’t ever be going on missions with me, or for me.” he takes the outfit from his brothers hands. “At this point, i just want to give her a good life, not one filled with more death.” his brother nods, as he picks up a pair of black pants, and sets them in Zarts hands with the shirt.
“Good. in that case we’ll call this one even.” Zart looks up at him. “But!” he interjects. “Use that money to buy her some good food alright? You’ll also need a bed, some more clothes, and probably some toys to keep her busy while you're gone.”
Zart chuckles. “Thank you. Don’t worry, like I said… i want to give her a good life.” his brother nods, and then turns him around. His brother begins pushing him out.
“Go! Get changed then get some food.” he stops for a second, causing Zart to look over his shoulder. “I know you’ll be going on more missions. You can leave her with me when you do.”
“Thanks” Zart states, turning back around. He walks out of the back room to see Zia waiting. “Hey, i’m going to get changed real quick then we’re going to get something to eat. That sound good?”
Before she can answer, her stomach growls, as she grabs at her stomach. “I’m sorry…” she mutters quietly. Her head drops, as she looks down at the floor.
Zart chuckles. “Don’t be. I’ll get changed quick.” he walks over to the same changing room Zia was in, and then shuts the curtain. Some quick rustling can be heard behind the curtain, as in less than a minute Zart comes back out in a standard black outfit.
He walks over to Zia, while still facing the exit. He looks down at her, then extends his hand to her. “Ready?” he asks. She grabs his hand, as they both walk out of the shop. As they leave, another person walks past them into the shop.
“Welcome!” Zarts brother proclaims as Zart and Zia begin to walk down the street. The street’s now filled with people, all moving quickly. The two keep walking down the street, before reaching a building with a sign of a steaming bowl on it.
Zart opens the door, and lets Zia go in first. He gently guides her in, as he looks around the room. The dinner is mostly empty, with only a few people at the far ends of the room. He pats her on the back, and as she turns to him, he points over towards the corner to their right.
They both begin to walk over, as she takes a seat against one wall, while he takes a seat by the other. A waitress in a green dress walks up. “What can I get for you two.” she smiles at Zia, then turns her head to Zart.
He looks up at her, “I’ll have my usual,” he states, before turning to Zia. after thinking for a second, “and she’ll have the kids meal.” Zart turns his head back to the waitress.
“Alright, one Steak and Potatoes for you, and a kids sandwich for the little cutie.” she smiles at Zia again. Zia looks down at the table, as a slight grin appears on her face. The waitress turns to Zart. “i’ll get some water while you guys wait.” she turns around and walks off.
Zia sits quiet the whole time, with neither her or Zart saying anything. Even after the waitress brings them water, neither of them say anything, and continue to sit in silence. After sitting for a while, the waitress brings out their food.
Zart picks up a fork, and a knife, as he cuts his potato into several pieces, and then does the same with his steak. Zia watches him, then picks up her fork and knife, and clumsily cuts her sandwich half. She then takes the knife, and cuts each of the halves into quarters.
Zart chuckles at her. “Hey, you don’t need to cut those up.” he states. She looks up at him, with curious eyes.
“But, you cut your’s up…” she shyly states. Her voice slightly trembling.
“It’s fine. Just try picking it up and taking a bite.” she looks down at her pieces of sandwich. She picks up the first piece and takes a bite out of it. Her eyes begin to sparkle as her chewing speeds up. She opens her mouth wide, and takes a much bigger bite, as she begins to wiggle as she eats.
“You like it?” he asks. She nods a little aggressively. “That's good. Enjoy, but try not to eat too fast. Don’t want to get sick.” she nods slower this time. Her shewing slows down. He looks down at his food, as he uses his fork to take a piece of potato. He takes the fork with the potato, then uses it to also pick up a piece of the steak.
He blows on it a little, then looks over at Zia. “hey” he states. She looks over at him, as she swallows another bite. He moves the fork over to her. “You’ll like this, go ahead and have a bite.” she looks at it, then opens her mouth. He moves it closer, as she bites down onto the food.
She chews for a few seconds, as her eyes once again begin to sparkle. He smiles at her, then his face stiffens a little. Tears begin to run down her face, as she continues to chew. She swallows, before looking up at him. “Th….thank you… I've… never had such good food.”
He smiles at her. “Don’t worry. Enjoy it, you’ll be having it a lot more often. She smiles as she swallows. She looks down at her sandwich before picking it up, and taking another bite. The two sit and enjoy their meal for a little while before getting up to leave.
After they get up from their seat, he takes her through the city, showing her various sights. They stop by various different shops, from clothes, and toy stores, to glass craft shops. He picks up a crystal blue teardrop necklace. He hands the cashier a few gold coins, then gives it to her. Her face lights up, with her eyes glistening.
He puts it around her neck, as the smile on her face widens. He finishes putting it on her, as she immediately runs into him, giving him a hug. She squeezes tightly, as a smile begins to form on his face. He wraps his arms around her, and hugs her back.
