Amadeus

In tenth-era Eldrin, two young boys, orphaned at a young age, are mentored by a wealthy man to become assassins. Then, after the tragic murder of their adopted father, the boys, now young men, seek to demolish the insurgence of ten years earlier, La Vigilantanos. *Note*: Graphic Violence. Not for the faint of heart. P.S. This series falls into multiple categories, and each book will most likely have its own genre.

Cover courtesy of TheFuzz http://www.movellas.com/en/people/profile/201302192026432898

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1. First Encounters

Amadeus

Book 1

 

Foreword

 

There are some in Eldrin who believe that we never truly die. When we pass from one life, we merely enter another. Some hold this belief as the cause of love. Some as the cause of Déjà vu. This belief, while some say preposterous, is true. Multiple lives can be achieved for those who have not lived their full lifetime. Those murdered and diseased who died before their time. There is something that, after death, takes you into a new life. Modern sciences enable people to view their last life, if it has existed, by viewing the parts of the brain, formerly deemed "unused." This journal contains the details of a certain man's first life. A man by the name of Amadeus. 

 

Chapter One

First Encounters

 

A word of advice: never steal things from burly merchants. While some usually seem quite lazy, that front disappears right as someone takes their products. My only hope at the moment, while sprinting away from the pudgy food merchant near the town square, was that I would live to tell that advice. I took a sharp left, knocking over a man holding some firewood, and ran down an alley. I tucked the watch box that I stole from the clockmaker in the town square under my arm. Inside was a beautiful golden watch that I planned to keep for myself. 

Now, I could have afforded this particular watch, even though it would take a large chunk out of my spending budget. But I lived by the rule that if you can steal it, don't waste money on it. Especially with items that are not only very expensive, but also very concealable. 

I heard the watchmaker's assistant, a burly man in his mid-forties, running at me with astounding speed for his girth. I knew I had agility on my side, but if I let this man catch up to me, I was a goner. I took a sharp left into another alley, and then a quick right, and pressed up against an alcove in the wall to my right. The man would never see this coming. As I heard him approach, I tossed a pebble next to me into the alley across from the one that currently served as my hiding place. I heard him turn and run down that alley, bewildered that I was out of sight. 

Once I heard him clomp down the opposite way, I sighed loudly, only slightly winded from my near-death experience. And then, from my right a heard a rather impatient, "Excuse me," from what sounded to be a woman. My head snapped in her direction, my senses still on overdrive from my escape. Standing there was a young woman, part of a wealthy family, by her extravagant yet reserved clothing. Her hair was chocolate brown, braided and tossed over her right shoulder. Her eyes were beautiful; a deep green, akin to an emerald. I was awestruck for a moment until she spoke again. 

"Do I know you?" she asked. As I started to shake my head, she gasped. "You!" she exclaimed. "You were the boy! You stole the bread! I helped you escape from that wretch of a baker, if you recall." As I started to shake my head once again, a memory of my brother and I stealing from an old baker popped into my head. My brother distracted him by asking him for a small offering for a starving orphan. The starving orphan part was no lie, my brother and I were completely alone, living off of what we could find or steal from merchants. As I grabbed the loaf, he noticed me, and chased us. My brother and I sped off in different directions. He chased me down various alleyways, until he had almost caught me. 

Then, a young girl about my age called to me, and told me to hide under the tablecloth on the table next to her. I did immediately, trusting this girl with my life. The baker lost track of me, and after he passed, I uttered a quick thank you and ran off to where I was hiding. 

I nodded, and she smiled. She looked at the watch box tucked under my arm and smirked. 

"And you are still up to no good. What is your name?" She asked, chuckling. As I was about to answer, I heard the man coming back down the alleyway, shaking his fist at me. I ran off to the right, and behind me I heard the girl make a noise that portrayed the offense she took by that. No matter, I thought. I will probably never talk to her again. And with that, I sprinted off, knocking down a stack of food crates, blocking the path of the man. I was home free. 

