“Look over there! There are two bodies!” a male voice shouted.
Akira heard the shout behind him as he jogged into one of the many side alleys that led towards the [Demons Inn].
He cursed himself for using up all the potions he had bought back at the magic guild in Fregoldawae and not buying more.
The two city guards were on their normal night patrol of the slum streets when they had heard the fight several blocks away.
They had rushed over here as quick as they could and were now inspecting the gruesome mangled bodies of two dead humans.
“He’s chopped into four pieces! What do you think did this?” asked the first.
“I don’t know, but looking at the other body whatever it was wasn’t human,” said the second.
“I’ve never seen these two people in the slums before. Have you?”
“Nope, I wonder what they where doing equipped in such armor.”
They both knew only the shady type of people used this type of armor to blend in with the night allowing for maximum mobility. One word came to their minds, ‘Assassins’.
“We should go warn the captain that someone of the demon race might be out at night killing people.”
Akira pushed open the front door of the [Demons Inn] and limped in.
His face was a light shade of white from the blood loss. Although the wound he had received was small and not life threatening the fact that he had jogged all the way to the Inn, caused the would to constantly bleed making it so he had lost a large amount of blood and was feeling rather lightheaded.
“Ah, Akira you’re back!” shouted Varbu cheerfully.
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“Took you long enough,” said Kroll.
Akira wobbled a few more steps into the in and collapsed onto the floor, fainting due to lack of blood.
The mood in the room changed quickly as everyone that had been waiting for him to return was stunned to see him collapse onto the floor.
The old innkeeper was the first to react he rushed over to Akira and after a quick glance, saw a small bloody gash on his side that was slowly leaking blood.
“Kroll, quickly go get one of the lesser healing potions,” shouted the old man.
Kroll came to his senses and ran off to a back room creating loud noises as big sturdy body ran around looking for the lesser potions.
It only took a few minutes for Kroll to return with a small bottle of a pink-tinted lesser health potion.
Varbu had helped move Akira onto one of the common room benches.
The old man took the potion from Kroll and poured half of it on the wound while the other half was poured down Akira’s mouth after raising his head to allow it to go down the unconscious Akira’s throat.
Causing Akira to cough a couple of times and wake up slowly opening his eyes.
Akira tried to sit up but was pressed back down by the old man.
“Stay laying down for a few minutes until the potion finishes repairing your wound.”
“Uhh.. where…am I?” asked Akira his mind all fuzzy.
After a short period of time, Akira’s wound had healed and the rest of the potion he had drank replenished his depleted blood.
Sitting up he looked around to she Varbu, the three teens, and the Innkeeper staring at him.
“What are you guys looking at?” asked Akira.
“What happened to you?” asked Varbu.
“I thought you two said you weren’t here to cause any trouble and yet one of you comes back to my Inn half dead!” said the old man with a slightly angry tone.
“Wait! Hold on a second. I’m not looking for it, it found me,” said Akira stopping everyone from shouting more questions for only a few seconds.
“We aren’t here to make any problems,” said Varbu agreeing with Akira.
“Then how do you explain that wound on your side?” asked the old man.
“I was able to meet with my old friend and only left a short while ago. While I was walking on the outer edges of the slums two people dressed in dark leather armor attacked me. One of them was a skill user who gave me that wound,” said Akira.
“Who were they?” asked Varbu.
“I’ve never seen them before, so I don’t know. After killing them I was unable to fully search their bodies because the city guards were running towards the scene of the fight. So I escaped and ran here since I didn’t want to get caught,” said Akira.
“From your description, it sounds like they are from one of the city’s assassin guilds. You must have pissed someone off for them to have hired assassins with special skills,” said Kroll.
“Enough talking. Varbu since Akira has most likely brought trouble here you are going to stand guard and watch the front door tonight and make sure no one tries to do anything funny. Akira, go to bed and rest I hope you can take care of this problem and not cause me any grief,” said the old man.
“That’s fine,” said Varbu.
“Sorry,” said Akira apologizing to both the old man and Varbu before walking up the stairs to his room to rest and fully recover from the attack.
