The Life and Death of Lord Savage
Lord Seveage had been safe for the last sixteen years at the very top of his ivory tower, overlooking the parliamentary biddings from afar. He was a fair and just ruler of the high court, and had given aid to the Empress for many years. He taught her everything she currently knew about the laws and regulations that came from the governing proceedings. In the time that he had been working his rank, however, he had done some unsavoury things in his free time that had recently been uncovered by a small group of wealthy folk from Manoria. Though, due to his status, his affairs had been covered with dirt. Though,it was perhaps not merely just a covering, moreso layers upon layers. So many layers, in fact, that the Empress herself had not even heard about the atrocities. Thus, the Murder of Crows had a meeting.
A table of fancy suits sat patiently and idly as Freyja was informed of her target, and the mission surrounding it. Beaked faces turned to her with interest, her reaction was their immediate concern, wondering if this would be the mission that would see her oppose. If it were the one that would lose her. But, her taught nod of approval, and the white-knuckled grip she had on her weaponry as she exited the hall, was telling enough of her stance.
She arrived at Kytheiux with haste, sneaking her way through the neighbouring village of Opklir and arriving at the target dock. It was less populated near the water, the ice cold breeze that swept over the ocean was enough to keep even those with the thickest of skin in the capital of the country, so she doubted there would be any resistance from the general populace on the account of her being there. She swept through the abandoned cities with ease, careful still, treading through the dockmen’s quarters as the towering influence of the parliamentary house came into view. There were less guards than she imagined, most patrolling the entryway, or playing with cards out by the fence. She crawled her way through the underbrush, eyes glued to the lone window on the fourth floor. Open, though barely enough for a soft breeze, she gathered her confidence and maneuvered herself using select exposed bricks, unknowing of whether it would hold her weight, or collapse if she breathed in its general direction.
She gently pried the window open, hooking her legs beneath her in a squat and heaving it upward with the strength of her entire body. The bodice of her suit constricted her ability to easily wiggle her way through the gap she had made and instead, she straightened her body as though she were trapped in a coffin, and eased herself through. She hit the ground with the balls of her feet, the noise gentle and softened by the thick Aristriausian carpet that lined the hall. She followed the sound of voices, recognizing one as her informant. He was with another man, preferably that Lord Seveage.
They were in the hall directly above, and with the imprint of the map still freshly sketched on a scrap of paper, she found her way to the stairway, a cylindrical aspect of the building that took one from the bottom floor, to that of the sixteenth. Why a city needed sixteen levels in a parliamentary building seemed beyond comprehension, and more often than not, it still led to the same unwise and unethical decisions that the leaders would make in that of a two-storey complex.
She continued upward.
They were talking loudly, perhaps the informant knew that her arrival was planned for that night, he had been rather aloof when it came to preparing the date. The Murder was not too concerned if the informant was killed in the crossfire, they were a secret organisation after all, and what is a secret organisation if not one that tied up fraying ends?
She followed their voices down the next hall, from what she could tell by the closed windows and drawn blinds was that Lord Seveage was weary of his present status. And with what had come to light, there was no telling why. Though, from how loud he spoke and the strange way he trekked through the long halls with an absence of coordination, she deemed he was drunk. Perhaps their informant had done his part after all. She could tell it was Seveage that flung the door to his office open, as the wooden structure struck against the neighbouring wall with a splitting crack. His companion tried, in vain, to quiet the old man’s rumbles as he carried on about the state of himself, but proceeded to leave the room as he was shouted out.
Freyja hid herself in the shadows that the lanterns wouldn’t light, the informant doing a haphazard glance around the hall and, before nodding, exited the floor with a lighter step that made him reach the stairwell in a matter of seconds. Freyja uncoiled herself from the shadows, slowly bringing her beaked mask down over her face as she found cover at the meeting of the hall’s wall and the ornate office door. She took two controlled breaths, feeling herself become overrun with adrenaline.
She bawled her fists, one resting at her right side, the other behind her back with her elbow bent. She entered with grace. Eyeing up Seveage with pity before coming to rest at his desk. It took the drunken man a moment to register that someone had come in, but, by the way his eyes expressed his surprise, Freyja knew that even a man as drunk as he, would know who she was, and what she was about to do.
He spoke with confidence, though showed none on his countenance. “Are you the Knightjar?”
Freyja nodded. She had been instructed not to speak while she was on her hunts. Seveage seemed to notice this, and continued his questions. “Are you here to kill me?”
She nodded again.
Seveage reclined back in his chair, those lines of worry gone from his face. “I suppose I deserve it,” he rambled, running a bony hand through his head of hair? “I have been remiss, can’t you see? I am not the terrible man you have been asked to kill. I have been set up… woe is me… I work hard for the Empress!... this man has no morals… I have changed my ways… do not have any sympathy… I have created a parliament with justice at its core… boo hoo hoo.”
Freyja stood silent for almost five rounds of the clock that hung behind him. She was getting impatient, the fist that was balled around the hilt of her sword began to twitch, fingers toying with the smooth leather that lay beneath them. Finally, she broke her one rule, her mask preventing her voice from behind properly understood, her sentence coming out slightly muffled, though it was heard. “Oh, shut up.”
She drew her sword from its sheath and ran the blade across Lord Seveage’s throat with the grace of a bird slicing its wing through the sky. The cut was so precise it took the man moments to realise that he was, in fact, bleeding profusely from his neck. He gurgled on his own blood for a few seconds, bringing his hands unceremoniously to the wound, only to find that it was beyond saving, and slumped over his desk.
She exited the office, only to find that the informant had returned, and that he had been followed by a mass of other parliamentary folk.
The Knightjar had committed her last kill for the Murder of Crows.