Chapter 11: The Box

Following that first job, Racieus took it easy for a while, not jumping in quite as quickly as he originally thought. He took another few jobs, all with Eira, and the two had begun to establish a good chemistry on such outings. The halfling had also begun to rise through the ranks of the guild, engaging in several challenges, most of them fights, a few of them challenges, and all of them victories. After one such win something caught Racieus’ eye as he was leaving the auditorium, where all public fights took place. He stopped at the job board, perusing a few ads, but what had caught his attention was a very short, to the point ad, with only two sentences in its entirety. This was odd, normally job offers took up a whole page at least, with specific details about what skills the client needed, what the job would about, where the job would, when it would, details about the target, payment amount, and any other details that would be good to know. This offer simply said:

Member requested for assassination in Hartle. Meeting with client required, see Lieran for details.”

From what he had heard, cryptic offers like that usually meant the job was either ridiculously difficult, ridiculously easy, or ridiculously under-funded, and the client knew it, hence the cryptic job offer. However something about this note, or maybe it was a gut feeling, told the halfling that this job was different, and he decided to seek out the guild master for the contact details. Jogging up the stairs to his teacher’s office, Racieus pushed the door open. It wasn’t completely closed, the door was rarely completely closed, and not completely closed, meant slightly open, and Lieran didn’t care about knocking. However if one barged in when the door was clicked shut, terrible things usually ensued.

“Lieran I was-” Racieus stopped short. There was another man who appeared to have been in the middle of a conversation, an unpleasant one at that. The halfling was afraid for a moment, afraid that he had stepped in on something that he shouldn’t have, but Lieran’s face lit up, glad for some excuse to get rid of whoever the man was.

“Ah, Racieus!” he exclaimed, then turning back to the man he said, “I apologize, but I have some pressing matters to attend to, so we’ll have to cut this short. Give my regards to your boss.” The visitor raised his eyebrows, aware that he was being evicted, but choosing not to call it out. He simply stood and procured a letter from his pocket, handing it to the guild master before making his exit.

As soon as the man left, Racieus spoke quickly, “The door was open, I swear, I didn’t mean-”

“Oh I know halfling” Lieran said, cutting off his protests, “I did that on purpose in the hopes that someone would come along, and lo and behold, they did!”

“Who was that?” asked the halfling cautiously, unsure of how the assassin would respond to the inquiry.

He waved away the question, “Ah, just some grunt representing an old employer. He helped me out of a scrape, I did a job for him, and thought we had called it even, but apparently not. He’s been hounding me for quite some time to come back and take care of a few more problems, and practicing my people skills by promptly ignoring him.”

“Or attempting to,” Racieus said, “Hard to ignore a person sitting in front of you.”

The guild master grinned, “Oh you’d be surprised. I have no idea what he said.”

“And the letter?” prompted the halfling.

The taller assassin started to toss it, but a look from his student made him stop and reconsider. With a sigh he opened the letter up and quickly read through it. Racieus expected the man to simply crumple it up and toss it aside, but to his surprise, the guild master frowned and read over it again. He crumpled it after that, but the frown had piqued the halfling’s curiosity. He waited for the taller assassin to explain it, but the man walked past him and out the door without another word.

The End

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