“Molly you missed it!” I said excitedly as she opened her eyes. She looked at me, puzzled.
“What I miss?” She asked.
“Ronald says the Assassin in White did it again. He saved Al’s family and we have two more spies.” I said. It wasn’t a lie either. After leaving the blacksmith’s I headed to the stream where I cleaned my weapons and stored them in the tree. After I filled a bucket with water and changed into normal clothes. I had hid some extras in the tree. Carrying my bucket back, as if I had gone to get water for Molly, Ronald ran out to me and told me that the Assassin in White did it again. It was hard to lie to him that I knew nothing about it.
“What?” Molly said sitting up. I smiled innocently at her. “The Assassin helped?”
“Of course! He’s on our side!” I said. Something yelled at me to tell her what I did and the other said I would lose a friend. She put her hand over her mouth.
“With an assassin on our side we’re bound to win.” Molly said. Ronald came in. “Ronald, we’re going to win!”
“No we’re not.” Ronald said leaning on the door.
“Why not?” I asked standing up.
“They’ve got an assassin too.”
“What?” Molly and I exclaimed. I felt as though someone punched me in the face.
“We’ve looked back over the papers. Apparently the new assassin is coming from the south to help the Queen but really I think it’s because the gold she offered him. His name is Shadow and he’s called the Assassin of the Shadows.” I didn’t know how to take the news. I was shaking with the sudden ice cold fear. I walked out of the room and went to the kitchens. I needed something else to do. Putting on my apron I grabbed jugs of drinks and walked into the lounge. The chairs and tables were back where they needed to be. The regulars filled the place and the roar of the crowd filled my ears. None of it seemed to matter. I smiled and filled mugs. I laughed and took orders. Everything seemed so insignificant. The door to the inn opened a closed. I looked up and almost dropped the plates I was holding. It was a man but everything about him was black. His cloak, shirt, pants, boots, hair, even his sword and that made me relax. You can’t hide in the snow with black clothes. Even at night, white was the way to go. He sat at an empty table and my mother cautiously walked over to him. I set the plates down and walked back to the kitchen. When I entered the kitchen I grabbed a quill, ink, paper, and placed them in my pocket. I grabbed my brown cloak and mittens and grabbed a bucket.
“Where are you going Sapphire?” My father asked coming around the corner.
“We need some more water.” I lied. I walked out and started walking to the stream. I stopped and looked around. No one could see me. I took out the paper and quill.
Hello Assassin in the Shadows,
So you are tempted by greed to fight the side of the loser. The Queen that kills the innocent. Join us or I will kill you. I await your answer at midnight tonight near the stream behind the inn. Don’t be late.
I looked at the letter. Deciding it was good I folded it neatly. I ran over to the stream and filled the bucket. Then I walked back to the inn. Placing the clean water next to the door I took off my cloak. Putting the quill and ink back where I found them I walked over to father.
“Sapphire, your mother’s really busy. Can you take this meal to the man in black and fill his mug with cider.” I nodded and took the jug of cider and the plate of food. Walking toward the table I slipped the note underneath his plate. So when I set it down the note will be clearly noticeable. I smiled as I set the plate down and filled his mug. The man’s face had a scar under his eye and it ended at his chin. He took the note and read it. I was about to walk away when he cleared his throat.
“Who gave this to you?” The man’s voice shook. I couldn’t tell if it was from anger or fear.
“Someone dressed in white.” I answered innocently and walked away. My mother raised an eyebrow and I walked over to her.
“What did he want?” She asked.
“A room” I lied. I walked over and signed him into a room. I put him in room fifteen and took the key to him.
“Here’s your room key. Enjoy your stay.” I said and he took the key.
“What’s the price?”
“Depends” I said and walked away.
I sat on a branch high above the stream. I was crazy to challenge this man. Then again there were people I loved that would be the first to be killed. I heard a crunch and saw the man walking toward the stream. He was muttering to himself.
“I think you should blend in with the environment.” I said. He looked around. “For being so famous down below, you’re really nothing up high.” He stood straight. I jumped down from the tree. I landed in the snow. Keeping my head down and staying in a crouch I waited for him to speak.
“So you’re the Assassin in White.”
“It has a nice ring to it.”
“I got your note. It was a very beginner note.”
“I thought it sounded good.” I said and sat down on the snow. I didn’t want to crouch.
“Number one rule don’t look away from your enemy.”
“You haven’t decided if I am your enemy or not.” I looked up and caught a knife he had thrown. I was surprised I even caught it. It was inches away from my face.
“So, who was your teacher?” He asked. I felt my eyes widen. Assassins had teachers? “You’re self-taught?” He was really surprised. “It took me three years to be able to catch that. It took me four to kill. You’re a murder.” My grip tightened on the handle.
“I do not murder.” I said.
“How did you know I was coming?”
“Are you going to join us? Are you going to let innocent people die?” I said standing up. He rubbed his chin in thought.
“Your greed is better than saving lives!”
“Yes, but I have to ask if I could see who I’m going to fight.”
“I rather not show myself.” I said and dodged a knife thrown at me. It stuck into the tree. I threw the knife in my hand and it landed on his foot. He roared on pain. The snow beneath his feet started to turn red. Perfect. I launched myself at him and he smiled. I knew I was in trouble. He stabbed upwards and I managed to turn so it passed harmlessly by. Then I realized why he was called the Shadow Assassin. Rolling away, I started to laugh. I looked at him. “You kill them when they sleep. You know nothing of real combat. That was a reflex to defend yourself. I’ve done it plenty of times.” I kept laughing.
“Shut up I am the Shadow Assassin!” He yelled at me. It was like yelling into thin air.
“So if you’re not the legend. Who are you?” I asked. A knife whizzed by my face. “That’s all?” I snickered and ran toward him. He took out another knife and went into a defensive stance. Getting my knife I swung. He went to block but my knife hit his knuckles and he dropped the knife. Picking up his blade, I grabbed his right hand. Stabbing his hand I jumped back as he swung. I managed to stick it into the tree behind him. Running I caught his swinging left fist and stabbed my knife into his hand. He shrieked. Bending his arm back I plunged the knife into the tree. His hands were now pinned to the tree. I stood in front of him. Something hard collided with my side. I was face down on the snow. The snow had gotten into my mask. I ripped it off and tossed it to the side. My face burned with the snow. I looked at him. He was smiling. I stood up and ran over to the tree where I stored my weapons. Grabbing my long sword I looked at him. My hair fell out of its bun in straggly pieces His face widened in surprise. Gripping my sword I ran and drove my sword into his chest. He screamed with pain.
“You’re a girl” He grumbled and coughed blood. I jumped back avoiding the blood.
“So it seems.” I answered and sat in the snow. I waited till he drew his last breath and the blood stopped. It was almost dawn. I walked over and pulled my sword out of his body my stomach turning over. It was unnecessary but I slit his throat. I left my knives in his hands. I whipped my sword on the snow and stored the weapon back into the tree. I ran toward the inn as the first lights of dawn started to show.