After we dealt with Tamir in Damas we headed to Masyaf.It took us about a day to arrive.When we arrived we went into the Master’s room and we spoke of the missions and of what both Tamir and Naplouse spoke of before they died.It seems as though nothing is really going on but still…I can’t shake the feeling that there is in fact something behind all of the words these men spoke of but oh well.After we had spoken with the Master we headed to Jerusalem.I had wondered why the Master smiled when he sent us off to Jerusalem but when we arrived at the bureau I found out why.When we entered Malik was behind the desk.It reminded me of that night…to see him like he was…it was my fault…and he was painfully aware of it…
~The Day Before~
“Master Al Mualim?Was he your teacher when you were becoming an Assassin?”I asked as we began to walk away from Damas.”Yes,he taught me everything I know about being an Assassin.He’s like a father to me.”Altair replied.I smiled at his reply.”So then,he must be a good man right?”I asked.He nodded.”Yes indeed.He has kept the brotherhood in order for years now.”He replied.”Was he the one that sent you on these missions?”I asked.His expression changed when I asked him that to one of hurt and what seemed to be regret.Should I have asked that question?”Yes…he sent me on these missions…”He replied.I frowned.I shouldn’t have asked,it looks as though there is more behind these missions then what I know.”I’m sorry I asked…j-just forget I said anything.”I said sadly.He blinked and looked at me a bit surprised.”It’s ok Kitsune don’t look so down about it.”Altair said with a smile.I smiled back and nodded.I like seeing him smile,it makes me smile too.As we walked on our way to Masyaf,day turned to night and soon we were surrounded by the cold night.I shivered and crossed my arms over my chest trying to warm myself up but it wasn’t really working.Then I felt Altair come and wrap his arms around me.I blinked and blushed darkly.”You seemed cold.”He began.”Do you want to stop here and rest for the night?”He asked.”I-If you’d like.”I replied shyly.He brought me closer to him and guided me to a spot under a tree that was conveniently next to a well.After a few minutes we had a fire roaring in front of us as we huddled close together for warmth.I blushed even more when he wrapped his arms around me again.Just having him close to me makes me blush darkly but having him hold me like this makes my cheeks burn.”Are you comfortable?”Altair asked.”Y-Yes thank you…”I replied in a shy tone.Altair chuckled softly at my reply and I could feel the rumbling in his chest when he did so.It made me smile to myself,secretly loving the vibration of his soft chuckle.”Hey Altair…”I began.”Yes Kitsune?”Altair asked.I wanted to talk with him,about anything,I just wanted to hear his voice before we slipped into the grasp of sleep.”What do you think has happened to Jerusalem?”I asked.”Hmm?What do you mean?”He asked.”Well I haven’t been to my home land in so long,I was wondering what has changed.Has anything changed?Has corruption taken its toll or has it been freed?”I asked.”To be honest,I don’t know.I haven’t been there in a while.”Altair replied.”Maybe we’ll go there one day.”He added.I blinked and looked at him a bit surprised.Did he say we?”So does that mean that we’re going to stick together for a while longer?”I asked.He chuckled at my reaction.”Why of course Kitsune.I promised we’d stick together so that’s what we’re gonna do.”He replied and smiled at me kindly.”Plus I enjoy having you with me,you’re…different,I like this difference of yours.”He added.I blushed and smiled shyly.He smiled back as his deep chocolate brown eyes reflected the light of the dancing flames in front of us.”Well,we should go to sleep.”He said.”Yeah,I’m getting pretty tired myself.”I commented.He smiled and nodded as he lied me down gently.Afterwards he lied down next to me and wrapped his arms around me again.”Are you comfortable like this?”He asked softly.”Y-Yes this is fine.”I replied shyly.When I replied he tightened his grip on me and brought me closer to him.”Goodnight Kitsune.”He whispered against my hair.”Goodnight Altair.”I said with a smile just before my eyes closed and I drifted off to sleep.
