Assassin's Creed: Vengeance

When Angélie Delacroix's mother is killed in front of her very own eyes, she wants answers.
She is the daughter of an infamous Assassin and while blessed with beauty and courage, her strength is also her downfall. She must venture to Paris to join the elite Assassin Order her father did so much for, however nothing is quite as it seems.
In a world of love, hate and betrayal, how will she ever learn who to trust? Or rather...who should be her first target?

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4. Chapter Four

For the next few days, Angélie did as her father told her.

She walked and walked until her feet were covered in blisters and she was faint from exhaustion. Jean-Luc had made sure she would have enough food for her journey - what good would have come of all this if the daughter Juliette had died trying to protect simply died of starvation? She was given money too, just in case she might need it, and a small locket so she wouldn't forget her father. Angélie was still confused, one hundred thoughts span around her head every second, each one scarier than the last. How had her father known they had been there? Why was he such a good fighter? But more importantly...

What did those men want from her?

The sun was low in the sky, the morning chill settling in her bones as she rested her legs next to an old stable. She was broken; the more she thought about her family the more the cracks inside of her grew, though it was all she could think about. What had she ever done to deserve this? She'd been a good kid, she'd followed the rules, been kind and polite to everyone she had encountered and yet still this had happened to her. Life really isn't fair, sometimes. Giving in, she crumpled her face in her hands and cried.

"Are you alright, miss?"

Blinking the tears away, Angélie glanced up at the owner of the voice. He was a tall country man, probably a farmer, with a kind face that had been beaten by the elements, warm, brown eyes and a gentle smile. He gave off an air of confidence and generosity.

"I-I'm fine," she stuttered, surprised at the sudden attention. Remembering her mother's voice constantly telling her to never talk to strangers, she gathered her bag and rose to continue on her trek. "Sorry, I should probably get going..."

"Where are you headed, miss?" he asked, causing her to pause in her retreat. Should she trust him? He didn't look like one of those men who'd tried to attack her...she could at least try. There was a pause.

"Paris," she answered, reluctantly, watching his expression change. His eyebrows shot up, a look of disbelief dominating his features.

"Well that sure is an awfully long way away, miss," he muttered, looking concerned. Extending one large hand, he introduced himself. "My name is Bernard, I run the stable. What's your name, miss?"

"It's nice to meet you, Bernard," she replied politely, accepting his hand. "I'm Angélie de la Croix, I've come from Dijon."

"Dijon? That's almost a two day's walk away!" Bernard exclaimed, gesturing for her to follow him into the stables. "You must be tired, Angélie."

"Oh, no, I'm fine, really," Angélie protested, uncomfortably. "As I said before, I should probably get going. I still have a long way to go before I reach Paris."

"You expect me to let a pretty little girl like yourself out into the open, with no means of transport?" he laughed. "No, ma'am, you need a horse if you're at least going to survive."

"A horse? But Bernard, I don't have that much money..." she mumbled, counting out the livres her father had given her.

"I'm willing to take a special price just for you," he smiled, warmly. "How about twenty livres?"

"Twenty? But sir, that's awfully cheap-"

"Angélie, you need a horse more than I do; I have plenty!"

"Well..."

"Take it or leave it, miss."

She considered the offer for a while. It was true she would make better time on a horse than on foot, but for only twenty livres? It was an insanely cheap price and she would feel guilty if she accepted it, but what other choice did she have? She couldn't offer more for fear of running out of money altogether, and she needed a horse...

"Okay, I'll take it."

~†~

After accepting the offer, Bernard had shown her to the most beautiful horse she'd ever seen. He was midnight black, with a mane so dark that in the sunlight each strand of hair seemed to give off hints of violet and emerald, much like a raven's feather. His name was Myth, as he had a small stump on his head - a birth defect, she supposed - that looked like the beginnings of a horn. Angélie had always liked the prospect of unicorns, they way they were so enchanting and mysterious... Mother had always read stories to her about unicorns, when she was younger.

"Are you sure you will be alright, miss?" Bernard asked for the fifth time, as she tied her bag to the horse. Myth snorted.

"I'm sure I'll be fine, Bernard," she laughed, flashing him a warm smile. It was the first time since her mother's death she'd been close to anything like happiness. "Thank you so much for your generosity. Perhaps if I ever return here I'll come and visit you."

"Yes, I would very much like that, Angélie," he replied, laughing with her. "Have a safe journey!"

With that one last wish fresh in her mind, Angélie climbed on her horse and set off in a fast gallop into the morning sun.

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