Of Honor and Death

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Of Honor and Death

Post by UncleVanya on Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:08 pm

Kiril opened his eyes slowly and looked around the room.

"Walls and floors made of planks...wooden furniture, cheap but durable...windows facing east...this is no jail cell."

He sat up in his bed attempting to recollect events of the past few days. This proved a difficult task as after the battle he spent most of the time slipping in and out of consciousness due to aftereffects of the brews he consumed coupled with his wounds. He remembered a Thanin military patrol...then the white cloth of a medical tent...then nothing. Getting out of bed he stretched his muscles, noting that his wounds were securely bandaged and no longer bleeding.

"Must have been two or three days at least..."

He walked to a window, taking a look outside.

"I'm in Speciosa...good, I've reached my original destination despite everything...."

Making his way over to the small square table placed in the middle of the room he surveyed the items arranged neatly on top of it. Aside from his gear, he also noted the bag of coin.

"Hmm, I guess they either bought the caravan guard story and compensated me for my services or....they didn't buy it, but I was not interesting enough to investigate further....all the same, I hardly think this could have turned out better given the circumstances."


Kiril put on his professional attire, stuffing the guard disguise into the pack. Gathering all of his belongings, he left the room and the lodging house and walked onto the street.

"Now then....back to work."

UncleVanya

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Re: Of Honor and Death

Post by UncleVanya on Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:23 pm

-Four hours later-

"Not that I mind us meeting like this Lord Aetius...its just that I am used to high profile clients such as yourself preferring to act through intermediaries. I am sure you've taken every precaution possible to ensure that your presence here has not been noted...but you never know who might be watching, so its generally best to avoid placing yourself in the position of being watched. I assure you however that my comments don't have any bearing on my willingness to do the job."

There it was again, a dimly lit tobacco filled room, two men sitting opposite each other in private in a tavern in the slums, discussing someone's soon-to-come unfortunate demise. At one time or another the aftermaths of similar conversations have lead to the mighty guilds crumbling away, centuries old noble houses falling into dust, succession crises almost leading to civil wars, and border skirmishes erupting between the great nations. The consequences were not Kiril's worry, as for him only the job existed, the puzzle he had to solve in order to take a life.

Kiril observed his client.

"Young, noble, inexperienced in war, uses his childish understanding of honor to cover up a simple case of a bruised ego. Seems a bit nervous coming here, which was a foolish course of action to take in the first place. He brought four legionaries as bodyguards with him...more eyes and ears that could lead to trouble...his trouble, not mine, if his mistake brings about ruin, it will be after the deed is done and I am long gone. Not that interesting...but the job on offer, the job is something else."

"I had to come myself, you arrived to the city three days late. This failure to keep appointments goes against what I've been told about you...I had to personally see with my own eyes that the man I am hiring measures up to his own reputation. This is no trifling matter, if the job is botched, I will be undone."

Kiril looked Aetius straight in the eye.

"I assure you that it was only due to a set of extraordinary circumstances that I did not make it to the meeting on the previously agreed upon date and time...as I have told your men before, I am willing to reduce my rate by twenty five percent as a consequence of this."

"Money does not matter, I need to know that you can do this, and discreetly..."

"I have no power to influence your mind if it is set..."

"But you do...I would like a demonstration of your skills."

"A demonstration? What do you mean exactly?"

Kiril noticed a flicker of fire in Aetius' eyes...the young Lord grinned.

"I promised each of my guards an unreasonable amount of gold if they are to remove your head...if you can avoid this outcome, you will get the job."

"The boy is more cunning than I thought...fine then."

The door to the room opened and the guards standing outside rushed in with their swords drawn. Not even a second went by and Kiril was already on foot and closing the distance to the first man. The Wolf's sabers were sheathed, daggers and throwing knifes stayed in their place on the belt strung across his chest, he was coming at them bare handed.

