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One step at a time

By EndEmi

Fantasy / Adventure

Who is this for?

A goblet fell with a loud crash, nothing in the room moved when the body met the floor.  Nobody breathed and the silence after was the loudest in history. Everyone waited, a heartbeat; two…

And when nothing more then  happened, a breath of air was sucked out of the room. It was as if everybody let out their breath on the same time. All went back to normal, or at least as normal it can be when you almost was blown to pieces in a room full of assassins. And a man nobody really knew had died.

Something big was bound to happen this evening and everybody knew it. It wasn’t easy to mingle in a calm sense when somebody could just kill whoever anytime.

Ja’far didn’t want to be a part of it all, he had just come because his elder had told him that it would be a big announcement in the end of the evening that would change things and he was still curious enough to let himself be dragged to the thing.  Now he was just standing alone in a corner overlooking the big spectacle; not drinking nor eating, he had no intention of dying tonight thank you.

Everybody in the room who was someone had a great deal of enemies, and even they who nobody knew had enemies; just because they were assassins and a assassin is never loved, not even by his own.

Maybe he should have thought about dressing in something else, the brown cloak and bandage didn’t exactly stand out but they didn’t blend very well either. Out on the street they were no problem but in here, with all the people in nice clothes and fancy jewelrys he was an eyesore. He was the youngest of the group, had always been. Fist when he started to live of the street he was just a common thief like every other orphaned kid, but all needs a way to survive right, and thievery didn’t hold in the end so assassin was a good compliment, and he had a way with it so why not.

The red strings around his arms reflected in the poor lightning in the room and stood out against his ivory skin, never something he had been nervous about before that people might see them, they still didn’t know what they was for. But in here, when most of the people knew him or of him, they were a nail in sore eyes. Everyone knew what they did and what he could do with them, and you just didn’t go flinging around you assassin tool to others; not in a delicate situation like this. It was like asking to get killed, and not in a good way.

So far 4 people had died, and as the darkness fell more would come to join the watchers of the night. There was plenty of food and wine on the table, but just a very few fools did eat and drink of it. Nobody wanted to take a shot from a poisoned goblet like before.

“Well well well if it isn’t little Ja’far! How come you are invited here, I thought we didn’t pick up dirty snakes?”

A robust man was walking over to where Ja’far stood, with a loud booming voice everyone within a mile could hear him; probably wanted to be imitating but all he got was a glare. He wouldn’t give him the pleasure of a reply.

“How about it nosy, did you want to be with  the big boys or are Parthevia's starting to get bored of you huh?”

Still ignored, Ja’far casted an eye around the room of all the people looking at them.

“Will you look at me when I’m talking to you scum!!” A roar now, someone should learn to behave and it wasn’t him for ignoring the man.

“Hey you!!” The fat mans hand reached out and grabbed his shoulder and when he moved, a sharp dagger could be seen from under his cloak, not a good situation to be in.

“That’s enough Malither.”

Another hand had come to rest upon the mans on his shoulder and someone was standing behind him. The fat man, apparently Malither jerked his hand away liked it had been burned; but the other stayed on his shoulder, safe and warm.

“Why do you care Yamisha, he’s not your friend or anything, just a slimy snake here to make a mocking of us all.”

“He’s still not yours to torment Malither, he has done nothing wrong tonight and you know it”

Malither just gave the newcomer a snarl, turned and walked away with angry stomps.

“It is not wise to raise your weapons in here young Ja’far, everyone is on edge and another bloodbath would not stay as calmly as the last one.”

His hand on Ja’fars shoulder tightened before letting go and with it Ja’far also relaxed the hand he had been clutching his blades in, ready to attack the annoying pig of before. He didn’t turn, didn’t need to. All he did was  stare on the now empty spot the man of before had been in, no he still didn’t want to be here.

“You didn’t have to…” Ja’fars voice was small and rarely used, so it came out more like a harsh whisper.

“No of course not, but like I said; I don’t want another bloodbath and as you were about to kill that man, more blood had been inevitable tonight. And your head had certainly been quick to fall. “

“I can take care of myself...”

“Yes I know. But even if the emperor has grown tired of you, I haven’t and would like you still with us.”

He gave Ja’far a tiny smile but it went by unnoticed by Ja’far who still hadn’t turned around.
The dusk was falling quickly and soon the dim room had to be lit by torches and different kind of lights, the partying had been going on for a while and so nobody had died in the near hour so everybody had lighten up on the eating and drinking.

The shadows seemed to grow more and more intense as they crept up the walls, the opulent room grew smaller and Ja’far felt the uneasy feeling return. Everybody knew the egg of a knife and how it felt to be twisted in you stomach, and if the air in the room was a jaggered knife everyone had one on their throat. for something was bound to happens and soon enough.

A big curtain fell over the the empty stage, the silence that followed kept everyone at edge. A tall man appeared on the lit up space acting as a stage tonight and smiled broadly at the masses. Everyone knew him and it was easy to say he wasn’t liked.

“Everyone!” He was clad in a velvet coat and dark shirt and pants that showed his wealth and high standard.
“Tonight we have the pleasure to be gathered here together in a celebration of joy. Not many of you have settle well with the new empire and it’s ruler, but tonight we will have a big change in monarchy!”

The crowd was grunting in disagreement at his words but still kept quiet.

“As you all know the current ruler is a fat, lazy pig who can’t distinguish between his feet and a sack potato; so tonight we have organised a mission to set the right ruler on the throne.”
A clutter of lame applaudes was heard, nobody seems to be overly excited over the flamboyant man.

“And how would we do that then?!” A woman with a sour look spoke from the back of the room.
“We all know you can not just kill the king, nothing would change and the council would just place another moron there in his stead.” She continued with agreeing nods and ‘that’s right’ from her fellow assassin’s.

“And that’s the grand scheme of our plan, we plan to infiltrate the council and overpower the deciding order of those fools and then we can set out the new move!”
“Who is this new ruler you talk of?” The crowd was a bit more interested now but still overy sceptical.

“The Kou empire has offered us a great deal of money to whoever organize and carry out this plan, they think that putting a son of the emperor on the throne will strengthen the hold and double the discipline of the people.”
Ja’far had stopped listening a long time ago, this was not a big announcement; this was just another one of their silly plans to overthrow the king. He had witnessed some of these so called ‘plans’ before and all had ended in disaster.

He tried to get out of there, unwilling to participate in this nonsense anymore. It should have been an easy task when all the other was focused on the speaker, if not someone he recognized had been standing beside the door.

Ja’far bowed his head and tried to slink past the assassin without a word but he was stopped before he passed the door. The long sword at his throat didn’t faze him, just threw a nasty glare at the owner and maybe his ‘companion’ would let him through.

“Parthevia's has a mission for you”
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1. Who is this for?
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