The Assassin's Smile

There are rumors. Of a death that strikes out of nowhere. Rumors of a war, fought in the shadows. But most feared are the rumors of a demon whose warriors not only fight in the shadow, but are shadows themselves. This demon became known as The Master of Shadows, and the legends of his wealth, ruthlessness and power spread and he became the most feared being throughout the land. But there is someone, whose strength is unknown and who wishes to get his hand on the most dangerous thing in the kingdom. And men following the Master of Shadows are the only thing keeping them from their goal.

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13. Arren

Keir stood up and looked out a small window. Arren noticed the worry in his eyes. He looked out as well to notice the heavy rain. Arren looked back at the young boy.

“Worried about your father?” Arren asked. He knew he had guessed right, by the way Keir looked surprised. The young boy then nodded. Arren smiled at him.

“Don’t worry he’ll be fine. He’s strong and wise, right? Plus, if he’s hurt when he returns, I’ll heal him.” Arren reassured him.

 

“Promise?” the young boy asked, staring deep into his eyes. Arren didn’t break his gaze and nodded.

“Of course.” Arren answered. Keir seemed to relax, but kept looking outside.

 

“Let’s go do something else.” Arren said, “Do you want to learn the song I was singing?”  Keir nodded, his young eyes gleaming with excitement. Arren smiled and took his hand leading him into a bigger room.

“First you need to get ready to sing.” Arren said and took a deep breath in and then breathed out. He then gestured for Keir to follow his movements. Keir obediently mimicked his movements.

“Good! Now this song is a gentle song. My mother used to sing it to me. I want you to think of something that helps you sleep.” Arren continued. The young child thought for a bit before looking up at him.

 

“When I have a nightmare, I always go to my father. He protects me from scary things.” Keir said quietly. Arren smiled.

“There you go. I want you to think about that feeling of safety. Imagine him being here and protecting you. Even though you can’t see him.” Arren told him. Keir nodded but looked a bit confused.

“I have a question though. How will I sing this song, since it is in a language I have never heard before?” Keir asked. Arren laughed and ruffled the young boy’s hair.

“Don’t worry. Words are just sounds made with your mouth. You can learn them easily if you practice. What really makes a song are the feelings. You put yourself into the song to make it sound a certain way and to make if affect people in a certain way.” Arren explained.

 

“Oh. That makes sense.” Keir said. Arren smiled. Keir truly was a sweet and pure child. This type of innocence always made his heart happy. It was like it cleansed him of evil. And to be honest, Arren needed quite a bit of cleansing.

“Now repeat after me.” Arren said and sang the first line of the song. Keir repeated, almost getting the words perfect on his first try. Arren continued teaching him, not noticing the hours passing by quickly.

 

It had stopped raining a long time ago, since they had started singing. Keir seemed to have forgotten his past troubles. The young boy hadn’t lost his smile since he started singing. Arren couldn’t help smiling as well. He also had to push away a few tears, from the memories of his childhood.

If only he had known Keir, when he himself was a child. But it was too late now. He was no longer a child, no matter how much he wished to be.

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