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The Golden Eagle

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The sound of iron clashing filled the air. “Come on Claire! I’m not even breaking a sweat!” taunted Blake. Blake was a well built, slave-born man. He was wearing his black, leather armor, which was as red as the blood of his former enemies. He was always ready for a fight. He wasn’t afraid to kill anyone that got in his way. “You think I’m trying?” Claire said as she chuckled. She slashed hard at Blake grazing his armor tearing a small portion from his chest plate. Claire was shorter than Blake but just as smart. She spent time researching her ancestors and fighting tactics. She was just as c***y and arrogant as any teen girl wielding a sword. She wore a dark bluish grey set of armor the same style as Blake’s. Blake smirked and tried to disarm Claire, but failed as his face met the strength of Claire’s arm as it shoved hard against his cheek knocking him down. “Awe did I hurt the little baby?” Claire said tauntingly. Blake rolled onto his feet and got back into his stance holding his sword as a booming voice broke the silence. “Blake, Claire. Very good” said the voice as a man dressed in a grey set of armor resembling Blake’s and Claire’s. The difference was he wore a golden eagle badge on his chest. “That’s enough for today.” The man said as he jumped off the roof of a building and landed next to the fighters. Blake and Claire both bowed as the man landed. “Master James” they said “We were just practicing.” Blake said as the master nodded. “I know, I enjoyed the show.” He said chuckling. The master was average height.
He didn’t look as strong as Blake, but everyone knew he was stronger. Everyone in the temple looked up to him. He was the only man Blake had ever respected. Blake was sent to the temple back when he was a slave. Claire was born there as her mom was one of James’ students. It was the only home she knew since both her parents had died. “Do not forget tomorrow is test day.” James reminded. “As my oldest and best students you will be tested to see who is worthy of the rank of Master Assassin.” James explained. “As you both know only one of you can become a master. The other will have to wait two more years before they can be tested again.” With that I wish you both a goodnight. As he walked away the two students looked at each other. Blake reached out his hand and said, “Good luck Claire” she shook his hand nervously and nodded. “Good luck Blake” They walked to the student quarters and lay in beds that were next to each other. “When are we going to tell him?” Blake asked as he stared at the wooden roof. “After the test, we can’t let it affect our fight though” Claire answered. Blake and rolled over facing away from Claire. Neither of them slept well that night. Thoughts of fear, nervousness, and anxiety filled their minds all night.
The sun rose the next morning and the younger assassins started to setup for the test. Decorating, and setting up flags, and preparing food for the event. Blake and Claire spent most of the day getting their clothes patched up, sharping their weapons, and putting in a little more training before the test. The time finally came for the first of three events.
The students crowded into the arena anticipating what is to come. Blake and Claire stood in the middle as James sat in a throne like chair above everyone. “Alright, let us begin!” James announced as the crowd cheered for who they wanted to win.
“You will need two out of three points to win. You will receive one point for each event. The first event is shooting. Whoever shoots all of their targets first wins” James said as twelve wooden targets were placed on each side of the arena. Six were red, the other six were blue. Blake you will take red, Claire you will take blue. The two nodded and loaded their flintlock pistols. Each of them had two strapped to their hips. “Begin!” James yelled as the two began shooting. In a matter of seconds Blake had finished. “First round goes to Blake!” James announced as Claire let out a sigh and Blake blew out the smoke from his pistol. “Next round is sword fighting!” The two testing students were given wooden swords so they didn’t kill each other. They both exchanged hard blows but in the end Claire had won. Blake ran out of stamina and couldn’t keep up with her.
“Final round. You will be tested on your stealth, speed, and accuracy.” James said. Two other students gave Blake and Claire scrolls. “What you have in your hand is your assassination contract. It describes your target. Your job is to find him and kill him. Oh and before I forget, you’re looking for the same person. So it’s a race to the kill. Blake and Claire looked into each other eyes and nodded. “Three, two, one, go!” James counted down. Blake and Claire looked at their scrolls and ran out of the arena into the city. They raced over buildings and through streets in search of their prey. Blake found him and began running towards him, Claire spotted him and ran behind Blake on his heels. “He’s mine Claire!” Blake yelled getting closer. “You wish Blake!” Claire yelled back still on his heels. Blake jumped from the roof and landed on him shoving his dagger through the man’s throat. As the blood pool formed Claire started running back to the temple as Blake followed. They reached the temple and as Claire entered the crowd started to cheer. “I did it master.” Blake said walking in exhausted. James jumped down to his students. “He’s lying I did it master!” Claire exclaimed angrily. James looked at both his students. “How did you kill him Claire?” asked James. “What?” Blake asked angrily. “I did it!” Claire shook her head and said. “I used my dagger” Blake closed is fist angrily and stared at Claire. James reached out his hand to Claire and she shook it happily. “No, hand me the dagger.” She went quiet. “I must have dropped it sir.” James nodded. “Then go to the city and find it.” James said. She nodded and left the arena again. “Master I’m the one who killed the target” Blake said. “Claire is lying to you!” James simply nodded. “I am aware. I can tell by the bloody dagger in your holster. A young assassin brought a brown box to the master. James opened it revealing a golden eagle badge. “Good job, Master Blake” James said with a smile as the crowd went crazy and Blake’s former master awarded him with his badge. In that instant the sound of a flintlock filled the air. Blake looked around for the source. When he looked at James, James’ mouth leaked blood and he fell to the ground. “James!” Blake yelled as he caught him before hitting the ground. When Blake looked up he saw a bluish-grey figure running out of the arena. His eyes were full of tears blurring his vision. Blake drew his swords and chased after the figure. When he walked out of the doors, the streets were empty. Blake never saw Claire after she left that afternoon.
Three years after James’ death Blake was still on the search for his killer. He had learned the Claire was murdered in the streets after she left to get the dagger that didn’t exist. He had killed hundreds of men and he finally found the killer. He walked into a plantation and there it was. The bluish-grey armor was sitting on an armor stand. There was an older lady sitting on a chair next to the devilish armor. “May I help you?” she asked staring at Blake. “I’m looking for the owner of that armor” Blake said pointing at it. She stared at him for a minute. “Well you’ve fund me Blake, now what?” He stared at her puzzled. “I thought you were dead?” she smiled and shook her head. James might be, but I’m as alive as ever.” He shook his head. “Why Claire? Why’d you kill him?” she thought for a minute. “You were his favorite. I waited my whole life to do what my mom couldn’t I wasn’t going to let you steal it from me.” Claire said tearing up.  “He didn’t choose me, I beat you fare and square Claire.” She shook her head. “Neither of us win now.” He gave her a curious look. “What do you me-“ the booming sound of dynamite filled the air as the house splintered and caught fire killing them both.






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