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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10. Tharon

”Get out.” The last thing Tharon wanted in his room where his son was sleeping was someone he didn’t know whether or not he could trust yet.

“I understand if you don’t want me here, it was simply because I couldn’t sleep-“

“Are you expecting me to let you crawl under my blanket like a child?!” Tharon’s son stirred and Tharon knew he was awake even though the child’s breathing didn’t change.

“N-no! Of course not!” Tharon glared at the healer, hoping he could still see it through the dark. The healer took a step closer, which had Tharon flinging his pillow at him.

“I said: GET OUT!” The healer turned on his heel and hurried out of the room.

“Who was that?” Tharon smiles and stroked the boys cheek.

“It was no one, my son. You can go back to sleep now.” The boy nodded and laid back down.

Tharon did not sleep any more that night, but his when his son woke and they left the bed, his head was clear. He looked at the map and circled two areas the enemy might camp in between attacks. He was not going to wait for them to take more horses or boarders. And he was definitely not going to wait for them to close of all the roads and trap them. Because they could, if they really were who Tharon thought they were.

Tharon grabbed the map, put on his belt with daggers and before grabbing the bow which had become his signature weapon, since no other assassins were stupid enough  - or in reality, good enough – to try their luck with such a demanding weapon. It was difficult to get through tight spaces with, it took time to drag and aim and holding it ready to shoot for a longer period of time was impossible. Additionally learning to use it well enough to not miss your target.

As far as Tharon was concerned, the bow was a way better weapon than the crossbow. Crossbows annoyed him. Lazy little buggers, shot by even lazier large buggers.

Tharon put on his cloak before walking out of the room. He walk down the halls with long hasty steps, making his way outside.

“Who’s dying today?” asked Elliot, Tharon’s right hand man. He was busy carving a wooden knife for his daughter. Tharon watched his big, sunburned hands work as he spoke: “Hopefully not me.” Elliot chuckled at that.

“See, that would be an achievement!” Tharon shrugged and walked towards the stables. He wasn’t in the mood for Elliot’s never ending optimism. The man was the gentelest being around children and animals, but he was a great assassin. As long as the target wasn’t either a child or an animal.

Tharon quickly saddled his horse and brought the grey stallion to the gate. Like it’s sire, the stallion had black legs, muzzle, mane and tail. Tharon had picked both mare and sire himself, and to be honest he was quite proud of the outcome. Unfortunately he was aware of the danger he put the horse in using it to get around from target to target, so he had refused to name it. His son called it Clay. Because in the child’s world, the horse’s color resembled that of clay.

“Master! Where are you going?!” the voice was curious but also slightly wavering. As if the owner feared being abandoned. Again.

Not that Tharon cared.

“Stay out of it!” And with those words, he was off.

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