Chapter 10: Compatibility (part five)

The halfling had cleared the doors of the the ballroom, and was starting down the hallway in the midst of a group of terrified people, the best camouflage he could have at this point. Then he heard something that made him stop short, and nearly cease breathing.

“Stop her!”Several people tripped over the halfling and cursed him, or gave him less than friendly looks, but he didn’t care. His mind was racing through the contingencies, trying to remember the plan in case one of them had been caught, and with a terrible pang of despair, the halfling finally recalled what Lieran had told them to do.

“We’re assassins. We can’t risk the one thing that keeps us safe, to rescue someone who failed. It’s a cutthroat business, literally, and sadly survival of the fittest is a policy we need to adhere to, otherwise the guild will crumble. We already take enough risks in killing people, we don’t need to add any more by trying to save others.”

He hated himself for it, he truly did, but there was reason behind his teacher’s words, and he had to stick to the plan, or he would be risking more lives, so the halfling took a step, and another, until he was once again jogging along with the crowds of fleeing people. He tried to rationalize that there was a good chance that Eira would make it, that she may not even have been the one that the guards were chasing, and as he fled the castle, he severely hoped that he was right.

He full out sprinted as soon as he was outside the gate, heading for their room. He encountered no problems, although he stopped a few times to hide from guards who were heading towards the palace. No need to fix the image of a suspiciously dressed halfling running away from the castle in the dead of night in their heads. Slowing a block before the inn, the halfling allowed his breathing to return to normal and felt his body temperature dropping to match that of the cool night air. It may not be suspicious per say to appear as if he had been running, which of course he had, but it might fix an image in someone’s mind, and an assassin never took anymore chances than he had to. He arrived at the inn and jogged up the stairs to their on the second floor, hesitating with his hand on the doorknob. Then taking a deep breath he turned the handle and walked inside to see his two companions looking up anxiously, and breaking into smiles of relief and success.

“Racieus! We were starting to worry-” started Eira, but Lieran cut her off with a typical humorous jab.

“Don’t be so insulting!” he chided, “I would never worry” and as an afterthought, “ oh, and of course there’s no need to worry about the halfling.” The small assassin grinned, while Eira rolled her eyes.

“I was worried for a moment” Racieus interjected, waving away the concerns and questions on his comrades faces. “As I left, I heard shouts… I thought they had grabbed you.” He said, looking at Eira. “I almost went back. I guess it’s good I didn’t.”

The other two nodded, the shadow of some emotion on Eira’s face, but Racieus couldn’t pinpoint what it was. “Well I hope you don’t mind that it’s past your bedtime children” Lieran said in his typical good humor, “Because sticking around here any longer would be inviting trouble, saddle up and let’s go!”

The group rode through the night, not stopping until they were safe within the walls of the guild in Shanbydder, laying down just as the sun began to rise. There was no pomp, no circumstance to be had when the two newest members finally rose a little afternoon. Neither was sure what to expect, but after the adrenaline-infused moments that were had the previous night, it seemed odd to just go back to the daily grind.

“Yeah, but that’s just the norm I suppose” Eira said, as the two discussed this very thing. “People do jobs here all the time, it’s not really special, it’s expected.”

“Yeah I guess you’re right. Back to square one then. Did Lieran say anything about training today?”

The girl shook her head, “Nope. I wanted to wait for you before I went to look for him, and find out for sure.”

“Well then let’s find us a guild master.”

They pair worked their way up and through the building, stopping in the auditorium first, then the practice room, and finally ending up outside Lieran’s office, and for the first time since Racieus had been here, the door was closed.

Turning to his partner, the halfling said, “Well I guess we’ve been left to our own devices. Wanna spar?”

An eager smile crossed Eira’s face, “I’d like nothing better.”

The End

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