Chapter 7: Progression (part 3)

The halfling opened the door softly, shutting it behind him after he crept in. He relocked the door before darting for a corner. A soft glow approached, and Racieus watched unseen as the thief made his way to the back door and tested it, making sure it was locked. With a sigh of relief, the man took off his mask and shuffled over to a table, collapsing in one of the chairs.

Had the thief not seen his small pursuer? Racieus wouldn’t have been incredibly surprised if that was the case, often people overlooked him when answering their doors, and this man had been on the run, not once looking over his shoulder, his own heavy breathing masking what small sound the halfling made.

There was a pop and as Racieus watched, the man, whether in celebration or out of habit, began to drink heavily from a bottle. Before he could stop himself, the small assassin sighed in disgust. The man was doing Racieus’ job for him. Before he could think it over, the halfling stepped out of the shadows and approached the table. The man looked up and nearly tipped over in his chair when he saw the halfling. He fumbled for a weapon but Racieus, knives already out, held his own weapons to the man’s throat, and he froze.

“We’ve been watching you,” the halfling whispered.

The thief’s eyes opened even wider, if that was possible, and his bottle clattered to the floor. “Who has?”

“Oh come now,” the small assassin said with a chuckle, “You know who we are you wretch. Don’t insult us by thinking we’d actually forget about you.”

The man was visibly shaking, but whether that was because he was scared, or because he had already downed an unhealthy amount of liquor, Racieus didn’t know. “I thought we had settled that!” He whimpered, “You aren’t going to kill me are you?” Clumsily falling to his knees, the thief inched towards the halfling, hands clasped tightly.

“Perhaps, perhaps not. I could be convinced I think.” The man, after a visible internal debate, slumped his shoulders and reached for one of the bags of coin strapped to his waist. He offered it to the small assassin, not realizing the other bags were already gone. Racieus accepted it with a sneer, and turned away without a word.

Before he reached the door he looked over his shoulder and commanded, “Look away from me fool!” And quickly the man did. Racieus undid the lock on the front door, and grabbed the two swords that were propped up next to it. With a hop he cleared the spheres he had laid earlier. Turning, he prodded to the door closed with one of the magnificent weapons, and walked away whistling. He wondered how long it would the incompetent thief to realize what had transpired, and he wasn’t left disappointed. He had made it a few steps down the road before a yell erupted behind him, and he heard the door bang open. The man rushed out of the building, a dagger and sword in each hand, and promptly slipped on the scattered balls in his doorway. There was a thud and scream, and then all was silent. Racieus looked back once, and quickly averted his eyes. The drunken man had fallen on one of his own weapons.

The halfling figured it was probably better that way. Lieran would eventually have heard of the man, and would have paid him a rather unpleasant visit. One that would have achieved the same results over a longer and more painful period of time. He tried not to dwell too long on it, and instead focused on making it back to the blacksmith’s forge. The dwarf was still open for business so Racieus had no trouble getting in. He waited until the smith’s back was turned as worked the furnace, before depositing the items on one of the few anvils in the room. He wasn’t quite careful enough though and one of the coin pouches tumbled noisily from its perch. The dwarf, anticipating a customer, turned from his work to see first, a small form darting from the shop, and second the pile of returned goods. In that moment, he knew that the faith he had bestowed on halfling nearly six months prior, had not been misplaced.

The End

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