Chapter 12: Complication

Racieus entered the city just as the sky was beginning to darken. Knowing he’d get little work done before evening fell, the halfling rented a room at a small, but clean-looking inn. Leaving most of his things behind, the small assassin ventured out into the gathering twilight. The city brought back more than a few memories, taking the halfling back to his first mission. It hadn’t been all that ago in reality, but it seemed like an eternity, many things had happened since then. The city layout, already having been explored by Racieus, came back fairly quickly. The halfling replotted escape routes, ways to throw off pursuers, and places to hide.

There was commotion near one of the gates, and the small assassin moved to investigate. It didn’t sound like anyone was in trouble, but more like chanting and cheering. As he approached, Racieus saw a procession going by, and not just any procession, but an elven one. The halfling wasn’t a fan of the elves. He had never met one, but back before the attack, Racieus had heard plenty of stories of his kinsmen’s encounters with the elegant race. They were proud, to the point of haughtiness, and held disdain for the “inferior” races, so the young assassin had been told. Racieus toyed with the idea of killing one of them, it would make a good story to share with the other halflings, if ever found them.

A hand strayed to one of his knives, drawing the small weapon and toying with it. But then Racieus reminded himself of his mission, killing outside of the job would do nothing to help him. He reminded himself that he was an assassin, not a murderer, and assassins didn’t kill heedlessly. It was only a few moments before the blade slid back into its sheathe.

Trumpets blared and a herald announced, “Make way for Sigurd Vallentious! Lord of f’Ornetalbet!” The halfling snorted and turned away, not even bothering to try and catch a glimpse of the obviously pretentious elf, he had to be to have a name like Vallentious. Racieus made his way through the rapidly darkening streets, and as his familiarity with the place came back to him, he had little trouble in navigating back to the inn.

He ordered a meal at the counter, requesting it be brought to his room when it was finished. After bounding up the steps and down the hallway to the last room in the corridor, a room chosen specifically by Racieus. He still remembered one of the first conversations he had engaged in with Lieran on his first night at the guild.

“Why the second hall?” he had asked, “Why not the third? More walking and all.”

“Well, if someone were ever to attack the guild, the ones of the third floor would most likely be the last to be reached, and would have more time to prepare.” Since then, the small assassin always took the farthest room he could find, believing it might one day save his life. He entered the room, and even before the door had shut, he had his knives out and sense on full alert. Something was different, someone had been here.

It wasn’t hard to spot what had immediately tipped the halfling off. It wasn’t the small rug, although the he noticed it had been moved ever so slightly away from the door, it wasn’t the window, though it was more open than the when Racieus had left it, it was the object sitting on his bed.

It was the box. Someone had come in and tampered with his box.

The End

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