"A student my lord?"
"Yes Riovynn. You have proven yourself quite capable in my service, and I wish to have others like you. The resistance fights with a passion that spirits and slaves lack. They fight for their homes and lives. That conviction could turn a simple slave girl into a fury. We need to something to combat. It won't be the sprirts who win this war it will be those like you."
"You flatter me my Lord."
"I do more than that Riovynn. I honor you. If you are successful and we crush the rebellion as I have foreseen, the victory will rest on your shoulders. All glory and credit will go to you for your work. You would be second only to me throughout the new Empire. Bear that in mind as go discharge your duties. Your new apprentice will be waiting in your room. You may go."
"As you wish."
I had entered with some measure of hope for my future. Joining the resistance would prove no small task, especially if they had escapees who recognized me. Defecting to them while convincing the emperor that I was still loyal to him would prove even more difficult. But now, I had to not only bring an apprentice, I would have to train and convince him that I was loyal to the Dark Lord as well.
Maybe I could train him to abhor the dark lord. Not because I believed in the light, but because I wanted vengeance for what the dark had taken from me. With the right training, he could grow up to be my partner and ally.
Failing that, I could just kill him. Inexperience would be a plausible enough excuse for his demise. The emperor would believe that the boy had been headstrong. He had failed to follow my explicit orders, and ended up falling to the enemy in his recklessness. I myself only just barely escaped. Then I would wish to go back to the resistance and complete my task in remembrance of the apprentice that they slew.
Yes. That would work.
I threw open the door to my chamber and found it dark. The blinds had been closed, the candles extinguished. I never left my room like this. The shadows invited too many enemies.
Someone else had been here.
My senses were instantly on the alert, and in a flash two of the many daggers concealed on my person were in my hands. I treated this like I would a life or death situation, For if I wasn't careful it could easily become one. Cloaked in shadow, I made my way to the window and threw open one the curtains.
A quick survey of the room failed to detect any intruders, but I wasn't letting my guard down yet. I kept up a careful scan and waited for a mistake.
After a moment, my bed curtain rippled faintly.
The two daggers in my hands were already flying through the fabric, and I held two more at the ready. Ripping off the bed curtain, I went to examine the dead intruder. When I saw that the bed was empty, I realized my mistake.
I had lowered my guard.
I heard the soft thump of feet landing on the floor, as the intruder fell from the ceiling. I tried to disentangle my hands from the bed curtain, but by the time the black clad stranger had readied himself for a confrontation, I had only succeeded in freeing one.
I would have to improvise.
The attacker made his first mistake by running at me. I twisted out of his way and added a little extra momentum to his charge with a push. He tumbled onto my bed. As he recovered, I tried to cut away the curtain but wasn't able to completely free myself. My attacker was fast. But not fast enough.
He hesitated, knowing that if he charged me I could best him, but if circled me I would have time to free my hand. He decided to charge once again. I dodged him like before, but also succeeded in wrapping the loose end of the curtain around the man's neck. As he continued running past me the curtain grew taught and jerked.
My hand was free.
I leapt at the man and gave him two quick slashes, one on the arm and one on the leg. Nothing deep, but enough to dissuade him from continuing to fight. I slammed him against the wall and drove my daggers through his loose clothing and into the wall. He was pinned.
I ripped off his mask and discovered two important things.
His face was bruised, as if he had been in another recent fight.
And he was a she.
"Do you know who you were trying to kill?" I asked her.
"I know perfectly well who I was trying to kill."
Her sarcasm was not what I was looking for. I ripped one of the daggers out of the wall and held it to her neck.
"And who exactly are you trying to kill, girl."