The Violet Assassin
(Author’s Note: This is a continuation of a previous NT story, Betrayal in the Snow.)
The room was dark, save for the faint glow of candlelight. The windows and the sky outside were dark, making the hideout near invisible under the night sky. But in the center of the room, a pair of snarling fangs were illuminated by the light, belonging to none other than Galem Darkhand.
It had been three days since the ruki _A2_ escaped Galem’s grasp. Having escaped in a heavy snowstorm, it was near impossible for Galem to track her down afterwards. But despite the ruki being gone for three days, Galem did not forget her betrayal. He would never forget, nor would he ever forgive _A2_. No one dares betray Galem Darkhand, no one. And whoever dared try their luck never lived to tell the tale.
It was a simple offer he gave her, when he first saw her collapsed in Shenkuu. She steal and fight for his benefit, and she’d be given food and shelter. But clearly, _A2_ wanted to benefit herself more than him, otherwise, she would have never fled from him and Masila on that dark night.
She was alive because of him, and she dare turn traitor against him?! It was unforgivable, and Galem only saw one punishment for that traitorous ruki.
Just the thought of her made the menacing grarrl growl for what felt like the hundredth time. At the table, a mynci, draik, and a kyrii sat with him, eyeing Galem rather nervously. For a brief moment, none of them dared to speak out of fear of offending the grarrl, but Galem noticed their nervous looks, and his snarl returned, now towards them.
“What are you looking at, you cowards?!” Galem slammed his fist against the wooden table, causing it and his cohorts to shake violently. Neither the kyrii nor mynci gave him an answer, and the tension in the air only grew. But finally, the kyrii spoke, his voice clearly uneasy.
“Galem, s-sir, you’re growling again.”
Galem snarled again as he lunged at the kyrii, grabbing him by the shirt. The mynci and draik could only watch in growing horror as Galem stood up, kyrii in hand and his fangs dangerously close to the kyrii’s face.
“It’s not like you to directly insult your leader, subordinate. Unless you’re asking for my dagger plunged into your chest, I suggest you watch your tongue.”
“G-Galem, sir, I…” As the kyrii struggled to speak, Galem tightened his grip, his claws digging into the kyrii’s shirt.
“Galem, please.” An eerily calm voice now filled the air, as all four thieves turned to the shadowed door. From the door, a hooded figure slowly walked in, followed by another figure, who was completely concealed by the darkness of the room.
Galem dropped the kyrii as he stared at the figures. “Masila.”
Upon hearing her name, the acara stepped out from behind the shadows, her face calm, yet commanding. A glare was etched into her features as she walked up to the towering grarrl.
“Where have you been?!” Galem practically snarled at the acara.
“Control yourself,” Masila replied, unfazed at Galem’s clear anger. “I see that your childish rage has yet to fade.”
Galem turned around in an irritated huff, away from Masila and his cohorts. “That blasted ruki will pay for turning against us. And here we are, doing nothing to ensure she will be punished.”
Masila took a step forward, then another, until she was in front of a window. The outside streets of Meridell were dark, only made darker by encroaching clouds in the sky above.
“She will be punished in due time, Galem. We must be patient. Until then, I have found a potential solution to that problem.”
Galem turned to look at the hooded acara, his anger slowly being replaced with curiosity. “A solution? Just what are you implying?”
Masila turned around as well, now staring at the shadowed figure near the door.
From the shadows, the figure finally emerged into view, a pirate gelert. Long ebony hair fell past her shoulders to reach her hips and a violet eye quickly fell upon Galem and Masila. The other however, was concealed by what looked like...a lily?
The gelert’s attire did not look fit the common style of thieves. She donned a black dress that ended near her knees, but the sleeves were long and flowing near her hands. A white-grey cape hung over her right shoulder, nearly covering her right arm, while a black ribbon tied around her neck in a simple bow. But at her hip, a black sword hung, it’s blade concealed by a leather sheath.
“This is Faratras,” Masila introduced, walking up to the gelert. “You may also know her as the Violet Assassin.”
