Blades of Green and Gold

Gardain: a once barren wasteland known as Antarctica. After the great floods people started showing up where a very clever man saved and claimed the land as his own. The king had a daughter and she was loved by her people.

Soon the young princess’ world crashed down and her throne was taken away. She wishes to claim it but she can’t do it alone…

A madman with a thirst for freedom.

A healer who went bankrupt in the wrong place.

An assassin with an unusual look.

A girl with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Four unlikely friends. Three monsters from old stories. Two forgotten heirs. One crumbling world. Aven’s crew is the only thing that stands between the king and his plans for a world of mindless slaves—if they find the other heir first.

COVER BY: Mini
EDITING: DeeundDrang

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6. Chapter 6

Aven Gerrith

 

Once Aven thought the assassin at a safe distance from the door, she made her move.

She grabbed everything useful from clothes to the great map, shoving them into a bag made of a thick Nyridian material — such material was imported so that the royal army could transport chemical weapons of some sort. Aven only went as far as strapping daggers to her limbs and a sword — the pearl hilted one — to her back.

In her rush she’d managed to knock over a chair and she had to remind herself that it didn’t matter. That the many noises of the street below would block it out.

Aven gripped the door handle with a shaky hand, careful not to squeak the hinges as she opened it a crack. No one was there. No one was coming. She hadn’t been as loud as she thought.

I’ll turn myself in, she thought. Make the king think that I saw the benefits to his sick plan.

A fresh wave of anxiety took over as she slipped out of the room and into the many shadows of the keep. All the doors were open in the corridor — precautions, to make sure every assassin was accounted for — and Aven couldn’t help herself but peer in.

Children of all ages were crammed in the small room. Each had their belongings heaped into a section of the room about the size of a broom closet. Some of the young boys practiced arm-bending manoeuvres while others nursed a broken arm or a newly bruised cheek. Perhaps if she allowed them to escape this hellhole  No. There’s no time.

Aven allowed herself a moment longer to watch how, despite their dreadful rent payment of blood and gore, they were still smiling — some laughing quietly — that is, until her gaze landed on a single bloodied hand print.

It stained where door met wooden frame. Whose did it belong to? A torture victim? One of the injured boys? Maybe someone who had had enough of this vile place.

“Isn’t it terrible?” She stiffened as she felt the hot breath of someone behind her. “You’re lucky I don’t let Hades make you break your hand like the rest of them.”

Aven’s mind went wild. There was an old tale of an assassin that roamed these streets called Grave Digger. As his name suggested, he buried his victims in the nearest soil robbed of their organs and skin. When his residence was finally found, it was said that he had a few eyeballs boiling over the fire. The authorities still haven’t found him.

Like the small girl she was, Aven turned to face whatever assassin had caught her.

Azrael wasn’t pleased when she met his gaze. His anger radiated off him in giant waves, sending her into panic. For a moment she thought he was going to strike her, strike her until a satisfying hit landed upon her cheek, but he only reached over her shoulder to take the sword from its sheath.

“This was my grandfather’s sword.” He ground out as his rage seemed to intensify.

Aven had not intended to get caught. Especially by him. He was the only person who showed her kindness and opened up to her, if only a little. She never wanted to hurt him nor compel her only acquaintance to leave her.

“I’m sorry, I-”

“Don’t worry.”

“But I-”

“Drop it.”

Just like a candle winking out, the assassin left making space for the lost boy. The gentle one who resided behind that stone cold face. A smile itched at her lips.

“I was coming to get you but it seems you found your own way out.”

She huffed a quiet laugh. “You left me in a room with nothing to do.”

He arched a brow. “So you tried to leave me?”

Aven’s cheeks reddened. “Well, yeah.”

It seemed to Aven that they had somehow made amends or maybe it was just that Azrael was a forgiving person. Who knew?

“C’mon.” The assassin took her hand carefully. “I wanna show you something.”

 

^^^^^^^^

 

He had to be out of his gods-dammed mind.

Not only had Azrael somewhat befriended her, he had given her a room of her own. Well… sort of.

Pa would’ve done the same, he said to himself. And Dad will kill me for it.

Azrael’s grandfather and father were two very different people. His grandfather told him stories that’d inspire him to write his own whereas his father would burn them every time he found them.

It wasn’t often the two agreed. The archery, however, was the only thing they did. It helped Azrael train to be the assassin his father wanted him to be, and the just warrior his grandfather was — what he so desperately wanted to be.

Of a nigh time, Azrael wondered what his mother had seen in his father — other than the cold killer. Her family was always so kind. She had told him about her sister who opened an orphanage and her mother who died trying to save another in a massacre. His mother herself had a talented gift to tame the feelings of another. Calm them down with a cool touch of her hand. All in the family were brave, all were righteous humans and his father is not one.

But Azrael would do what was right this time, regardless of his father's instructions.

The pair stopped in front of a door. On it, a painted picture of the lake right in the centre of Gardain, hidden in an ancient forest. It was said that at night, it truly glowed.

Azrael had gone at great lengths to get that from one of the younger assassins. Hugo was his name. Surprisingly for a 12 year old, he was quite the artist. It was such a shame for him to land in the guild.

Aven let out a little gasp of awe beside him. “Did you paint that?”

He wished. “No.” Azrael handed her a small key on a chain. “But it cost me a month worth of sweets. So did this.”

She just stared at it. Stared and stared until Azrael guided her hand — and the key — to open the door.

Nothing much lay inside and truth be told, it wasn’t much of a room either. It used to be an old weapons storeroom and Azrael had taken it upon himself to clean it up a bit. Just enough so the princess would be pleased.

A single bed was pushed up against the wall, and above it hung yet another painting, this time of a long forgotten temple.

Two months’ worth of candy, the next three jobs handed to him, laundry every week in summer, and his “super cool book thing about human anatomy” was what the others had traded him in order for all the stuff. Though, he didn’t know why the youngest ward, Tam, wanted a book on anatomy in exchange for a pillow.

He had done it all for her and there was still more to come. She’d need her own clothes, of course. Weapons, too. Sending a lady out into Port Rilee without her own means of defense was just as dangerous as leaving a crippled mad seconds to get out of the path of an oncoming train — cruel and unchivalrous.

Besides, these next few weeks would be busy for the both of them with Aven settling into the guild for now and Azrael moving her new things around.

Azrael bowed, once. “I’ll take my leave.” The archer assassin was required tonight and it wasn’t going to be for a lovely night at the Queen of Hearts club. A job’s a job, no matter how grim.

The princess nodded, still too awestruck to answer him. Thank you, her aura seemed to say. And for that, he was happy. 

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Hello my friends!! Just wanna say if y'all read this, I'll be doing some rewrites for some of the chapters and fix some for plot lines! Just sit tight and enjoy my crazy ride! :P 

 

~Sav-Nav🐝🐶

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