Riovynn hated this part of his job.
Not that he liked the other parts of his job, but this was the part he dis-liked the most. Reporting in to him. He lifted his hand to knock, but before his knuckle rapped against the door, it swung open and his mater's voice bade him to enter.
He always did that, yet it never failed to unnerve Riovynn. He had tried fooling the dark lord, by pretending to knock, yet his master always seemed to know when the real knock was coming. Riovynn had even tried speeding up and slowing down the speed with which he knocked, but the door always swung open before he could touch it.
As soon as Riovynn stepped inside the door closed behind him; eliminating the shaft of light in which he had stood.
"My mission is complete master."
"Doubtless it is Riovynn, or you wouldn't stand before me. Had your mission failed I also find it hard to believe that you would place yourself in my reach, which leads me to assume that the Duke is dead."
"Yes my lord. The message has been sent."
"Good Riovynn. You make a good servant, albeit an unwilling one. Tell me. How can I make your service more voluntary?"
Riovynn almost couldn't believe that the Dark Lord had asked that question. He was powerful, and to hold even a minute part of his favor meant unimaginable things. Riovynn almost blurted out a petty request, such as new weapons, or superhuman attributes, or women, but he pulled his tongue back at the last second. This was his chance to ask for practically anything.
Perhaps even something that might help him escape.
"You do me great honor my lord, and I fear that my mind has been overwhelmed by such a question. Would you allow me time to think about my answer?"
"Always you do yourself credit Riovynn, and this is no exception. I will grant you one day. When you return to ask me for what you will, I will also have your next assignment. But for now, enjoy a well earned rest."
"Thank you my lord."
Riovynn went straight to his luxurious quarters, taking no detours and making no stops along the way. He had no friends here, no woman to visit, no company save his own thoughts. The other servants of Riovynn's master lacked his intellect and humanity. As far as he knew, he was the only human assassin under the Dark Lord's command, at least here in this stronghold. The other residents were slaves, spirits, and other unsavory creatures that Riovynn had grown to despise.
He thought long and hard about his request. It had to leave nothing up to chance, yet it had to be subtle enough that the Dark Lord wouldn't suspect Riovynn's motives. He thought long into the night and just before he allowed himself to fall into slumber, he came up with a reasonable answer. Then he sunk into sleep, for lack of sleep could kill you faster than any enemy.
Riovynn heard voices inside his master's chamber. This was his appointed time, but did he dare interrupt whatever was taking place inside? He could always argue that he was following his master's instructions to the letter, and it was even possible that the person inside was part of Riovynn's next assignment. Having made his decision, Riovynn knocked on the door.
Or tried to. Once again, it swung open before his hand made contact.
As he stepped in and the door shut behind him, Riovynn bowed low and stood waiting for his mater's permission to speak. He couldn't see the owner of the other voice, but then again he couldn't see much of anything, for his master's chamber was always pitch black. Riovynn had never been in farther than three steps.
"Your punctuality is appreciated Riovynn. Have you come with your request?"
"Yes my lord. I wish to take on more challenging assignments. I admit that I grow weary of jobs that do not test my skill."
There was a period of silence during which, Riovynn wondered if he had overstepped by professing his discontent.
"I am pleased that you wish to surpass yourself, and continue to serve me better Riovynn. I grant your request. Did you perhaps have an idea as to what assignment you would you like?"
Riovynn in fact did. "I wish to infiltrate the rebellion."
"That would indeed be a challenge, but should you succeed, your success would be most beneficial. It also provides an opportunity to complete the assignment that I had planned to give you."
Riovynn hadn't forgotten about his new assignment, and he was now even more curious to know what it was. He doubted that it could do much to compromise his plan to defect to the rebellion and escape the influence of the Dark Lord.
"You will be receiving a student."