The Hollow and The Saint

In a world filled with agony and despair, Logan, a master assassin embark on a journey to change reality in order to create the perfect society for his beloved Elizabeth Rose, where they can live together. Struggling against his bleak destiny and haunted by the demons ravaging this world enslaving people hopes and minds, all while fighting with a rage that might strip him of his humanity, will he be able to succeed in creating this perfect world?

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7. My Guardian Angel

 

    After one year of searching, I had finally found The Baron, or you could say he had found me. But was it a coincidence?

   “How did you... Did The Doctor send you?” I asked out of curiosity.

   “Let’s just say that he is a mutual friend. I heard that someone was looking for me, so I dug up some information and I found that you are The Doctor's disciple. I was intrigued. I never thought he would ever take someone on after the dreadful incident with his wife. Yet, there he goes, taking you under his wing… so I came here and watched your match. I’ve got to say boy, you surprised everyone - including me. I can see now why he took such interest in you. You really do take after your father. He was also always full of surprises,”

   I didn't know much about my father. The only thing that The Doctor had told me about him was that he started out as a bodyguard for the Brandon family after quitting the army.

   “Wait, what do you know about my father?” I asked.

   “Tick tock, tick tock, time's running out Logan,” he said, holding a watch in his hand.

   I had decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t dig out my past, but everyone keeps bringing up my father. Is he dead? Is he alive?

   “Alright, I’ll accept your offer, but we’re going to have a long talk later,” I responded.

   “Stay close. Being seen with me will make these guys think twice before harming you. Just follow my lead,” he said, grabbing my hand.

   And so I went with him, and sure enough, nobody laid a finger on me. They just stared at me from afar, though I could see the bloodlust in their eyes. They wanted revenge. I was lucky to have him with me at a time like this, but was it luck?

 

***

 

   It was a rainy night. Ms. Marie was sleeping in her room. It was easy to sneak around the orphanage without being noticed. Elizabeth made her way to the kitchen. She grabbed a knife from the drawer, a glass, and lemon squeezer from the cabinet, and two lemons from the fridge. She had memorized their positions earlier, so it wasn’t hard for her to pick them up. It was the first time she had ever used a sharp blade. Eli thought to herself:
   “How hard can it be to slice a lemon?”
   Elizabeth steadied the lemon on the table with her left hand and held the knife with her right. With one fell swoop she tried to cut down the lemon. Everything was going according to plan. However, the moment the knife touched the surface of the lemon, it slid to the side, carving a shallow groove in Eli’s left hand, and continuing onwards, knocking the glass off the table. Sadly, she had forgotten to take into account the fact that the table was actually crooked.

   As the glass broke into a million pieces, Eli felt her heart being shattered alongside the shards. The sound was so alarming, she knew it must have had awoken Ms. Marie.
   Her thoughts racing, Elizabeth tried desperately to remember a hiding place where she could squeeze herself away. Struggling to lift her shaky feet off the ground, Eli suddenly felt a horrid pain coming out from her left ear, bringing her back to reality. It was Ms. Marie.
   “What are you doing in the kitchen at this time of night playing with the glasses?!” Ms. Marie yelled, twisting Eli’s ear even harder.
    “I am so sorry, I really didn’t mean to break it! I only wanted to make a cup of lemonade! I swear, I won’t do it again! Just this once, let me go, please!” Elizabeth could feel hot tears rolling down her face.
   When she told me about this story, I refused to accept what happened next. It was way beyond belief.
   After hearing Elizabeth’s words, Ms. Marie noticed the cut on Eli’s hand and a lemon sitting on table.
   “Is it for him?” Ms. Marie asked.
   “Yes.”
   Suddenly, Ms. Marie let go of Eli’s ear, and laid her hand on Elizabeth’s head.
   “You can’t make lemonade just from lemons you know, you must mix the juice with water and sugar to soften the flavor.”
   After patching Eli’s hand, Ms. Marie made a cup of lemonade for Elizabeth, which she carried right to me.
   I was having a hard time sleeping that night, especially with the high fever eating up my body. Elizabeth couldn’t stand seeing me in this state, so in her own way, and despite her blindness, she tried to ease my pain while creating one for herself. Having that cut with lemon juice rubbed into it must have hurt like hell.
  I was in so much pain that my senses were dull. I couldn’t make out what was happening around me. Suddenly, I could have sworn I saw an angel sitting right beside me, and then I felt a taste I had never experienced before, running through my mouth, bringing life back to my feeble body. For the first time in three days, I was able to sleep safe and sound. That angel never left my side that night.