The night went by warmly and comfortably not really what I was expecting at first.It was so cold before me and Altair sat together in front of the fire and fell asleep.It’s a miracle I was able to fall asleep as it was with him so close to me with his arms wrapped around me.He warmed me up quickly but I think that’s because he makes me burn up.Every touch from him leaves a blissful burning sensation on my skin and it sets my cheeks to burn as well.I’ve grown accustomed to sleeping close to him it appears but the feeling stays.He makes me feel so secure as if nothing could happen when I was with him.Late at night yesterday I heard noises and I woke up and started to shake but he held me closer to him and whispered that he wouldn’t let anything happen to me…i-it made my heart pound strongly against my chest to hear him whisper those words to me.Then just as I was thinking about it with a smile on my face with my eyes still closed I felt someone sit up next to me and stroke my hair.My eyes fluttered open to be greeted by a warm smile.”Good morning Kitsune.”Altair said with the smile that always brightened up my cheeks.”Good morning Altair.”I said with a shy smile as I sat up next to him.”Did you sleep well?”He asked.I nodded.”Yes I barely felt the cold at all.”I replied.”What about you?”I asked.”I slept well,very comfortably.”He replied widening his smile.”I’ve slept very well these past few days best nights I’ve had actually.”He added making me blush shyly.”Glad to hear that.”I said shyly.”Well come on we should start walking again,we’re almost at Masyaf.”Altair said as he stood and extended his hand to me.”Alright.”I said and took his hand with a smile.He pulled me up along with him but I stumbled forward and ended up falling on him basically.I wrapped my arms around his neck not wanting to fall and he wrapped his arms around my waist tightly.”Are you ok?Sorry about that,I think I pulled you up too quickly.”Altair asked.I looked up at him and blushed darkly noticing how close we were,his face merely a few inches away from my own.”Y-Yes I’m alright,th-thank you.”I stammered shyly.We stayed like that for a few seconds more until he blinked and helped me stand.”You’re welcome well uh…we should get going.”He said.I nodded and began to walk alongside him on our way to Masyaf.Was it me or did I see a hint of pink on his cheeks too?
After a while of walking we finally arrived.I blinked surprised and gasped in awe at the large fortress in front of us.”Wow…”I said as we began to walk inside.Altair smiled and chuckled softly at my reaction.”Welcome to Masyaf Kitsune.”He said.”Very impressive.”I said returning his smile.”So where is the Master?”I asked.Altair turned and pointed towards a large tower.”Up there.”He replied.”In that tower is where he is.”He added.I looked up at the tower and squinted my eyes.I think I saw someone by the open window looking down at us,was that him?”Come,we must meet with him.”Altair said as he began to walk.”Wait,are you sure I can come to see your Master?I mean…one thing is going into the bureau but…this is the Master of the Assassins.”I asked.Altair smiled.”Don’t worry Kitsune,I’m sure he has already heard of you traveling with me in our journeys therefore he is probably awaiting to meet you as well.”Altair replied.”Are you sure?”I asked.He nodded.”Of course.”He replied.I smiled and nodded and approached him.”Alright.”I said.He smiled back and nodded also and so we began to walk towards the tower where the Master of the Assassins resided.As we walked we passed many Assassins who looked at us with silent expressions.As we arrived to the tower the Assassins who guarded it gave Altair a respectful gaze.Altair nodded at them as we walked by silently.When we arrived to the door Altair took a deep breath and opened the door.He stepped inside and I followed close behind him.In the room there was a desk with an elderly man standing behind it.That surely was the Master,Al Mualim.”Altair,my child,I see the news I have heard is of truth.”The Master began with a smile and turned his attention to me.”This must be your companion I’ve heard so much about from Jabal and the other Bureau Leader in Damas.”The Master said.”Yes this is Kitsune Visare.”Altair introduced me.I smiled nervously at the Master.”Hello.”I greeted in a quiet tone.The Master chuckled a heart-filled chuckle.”Don’t be so nervous Kitsune.”The Master said with a kind smile.I nodded as I stood a bit closer to Altair out of nervousness and shyness.Altair,in return,stood closer to me as well.”Well now to the matter at hand…”The Master said and looked at Altair.”Have you the marker?”He asked.Altair nodded and took the feather stained in Tamir’s blood out of his robes and gently placed it on the Master’s desk.”Two of the nine now lay dead.”Altair said.”Excellent.”The Master said pleased as he sat on his chair with the feather in front of him.”We could not have hoped for a better outcome.”The Master added.”And yet…”Altair began.”What is it?”The Master asked.”The doctor insisted his work was noble.”Altair replied.I looked at Altair a bit confused.When did Naplouse tell him that?Probably when Altair had laid him down on the floor before he unstrapped me from the hospital bed.”And looking back…many who were supposedly his captives seemed grateful to him,not all of them but enough to make me wonder…how did he managed to turn enemy into friend?”Altair asked.”Leaders will always find ways to make others obey them,that’s why they are leaders.When words fail they turn to coins.When that won’t do they turn to different things.Bribes,threats,and other types of trickery.There are plants,Altair,herbs from distant lands that can cause a man to take a leave of his sense.So great the pleasures they bring,men may even become enslaved by them.”The Master replied.Altair nodded and looked as if deep in thought.”You think these men were drugged then?Poisened?”He asked.”Yes if it truly is how you described it to be.”The Master said.”Our enemies have accused me of the same thing.”He added.Altair nodded.”Well on to your next task,your target is Talal,travel to Jerusalem and meet with the Bureau Leader.”The Master said.Altair nodded.”Safety and peace my child and to you as well Kitsune Visare.”The Master said as me and Altair turned and walked to the door.”As well to you,Master.”Altair said.I looked over my shoulder and smiled just before we walked out and headed out of the tower.”Wow…I could just feel the intensity in the air back there.”I commented with a sigh as we began to walk off.Altair chuckled.”You were nervous too?”He asked.I nodded.”It was a bit nerve wrecking even though I barely spoke,I could only imagine what you must have felt.”I replied.”I’ve grown accustomed to talks like that with the Master so it isn’t that bad.”He said with a smile as we soon began to leave Masyaf.I nodded.”So,who’s Talal?”I asked.”He is a slave trader from Jerusalem.He captures citizens and sells them off as slaves.”Altair replied.”How horrible!”I commented.Then as I said that Altair stopped and looked at me with a face as if he just remembered something really,really important.”Wait Kitsune,you’re from Jerusalem…”He began.”Yes,what about it?”I asked I bit confused.”Talal takes citizens from Jerusalem and sells them as slaves,you’re from Jerusalem.”Altair began.”During this mission don’t stray away from me,stay close and stay vigilant.”He explained.That’s when I started to get what he meant.He meant Talal might take me and sell me as a slave.I shuddered at the thought.”Don’t worry though,I won’t let him touch you.”He said with a reassuring smile.I smiled back at him as the feeling of worry washed away from me completely.When I’m with him,I feel so reassured.
