The Story of Our Beginning

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The Goodbye

Layla

I dragged the wet rag across the table in the empty tavern. I hope Vasper is okay. Why did he even get called to her? What does she want? I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t even notice the door open.

“Is that table really that dirty?” A voice said behind me. I know that voice. I whipped my body around, hopeful for who it is. Alas, I was right. The tall, lanky idiot was smirking in the doorway, his dark curly hair disheveled from sleep I would presume, humor dancing in his dark blue eyes. I dropped the rag on the table and crossed my arms.

“Vasper Bellatrix, I am so close to killing you right now. You had me wait for a whole revolution. A whole revolution! You don’t even have a scratch on you! I was worried sick!” I yelled. He rolled his eyes in response and walked over to me. He pulled me into his arms and held me tight. I refused to hug him back, but after a few moments, I couldn’t hold back and I returned the hug.

“I’m sorry, Layla.” He mumbled as he held me tighter. I sighed and pulled away. I reached around to the inside of the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of mead. I slammed it down on the table.

“Tell me everything.” I stared at him with as much seriousness as I could. He took a deep breath and sat down. I followed him and sat down next to him. He cleared his throat and started talking. He had gone to the queen, but instead of being killed, the queen asked of his help. He was tasked with killing the day queen. I sat in silence as he continued to talk.

“So, I spent all night trying to figure out how to do this.” His hands rubbed his face.

“Did you figure it out?”

“Yeah. I’ll find the emissary and talk to him. Then I’ll disguise myself as a servant and finish the job. Hopefully, I’ll make it out alive.” He cupped his face with his hands.

“What’s wrong?” I asked something was clearly wrong. He looked really stressed.

“This is the biggest thing I’ve done, and the riskiest.”

“Then it’s just a bragging right. You can walk around saying you killed the Day Queen.”

“I don’t know. It’s not like I can refuse it either. The Queen gave me two hundred drega as a starting pay.”

“Really?” my eyes started to widen, “What’s the end price?”

“One thousand drega.”

My jaw slacked and my eyes widened even more. One thousand drega? From the Queen? This is definitely a moment in history we need to remember.

“The most you ever got out of a contract was three hundred drega!” I exclaimed, still shocked.

“I know.” He said silently, his head still in his hands.

“Why aren’t you excited?” I asked, watching him rub his face as if trying to wake himself up from a nonexistent dream.

“If I don’t do it, I’m going to be killed. If I do it, I run the risk of being killed.” He finally took his hands away from his face and put them in his lap, as a subtle form of defeat. My heart broke for him. He’s not in love with his job, but it’s what pays the bills. I can see where his fear is coming from. He’s never traveled to the Day Kingdom to complete a contract. This is completely new territory for him.

“Come on you big baby.” I punched him lightly in the shoulder. “What have I always told you since we were kids?”

“No hill is too big to climb?”

“Yeah. This is just a big scary hill. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it.” I smiled at him, trying to instill as much positivity and confidence in him as I can.

“Okay then. I guess I have to go. I have to get stuff ready to head out there.” He stood up from the seat and looked at me. I stood up with him and hugged him tightly. I held out my pinky finger to him. When we were kids, instead of saying goodbye we would interlock our pinky fingers. I was always afraid of goodbyes because there’s no guarantee that the person will come back. So, I told him I wanted to do a pinky promise instead. A promise that the person will try their hardest to come back home. He smiled at me and grabbed my pinky with his. He pulled away and walked towards the door. He looked back before walking out, giving me a nod then finally leaving.

When the door swung shut, my whole demeanor collapsed. Worry rushed through my body. Will he come back? Will he die? Will he fail? I shook my head and pinched myself. He’s going to be fine. I know he’ll be okay. He is the best assassin in the whole Kingdom. I took a deep breath and picked myself back up. I walked to the back of the tavern to see if we need to restock on supplies.

Vasper, please don’t screw this up.

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