Kill the baron.
It had been that simple. That easy.
He'd scaled up the wall of the castle, pausing only to hear the screaming of the guards at the drawbridge. He didn't know what was going on down there, but if there was somebody else here to kill the baron, he had to get there faster. He didn't exactly get a choice.
He had found the baron asleep beneath emerald covers of silk, and had raised the dagger. Had been about to drive it through his chest, when the others exploded through the door.
And now... Now they were here - the two silver-eyed children who he had failed to save.
Rubin faltered, and in his surprise, the silver-eyed boy surged forwards, blade in hand.
He threw himself backwards just in time, but the boy had driven him away from the baron. What was he - a guard?
"Where is the soulstone? Tell me, else I'll kill you myself," the boy hissed, and despite the direction of his words, his gaze was still fixed on Rubin.
"It's in here!"
Rubin's gaze flicked back to his target.
"Where? If you're lying, I'll cut out your tongue." So, the boy was a monster. A monster, like him.
"Beneath the tapestry!" the baron wailed. If the boy didn't look so threatening, if Rubin wasn't so shocked, he'd have killed the baron already.
"Skala, search for it. Knock out the guard."
The girl slammed her fist against the guard's head, and he dropped to the ground, unconscious. The girl slid through the room with silent elegance, whipping the tapestry aside in one fluid movement.
Rubin recognised it as silver sheen instantly, and stopped himself from moving towards it. It was beautiful. He was, to say the least,a little jealous.
His envy did not exactly shrink away when the boy smirked.
"You are free to kill your target. we came only for his treasure," the boy said, but the expression on his face said victory. He looked annoying as hell, and yet... And yet there was still the guilt. He could have saved them.
Slowly, he raised his arm and slipped the mask from his face. He pushed a grin onto his lips.
"You used black magic, didn't you?" he asked, trying to force awe into his tone.
"Of course," the boy replied smoothly.
"How much would you work for?" Rubin asked. There was a chance - a chance he could at least help him, a chance he could restore even a fragment of his faith in humanity. Rubin had long since lost his own, but perhaps it wouldn't be too late for the boy...
"You humans are strange, aren't you? I've merely appeared to steal a treasure, and already you're trying to hire me," the boy said with a raised eyebrow.
Rubin grinned. "You say that like you aren't human. Besides, I won't get another chance at recruiting you, will I? If I get you in on a job, the boss might give me a pay rise. See? Simple."
The boy watched him with a strange concoction of confusion and amusement. "Of course I'm not human. Your kind are strange, stupid creatures. I do not belong."
Rubin laughed, but inside the blade of guilt was piercing him. He could have saved them. "That doesn't mean you're not human. That means only that you belong in the glorious world of death and slaughter. What do you say?"
Silence. The two of them shared a look, before the boy turned back to him, a cold light in his eyes.
"Very well. I'll see what your job is like," he said finally, and Rubin's grin widened.
"Great! D'you know where the Disan Memorial is?"
"Everybody knows where the Disan Memorial is."
"Yeah, but you're apparently not human, so you might not have known," Rubin shrugged. "Anyway, meet me there tomorrow at midnight. Got it?"
The boy nodded. "I'm not making any promises. I'll probably leave within a few days."
Rubin forced a grin to his face. "Worth a shot though, right? It means we get a few days of having some black magic guy working with us."
"And my friend. Do not underestimate her," the boy growled.
"What can she do, then?" Rubin challenged. A test, but the boy didn't see it as such, judging from the furious glare. Before he could snarl a reply back, the girl stepped forwards, raising her hand. Her expression was calm as black flames erupted from her fingertips, engulfing the baron's cowering form.
Then the flames lunged for his heart, and there was silence. The girl snapped her fingers - probably for show, Rubin deduced - and the flames disappeared.
"What can she do?" the boy echoed victoriously. "She can do that."
Rubin grinned. "Saves me a job," he laughed. "Also, she's hired." They had each other. That, in itself, was relief enough.
The boy merely nodded. "Good. Then we shall see you tomorrow, at the Disan Memorial."
With that, the boy stepped back, fading into the darkness with the girl at his heels.
A smile touched the corners of his lips - not a false grin, but a genuine one. Sometimes, it seemed, Rubin could find a way to escape the guilt.
"Redemption." He rolled the word across his tongue, and his smile widened.
Redemption. It sounded beautiful.