Soon I arrived home. Home really was an understatement, though. A better term would be estate. From the gates was a long paved road to the house. On its sides were fields and fields of crops and farmhouses, fenced in by a short stone wall. The house itself was enormous. It was a large villa, with red tiled roofs, and tan walls, with vines streaming down wooden stands. The porch itself was quite large, about twenty feet wide, with more red tiles covering the roof of it. The roof was held up by thick pillars, as large as tree trunks. The doors were beautiful wood, about eight or nine feet tall, with stained glass windows near the top, where the doors came to a rounded point. The porch had stone fencing running along the edge, with various flower pots sitting atop the walls. 

My older brother sat upon one of said walls, spinning a small pistol in his hands. "And the Ghost of Eldrin appears," my brother said, chuckling. I smirked at him, and walked up the stairs to the porch. He swung his legs over the wall and jumped onto the porch. "Where were you?"

"I was, uh, busy," I told him, strapping on the stolen gold watch. He smirked, knowing that I was up to no good. We really never were, but we didn't openly admit it. 

"Padere has been waiting for you," he mentioned, as a side note. I nodded. Padere was the Icran word for Father. Icran was the native language of those of us that lived in the western Eldrin.

"Did he say what he needed?"

He scoffed. "Does he ever?" he asked me sarcastically. I chuckled. Padere was always a very secretive man, even since he took us in. 

I remembered that day. The day we met him. It had been a cold winter, with spring just around the corner. The snow had finally stopped for the season, and rain had come in its place. My brother and I sat shivering in our makeshift hut in a back alley. We huddled near each other for warmth, sharing our only dry blanket. I could feel the rain fall through the small holes in our fabric ceiling, only a few inches above us. It ran through my long, black hair, matting it down. 

I heard footsteps from down the street. I hoped to Diose that it wasn't the warden to take us back to that gods-forsaken orphanage, with that awful woman, Madonia Cesan, who beat the children she looked over. 

I now realized, through the heavy thump of rain on the street, that it was multiple people walking down the street. I heard the swinging of a pocket watch chain, and knew that it was Le Vigilantanos, the self-proclaimed saviors of the city. They believed that the Eldrinian Empire was corrupt, and their mission was to liberate Relicairn, our home, from the soldiers. They patrolled at night, assaulting the guards when they least expected it. They were almost all from well-to-do Relicanian families, and I knew that my brother and I at ten and eleven, being the accomplished young thieves that we were, could find ripe pickings on these thugs. 

I nudged my brother, and mouthed "Vigilantanos." He nodded to me, and we knew the motions. He would beg them for a spare coin, and I would act as his sickly brother in need of a hospital. Once he got their attention, I would pick their pockets. Then, they would drop us a coin or two, and we would sell the goods we stole for a decent price. 

My brother crawled onto the street when they came by. I examined them. Their leader, with Le Vigilantanos' signature silver pocket watch, embossed with a serpent, was rather short, but burly. He had a head of shaggy hair, and an arrogant "Do not cross me," kind of face. I knew he would put up a fight if bad went to worse. His cronies were also dangerous looking. One about average height, and muscular, with a shaved head, and the other very tall and slim with long brown hair. The leader had but a small dagger, easily able to disarm. The muscular one had a pistol in a holster on his right side, and brass knuckles on his right hand. The combination made him a very difficult adversary, I noted, so this had to be spot free. And the tall one had a long sword sheathed on his left side. It was loosely clipped on to his belt, and I knew that I could easily knock it off. 

My brother stepped in, crying, talking about how his younger brother might be close to death and that we just needed a few Crenos to help me. I coughed a few times, reinforcing the lie. I then crawled over to the muscular man, and grabbed the coin purse hanging from his belt loop. He jerked, and his purse hit my hand, making a very surprisingly loud clang. 

Their heads jerked towards me. I shrunk back into the little hut, hoping that no one noticed me. The muscular one gripped the collar of my coat, and pulled me up into the air. The tall one grabbed my brother. 

"You little thief," he said, in his strong Ruric accent. He punched me in my gut twice, and threw me onto the floor. As, he poised to kick me, I heard a firm voice yell, "Stop!" 

