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Ellidr Steel: The Perfect Assassin
The sun beat down on the crowd of people clustered together within the four walls of Pemelan Square. Most were clothed in simple rags. Really, it was the best they could have for an ever refreshing execution. But they were not his focus. The small, wooden scaffolding standing in the center screamed of death. It demanded it. The people didn’t care for whom the convicts were, who they used to be. They were just here for the thrill. The assassin’s steely grey eyes lifted over the heads of the civilians, locking on his true focus like a basilisk spotting prey. Argon, his voice hissed inwardly. The two guards casually standing beside that mercenary wouldn’t be any trouble.
Argon stood before the scaffolding addressing the crowd, presenting the crimes of the condemned for peoples’ sick pleasure. There were only two men this time, but there were enough nooses for four. Only a potato sack draped over their pale, emaciated bodies as they were standing before the ropes with shackles clamped around their ankles and wrists.
But he was not listening to the herald’s words of blasphemy. He was listening for something else. His broad shoulders roughly shoved people out of his way. He needed to be close enough. Their sharp retorts didn’t reach him.
The mercenary’s gaze locked on him suspiciously and he lifted his arm, giving the signal. The lever was pulled. The panels fell. Bodies dropped. Crack! Argon’s lips curved in an arrogant smile. That was a direct challenge. He would not allow it. Argon would die.
Ding! There. The tower bell, its golden armor beautifully etched, sounded above the ruckus. Its ring reverberated through the afternoon air, carrying across the city like a holy messenger. Crows grudgingly left their perches, casting large black shadows on the earth below. Argon blinked and the dark, cloaked figure he’d spotted in the crowd was gone.
The pathetic man had no clue what was coming. He deserved to have a drawn out death but that was not the assignment. Argon was his target, his only point in life right now. Death would come quick and merciless. He was death incarnate. This moment mattered. This was his calling. He was trained to perfection. There would be no mistake. His target was in sight and it would be hit.
Like a snake, he slipped around the confident soldiers. Argon turned his head this way and that, wondering if what he saw had been a play of shadows. Play of shadows indeed. For some reason, his heart began to race. Sweat rolled down his pocked face from the heat of the day. There shouldn’t have been a reason to be nervous. He was the most powerful mercenary in town. Even if there were someone after him, he could still defeat them with ease.
Argon was wrong. Before the bell could swing again, before another second could pass, a blade pressed at his throat, its cold silver glinting in the sun. Wide-eyed, he opened his mouth to beg like the pathetic rat he was.
But the assassin wouldn’t allow it. Argon’s life was in his control. His knife cut just down enough to sever the jugular vein. It was like slicing bread, it was so easy. Blood streamed down Argon’s wound in crimson rivulets. His mouth gaped open in a silent scream. The killer retracted his weapon. It would’ve been wiser and quicker to thrust the knife in just beneath the skull to sever it from the spinal cord, but what was done was done.
The assignment was fulfilled. Argon was a dead man. The crowds gasped and the guards whipped around with swords drawn but the man was gone just as the bell swung down a second time. Dong!