The next day,Kitsune and I woke up later in the day than we usually did.We weren’t complaining about it,however.I like sleeping in with her and I think she does too.The thought makes me smile for some reason.Once we got our things together,we set off to go see Master Al Mualim again.Once we arrived,we spoke with the Master and he gave me the next set of people to eliminate.Our talk was short and as soon as we were done,we headed to Acre to begin the mission all over again.I was exhausted but grateful at the same time.Finally things seem to be coming together but I can’t help but wonder,will these next targets tell me questioning things like the others?I don’t know but oh well.I suppose things will become clear eventually.Once we got to Acre,we headed to the bureau to speak with Jabal of the mission.This time,the target is William de Montferrat.It appears as though,however,that my deeds have become known by many for even Jabal knew of it.More guards have been sent to the cities and it appears that they have been more suspicious of our presence.I took a note of this and never left Kitsune out of my sight.I wasn’t going to let her be taken away from me again.She would look at me when I took her hand and smile at me in the most bashful of ways.The things she did and said and the way should would react to the things I did always makes me smile.Everytime she flashes me one of her sweet smiles,questions cloud my mind and it becomes difficult to think straightly.I’m trying to answer these questions but…I can’t find the answers…maybe I’m just over thinking it.Maybe the answer is right in front of me.All I know for sure is that she has a great,confusing affect on me but it makes me happy and I like it.
~The Day Before~
The next morning I awoke late in the day.A cool breeze swept by making the palm trees above rustle lightly.I smiled lazily as the sound resounded around me.I yawned silently but then felt a tug on my waist bring me closer to a muscular body.I blushed deeply and looked down at my waist to see two arms wrapped around my waist.That’s right,me and Altair slept like this last night.My blush darkened at the thought.Then,I felt someone nuzzle my neck from behind and smile against my skin.”Good morning,Kitsune.”Altair said lazily.I blushed even more as I felt his lips brush my skin lightly when he spoke.”G-Good morning,A-Altair.”I said shyly in return.”Did you sleep well?”He asked.I nodded.”Y-Yes.I slept well.A-And yourself?”I replied shyly.”Best night I’ve had.”He replied as his lips curved up against my skin.”Th-That’s good.”I stuttered.He chuckled warmly at my reaction as he released my waist and sat up next to me.He looked at me and smiled sweetly,making my blush darken.”Are you alright,Kistune?”He asked as I sat up as well.”Y-Yes.Of course,I-I’m fine.”I replied.His smile widened a bit at my reply and he nodded.”We should get going.We’re almost there.”He commented as he stood and out stretched his arm to me.”Right.”I said in return as I took his hand with a bashful smile.He pulled me up once I took his hand and smiled at me charmingly as we were face to face.I blushed deeply and fiddled with my fingers as he let go of my hand.”A-Altair,you seem fairly happy this morning…”I commented with a stutter.He shrugged,the smile still bright on his face.”I don’t know.I feel happy today for some reason.”He commented with a warm chuckle.I smiled back shyly and nodded as we began to walk along side each other on the way to Masyaf.”And yourself?You seem rather bashful today.”He asked.I looked down at my hands before I replied.”I-I don’t know…”I replied shyly.”You have cheeks as red as cherries,Kitsune.”He commented.I looked up at him surprised and blinked.Oh God,he noticed!Am I really blushing that much?He smiled once he saw me.”But it makes you look very radiant.I like it when you blush like that.”He said and widened his smile a bit.I turned my head shyly,hiding my face with my hair,once he said that.”Don’t say such sweet things.”I mumbled shyly.He chuckled warmly and took a strong hold of my hand.”Ah,but it’s the truth.”He said warmly as he brought me closer to him.”Anybody else would say the same thing.Although,you’re always radiant with or without bright cheeks.”He added on.I looked back at him shyly as he said so,trying to hide my blushing but nothing could cease the coloration upon my skin.”For an Assassin,you’re quite the sweetheart,you know?”I commented in return.He smiled and shrugged.”What can I say?You seem to have that type of affect on me.”He said in return.I blinked at his response but soon smiled and held his hand back.I’m glad I make him happy but I can’t help but wonder why I make him feel like that.I know he makes me happy too.He always sets a smile upon my face.
