A Twist in the Road
A sword narrowly misses my head as it flies toward me, I barely had time to dodge as I tried to bring my own blade up to deflect the blow but instead jumped back and stumbled. What a mistake to make! I regain my footing and press back into the fray. The Human I was fighting was a high-priority mark for the Sicilians, his name unworthy of mention even in my own journal, but he was not without skill in the fighting arts. I almost feared I was no match for him as I barely deflected his strikes. My blood begins to boil with a bloodlust as I begin focusing my strikes and I began to gain a slight advantage which pushed him back to deflect the returning strikes. Knowing he was losing the advantage, he quickly kicked up dirt into my eyes, blinding me. I quickly back away and try to regain my sight from the dirt- to no avail. Everything is silent for a moment.
Why isn’t he attacking? Where is he?
I am used to blind fighting, but it has been awhile since I have had to do such. I am skilled in many fighting tactics, I take advantage of the respite and focus my senses, my blood beginning to rush in a form of a battle-rage. My mental acuity soaring, my hearing at its peak, and just in time. I hear something to my left and quickly bring my blade up and barely deflected a blow that would have killed me, and the fight was on again.
Deflecting blow after blow of the Humans strikes became easy, the air whistling around his blade made it even easier to determine the direction it was coming from, which in turn told me where he stood. I was nowhere near finally finishing my task, but I wasn’t about to give up, I was never one to run and fight another day. A portion of my mind kept telling me to say something but in my fighting rage I kept ignoring it. Strike after strike, blow after blow, and neither of us gaining any ground on each other.
Something in my mind began to shout at me, my rage ebbing to make way for whatever it was. I was losing ground now, his strikes seemed to quicken and I was hard pressed to keep up in my blinded state. I barely block another strike when he kicked my feet out from under me and sent me sprawling to the ground. I bring my sword up to deflect another possible blow, and I was not disappointed.
A final strike took the blade from my hand and sent it flying. Something in my mind continued to scream at me, clearer now then it was before. I was compelled to say something, the words making absolutely no sense but I found myself saying them anyway.
My hand tingled, a strange energy had quickly built up in the palm of my hand. I had no idea what was happening, I raised my hand, palm out in the general direction the Human, at least, I hope he was there. The pent-up energy released itself, a loud crackling sound filled the room, followed by, and mixed in, with a scream of terror and pain. It all happened in barely a moment, the loss of energy had completely exhausted me. I passed out.
It was hard to say how much time had passed before I finally woke up, dirt still caked my eyes. I removed what I can just enough for me to see where my waterskin was so I could wash my eyes. I could see again, and the destruction that ensued hours before. The corpse was no longer discernible as Human, it was just a husk now, twisted and blackened. I know not what I had done, but it scared me. Only one person I know could possibly shed some light on the situation, I hope. I set the thought aside and went back to the task at hand. I was to bring back a dagger the Human carried with him, one that had a specific insignia on its hilt. It was not a dagger used in fighting I was told, but it served other purposes. I searched the corpse but the dagger was not to be found, it must have dropped somewhere during our fight. I searched the area and found it alongside a wall. Not a very impressive weapon, but I won’t question why the Don wanted it.
I returned to the Hall a few days later and report to Don Jason. I enter the outer office and see there are a few ahead of me, his assistant looks at me as I enter. A rather attractive female elf I had not seen before in the Hall, but then again it doesn’t surprise me because I spend most of my time training.
She looked at me with a hint of stubborn pride as I look down at her as I approach. There was no fear in her eyes, but…. Something else… disappointment? I could not tell for sure, but I put the thought aside.
“Inform Don Jason that Yvei is here to see him” I told her.
She looked at me intently, and a sneer came across her features. “There are more ahead of you, you will have to wait.” She said sternly.
“I care not, Don Jason expected me to report upon my return, now tell him.”
“I’ll put you on the list.” She said, and pulled out a roster.