A man stood at the end of the alley, silhouetted by the dim street lamps looming behind him. The man dropped me, and approached the other man at the end of the alley. He lifted his fist, and in a split second, the Vigilantano was on the ground, a knife impaled in his chest. The man pulled the knife out of the corpse, and sheathed it. The tall Vigilantano ran at him with his sword held high. The man smirked, dodged his down-swing, and grabbed his throat. He slammed him into the wall so hard that his skull cracked. Blood now covered the man's right hand as he slowly walked to the leader. The short man turned and sprinted, fear in his eyes. As he turned the corner of the alley, the man turned to us. 

Now illuminated slightly, I could make out his appearance. His face was chiseled, with sharp features. He wore an elegant white shirt, showing he was of a wealthy heritage. Over that he wore a dark red vest, and a black hooded cloak. He kneeled down to my brother and I, and as we backed into the wall, he held out his hand. 

"Where are your parents?" He asked us, softly. 

My brother's eyebrows furrowed. "Dead," he said, steel in his voice. The man saddened. 

"Do you have a home?" He asked. I shook my head slowly. He nodded. He then smiled. "I saw you boys trying to steal from those thugs. You may have skill, but you could be better. Would you like me to help your skills develop?"

I nodded, and bowed along with my brother, saying, "It would be an honor, Missero. But may I ask your name?"

He smiled warmly to us. "I am Alesan Tirene. And yours?"

I answered back timidly. "I am Amadeus. And this is my older brother, Alder."

After that, my brother and I bloomed. We became the best thieves and assassins in all of West Eldrin. He trained us day by day to be quick, quiet, nimble, and resourceful. Alesan Tirene, in fact, was a master killer. He was paid by various people to assassinate their adversaries for them, no strings attached. In turn, we worked with him, taking some assignments for ourselves, much to his pleasure. 

Knowing Padere, he would probably have a job for me ready to go. I walked into the manor, and turned into his study. The shelves of his study were stuffed with books, old contracts, information on targets, and other documents of the sort. Currently he was hunched over a document. He ran his hands through his short black hair, graying from his age, his stress evident. He was not the man he once was. He now had to take to a walking stick to stabilize himself. His bones now creaked from his many years of climbing, jumping, and running. But inside, he was still, the kind, mischievous man that raised us. 

I knocked on the door frame, startling Padere. His head jerked up, and he smiled as he realized I was there. 

"Amadeus! I have an errand for you to run," he told me. I raised an eyebrow. "I need you to visit a friend of mine, Devone. I need this message translated. I have been hired to kill some of those insurgents from the south by one of the king's men. And to do that," he slammed the document on his desk, "I need Devone to decipher it. The insurgents were clever, using a very difficult code."

"Spare me the details, Padere. I will be back by sunset." I bowed to him, and walked out of the study. I strolled over to the stables and mounted my midnight-black horse, Aurano. I spurred him, and trotted off, waving to Alder as I left. 

 

When I arrived at Devone Martello's villa, it seemed as if a large celebration was taking place. I had Aurano canter over to the stable master. I hopped off, and handed his reigns to the young man keeping watch over the guests' horses. I strolled over to the mercenaries hired to guard the villa. The guards crossed their halberds in front of my chest, prohibiting my entrance. 

"Invitation," ordered one of them. 

"I need to consult Mastanto Martello," I said, slightly irritated at the setback. 

"Invitation only," the guard insisted. "None gain entrance to Madame Martello's wedding without an invitation." I nodded, understanding the tight security and multitude of horses at the stables now.

"Tell Devone that an old friend has sent for his aid. Mention to him the name 'Tirene.'

The guard nodded, and walked through the gates. I knew I would gain entrance with my name. 

The guard came back a moment later, telling me to follow him. I nodded and smiled. 

"I apologize, Miserro. Mastanto Martello has ordered the security of his home to be increased tenfold on this day. His daughter is his only family after Madena 'Martello..." He trailed off. 

I nodded. "No probleme, I understand the pain of losing a loved one. It changes something in a man." He nodded to me. 

