Chapter 12: Complication (part 3)

Lieran was troubled. He wasn’t about to admit to Racieus, and had, in fact, been more than a little glad when he heard that his student had gone off on a job. He suspected the halfling knew, or least suspected, more than he let on. He had been telling the truth when he mentioned the persistent customer, but he hadn’t told all of it. This client was annoying before, now he was mad.

That in itself wasn’t an issue, upset clients were nothing he hadn’t dealt with, but none of them had gone so far as to question his prowess as a killer. Although to be fair, there had never been any doubt that one way or the other, he had finished a job. Dead targets were dead targets. Clients may not always approve of how the unfortunate victims came to be that way, but one thing was always certain: they were dead.

The letter that Lieran had been given shook that certainty. This was part of what troubled him. Being involved in a profession that hinged largely on reputation, meant one could ill afford to make mistakes. That wasn’t even the worst part. The one who called the foul was one of the few people that Lieran never wanted to see again.

It no longer mattered though. The letter was a thinly veiled threat, and Lieran would do just about anything to see it disappear, even if it meant finally acknowledging a client who had tried unsuccessfully to get his attention for the last several years.

It wasn’t hard for the guildmaster to slip out. He was constantly coming and going, no one would question his absence. The prescribed meeting place was on the outskirts of the city. There was a risk of treachery, but it was just as well, there was less chance of anyone happening upon the little chat. And Lieran was always prepared for the possibility that things would go south.

The location, a tavern that had gone out of business and long since been abandoned, came into sight. Lieran gave the knives at his waist a reassuring pat, and then searched for a way to infiltrate the building. It was easy enough, even taking the five burly lookouts into account, and Lieran made sure to count each and every one of them, noting their weapons and locations.

He slipped in through a broken window on the second story. Crossing the room it opened into, the assassin eased himself through the partially open door, and vaulted over the balcony railing just outside it. He landed in a crouch and held the position for a few seconds. When no one shouted, he stood quietly and looked around the room. It was empty save for two chairs. There was the sound of a throat being cleared, and Lieran turned to see his client, a halfling, step from the shadows. He said nothing, only made his way towards one of the wooden chairs, and took a seat.

“Nice to see you too,” Lieran said dryly. “It’s been awhile, hasn’t it Adral? Or do I call you Commander now?”

“Sit down Lieran. I’ll make this brief.” The assassin discreetly made a face, and then moved to sit across from the halfling. “Your last job from me, what was it?”

The guildmaster’s eyebrows furrowed as he thought back. He hadn’t been lying when he said it had been a while, nearly twenty years if memory served. “It was, to kill two halflings. The old one and his son. It was an easy job, cut to the throat, knife to the back, no problem.”

The commanding officer chuckled, amused at Lieran’s conclusion. “Well you see, there is a problem.” His expression changed abruptly, the mirth vanishing, “One of them isn’t dead.”

The End

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