After a while of walking later we had finally arrived at Jerusalem.We walked around the city for a while gaining more information on Talal before we decided to head to the bureau.After a while we walked upon the streets crowded with people until eventually we arrived at the bureau.As we entered there was a young looking man with dark ruffled hair standing behind the desk preoccupied with something.Then he raised his gaze to us showing us his deep brown eyes which looked as if they held many stories behind them.He looked at me with a sincere look then at Altair but when he caught eye of Altair,he glared and turned.I blinked and looked at the Bureau Leader with sad eyes.He was missing his arm.What must have happened to him?Altair seemed reluctant to go forward as we entered.The man smiled a bittersweet smile at Altair as we approached.”Safety and peace,Malik.”Altair said as we stood in front of the desk.”Your presence here deprives me of both.”The Leader,who’s name appears to be Malik,hissed.I blinked a bit surprised.Were Altair and Malik enemies?Just as I thought so,Malik brought his gaze to me.”And this must be the companion you have accompanying you that I’ve heard so much about.”He said.”Yes,this is Kitsune Visare.”Altair introduced me.I smiled at Malik shyly.”Hi,nice to meet you.”I said shyly.He smiled back and nodded.”Nice to meet you too,I’m Malik Al-Sayf.”He said.I nodded as well shyly before he brought his attention back to Altair which immediately became cold again.”What is it that you want?”He asked coldly.”Al Mualim has asked…”Altair began but Malik interrupted.”Asked that you preformed some task in effort to redeem yourself?”Malik scoffed.”So.Be out with it.What have you learned?”He asked.”Very well,here is what I know.”Altair began.”The target is Talal,who traffics in human lives,kidnapping Jerusalem’s citizens and selling them into slavery.His base is a warehouse located inside the barbican north from here.As we speak,he is preparing a caravan for travel.I’ll strike when he is inspecting his live stock.If I can avoid his men,Talal himself should prove little challenge.”Altair explained.Malik snickered.”Little challenge?Listen to you,such arrogance.”Malik said.Altair shifted a bit uncomfortably.”Are we finished?”He asked.”Are you satisfied with what I’ve learned?”He added.”No.”Malik said and handed him a feather.”But it will have to do.”He added.Altair nodded and turned to me.”Let’s get going then shall we?”He said.I nodded and followed him out of the bureau.I looked over my shoulder and looked at Malik to see him looking back at us with a serious expression on his face before he turned around and continued with what he was doing before we had left.I looked over at Altair and noticed he looked as if in deep thought with an expression that hid more behind it than the eye could see.”Altair,are you ok?”I asked.He shook his head as if snapping back to reality at the sound of my voice and looked at me with a smile.”Yes of course,I’m fine.”He replied.I looked at him skeptically.I have traveled long enough with Altair to know when he is lying and when he is telling the truth and right know I know he isn’t being truthful but it seems as though there is a lot more behind this then what I thought so I shouldn’t ask.If he decides to,he’ll tell me what happened on his own time.I eventually nodded and gave him a reassuring smile as if saying ‘everything would be ok.’Then is when I noticed the smile upon his lips turned into a true one.I made him smile a true smile.”Well then,let’s start our search for Talal.”Altair said and took a strong hold of my hand.”Remember what I said,always stay near me I won’t let anybody take you away from me.”Altair said in a reassuring tone.I nodded and smiled.”Alright.”I said.And so we began to walk through the streets in search of Talal,the slave trader of Jerusalem.
~End Of Chapter 8~