Galem was silent, but he knew that nickname. The Violet Assassin, a name given to Faratras because of the gelert’s rather striking purple eyes. But for some unknown reason, she always hid one eye behind a white lily flower. Whether it was an eye patch simply for decoration or the flower was actually growing out of her eye, nobody knew the full reason. But what everyone did know about the Violet Assassin was that despite her rather delicate appearance, she was a very talented assassin, one who was rumored to never let her prey escape.
If the rumors proved true, then the gelert would prove to be a very effective solution to Galem and Masila’s little problem.
“You are Galem Darkhand, correct?” Faratras dipped down in a polite bow, one unfitting of an assassin. “It is a pleasure to meet you.”
Galem scoffed. “Spare me the pleasantries, gelert. They say that you’re unrelenting when it comes to hunting your targets.
A wry smirk stretched across Faratras’ face. “You are quite the direct one, Darkhand.” But then she nodded, her smirk quickly fading. “That is correct. If it is my job, I will pursue my targets without end, until they meet their demise by my blade.”
Masila then approached the duo, eying Faratras in particular. “We shall see if your talents prove themselves. But I must ask first - do your feelings get in the way of your duties?”
Faratras was silent at the acara’s question, but when she spoke, her voice was cold.
“Not at all. Emotions mean nothing to me.”
“Very good,” Masila nodded approvingly. “Now, you recall what job we have for you, correct?”
“Yes,” Faratras answered. “A former comrade of yours turned traitor and abandoned you. As such, you wish to get revenge against her through me.”
Galem nodded as he folded his arms. “Is that a problem for you?”
Once again, Faratras fell silent, but she quickly found her voice.
“No. If she is my target, she will meet her end by my blade.”
Galem glanced to Masila, who only stared at the grarrl in silence. Faratras was nothing if not confident in her abilities.
“Very well.” Galem then reached for his pocket and pulled out a sheet of paper, a wanted poster. He flapped the poster in front of Faratras, showing the target in question.
“This is your target, the traitor known as _A2_. Do whatever you like so long as it ensures her demise.”
Faratras scanned the poster, and nodded briskly. “As you wish.”
“You may go,” Masila added. “You will report to us only when you have finished your task. Understood?”
Faratras only nodded as she turned away from the duo, to the door. When she opened it, the buildings were nearly shadowed by the night. Galem and Masila were silent as they watched Faratras, who brought two fingers to her lips and let out a sharp whistle.
For a moment, nothing responded. Behind the duo, the kyrii, mynci, and draik approached, curious as to what Faratras was doing.
But soon, a large shadow cast itself over the gelert, and the sound of flapping wings filled the otherwise quiet air. Then all at once, a large figure skidded from the side of the window, stopping in front of Faratras.
It was a darigan ukali, one bigger and more monstrous than Galem or Masila had ever seen. A pair of jagged black wings rose up in the air as it let out an echoing roar, small cinders of flame escaping from its fangs. It clearly towered over Faratras’ petite figure, and it was surely big enough to topple the food stands of Meridell, even the castle itself.
The kyrii and draik gasped at the rather giant ukali. But the ukali quickly spotted them, and a low growl rumbled in its throat as it’s crimson eyes locked onto the pair. But below, Faratras reached out a hand and started to stroke the ukali’s scaly neck.
“It’s alright, Altair. They mean no harm. They’re not our target.”
Altair (as Galem assumed was the ukali’s name) eyed Faratras, and slowly, its growls started to die out. As Faratras stroked its neck more, she slowly grabbed ahold of one of Altair’s cheek spines, only to climb up on its back. Once comfortably atop, Faratras glanced at the group.
“I’ll be off. Until my job is done, I hope to not see you again.”
From the hideout, Galem stepped forward. Meeting Faratras initially, he had doubts about her, as rumours were still purely speculation. Seeing her now and her monstrous ukali companion, Galem felt his confidence towards Faratras grow.
“Very well, Violet Assassin. I only have one last task for you before you depart.”
“What is it?” Faratras asked. Galem gnashed his fangs as his scarred lips turned downwards into a deep growl.
“When you finally track her down and defeat that traitor, do not make her end quick. Make sure that she suffers.”
Faratras was silent again as her one eye went to her side, as if she was showing hesitation at Galem’s rather dark order. But as quick as it came, she blinked as she stared at him again, and her voice was resolute, yet empty.
“As you wish, Darkhand.”