The assassin | Teen Ink

The assassin

December 13, 2021
By Ranger50, Star, Idaho
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Ranger50, Star, Idaho
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Author's note:

This is a short story. 

I crouched in the shadows, watching my target. Lieutenant Conan Weston. He was growing too efficient. He had ranked up from private to lieutenant in just a few days. By catching assassins like me. I hadn`t been caught yet, but several assassins in the guild had been caught by this guy. 

“If you want to rank up again, you have to catch the worst and most elusive of the assassins, Kheal Nightfall.” A private said. I smiled. He couldn't catch me if he was dead. I had to wait until Weston was alone. Weston laughed.

“It won't be easy, but I can do it.” He said. “He'll regret coming around here.” He was getting cocky. Good. I went back to my camp. I would kill him tonight while he slept and be long gone before they realized what happened. I settled down to rest. I had been trained to wake up when I needed to, so I was safe to sleep. 

When night fell, I crept into the military encampment. I had easily slipped past their guard. I slipped into Weston`s tent. I pulled out my dagger and slit his throat, then slipped away into the night. 

The next morning I was walking through a town, when I noticed a newsboard. 

Lieutenant Weston found dead. Killer suspected of being Kheal Nightfall. 

I smiled behind my mask. I had a reputiation. After making sure no one was following me, I slipped into a dark alley. It held the entrance to the guild. A hidden door. I knocked. A slot in the door opened. 

“Password?” The guard said. 

“Domination.” I answered. The guard opened the door and let me in. the other assassins in the guild turned their heads to look at me. It was dark, but I had no trouble seeing. I had two different colored eyes. One blue, one green. The blue one glowed. It helped me see in the dark. I went to the Guild leader, Royal Bren. 

“I have accomplished my task.” I said. “Weston is dead.” Royal nodded. 

“Good.” He said. “I knew I could trust you to do it.” He looked at me. “You're the most wanted man in this country.” I nodded.

“I'm aware.” I said. 

“It makes it more dangerous to send you out.”

“I`m slippery.” Royal examined my face. I knew he was looking for signs of doubt. He wouldn`t find any from me.

“I have a very important job for you.” I nodded.

“I won't fail.” I said.

“I want you to kill the captain of the guard. He is getting too powerful, too good at his job.” I nodded.

“It will be done.” I said. I walked away. I went over to my bunk in the dorms of the guild. Every assassin lived in the guild home, if we lived anywhere else, we'd be long since caught. I sat down on my cot, then stretched out. Even though I slept on just a cot, it was better than the ground. I took off my mask and took a deep breath of unrestricted air. I always wore the mask to avoid people seeing my face who was not guild. People only knew me by what I wore and my eye. It had been glowing for as long as I could remember. I didn't remember my life before the guild, Royal had taken me in when I was young. He trained me. Now I was a full member of the guild. My loyalty was to him, and him alone.

The next morning, I started my travels to the capital, where I could get at the captain of the guard. I traveled by shadow, so I wouldn`t be found. Like Royal had said, I was the most wanted man in the country. I arrived at a town. I would find shelter in the guild home here. There was a crowd in the square. I crept along the outskirts of it to see what was going on. The sheriff of the town was standing on the fountain, holding a wanted poster. Of me. 

“This man has caused terror in our dear country!” He said, brandishing the poster like it was a weapon. The crowd roared in agreement. 

“We need to bring him down!” A man in the front yelled. 

“I call upon every bounty hunter in this town, 10,000 crowns for the man who brings him in!” I slipped away before anyone knew I was there. 10,000 crowns, they were desperate. I decided it wasn't safe to linger. I continued on. I had time in the day to get as far away from this town as I could. I used it. By nightfall, I was miles away from the town. I set up camp for the night, then laid down to sleep. 

I woke up and grabbed the hand reaching out for me. I twisted it until I felt bone snap. I jumped to my feet. It was the middle of the night. My glowing eye allowed me to see clearly in the dark. Two men were standing in fighting stances, a third was on the ground, groaning in pain. I swore and prepared to fight. 

“You can come quietly, or we can take you by force, Kheal Nightfall.” One man said. I shook my head. 

