Breathe in.

Darrol aimed his rifle, the stag in his sights standing nearly a hundred yards away. It was a majestic creature, with nearly six feet of height. Darrol would have to make this shot count, lest he let the thing get away.

Breathe out.

If the stag didn't die from this shot, then it would run off to bleed to death. Not only would it be torturous for the animal, but Darrol would lose his prey. The thought of that made his sick. It would make him a filthy poacher. One thing he couldn't stand was poachers.

Breathe in.

Darrol pulled off his hat and placed it at his side.

Breathe out.

His finger tightened on the rifle's trigger.

Breathe in.

Darrol felt the wind blow slightly and the stag looked up. It was now or never!

Breathe out.

The gunshot rang through the forest, causing birds to fly away and smaller animals to scurry across the forest's grassy ground. Darrol stared down the scope of the barrel and smiled. Through the barrel he saw the stag, a shot in it's head, laying on the ground. 

Darrol got up from his hiding place and brushed the leaves and grass off his brown trench coat. He then retrieved his hat and swung his rifle on his back. He hadn't brought much with him this morning, mainly because he was only out to relieve stress, but he wished he had. The nature called to him.

He walked to where the Stag lay. He needed to hurry before the meat spoiled. 

Changing his arm into that of the manticore's, Darrol scooped up the dead stag in his enormous hand. It threw his balance off a little, but Darrol had enough practice to get by. Now all he needed to do was deliver this stag to the butcher's shop and he could head to the Jackdaw to see this 'Captain Briar.'

"Why the bloody hell does it have to me?" Darrol said to the forest that surrounded him. He received no answer, of course. "The Jackdaw should be someone else's problem! I paid my debt!" He was angry, but he knew he deserved what he got. It came with the friends he kept. No amount of power, whether it be his manticore or an Emperor, could sever those ties. Only death could.

Darrol pulled a piece of paper out and started reading it. He needed to memorize it then burn the document. On it was a list of the Jackdaw's crewmembers and purposes, as well as weaponry and other things.

"Baron... Who are you?" It was the only one with just a name. That could mean anything. Darrol had a good idea of who was who since he had traveled together with the Jackdaw for a little while, but he hadn't put a face to this Baron. "Whoever he is, I can take him."

Now all he needed to do was infiltrate the Jackdaw.

And capture Sage Rosewood.

The End

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