Melothil prepared himself for the confession that was ahead. Granted, the Guild were probably already fully aware that he had failed to carry out his contract, in which case, he was going to need a damn good explanation.
Rumour had it that no member of the Assassin's Guild had ever failed to take out their target, one way or another.
Unfortunately, that seemed to be changing.
Swallowing his fear, Melothil gracefully and silently dropped through the well-hidden gap in between the beams of wood that supported the roof of one of the many Assassin's Guild hideouts.
He landed without making a sound, but after taking his first careful step on the dark ground, he heard a small splash as his foot met with a small puddle on the wooden floor.
The room was too dark to make out what the liquid was, but Melothil quickly idenitified it by the smell that was filling the room - blood.
Letting his eyes quickly adjust to the darkness, Melothil was able to make out a hunched over figure in the corner. Edging closer and closer, he was able to distinguish the features of a woman he knew only too well: Jurenda.
Melothil also recognised three familiar faces crowded around her - all of them his superiors. The first to notice his presence was Freth, a former partner of Melothil's - a friend that had assisted in various hits in the past. But there was nothing friendly about his expression now.
Getting to his feet, Freth stormed towards Melothil and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck. He boomed in his face:
'What the hell happened?!'
For a moment, Melothil was too stunned to say anything. It took a lot to intimidate the hardened assassin, but a former friend shouting in his face was quite hard-hitting, and seemed to upset him, especially after the night he'd been having thus far.
Growing more and more impatient at the lack of answer, Freth, still holding on to Melothil's tunic, dragged him through the door to another adjacent room. He shut the door behind him and released his grip on Melothil.
'The Guild wants your head. You've failed to kill your target, and as a result, your actions have led to the death of our insider. Jurenda had been infiltrating the Guard and was slowly feeding us information. They clearly know that it's us behind the attack. But we don't know how they've got this information.'
Melothil felt compelled to confess about his identity being unveiled. 'The king attacked me before I had a chance to kill him. I escaped unhurt but lost a piece of my robes during the scuffle. The king cut off my emblem. They would have known either way.'
Before the sentence was barely out of his mouth, Melothil felt a hard smack to the chin, evidently from Freth. He had been expecting this kind of reaction.
After a long pause, and after moving his jaw several times to ensure no major damage, Melothil spoke.
'Let me attempt to claim his life once more. Give me more information, and I will find Zephiel. Trade my head for his. I will die trying if that is what must be done.'
A small smile crept across Freth's face, and then was gone. 'It's too late,' he said. 'You've already proven that you cannot be trusted. You've failed to kill the most dangerous man we've ever come up against, and you've given away our identity in the process. You cost a woman her life tonight, Melothil! Under ordinary circumstances I would commend you, but this kill was one of our own!' He paused for breath. Drawing his shortsword, Freth looked into Melothil's eyes. 'This is what has to be done.'