Annoyed, I pull out a dagger and slam it blade down onto the paper, pinning it to the table.
“No! Not later. NOW!” I shouted, it had been a frivolous week and was not in the mood for stupidity from others.
The door to Don Jason’s office opened and he stormed out, pissed off.
“What in the nine hells is going on out here!?” He looked at me, his assistant, and the dagger embedded in the desk. “Yvei! What the hell!? That’s ancient Oak wood damnit! Cost me a good fortune to find that!”
“Should have put it in your office then, rather than afford its use elsewhere.” I shot back.
Jason looked at me again then started to laugh. The elf removed the dagger from the desk and threw the paper in the garbage.
“He demanded to see you but I told him he had to wait. But, he wouldn’t listen.” She said.
“Of course he demanded to see me, I told him to see me when he returned!” Still laughing, he bade me entrance to his office. I looked back at the elf again, she sneered and threw my dagger at me. I caught it, blade
first and threw it back, embedding it yet again in the desk where I first slammed it down and grinned. I liked her.
Jason closed the door and walked to his desk and sat down. I took a seat, for once he actually had comfortable chairs in here that didn’t threaten to kill your backside. I reach into my pack and pull out the dagger I
had obtained and placed it on his desk.
“I assume this is the dagger you were seeking.”I stated. Curiosity compelled me to ask about the dagger, but I held my tongue.
“Yes. Good work, as usual. I have no further jobs for you at this time so feel free to take some time off until I call you.
This was new. Don Jason actually telling me to relax!? Well, can’t complain but it’s not like him, usually he has a job for me right when I get back.
“My apologies for asking, but I am curious. What significance does the dagger hold? It’s no good in battle, why was it such a big deal to retrieve it?
He grinned at me, and held up the dagger.
“Bastard wagered it in a game of dice a few weeks ago and lost but refused to pay up. Says I cheated.”
“Well, you did didn’t you?” I said, grinning.
“Of course I did, but he had no proof so naturally he had to die.” He chortled.
“Of course.” I left it at that and moved the conversation elsewhere.
“So, who is the elf out there?” I asked, curiously.
“Ah, taken a liking to her I see.” He stated, grinning deviously.
“Not exactly, not very many elves have been seen with my own eyes in the Hall before, so I thought I would ask.” I said, knowing that it was only half true.
“Well then, Her name is a secret, for now. Found her on the streets a few years ago, little bitch tried picking my pocket once. Almost exactly as you did those many years ago to Tocharaeh. She at least put up more of a fight so I offered her a place of worth as my assistant here. She’s got some fire in her, very proud and stubborn. Tocharaeh would surely have killed her. I don’t have to tell you that of course” he said, grinning.
And it was true, some 130years ago I came across Tocharaeh and Jason during my sneak-thieving days and near had my arm ripped off for trying to pick Tocharaeh of some gems he had about himself. Didn’t know who he was at the time so can’t really be blamed for my stupidity, only my foolishness.
“You’ve taken a liking to her, true or false?” He asked, still grinning.
“Hard to say, not many have the gall to throw my own dagger at me.” I said.
“You think she could do well with some training?” He asked. Rarely has he ever asked my counsel on such matters.
“You would have to ask her, and what her interests would be if you so deemed her worthy of a membership in your Family. Tocharaeh would be the better to ask in this matter, he is more… suited to answer this question than myself truly.” I stated matter-of-factly.
“Ah, I suppose he is. I will ask him later on when I see him. Meanwhile, go relax. You’ve earned some time off. Take a month if you so like.
“I am honored, Don Jason. I shall. Do you have anything more for me?” I asked.
“Yes, actually, you owe me a new desk.” He said, grinning.
I chuckled and left the office. The elf looked up at me with another sneer on her face as I passed by, glaring at her. I took in what I could see about her and noticed a specific tattoo on the back of her left hand. It seemed…… familiar.