Is the assassin's pride too much for him?
|The man’s prowess had not gone unnoticed. His guile, matched with his diligent nature, elevated him to the top of the hierarchy of the guild, and his abilities only accrued from there. He strolled down the crowded city streets, staring at all the personable and benign inhabitants of the city with a disdainful look. He was a man of great stature; a giant cloak encased his tall and slender body, concealing his toned muscles and superfluity of daggers that hung on his belt. Dartanyon sauntered down the dusty roads, wandering about the gargantuan city. He was an expert assassin, trained in the deadly arts by masters of killing. He had risen through the ranks through perfect killings and never failed a mission. However, he was not number one; he was number two. There was one other who ranked higher than he was in the guild and Dartanyon would not stand for it. He had always boasted that he was the best, but the rankings never lied. However diligent he was in his profession, Artemis came out on top. His rival, his archenemy, his antagonist, Artemis was the number one ranked assassin in the guild and in the entire city for that matter. Dartanyon was incredibly obstinate in realizing that Artemis was his better. His determination to be number one was not all vengeful; his avarice played no small role in the matter. His covetousness drove him, fueled his heart, for money was his greatest reward. He did not kill for the satisfaction, nor for the ranking, but for the money. He often took the most dangerous and impossible missions because the pay was grand. He had grown accustomed to the finer things in life, like his cloak for example, made from the most elaborate material available. He was in no way frugal in the least bit. In fact, he sometimes extorted money from the lesser and novice assassins from the guild, saying it was ‘protection money.’ The expensive black cloak almost seemed to be made of shadows itself. In order for Dartanyon to make claim to the largest bounties, he would have to be number one, and there was only one way to do so. There was no way he could transcend Artemis in the rankings, so he would have to dispose of the deadly assassin himself.
Dartanyon continued down the winding roads, the air filled with the din from many carouses that filled the plentiful taverns in the city. The noise was drowned out by his thoughts. He had deferred this long enough. The sun was beginning to sink below the horizon, casting halo among the clouds. He threw his over folding hood over his pallor face, almost blending in with the oncoming shadows. Trying to be discrete as possible, he sped silently down the street, only a blur to those watching. A wide grin came across his visage as he pictured the adversity he was about to cause. Then an abominable look took over, as he thought of Artemis. Hate was an understatement as to how Dartanyon felt for this man.
He flew down the deserted streets, but stopped when he came upon a small decrepit shack. He ran to the door and leaned closely, placing a trained ear on the wooden door. Nothing. The house sounded as though it was void of anything, but the assassin knew better. Dartanyon stood up, reaching under the folds of his cloak and retrieving a pair of deadly daggers. He had to rid the world of the pestilence known as Artemis once and for all. He took a step back and lifted his muscular leg and kicked the wooden door, smashing it down with an echoing din. He burst through the frame, darting his eyes through the darkness. He turned and began to run down a hallway when a blinding pain shot through his back. He lost his balance and fell forward, crashing to the dusty ground. He reached back and felt a hilt of a dagger protruding from his back, right next to his spine. His breathing became labored; the dagger had pierced a lung.
“You thought you could sneak up on me?” A voice called out behind him. “I heard you before you were at my door.”
“Apparently you are better than I gave you credit for,” the wounded assassin retorted, turning over, not bothering to remove the dagger imbedded in his back.
“Your pride was your undoing, Dartanyon. You thought you were better than you were. You were number two for a reason.” Artemis exclaimed.
“You speak as though I were not still number two,” Dartanyon said.
“You won’t be, soon enough. Your blasphemy today will have repercussions. You dare to challenge me, the God of all assassins in this city?” Artemis replied, laughing to himself. A look of terror crossed Dartanyon’s face. He knew if he failed Artemis would kill him and now was the time.
“Please don’t ruin your dignity by imploring for your pathetic life,” Artemis said, drawing out another dagger, holding it in his hands, ready to strike.
“Don’t worry, I won’t. I have too much pride to beg you,” Dartanyon stated.
“Your pride is what got you into this position in the first place,” Artemis exclaimed, snapping his wrist and sending the deadly blade flying towards Dartanyon’s helpless and vulnerable body.