 

***

 

   I returned home a little after midnight, and I opened the door. There she was, asleep on the couch - my guardian angel. We had swapped copies of our room keys, so it was easier for us to check up on each other.

    She is waiting for me, just like when we were kids. Still…I was always late.

   Looking at her innocent face as slept made me forget my wounds. Her blonde hair strewn over her back, her tiny, smooth hands under her head... That scene brought me peace in my mind and heart. It was like a painting from a storybook - The Sleeping Beauty.

   With warmth in my heart, I delicately carried her to my bed. I could feel her fragile body between my arms. I was barely moving, even standing took all my strength.   Somehow, having her in my arms gave me power even I didn’t know was there. It was freezing outside, yet she was warm. I didn’t want to let her go, but I was worried that I would wake her up. Like a mother caring for her newborn, I laid her down and covered her with a blanket.

    Look at her! She is wrapping herself up in her sleep, what a scene!

   For the first time in my life I smiled a sincere, pure smile, like it came from the inside. I didn’t know that I had it in me. I was surprised, and yet disgusted by my own vulnerability. If I had learned anything from that fight, it was that I had to get rid of my weaknesses if I wanted to succeed. Then it finally occurred to me.

    Did I kill a man today?

   I spent the night sleeping on the couch, the thought of power and death never far from my dreams.

   ***

   They say that you only feel anguish at the first kill - after that it gets easier. That's a lie. In the beginning it's like an addiction - the adrenaline shoots through your veins and you can't stop. But the more skeletons you pile up, the more your soul turns numb. There's a void that grows inside your heart, shattered like broken glass, your memories dispersed inside your mind. With nowhere to run or hide, you find yourself cornered by ghosts of the past. Stripping you of what’s left of your humanity, you begin to lose yourself in a maze of pain and agony. Finally, you begin to feel yourself suffocating. Relieved of this misery, and just before that final spark leaves your eyes, you suddenly find yourself being strangled by your own hands.

***

   The next morning I woke up early - my wounds didn't allow me to have much sleep. Elizabeth was still sleeping. I took a quick bath, changed my clothes and began preparing breakfast. I was making an omelet - Eli's favorite.

    "Yummy, is that egg I smell?" said Elizabeth.

    The smell must have woken her up.

   My body was covered in bruises. Eli would have panicked if she could have seen my face.

   "So the sleeping beauty finally woke up?" I replied sarcastically.

   "I was waiting for you last night, but I must have fallen asleep.By the way, where were you?" she asked reproachfully.

   "Well, there was something I needed to take care of, which led me to find a new job."

   "That's great! What kind of job?"

   "Hmmm, a security guard for… for a jewelry shop," I replied.  I had to lie.  I couldn’t tell her that I would be killing people for a living.

   "So that means you will be carrying a gun?!" she asked with a worried voice.

   "Yeah, maybe. But I won't bring it home, don't worry."

   "Alright, but please don't get yourself into trouble," she said, concerned.

   "Oh, so you are worried about me after all!" I responded, still as sarcastic as ever.

   "Watch out! The omelet is going to burn!" she yelled, covering her face with her hands.

   I hate lying to her, but I guess I will tell her the truth someday, when my dream comes true.

 

***

 

   Two weeks went by.  My wallet was running dry.  I couldn't box because I was still injured from the last fight. I had to find a new job.

   "Hey! Bring me the bill," says the man who didn't even bother looking at me, clapping his hand like I was some kind of dog.

    No tip. Why am I not surprised?

   The life of a waiter really sucks, I will give you that. Cleaning the cinema hall during the day and serving people at night... I was struggling.

   Suddenly, a sealed letter slipped from the bill holder from that mean customer. I looked up. He was long gone, so I opened the envelope.

    Maybe he left me a letter apologizing for not giving me a tip, who knows. Why not a love letter at that?

   "'The Old Samurai’ Hazaki Kojiro, leader and family head of the 'Kojiro' Mafia gang. Famous due to its affiliation in human trafficking. During the war, it smuggled people from Japan into the country, granting the gang fame and minor influence..."

    Could this be?

 

         “Target: Hazaki Kojiro.

          Gender: Male.

          Age: Sixty three years old.           

          Place of Birth: Osaka, Japan.

          Method: Unspecified.

          Expiration date: Two days.

          Additional Information: Heavy security, armed personnel.

          Difficulty: B.

          Reward: Two grand."

 

    This is it! My first job. My first contract.

   It seemed the time had finally come. However, with so little time to plan, and even less time to act. My first contract has proven to be more difficult than anything I had done so far. It seemed like an impossible task for a person with zero experience. But then again, I was not your average person.

    I am the absolute!

    I won’t - I can’t - back down.

 

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