“I don't plan on coming quietly.” I said. The man sighed. 

“Then I guess we take you by force.” He came at me, swinging to punch me. I caught his blow and kicked him in the leg. The second man came at me while I had the first. He grabbed me. I kicked him in the leg as well. He went down on one knee. I swung the first man into him. They toppled, then got up. They came at me again. I caught the blow from one and dodged a blow from the other. I flipped the man I had a hold of into the other. They toppled and landed on the third. I grabbed my bed roll and shoved it into my pack before they came at me again. They tried to take advantage of my prone position. I dodged their blows and punched one hard in the chest, then again in the head. I punched the second in the head, followed quickly by my knee into his gut. 

“Don't just lay there. Help us!” The man I had just kneed coughed. The third man got up, but was quickly taken down by me. I knew I couldn't hold them all off for long, so I grabbed my pack while they were down and ran. I managed to make it 10 feet before they were chasing me. I knew I could run for a long time, my spry 20 year old body was in perfect shape. I didn't know how long they could run though. There was a forest nearby. I would have a chance in there. I ran into it. I had an easy time navigating through it. I easily leapt over fallen logs and dashed across rocks. This had been my training ground. I couldn't hear the men behind me, so I slowed down and looked around, hand on my dagger, ready to fight. Nobody came. I went deeper into the forest, I knew my way back out. I found a tree sturdy enough to sleep in. I climbed it and settled in the branches. I made sure I could whip out my dagger fast if I needed to. I went to sleep. 

I woke up to the sound of dogs. I looked around, trying to find them. They were surely tracking me. Dogs were hard to lose. Their keen sense of smell made it harder to lose them than humans. I climbed higher in my tree to get a better vantage point. There were indeed dogs. I leapt to a tree close to the one I was in. I leapt from tree to tree until I ran out of trees. I grabbed a smoke bomb from my belt. It would sting the dogs` nose, hindering their sense of smell. I threw it when the dogs got near. It exploded on the ground. The dogs whined and rubbed at their noses. The hindrance would last long enough for me to get away. I leapt through the trees, getting miles away in just a few minutes. I reached the other side of the forest. I leapt down onto the ground. Plains rolled in front of me. I ran. I was almost to the next town, but with the dogs I couldn't risk going to the guild in it. I would have to skip it. I knew I needed to stop at some point to replenish my provisions, I was almost out of food. Until I could stop, I would have to ration my food. Make it stretch. 

I stopped running. I was far enough away from the dogs I could walk. I had traveled a day's distance in just a short time. I was trained to travel in the most efficient way possible. A normal law abiding person would take a week to travel to the capital from where I had left. I could do it in three days. I was almost there as it was. I went around the town and headed to the capital. My trail would be too stale for the dogs to track by the time they made it this far. I still skipped the town to be safe.  The next town was the capital. That's where the captain of the guard lived. He lived in the castle, which was no problem for me. I could get in and out without getting caught. I traveled off the road. The last thing I needed was to be found by bounty hunters. The price on my head was high. There was someone lying by the road. I kept going as casually as I had been before I noticed the person. It was either robbers, or a bounty hunter. Being as wanted as I was, I had no friends outside the guild. Even then, I wasn't sure I had friends inside the guild other than Royal. I came up to the person. They seemed to be unconscious. I kicked them, just to be sure, then dragged them off the road. I looked at them. It was a man, no older than I was. He had several injuries. I took care of them, then tied him up, just in case he was a hunter. I couldn't trust anyone. The life I was living made sure of that. I settled myself to wait until the man woke up. I would get him to tell me if he was a bounty hunter. He can't lie to me, Royal taught me how to tell truth from lies. I ate some jerky. Maybe I would force him to get some provisions from the town I had skipped, I wasn't far away. I smiled. I saved him, he was indebted to me. He could be useful. 

The man groaned. It had been several hours. It was dark, the sun had long since gone down. I watched the man. He lifted his head and looked around. He didn't see me, despite my glowing eye. 

“Hello?” He asked. 

“Hello.” I said. He looked at me. When he did, his expression didn't turn to one of fear like people`s expressions usually did. This threw me into caution. If he wasn't afraid, then he must be a bounty hunter. 

