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The White Hood: Pride

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I passed threw the halls of the white temple. The White marble floors sent waves of sound passing threw out the hall. None but an assassin could pass threw the chamber without being herd. A small group of Apprentices moved threw the chamber as well. The ere around my age, no more than 14. “ Which one you looking at.” My companion asked me discreetly.

“ None, I’m just examining all possible escape roots and threats.” I said none to convincingly.

“ Yah, and I’m sure that blond is an excellent escape root, or maybe she’s got a knife beneath her Tunic.”

“ How’d you know which girl I was looking at.” I cried.

“No reason, just examining my surroundings.” He was trying hard not to laugh I could tell. I tried to recover “ Well anyway, she has three bulges in her belt. I’m guessing potions, she has a dagger in her boot, a hair pin sharpened to a point and probably laced with poison.”

“ Have I ever told you how much you annoy me?”

“ All the time.” We Quickly strode into a large empty chamber. The Room was about a mile in either direction and built upon it was a replicated city. Two boys were sword fighting in the square of a small town.. A commentator on the sidelines was shouting his opinions so loud they rang in my ears. And I’m a good 20 yards away. There where 4 different contests of which you could compete in. The first and most common is the Swordsmanship Confrontation, in which each assassin is given a sword and fight until one is unconscious or submits. The second is called the Assassination, in this one each assassin is aloud to use whatever equipment he has save a sword or “battle” weapon, same rules apply. Next is the Hand on Hand, which I believe speaks for itself. Finally my favorite one, Freestyle, everything is permitted, its up to your wits and instincts to pull through. In this one, there can be as many players as you would like.

On the field a kid named Kieran was getting beaten badly by a kid named Andrew. I already didn’t like him he used put downs not tonts. He kept humiliating the kid for sport and fun, and his buds were on the sidelines laughing. After watching this for about seven minutes, Kieran finally submitted. “ Hey Tyler,” I asked “ You want to join a Freestyle, the board says there is one next.”

“I don’t know that Jacob dude is signing up for it, and you saw what happened to Kieran.”

“ Why do you think I want to join? I want to teach that Shret a lesson.” At that moment a red head walked by and placed her name on the list. “ Well,” he said not taking his eyes off the girl. “ If its just to teach him a lesson I guess I’m alright with it.”

“ We really need to work on observing discreetly.” I told him under my breath, Tyler’s cheeks flared read and he retreated back into his hood. That was one thing Tyler was good at. He could make himself unnoticeable and unreadable with a flick of his chin. Once Tyler had bled into the Arlenian crowds so deeply a woman bumped into him and screamed because she did not know he was there.

They weaved their way to the sign up table and placed their names on the list, along with their masters symbols. Tyler did a “casual” three sixty, “Do you think she’s a fighter?

“ Tyler, that is a stupid question, you know that every one here is a fighter.”

“ I know I just meant do you think she’s better than me?” I stopped walking and pivoted to face him. “ Your scared of her.” I said in disbelief “ Your scared the girl you’re crushing on is going to beat you up and take your shoes.” I couldn’t stop a small smile. Tyler had a habit of being afraid of ridiculous things.

“Easy for you to say, you’re a combat prodigy. Tied for best Apprentice, with who, oh yah that’s right, a girl.”

“ I haven’t even seen the girl yet, she might just be an all meat know brains girl.”

“ I don’t know about you but I have never seen one of those at this temple ever.” Then the bell rung and it was time to fight. Two heavily armed Masters dragged us into a small alley. A stone arch marked the exit into the city, beyond that was a square with a fountain and several shops. Twisting streets leapt off in different directions and four story buildings surrounded the square.

A Loud gong sounded and the Masters pushed us threw the arch and bolted the door. Around the square fourteen other Apprentices had appeared. No one wasted any time; the survivors climbed onto the roofs and started par-coring it up. Others leapt into fighting stances drawing their swords; the hard steel slid and squeaked from its sheath. Tyler and I instantly turned and climbed up the side of a building before nimbly hopping threw the window on the third floor. Tyler instantly drew his cross bow and wedged it on the window seal.

I ran towards the other side of the room and laid down a small pouch I had received from Drathus (my Master) onto the bead. Opening the pouch I withdrew a sleek knife. A dragon embedded in the hilt opened its jaws and within was a single sapphire, No doubt enchanted. Tyler was in the zone killing each man or woman in sight. A magical field around the city prevented actual death but it would still hurt, and it completely immobilized you. Sheathed the knife, placing the cheep one inside the pouch then returning it to his side.

The initial blood bath was over Tyler was far ahead in kills but the goal was to be last standing. The room was hot and stuffy with one bed off to the side and a dresser on the other side. Tyler stood up from the window, “ Why do you get all the good stuff.” He asked looking at the dragon pommel knife. I rolled my eyes and crossed to the door. I quickly locked it and put a detonator in the keyhole.

Tyler reported that there were eight apprentices left including them. He returned to the window to check know one was watching. I went over to the closet to check for goods. Some times the gamekeepers were generous and gave away small goodies, if you could find them. But alas all there were where some cheep rags, and marbles. I tossed the marbles to Tyler who caught them with ease; Tyler liked enchanting marbles and placing them into weapons. Then I proceeded to douse the rag in oil and lubricate my blade.

We waited for ten minutes, which isn’t a good sign since the game keepers will try the apprentices together if they think that the game is taking to long. Our silence was interrupted though when we heard footsteps from the stairwell. Of course it was the result of the keepers for no Assassin would ever be that loud, regardless of rank.

As the footsteps grew closer, Tyler Drew his sword, and I carefully laid the rag down on the bed. There was a tug on the knob and I slowly laid my hand on my gauntlet almost touching a red jewel. Tyler caught my drift and quietly leapt onto the window seal, sword still in hand.

I counted to myself; Three…Two…ONE!!! I pressed the red jewel into my gauntlet and the detonator exploded. Tyler and I leapt out of adjacent windows, as a wall of flame leapt after us. I hit the cold stone floor in a roll, I rolled right behind a Stand of fruit as another explosion hit. Ooooh, I thought, that would be the oil,” By This time the building was caving in on itself and some surrounding buildings had small smoldering ashes flecked on top. I drew myself up only to find four men standing on the other side of the fruit stand.

It was actually quite amusing how disorganized they where. One, attempting to draw his sword, elbowed his companion in the jaw of whom reeled back, howling in pain. The third tried to shoot a crossbow which collided in midair with the fourths throwing knife, both went spinning in opposite directions. A crossbow bolt hit the one with the sword and I just enough time to draw my own before the third was upon me. We parried and lunged, but honestly the boy wasn’t that good and I had no problem hitting him in the ribs and he collapsed on the ground. By this time the last two had fallen by cross bow.

Tyler limped over to me; “ One was there to ambush me so I had a bit of trouble but nothing I couldn’t handle.” He frowned.

“ It was the red head, wasn’t it?” I said filled with pity.

“ Yah, but I suppose….” That was as far as he got, for at that moment, a crossbow bolt wised threw the air and struck him in the chest. He fell forward the stun spell taking hold. I glared across the courtyard at the Apprentice who had just stepped out from behind a pillar. Wearing his usual sneer of pleasure was Andrew Yero.



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