The Traitor

by Naren

A dark clad figure slid his back along the rough stone wall as he heard the sound of armored feet slamming against such stone. Naren's heart beat slowly and his breath was lighter then the air itself as he waited. Naren's dark face was illuminated for just a moment as the patrol ran by him.

"If only he hadn't screamed," Naren said under his breath as he slipped away from the wall.

Naren's foot steps made no sound as he moved swiftly through the dark hall ways of the manor. It was near impossible to spot the Stygian cloaked completely in midnight leather. A long black cloak cascaded behind the figure as he stalked the patrol that passed. Naren's very hair was raven colored down to the root. Steady hands grasped the handles of the twin wyrm bone daggers on his lower back. He was like a serpent as he slithered across another wall. He paused and held his breath as his back met the stone wall again. Naren seemed to mold his form to the shadows as an unmoving shadow himself.

Another patrol passed through the adjacent hall way and he was on the move again. Naren noted that the Cimmerian guards here had weaknesses at the kidney and at the base of the neck. Striking down another would not be a problem and perhaps this one will not die so loudly. Naren looked about him and sprinted towards the opposite wall. His feet left the ground and he pressed both firmly against the wall. Naren pushed off and grasped the arm of a marble statue. Naren lifted himself up quickly; inhaling ardously.

"Stop breathing so hard, idiot, you'll get yourself killed," Naren's right hand shook violently as his dim eyes scanned the darkness around him. The only light that presented itself were the patrols of men carrying torches; for no reason other than to spot him and kill him.

"HERE HE-" A voice sounded out above Naren, but was quickly silenced by the sound of Naren's arrow releasing itself. The next sounds were a blur of shouts and armor clacking against rock.

Naren's feet carried him quickly through the hall way that he needed to be in. Move. Faster. Naren felt the harsh sting of an arrow slam into his left shoulder. A shout of pain, but he did not slow. Naren turned hard and leapt; which caused foot to meet armored face. The guard fell and Naren bound off the helmet moving with renewed speed as he saw the Lord's Chamber door. Naren drew his bow and it burned as the arrow in his shoulder was aggrivated from such quick movement. Pay it no mind. The first arrow slammed into the first guard's throat and he dropped. The second guard rose his sword as Naren approached. Draw the arrow now! Naren's arm was moving slower due to the wound and he knew it. He was in range of the guard's blade now. A flash of steel. A great fountain of blood rose into the air as the guard fell. Naren left the arrow he rammed into the guard's eye there as the guard struggled. Naren's own left eye was wounded badly and he felt blood rush down his face. He disgarded the bow, which was cut in half by the sword that bastard carried.

Naren grabbed the handle of the door and nothing happened. It was locked. Think fast, they're almost to you. Naren's left hand reached into a pouch and he pulled out a small sliver of steel, which he dextrously slid into the door lock and twisted about skillfully. Naren's hands had never worked faster as he heard the click of the door unlocking. Naren slid in and disappeared from the vision. Seconds later, the door burst open and arrows flew into the room. They hit flesh, but only the body of their fallen Lord who bore two gaping dagger wounds in his chest. The wounds looked as if a serpent had dug two fangs into his body and the flesh around them decayed from the venom of the blades. Inbetween the two wounds was a small piece of paper and all it bore was the emblem of Set.

Naren slowly allowed himself to slide down the wall of the castle. He had maneuvered himself around the corner and the guards seeking their assassin found only blackness below and above them. Naren's shoulder burned, yet he knew it was over and he could rest. Naren exhaled once his feet hit the cool sod of Cimmerian soil. Naren's left hand pressed down against his face while his right hand reached around his back to pluck the arrow from it as he faded into the darkness of the forest surrounding the manor.

Naren knelt down with his pale face in the dirt of Set's Temple. Naren didn't look up at the great servants to Set as he was not worthy in their eyes. The Grand Priests of Set stood over him on the cool marble of their temple floor. Great scepters sounded as they moved against the floor. Click, Click, were the sounds they made as Naren's hands burned against the hot sand. Finally, one of the Grand Priests sounded out as he stood at the top stair of the temple.

"Your mission was a great success, worm. We are pleased with your efforts as is the Great Serpent Lord himself," the old man's dry voice echoed through the sacred halls.

"I live to serve, My Lord," Naren responded in an icy, rigid tone. The voice was dead of true devotion and feeling.

"Your wages, worm," the old man reached into his great robes and the sounds of jewelry on jewelry clacked. The other priests snickered to themselves as he stepped down from one great marble step to the next. Naren could hear the Priest approaching before the priest drove his staff into the top of Naren's hand. Naren did not move, but a long grin formed across his face. Naren's face was invisible to the priests under his hood as bones snapped and cracked. The sound of coins began hitting the sand as the staff was lifted. Naren's slender digits slid through the rough sand to gather the coins. The Grand Priests turned their backs and made their way into their Sanctum of Set.

Naren walked calmly through the streets of Stygia's great capital city. The sound of city clatter was muted out by Naren's ears. He had no eye for silks or silvers either. Naren's black leather stood out here and his long flowing cloak covered him from the harsh sun. Hands worked quickly as Naren shuffled a black deck of cards.

