This chapter does not correspond with any from WTWFTD.
Characters appearing in this chapter:
Lia (angel) & Diego (cat Guardian) ~ Lia Is A Zebra
The only light in the sky that night was the white of Lia's wings.
She carried Diego in her arms as she swept through the sky, a ghostly shadow of the night. Her task was simple: go in, kill, get out.
Silently, she landed by the outskirts of the city, and Diego leapt from her arms, his paws soundless on the pavement. She knelt beside him, drawing from her pocket a golden coin. Hopefully, it would have the merchant's scent on it - and Diego's feline nose was better than that of any dog. He detected the scent within seconds, and flicked his tail in a manner that Lia could describe only as adorable. And then he was off, running through the city, and once more they were two shadows moving as one. Two bodies, one mind.
Lia had fought beside angels, and she had fought beside elves, but never before had she felt so natural as with Diego. With a Guardian.
There was a scuffling sound to her right, and Lia threw herself down just in time to evade a poorly thrown spear. She leapt up to defend herself, but already Diego was there, his limbs extending outwards, claws outstretched. By the time he'd collided with Lia's attacker, he was no longer the size of a mere house-cat, but the size of a panther. Lia grinned and ruffled the fur behind his ears. A purr vibrated from his chest, soothing her somehow, and for a moment, they allowed themselves tranquillity.
Then the mission was back again, and they were not beings but shadows, tracking, hunting, chasing.
They emerged in a narrow street of shops, and Diego, still panther-sized, lead the way to the entrance of one of them.
"He in here?" she asked, and he nodded once, golden eyes gleaming with triumph.
She slipped through the door and into the shop.
The shelves were lined with various items, each of them unique and interesting, and she almost paused to look at the jewelled ornament of a cat. Somehow, she resisted the urge to steal it, instead heading deeper into the shop, past displays of armour and jewels and ceremonial weapons. It was a beautiful shop, but its supplier tainted its glory.
For the first time, she saw the owner of the shop, staring at them with eyes wide with terror.
"We're not here to hurt you," Lia said quickly. "But we heard that the merchant who supplies your shop is here. We wanted a word."
Apparently, her words of reassurance were not, in fact, enough to reassure him. Trembling, he called out the name of the merchant. The merchant she had vowed to eliminate.
He stepped out into the main room of the shop, and she met his eyes with a cold expression.
"Could we speak to you a moment? It won't take long."
His eyes flitted from her to Diego, and he started to back away in fear, but a growl from Diego made him froze.
"Now, if you please," Lia said. He got the message, and followed them out into the street.
The moment the door closed behind them, Lia turned on him with hatred written across her features.
"You kill people to acquire your goods. Innocent people. Good people. Your death will save the lives of many."
"Who sent you?" he hissed. His face had paled significantly, and Lia drew a blade.
"That doesn't matter. What matters is that the world will be free of your treachery."
He tried to run, but Lia was already moving, already plunging the dagger into his chest.
A moment of silence passed before he fell, his body hitting the cobbled pavements hard. Lia glanced quickly to Diego, and no communication was needed as they surged away with perfect synchronisation. The moment they rounded the corner, Diego stopped, and it was only then that Lia noticed the object trapped within his jaws. He dropped it gently to the floor before her.
The jewelled cat ornament.
She grinned, hugging him and feeling his familiar warmth against her own.
He purred in response, already beginning to shrink in her arms. It took only a second for him to become house-cat sized again, though his regality remained. She scooped him up in one arm and took the cat ornament with the other, before opening her wings and launching herself upwards.
The only light in the sky that night was the white of Lia's wings, and the only colour in the ever-dull city was the red of the merchant's blood.