Palacia Varius Savat [A Rama Empire short story]

"Ket Savat'Ilen Tekir, the saying went. The Goddess Ket Savat thirsts, and that usually meant for blood."

Almost four centuries have passed since the Craft Plague, and yet there is still one society where mage craft is still accepted and used. The Blades of Ket Savat are still thriving in the palace deep beneath Cahl's capital, carrying out their assassin work in the streets above.

Rohen is one of the Goddess' Blades, and one of her best assassins. He is firmly devoted to the Goddess ideals, but as the world changes, doubt flourishes. When you have to chose between home and work, both in the name of Ket Savat, how do you know your gods are even there?

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5. Part IV

What it was about, was the magical being Rohen laid eyes on that evening, in the middle of the Palacia's practice yard. Mage craft and the scent of irises were heavy in the air, as she stretched and moved, warming up her body. Rohen wondered how anyone could think that those like her, did not belong among the Blades. Wondered what was going on in the council member's heads.

Dania raised her arm and unfurled her fingers with the elegance of a dancer. Slowly, she turned her hand, and light glinted in the shadows that gathered there, becoming a blade of obsidian like material. She would be able to un-make it at will, erasing all evidence of having had a weapon. Turning, her other hand held a similar weapon, albeit longer.

Step for step, she glided through the weapons exercises, fluid like the shadows that wafted off of her tattoos.

Rohen watched her, entranced and enchanted.

She caught sight of him over her shoulder, a teasing smile revealing that she saw him there. In a few steps and with raised fingertips, she let herself fall forward into a shadow, disappearing in billowing tendrils of darkness.

A moment later, she stepped out behind him, the cool edge of her knife kissing his neck, as he closed his eyes and leaned back against her body.

"Keep still, or you're dead," she whispered.

He chuckled and opened his eyes. In a swift motion he had his hand under her arm, and tipped the blade away from himself. Already he had one of his daggers in his free hand, and blocked her next attack fluidly, as they stepped out unto the practice area together.

It was a dance to them. Always had been. Always would be. He ducked, and she cut the air above his head. She leapt, and he kicked out to sweep her legs away.

"One day, I'll take your life," Dania threatened him, laughing as she did so, and avoided another one of his swings.

"One day I may give it to you willingly," Rohen said, and caught one of her hands. In a twirl she had her blade at his throat again, her eyes seeking his, their breaths coming fast from the exercise.

"Is that a promise?" she asked him.

Rohen let his blade fall, ignored the sting as her blade nicked his skin, and leaned in to kiss her. His lips were hard, his hands calloused, as he drew her in.

"Maybe," he told her when he let go.

She narrowed her eyes, though the corner of her lips turned up in invitation once more. She shook her head, her hair dancing as she did so, and held up her hands as her blades returned to darkness.

"It's a promise," she decided, and walked away.

Rohen watched her go, and saw no need to correct her.

She was right.

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