Phoenix and Jet walked into the throne room and saw Torl and the other two generals standing around Shogun Kaz. Torl heard the two other generals approaching and turned around.
"They are coming, shogun." said Torl. Kaz looked away from one of the other generals and noticed Jet and Phoenix.
"Perfect. Follow me to the private discussion room." said Kaz, leading his generals into a small room with a rectangular table. Shogun Kaz sat at the end of the table and pointed for Jet to close the door. After Jet closed the door, Kaz began speaking.
"I have hired a very secretive organization of assassins. They are known only as the Shadowcloaks." Phoenix looked at Jet, who had an expressionless look on his face.
"What for, shogun?" asked Torl.
"I decided that I wanted them as allies so that if we ever needed them, we could use them to assassinate targets from other territories and even scout the enemy temples." Kaz explained.
"Couldn't you have told us this outside in the throne room though? I thought this room was reserved for extreme situations or planning." Jet questioned. Kaz nodded his head.
"Yes, but I have several of the Shadowcloaks here with us. I don't want anyone else in the army but us to know about them being allies to us." said the shogun. Phoenix looked around the room but saw no one else but him, the other generals, and the shogun.
"They are here?" asked Phoenix. Shogun Kaz nodded his head and smiled. Suddenly, a figure wearing a dark cloak walked out of the shadowy corner. Another figure manifested himself out of another corner, followed by two more. Eventually, four cloaked figures stood in the room. Phoenix put his hand on his katana, just in case.
"My name is Wolfgang, I am the guild master of the Shadowcloaks. We are basically mercenaries but are also trained assassins." said one of the figures. Unlike the other cloaked people, his hood had gold tips and around his collar was gold too. The other figures cloaks were just plain black.
"We have been paid greatly by your shogun to help him and you guys. Whenever you need us, come find us at our headquarters. It's in a cave called Hrolt's Tomb, which is located right outside the village of Knip here. If you need a mission done for you, we will gladly do it as long as you pay us beforehand." said Wolfgang. Phoenix and the other generals nodded.
"Great. You guy's can go. Thank you for coming." said Kaz. Wolfgang nodded his head. Phoenix noticed that the man's face was completely concealed underneath the hood. Wolfgang and the other three figures disappeared into the shadowy corners of the room again.
"Wait, where are they going? This room doesn't have windows, does it?" asked Torl.
"It doesn't. They are just using secret passages that I have had designed months ago." Kaz replied.
"Makes sense." said Torl.
"We can get out of here. Remember to keep this a secret between the six of us." said Kaz. The generals bowed towards the shogun, who bowed back. As Jet and Phoenix left the throne room, Jet noticed his younger cousin head towards the temple's main doors.
"Where are you going, Phoenix?" asked Jet.
"I'm actually going to see if they can assist me with something. Do you want to come?" asked Phoenix. Jet shrugged his shoulders.
"Eeh, why not."
Callum put on some clean pants and a shirt before heading out of the temple and into the village. As Callum made his way through the crowded village, he spotted Ketra working behind the apple stall. He smiled and walked over to her.
"Hey, Ketra." said Callum, standing by the side of the stall. Ketra looked up at him and smiled.
"Hey. I'm assuming you aren't patrolling the village and stuff today?" asked Ketra as she helped another customer. Callum nodded his head.
"Lucky for you, my shift is about to be over. Just wait here." said Ketra, handing the customer several apples. They nodded their head in thanks before turning and leaving.
"So you get a lot of customers?" asked Callum, watching Ketra run her hand through her hair. She quickly nodded her head.
"A....lot...." she said very slowly. Callum snickered and shook his head.
"But, this isn't my only job. My other job is far worse." said Ketra.
"What's your other job?" Callum asked.
"I work at a tavern at another village in the territory. I need all the money I can get." Ketra explained.
"Why's that?" Callum questioned.
"It's actually a long story, I'll explain once the other vendor gets here." Ketra replied before making the apples in the buckets look organized.
"Where do you get those apples from?" Callum asked. Ketra laughed.
"You ask too many questions, Cal." Ketra joked. Uhh, rude, Callum thought.
"The other vendor has a farm nearby, and he collects these from the apple trees every week. Speaking of the other vendor, here he comes right now." said Ketra, pointing at the older man walking up towards them. Callum recognized the man from the other day. He also thought about his aunt and uncle when Ketra mentioned the farm. Callum forgot about the tragedy with everything that has happened recently.
"Alright, Ketra. You can go, now." said the man, taking Ketra's spot behind the stall.
"Thanks, Lars. I'll see you tomorrow." said Ketra, grabbing her small purse from a shelf on the stall and then walked out from behind the stall.
"Follow me." said Ketra. Callum looked at the orange-purple sky and saw the sun setting off in the horizon. There were only a few clouds floating in the sky. Ketra entered the inn first and walked over to the counter, where a younger man was sitting reading a book.
"Excuse me." Ketra started. The man looked up at Ketra and put his finger on the page and then closed the book over his finger.
"I know your boss doesn't normally let anyone who doesn't own a room upstairs, but I have a room and he is a friend of mine, so can he go up there with me, please?" Ketra asked.
"Yes, but if he stays overnight or something, he will have to pay for staying here with you or if he needs a room for himself." said the man, his voice sounding pretty low for his age.
"Thank you." said Ketra, before walking towards a set of stairs next to the counter. Callum nodded towards the man, who nodded back and opened his book once more. Callum followed Ketra through a maze of hallways before reaching a door with the number 35 scratched on. Ketra unlocked the door with a key and then entered first, Callum following suit.
"Have you ate?" asked Ketra. Callum shook his head as he looked around the room. It was a medium sized room. It contained a round table with several chairs, a window that overlooked the village, a small fireplace with a cooking pot over top of it, and a bed by the corner, which was next to the window. Ketra grabbed two plates from a shelf and then pulled out a chest from under her bed. She opened the chest and reached in before grabbing a large chunk of venison. Callum looked at the meat and then the chest. Eww, how long have you had that sitting in there?
"In case you are wondering, I got this earlier today, cleaned it off, and put it in this chest, which is filled with ice." said Ketra, putting the venison in the cooking pot and then lighting a match, which set the firewood gathered up on fire. Because the building was made of stone, nothing got caught on fire.
"Where'd you get all the ice from?" Callum questioned.
"A friend of mine, let's just say he knows a few spells." Ketra replied. Callum opened his eyes wide.
"Spells? Is he some sort of mage?" Callum asked. Ketra let out a sigh and dropped her shoulders.
"Cal, you really are one inquisitive person." Ketra said before turning the venison around with a wooden spoon. Hey, I'm just trying to have a conversation and not awkwardly stand here in silence, Callum thought.