The Legionnaire's gladius made a familiar whistling sound as it pierced the air in a precise, drilled thrusting motion heading towards Kiril's chest. The Wolf side-stepped the thrust, and with a quick solid punch smashed in the soldier's throat. Not wasting any time he narrowly dodged the strike of the second assailant, moved to the side of him and with a jerking motion of both his hands, snapped the man's neck. The third one received a strike to the solar plexus, and as he leaned down in pain, a shattering elbow strike to the temple. The last man, just managed to get his sword out of the scabbard...Kiril hit the back of his head there the skull meets the spine...the man went limp and fell, another kick to the back of the skull finished the job. It all happened in mere seconds, and the dead men were not given the opportunity for single cry of pain. Aetius barely had time to turn his head from facing there Kiril was just sitting to catch the last of his men being dispatched. The young Lord jumped up off his chair and spoke in a cheerful tone.

"Wonderful! Now they can't betray me! Yes! You truly are the man for the job...Let us waste no more time, and get to the details."

Kiril looked back at him with his usual cold gaze.

"I am glad that you're so impressed....my rate just went back up to what we originally discussed."

He sighed internally and walked back to the table, the conversation to come would take some hours.

UncleVanya

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Re: Of Honor and Death

Post by UncleVanya on Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:19 pm

Next Day

Clad in full legionnaire armor, wearing a thick beard and mustache, a leather strap covering his left eye, and a  gladius at his side, the Wolf confidently walked across the main city square. He headed towards the menacing cast iron gates of the Military Academy of Thanin.

"Asteros Clavus...what a name, an old name, and a glorious one. I've met the man once a few years ago during another job...was his prisoner in fact....who was it I killed that day?....Ah yes, 'King of the Willows'....a bandit lord with a war-band pestering the trade routes along the western border of Thanin. Everything was going smoothly, and my mark expired as planned...until a Thanin cavalry regiment showed up just as I managed to quietly dispose of the body but before making my getaway. I was still dressed in bandit garb in the middle of a bandit camp...frontier justice in Thanin was the same as everywhere, they hung my 'brothers in arms' from the nearest tree, put a noose around my neck too...didn't end well for them, killed two soldiers, and ran for it before anyone noticed. I bore Centurion Clavus no ill will of course, he simply did his job, and I had the misfortune of getting in the middle of it. What I've gathered when was that he was an honest soldier, and did not seem the kind to let his family name put him above the men under his command as so many young nobles of his age do. He is a man of action and results, his career since our last meeting has been nothing but illustrious. He fought in a half dozen skirmishes, won tournaments with his skill with the sword, served his country proudly and well...and today...and today he is going to die.

My client is a coward...a shrewd one, but still a coward. An honorable man would not put a price on his opponent's head simply because of a lost a duel....Lord Aetius is not an honorable man...but then neither am I. Regardless, the job is too interesting to pass....Thanin Military Academy is one of the best protected compounds in the world, and also my mark's place of residence.

Whatever else I may think of Aetius, he is a resourceful one, he has many of the pieces in place for me saving me a month of planning. I have the plans of the Academy which I've committed to memory...I have the proper uniform, backstory, and papers to get in....even my mark's daily routine schedule hour by hour. The only difficult part is going to be isolating the Centurion in order to take him out quietly....thankfully I have the required skillset to complete the job."


Kiril approached the gate, and froze in place at attention five paces away from it awaiting to be challenged by the ceremonial guards posted outside.

"WHO GOES THERE!? STATE YOUR BUSINESS!"

A low, loud voice of a guard thundered. Kiril replied loudly in turn.

"Raius Oxvol! Decanus of the Green Legion! On important business for General Voltar Krivus! Bearing orders!"

"PRESENT ORDERS!"

Kiril extended his hand, holding a tightly rolled scroll stamped with an official seal. One of the guards sharply marched three steps towards the Wolf and accepted the papers. He inspected the seal, then handed the scroll back to Kirl, did an about face, and marched back to his guard post.

"YOU MAY PASS, DECANUS OXVOL OF THE GREEN LEGION! REPORT TO THE HALL OF SCRIBES TO DELIVER YOUR ORDERS!"

"HAIL THE PRAETORS!"

"HAIL THE PRAETORS!"

Kiril saluted as he walked through the gates.

"So far, so good."

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