After a while of us walking we got to Masyaf and headed over to the Master’s room.Guards bowed their heads slightly as Altair and I made our way through the corridors of the great castle.Soon,we were in front of the Master’s door.Altair knocked and called out to his Master.”Master,we’ve returned.May we enter?”Shortly afterwards came the reply.”Ah,Altair.Of course.Come forth,my child.I’ve been expecting you.”Said the Master.Altair then opened the door and allowed for me to enter first and afterwards he himself entered the room.The Master smiled at the both of us once the door was closed.”It’s good to see you both,Altair and Kitsune.I see you both are still in one piece.”He greeted.I smiled nervously and nodded,trying to be respectful before the Master Assassin.”How have your travels been with an Assassin,a bringer of death,Kitsune?Have you no fear of what my pupil is capable of?”He asked,diverting his gaze to me for a moment.I blinked because of his question.I’ve never been afraid of Altair.Even the first time we met,I still wasn’t afraid of him.”No.Of course not.I know he wouldn’t hurt me.I have no fear towards Altair.”I replied and looked at Altair.He looked back at me as well.”Only respect.”I added.A small smile adorned Altair’s lips once I said so and then we both turned back to the Master who nodded at my reply and then turned his attention to Altair.”You’ve done well.”The Master began with a smile.”Three of the nine now lay dead and for this you have my thanks.”The Master’s smile soon faded,however.”But do no think to rest upon your laurels.Your work has just begun.”He said.”I am yours to command,Master.”Altair said in return solemnly.The Master smiled and gestured to the seats before his desk.Altair and I took the message and sat before the Master.I fiddled with my fingers nervously as their conversation continued.”King Richard,emboldened by his victory at Acre,prepares to move south,toward Jerusalem.Salah Al’din is surely aware of this and so he gathers his men before the broken citadel of Arsuf.”The Master said.Altair seemed to stiffen once the Master mentioned Salah Al’din.”Would you have me kill them both,then?End their war before it begins in earnest?”Altair questioned.”No,”The Master snapped,setting a hard gaze on Altair.I jumped at the sound of the Master’s voice and shrunk in my seat.Jesus,poor Altair.I probably wouldn’t be able to sit there as the Master’s eyes pierce through his own,almost as if reading his thoughts.”To do so would scatter their forces and subject the realm to the bloodlust of ten thousand aimless warriors.It will be many days before they meet and while they march,they do not fight.You must concern yourself with a more immediate threat: the men who pretend to govern in their absence.”Altair nodded once the Master said so.”Give me names and I will give you blood.”He said calmly.”So I will.Abu’l Nuquod,the wealthiest man in Damas.Majd Addin,regent of Jerusalem.William de Montferrat,liege-lord of Acre.”The Master responded.”What are their crimes?”Asked Altair.The Master spread his hands.”Greed.Arrogance.The slaughter of innocents.Walk amongst the people of their cities.You’ll learn the secrets of their sins.Do no doubt that these men are obstacles to the peace we seek.”He replied.”Then they will die.”Altair said obediently.”Return to me as each man falls,that we might better understand their intentions,”Ordered the Master.”And Altair,take care.Not only yourself but,”He began and gestured to me.”Our friend Kitsune here as well.Your recent work has likely attracted the attention of the city guard.They’ll be more suspicious than they’ve been in the past.”He finished.Altair nodded.”Of course.”The Master smiled at the both of us and stood from his desk.”Good.Then I give you leave.”We nodded and stood from the chairs in the room and began to leave.I sighed as we began to walk through the corridors of the castle again alongside Altair.”How can you deal with things like this?I wasn’t able to sit still as he spoke.It’s so nerve wrecking.”I commented.Altair chuckled.”I get used to it.”He said in return as he flashed me a kind smile.I smiled back at him and nodded.”So,where are we headed to first?Jerusalem?Damas?Acre?”I asked.”We’re starting with Acre.”He replied.I nodded.”Are we going now or do we need to do anything else?”I questioned.”Sorry I’m asking so many things.”I added on shyly as I fiddled with my fingers.”No,no.It’s fine.It doesn’t bother me at all.”He said with a smile.”As for our travels,yes.We’re leaving now.”He added on.I nodded and smiled as we began to leave Masyaf once again.”Do you think much has changed since you ridded the city of Naplouse?”I questioned curiously as we furthered ourselves from the great fortress.”Yes,I think it has.The city is much better off without him roaming it’s streets and taking people as test subjects.”He replied.I shuddered at the thought.”I can’t believe I was almost one of them.”I commented as I rubbed my arm.”Don’t remind me.”He mumbled with a puff as he crossed his arms across his chest.”I’m sorry…”I mumbled in return.He looked at me with an eyebrow raised,a confused expression marking his tanned face.”What do you mean?”He asked.”It was our first day together and I already screwed up.If it wasn’t for me getting lost in the crowd I’m sure the mission would’ve gone a lot better for you.”I replied with a sigh.”I don’t know.Sometimes I feel like I’m just a nuisance to you and an obstacle to your missions.”I added in.”Kitsune don’t say that.Don’t say that ever again.”He said in return as his gaze became firm.I looked at him and blinked as he said so.”You’re not a nuisance to me.You’re quite the opposite actually.”He smiled softly once he said so.”You make these missions more bearable.You somehow make them more enjoyable.I like to travel with you and I love having you around.”He said and wrapped an arm around my waist,bringing me closer to him.I blushed deeply as he did so.”You’re the little ray of happiness I have left.And,just as I said on the first day,I’ll always be there to save you when you get kidnapped or you’re in trouble.”He said with the kind smile still bright on his face.I smiled back shyly once he said so.”Thank you Altair.”I said and fiddled with my fingers shyly before I kissed his cheek bashfully.”For everything.”I added and looked away quickly,too shy to look him in the eyes.He chuckled warmly as I did so and held me closer saying my name warmly.”Oh Kitsune.”