We reached the flight of stairs to the study quite quickly. The guard saluted me, and returned to his post. I climbed the stairs, knocking on the wooden door at the top. 

Soon I was greeted with the face of Devone. The years had started to take their toll, as he now appeared very old. 

"Amadeus!" He cried in his strong accent, embracing me. "What a pleasure, my lad, as always."

As we parted, I spoke. "Devone, I did not know that today was young Ceska's wedding! Send her my congratulations."

He looked slightly puzzled. "Will you not attend?" he asked. 

"Sadly, no, Devone. I have come to ask a favor of you."

"Of course, anything within reason, Amadeus. What do you require?"

I smiled, grateful of Devone's never ending kindness. "My father needs a translation of this message. He has been hired to eliminate the Southern insurgents. This is very crucial," I explained. He nodded slowly. 

"Ah, no problem! I shall have a transcript done in minutes! You can just wait here, I will be back shortly," he said, walking through the door to his private library. 

I waited, and just as he said, it took only minutes for him to return. His face was stern. 

"I have finished, lad, but I must warn you and your family. The men you will be dealing with are very powerful. You walk on thin ice, my friend. Tread carefully."

I nodded, and thanked him for his kindness. I walked down the flight of stairs, saluted the guards at the gate, and mounted Aurano. I rode off into the setting sun, returning the message to my father. I pondered Devone's remark. He seemed to know much about the danger of these mysterious men. I had misgivings then of my father taking this assignment. 

When I arrived home, I immediately went to Padere's study. As I entered, my aging father, who must have been expecting me, stood from his large leather chair that we called "The Throne." I smiled at him, to which he returned a grin. 

"Amadeus, you bring the message I requested?" he asked, business always first on his mind. 

My smile faded. "Yes Padere. Although Devone sends his greetings, he sends a warning as well. The men you will be trifling with are very influential, and very dangerous, Padere. I do not-" he interrupted me. 

"I will be fine, Amadeus. The former Ghost of Eldrin can still handle himself, even if he is a little old," he joked, attempting to lighten the mood. I could tell he did not want me to worry, and knew very well the dangers of this assignment. 

I frowned still, and said, "I trust you, Padere. Just... Be careful. That is all I ask." And with that, I left the study. I could see through the windows that the sun was past setting, and dusk had drifted into night. I decided to retire early that night. The servants had run a bath for me while I was gone, and I disrobed, and stepped in. Devone's warning ran through my head. You walk on thin ice. Tread carefully. 

I mulled over that for an hour in the bath. I then donned my big clothes, and as I was about to retire for the night, I heard a loud crash from downstairs. It sounded as if it came from the study. Padere!

I ran out my door. Alder, who's room was right beside mine, emerged at the same moment. We looked at each other, and ran down the stairs. We heard a gunshot from the study, giving me a pit in my stomach. I grabbed a dagger off of a pedestal, and burst end into the study. Padere was laying in his chair, a bullet wound in his chest. The window was broken, and a man dressed in tight black clothes was jumping through it, leaping into the rain. I threw the dagger at his back, hitting him right between the shoulder blades. He collapsed, not dead, but losing blood by the gallon. 

I jumped through the window, and ran to the killer. I grabbed his collar, and hoisted him up. His face was covered completely, except for his mouth and eyes. 

"Who do you work for?!" I yelled at him. 

He spat in my face, and whispered, "Vivere La Vigilantanos."

I ripped the dagger out of his back, and ran it through his eye. Blood gushed forth, covering my chest and neck. He screamed in pain, and then stopped, dead. I ripped out the dagger, leaving him there, mutilated. I ran back to the window, tears welling up in my eyes. Padere was not dead yet. 

I hopped through the window. Alder held him in his arms, sobbing, covered in blood. I kneeled next to them. He looked at both of us, and said, "You boys could have never made me anymore proud than I already am. I lived a full life. Find-" he stopped coughing up blood. "Find Daricemo. Kill him. Finish my work. We will meet in the heavens, sons. Fight well." He looked at the ceiling, murmuring, "The light..." And then, he lay still, skin cold as stone. 

 

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