"Assassin for Set, aren't you?" Called out a voice which had never penetrated Naren's ears.

Naren turned towards the voice and saw a cloaked figure in the alley. The man held a staff in his hand, however, it was plain and made of wood; unlike the great scepters of the priests. The man was clad in a sand scattered ebony robe and his eyes were cloaked in shadow.

"Yes, you are. I can tell by the cards. Hm, with a new scar too," the man's mouth twisted into a sickly smirk as he spoke.

Naren's completely white, dead eye with a great scar across his face quickly found disguise under the shade of Naren's hood. Naren tucked his deck away as he spoke, "What of it?"

"Ah, I meant no offense, Naren."

"How do you know my true name?" Naren's voice drew real emotion of suprise at the mention of his name.

"You can learn many things by torturing a Grand Priest of Set." The shadowy figure's face twisted, grinned and smirked at Naren.

"Hurry with your business, beggar. I have no time for this," Naren said point blank.

"Set is no God worthy of recognition and nor are the other Gods. For none are worthy of life. They are all sinners. The only way to find peace in this day and age is to destroy all who live. To make a monument to nonexistence and that is why I sought you out, The Blade Which Is Never Seen. If anyone can destroy life, it is one of your great skills." The man said plainly and then slid into the alley amongst the beggars and the poor. Naren watched him move into nothingness from which he came.

“Brace for impact!” Marcello, a Stygian general, called out as the shields of Stygia met with the spears, shields and swords of Cimmerians. Screams and battle shouts were nearly muffled by the clashing of shields and swords. My own mind and voice was calm. I say nothing and nor do I move as I hear the Cimmerian generals speaking. They knew that this was no force to be reckoned with and they also knew that it would not cause for a great war as the ones of the past. This was simply one minor skirmish of many in the border kingdoms.

“The Stygians are weak! We will crush them beneath our great hands!” One of the Cimmerian generals claimed as the flames of their camp fire illuminated all three of their faces.

Three Generals.

“You overestimate our chances. We may outnumber them, but only according to what our scouts have gathered. If you recall only one re-” But this general was interrupted by the loud one. They all looked the same as well, except for the loud one. He wore great armor that shone in the illumination of the camp fire.

One leader and two lesser leaders. Armed with swords and shields. Two will die, but by that time, one will have weapons ready.

“The scout who returned said that we outnumbered them three to one at least and we will use that intelligence to our best interest,” the loud one crossed his arms as Naren crossed his arms behind his back gripping the handles of his daggers.

“As you command, my lord,” the left most general took to his feet and moved into the wood.

I inhale the perfume scent on my scarf. Easy kill.

“What was that?” The loud one snapped his head in my direction, but by that time the weak one was dead. One of the perimeter’s guardsman rushed to the body. Before he could report he was silenced.

The loud one and the lesser one drew their weapons, ‘Guards! Come to us! We are under attack!”

My job is nearly done, hopefully, Marcello has done his.

“Guards! Hurry!” Naren’s dagger pierced the throat of the quiet one as he was the nearest and the job must be done faster before it could be done efficiently. The loud one has seen me. Battle will begin and it is not in my condition. I do not like this.

The loud one swings his sword downward and I parry the blow, but he is very strong. I hear the foot steps of guards coming in the tall grass. I have at most twenty seconds to kill him. The general looked at me with intense eyes of red. I can only look back with one ice blue eye and one dead white orb. He grins as he sees my scarf falls away from my eye to expose it. He knows I am mortal.

My off hand dagger slams into his kidney, but he does not have the gap in armor that the others do. My dagger shatters as I am knocked back several feet by a heavy shield. I fall onto my back and slid a few more feet. I leap to my feet gripping my daggers with fourteen seconds to kill. He approaches as I do as well. I leap into the air and my feet meet his shield with enough force to knock him back. His back slams against a tree with eleven seconds to kill. I throw my dagger and it reaches it’s mark under his left arm which was only risen due to my blow. He screams and charges with his sword in the air. I can only parry the blow again and my free hand throws dirt into his eyes. I am not perfect and his blade slips away from my own and my bicep is cut slightly. He staggers and my blade meets his exposed throat. I could tell that he tried to move his shield in front of him, but my dagger was lodged in between the bones. He could not defend himself and died with only five seconds to spare. I am gone and they are without guidance. We have won the battle on my end.

Marcello and I shook hands briefly after the battle. I rarely spoke to the man, but it was my duty to kill for him as a scout at times. I moved into the darkness of the forest and only looked back for a moment to watch the bodies burn. A familiar scent and sight which I take great delight in.

They say that my eye reflects what I see into the eyes of those who look upon it. With that in mind, I bear at all times that those I murder not only see my eye; but their own face as they breathe their last. I take great satisfaction in that. Great satisfaction as I build a monument to nothingness. I turn towards the flame again and see nothingness in it. I do not see Set.

With a small smirk on my lips, I turn towards the Stygian camp and grip a hold of the hilt of my dagger. I inhale the sweet scent of my scarf that she left to me. My fingers tighten around the leather hilt as the blade drives into Marcello’s spine. I am the Traitor.