After two days of traveling we arrived to Acre.We now walked upon the city’s streets on the way to the bureau to speak with the Leader,Jabal.The streets seemed to be a bit more calm than how they were last time I was here.It seems as though the absence of Naplouse has had a good affect on the city.I smiled at the thought as we got to the bureau and walked inside.I smiled as Jabal turned us and smiled kindly.”Ah,welcome Altair and Kitsune!Come,step inside.”Jabal said gesturing us over to his desk.”Hello Jabal.”Altair greeted as we stood before his desk and he released my hand.”Hello.It’s nice to see you again.”I greeted as well.”As to you.”Jabal said in return as he bowed his head slightly.Then he turned his attention to Altair,an eyebrow raised and a smile forming on his lips.”I see you have become quite attached to Kitsune here.”Jabal commented,the smile growing.I blushed because of his comment and Altair blinked.”Well,yes.I have grown quite attached to her.”Altair commented in return as a smile of his own angled his lips.”A-And I to you,Altair.”I commented in return shyly.He looked at me and widened his smile once I said so.Jabal chuckled warmheartedly.”Ah,I knew you two would become close fast!”He said warmly.I blushed deeply and looked away,fiddling with my fingers.”Anyhow,down to business.”Jabal said and straightened out from beyond the desk.”Word of your deeds has spread,Altair.”He commented,bringing his attention to Altair.Altair nodded.”It seems you are sincere in your desire to redeem yourself.”Jabal added.”I do as I can.”Altair commented.”And sometimes you do it well.I assume that it is work that reunites us?”Jabal questioned in return.”Yes.William de Montferrat is my target.”Altair replied.”Then the Chain District is your destination,but be on your toes.That section of the city is home to King Richard’s personal quarters,and it’s under heavy watch.”Jabal responded.”What can you tell me of the man himself?”Altair questioned.”William has been named regent while the king conducts war.The people see it as a strange choice,given the history between Richard and William’s son,Conrad.But I think Richard rather clever of it.”Jabal replied.”Clever how?”Jabal smiled.”Richard and Conrad do not seen eye to eye on most matters.Though they are civil enough in public,there are whispers that each intends evil upon the other.And then there was the business with Acre’s captured Saracens…”He replied and shook his head.”In it’s wake,Conrad has turned to Tyre,and Richard has compelled William to remain here as his guest.”He added.”You mean his hostage?”Altair asked.I have to admit though,that did sound pretty clever.”Whatever you call it,William’s presence should dissuade Conrad from acting out.”Jabal replied,waving his hand slightly.”Where would you suggest I begin my search?”Altair questioned.”At Richard’s citadel,southwest of here…or rather,the market in front of it.”Jabal responded after a moment of thought.”Very well.I won’t disturb you any further.”Altair commented and bowed his head slightly.”It’s no trouble at all.”Jabal said in return with a smile.”I always enjoy your visits!And now with Kitsune,it’s even better.”He added,widening his smile.I blushed lightly and smiled because of his commentary.Altair smiled as he said so.”I wish you luck,my brother,”Jabal said and turned to me.”and my sister.”He added and chuckled warmly.I smiled at him and bowed my head slightly.”Thank you,friend.Farewell.”Altair said and turned to leave and I walked beside him.I looked over my shoulder before we could leave the room and smiled at Jabal.”Goodbye,friend.”I said just before we left the room and began to walk to the streets of Damas.”Stick close to me during this mission,Kitsune.”Altair said as he looked towards me.I looked up and him and smiled,a giggle escaping my lips.”I don’t usually stray away from you on these missions anyhow.”I replied with a smile as a shy blush spread my cheeks and I took his hand in mine.He chuckled warmly and smiled,taking a warm grip on my hand as well.”True.”He said and widened his smile as our fingers entwined.”But I like keeping you safe beside me so I repeat things like that a lot.”He added.I giggled as the blush became darker.”I always feel safe with you.”I said in a shy tone as we walked alongside the people of Acre once again.
~End Of Chapter 12~