“What are you going to do to me?” I pretended to examine my glove. 

“I saved your life. You owe me.” I said.

“You`re Kheal Nightfall.”

“Yes. I am. If you don't do exactly what I say, or don't answer my questions honestly, I will kill you with no regret. Or second thoughts.” The man nodded. I came up to him and sat casually on the ground. 

“From now on, the only talking you do is to answer my questions, understand?” I said. The man nodded. “Good. First question. What's your name?”

“Adrian Hall.” He didn't lie.

“Are you a bounty hunter?”

“No.” Another truthful answer. 

“What do you do for work?”

“I'm a merchant.” Again truthful. I had scared him enough that he told the truth. He wasn't as brave as he thought he was. I knew it. 

“I found you lying by the side of the road, my guess you were robbed, correct?”

“Yes.”

“I haven't got any more questions, now, you can do something for me if you want to live.” Adrian nodded. 

“Alright.” He said.

“I want you to go to the town over there and get food, water and medical supplies. I can`t, it's too dangerous. Make sure the food won't expire.” Adrian nodded. “You`ll go tomorrow. Tell no one I sent you.” Adrian nodded again. “Good. Get some sleep, you`ll need it.” Adrian laid down. I moved away from him and laid down. I kept him where I could see him. I went to sleep. 

The next morning I woke up and went over to Adrian, who was still asleep. I kicked him. Hard. 

“Wake up!” I said. Adrian groaned. I kicked him again. “Up!” Adrian looked at me.

“What?” He asked. 

“It's time for you to do as I told you.” I untied him. “Tell no one.” I sent him to the town to get what I needed. While I waited, I went over my weapons. I primarily used a dagger because it allowed me to get into places that a bigger weapon couldn't. I also carried a staff that could retract to fit in my bag, a whistle that I could use to call my horse, who could hear across the country and travel really fast, he was not an ordinary horse, and I carried strikers, I used them to knock people unconscious. It was less messy with the strikers. I tested the staff. It popped out into its full length and back with no issue. The strikers were in good condition too. The whistle was still shiny. With all the hunters on my tail, I needed my horse. I blew the whistle. Its shrill sound sounded through the air. A few seconds later, my horse appeared. He nickered. I came up to him and stroked his muzzle. He was a sleek black with a white star on his forehead. His name was Roan. 

“Hey bud.” I said. He was my only sure friend. He wouldn't betray me to get my hires. It had happened once before. I almost got caught because a member of the guild betrayed me. He turned me in, but I got away. He had wanted my hires. Royal turned him in and he was sentenced to death by hanging by the neck until dead. Royal saw me as his own. He had raised me. He was the only father figure I had known. If anyone hurt me, he would make sure they paid for it. I heard a noise. I turned around. It was Adrian. He held bags full of the things I had sent him to get. I smiled, even though he couldn't see it. 

“Did you tell anyone?” I asked. 

“No.” there was deception all over his face. I grabbed him and pressed him roughly against a tree.

“Who did you tell?” I demanded. 

“No one!” 

“Lies!” I shook him. “Who did you tell?” I grabbed my dagger and pressed it against his throat. “Who. did. You. tell?” 

“Just a local merchant! I didn't mean to, I swear! He asked me what the supplies were for and I told him!” Adrian whimpered. I slit his throat and watched him choke on the ground. 

“I told you I would kill you if you told, I`m a man of my word.”I stepped over his body and grabbed the supplies he had brought. Packing them in my bag, I left Adrian`s body behind without looking back. I continued towards my goal. 

I arrived around noon. I was going to wait until it was dark before I made my move. I huddled in an alley to wait.

When it got dark, I headed for the castle. The captain of the guard slept on the second floor. I scaled the side and crawled in through his window. He was asleep on the bed. I slit his throat then used his sword to cut off his head. I slipped out the window and scaled the wall down. I had just gotten outside the gates, when something stung my neck. I suddenly felt groggy. I reached up and felt the spot I had felt the sting. There was a small arrow in it. I pulled it out and looked at it. It was small with colorful feathers on the end. I felt a second sting. The ground rushed up to meet my face. Everything faded away.


Pronunciation guide

Kheal- Kall



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