“Come,” he sais, as she lets go. “I’ll take you to your new home.” he states picking her up. He sets her on his shoulders, as she looks up through the crowed that has gathered around. She looks over to see water shooting into the air.
“What's that?” she asks. He looks up at her to see her pointing to it. He looks over to see the water shooting into the air. He looks up at her and smiles.
“Why don’t we go see?” she nods, as he begins to walk over to it. As they clear the crowd of people a huge water fountain shooting can be seen. Several spouts of water shoot in various directions, as a slight breeze sprays some over to them.
She shivers, and giggles. “It’s cold.”she laughs. He chuckles a little. He picks her up, off his shoulders, and gently sets her back down onto the ground.
“This is the town square” he states. He looks over at the water, as she looks up at him. “I’ve never actually stopped and looked at the fountain before.” she tilts her head a little, then looks over at the fountain. “It really is quite beautiful isn’t it.”
She looks over at it, and smiles. “It i…”
“Yes it is” a voice interrupts from behind. They both turn around to see a semi muscular man standing behind them. His blond hair is short, with his beard being short and blond as well. He walks up between the two of them.
Zart steps turns as the man walks in between them, looking at the fountain. Zarts eyes narrow at him. He looks down at Zia, who’s eyes are wide open. Her body shaking, as she takes a step back. His eyes widen, as he quickly reaches for his belt. Before he can grab anything, the guy hits him back, throwing him to the ground.
Zart gets to one knee, as the crowd around them all step back, giving them quite a bit of room. He watches in horror as the man grabs Zia, and pulls out a knife. He raises the knife to her neck, as she begins to tremble, a bead of sweat rolls down her face.
He looks at them man, his eyes filled with the intent to kill. The man standing there smiles, his teeth showing. “Oh come on? What's wrong?” he asks, his eyes full of mockery. “Don’t want to make a move? Good!” the man shouts, hif expression turning to anger.
“I saw you this morning.”the man continues, his voice growing cold. Zart squints at him, as the man glares back. “You killed my father,” the man states, his voice still cold. “I watched from the other room. My room was right next to his.” Zia twitches, as the man brings the knife closer to her neck.
Zart grits his teeth, as he reaches behind him, as the man continues to talk “Do you remember what you said to him?” he asks, as Zart begins to stand up, slowly. “You told him that it was to send a message.” Zart reaches under his shirt and grabs a knife, slowly pulling from his belt.. “So…” the man continues, pulling the blade from Zias neck. “I’m here to do the same.”
Zia’s eyes widen, as she flinches. A little bit of blood drips from her mouth, as the man shoves her forwards, the knife sticking out of her back. A whistling sound slightly rings out, as a knife suddenly appears in the man's neck. The guy falls to the ground, as Zart runs up to Zia, holding her in his left arm.
She slowly reaches up to him, her hand shaking. “F…” she tries to speak, her voice weak. Zart grabs her hand, and holds it tight.
Zart shakes his head, “Shhh. don’t talk. Save your strength.” he looks up. “Get a doctor!” some people begin to shuffle, as a few move through the crowd. He looks back down at her.
She continues to speak. “I...m...sorry…” he voice fading, as her eyes begin to shut. “fa...ther…” her arm falls, as her eyes fully close. Tears begin to flow from zarts eyes, as he holds her body tight.
“No..” he mutters, as he pulls her body closer. “No…” he continues to cry, as he puts his hand on her head. “I’m sorry…” he continues to cry as the crowd around him begins to hang their heads.
“Zart!” the voice of his brother rings out. He pushes through the crowd of people, his face bruised, and cut up. Some blood on his face, with his outfit torn in several places. “Oh no…” he mutters. Zart stands up, and slowly walks over to him. “I...i’m so…”
“Give her a good burial.” he says, holding her body to him. His brother takes her, as Zart starts to walk off. He looks at her, as tears begin to roll down his face as well.
The brother looks up at Zart. “But, where…” Zart turns around, his eyes streaming with tears, but full of cold hatred. Zart turns back around, and disappears into the crowd. His brother looks back down at Zia, as tears continue to flow. He starts to walk away, as the crowd disperses, giving him room.
Time passes, as the heart grieves. Things that cannot be changed eat away at us, but time doesn’t stop. Time doesn’t stop for anything, or anyone. As time goes on, so do people, animals, and nature.
Time continues around the town as if nothing has happened. To some, nothing ever even happened. Things we do not see, do not always ignore us though. Even though Zart was forgotten by those who saw him, his actions still reached them
It is said in the months that have passed since this event, over one hundred nobles were killed. Nobles from all over the land, from high nobles, to low rank ones. It is said that even a member of royalty was killed in his sleep.
These actions seemed like the work of someone with ill intent, though in the comming year slave trade amongst the land dropped by over ninety percent. In the coming year hundreds of thousands of slaves were somehow freed. When asked what happened, nobody could answer. The only response was the same from all, that a hooded figure unlocked their cells, and left without a word to anyone.