“What! They failed? How could they have failed? It was only one person!” raged an old man in a hooded cloak that was covering his face.
“It’s true. I saw the bodies…their deaths were not normal,” said one of the city guards under the pay of the magic guild.
“You can leave,” said the hooded figure angrily.
After the door closed a second person stepped out of the shadows and spoke, “Chief should I send another group to the inn?”
“No to many witnesses are there. This is already a major loss for us. If we lose any more then the main headquarters will not be happy with us. We have to use Plan B,” said the chief of Vania’s magic guild.
“I’ll go inform the others. We should all be in place before the sun rises,” said the shadowy figure before disappearing.
Varbu sat and watched the door all night not moving or blinking once.
Luckily there was no one that had tried to enter the Inn. If they had they would have been in for a rude awakening or more like a clobbering to eternal sleep.
Akira fully refreshed from the night’s sleep, walked down the stairs and looked over to Varbu who was still fully awake and silently staring at the door.
“Any trouble last night?” asked Akira.
Varbu slowly looked over to see Akira and then shook his head.
The old man innkeeper walked through one of the back doors, After seeing Akira awake and looking fully recovered he had a slight smile on his face.
“Varbu thank you for staying up all night you can go get some sleep,” said the old man.
Varbu just nodded and walked up the stairs to his room.
“Thank you for your help last night. I am truly sorry for the trouble I might have caused you,” said Akira apologizing again to the old man.
“No need to thank me. I was just helping out another in need. I suggest that you be on a sharp lookout for any more attacks. In my experience, these type of people don’t stop at just one failure.”
“I will keep an eye out for any suspicious people. I slept a little too long so I have to head off to my meeting. I don’t want to anger or annoy them by being too late,” said Akira with a wave before leaving the Inn.
Akira walked down the streets of the slums, looking around he saw there were far fewer people out walking in the early morning as most people living in the slums were sleeping off their night of debauchery.
While walking he noticed a man around his age ahead of him, training with a sword attacking the air as if it were an enemy in front of the door of a rundown house.
Akira liked to seeing people training hard putting their all into learning and perfecting their sword techniques. It lit a fire of desire deep inside him making him want to get even better at using his sword and shield.
The man’s footwork was excellent, and Akira guessed he would be a tough opponent to beat.
As Akira was walking by, the young man suddenly shot forward towards Akira’s direction and stabbed the air multiple times where Akira had been standing just a second before.
If Akira had not been on guard he would have received two deadly attacks to his vitals and many other minor cuts.
“What are you doing?” asked Akira sternly, his shield and sword had instantly appeared in his hands and was now on full alert for any attack from the man in front of him.
“Ah sorry, I was so focused on training that I didn’t see you, my apologies,” said the young man sheepishly scratching the back of his head.
Akira decided not to pursue the matter further and keep an eye on the young man as he walked passed and turned onto another street to get away from him.
“Tch, I failed. He was able to react so quickly that I was unable to finish him. Let’s hope the others have better luck than I did,” said the young man as he ran off back towards the designated meeting spot.
Akira was walking through the large market streets that were more congested due to everyone being forced to walk on one side of the street.
The cause of the congestion was a large expensive stone statue of a roaring lion that was being lifted up into the air, over the left side of the street causing many to shy away from it in case something wrong happened.
A shout of shock was heard from a few of the nervous people in the crowd who had been watching the lion rise up into the air. One of the ropes tied to the statue broke leading to the others to quickly follow.
Everyone in the crowded street tried to run away from the statue that had swung backward and was falling at a high speed towards the mass of humans.
“Ah!!” there were many shouts of pain as the statue smashed into the ground killing a dozen people and then broke into many pieces which shot out everywhere and wounded many more.
The statue had landed right in front of Akira but he was unharmed mostly due to using his shield to block the larger chunks of shrapnel.
The city guards came running to the spot where the statue had crashed. Upon seeing the dead bodies and other wounded they cursed out loud.
“Why were you idiots thinking trying to move something like that on a busy street during the day?” shouted one of the guards angrily at the workers who were on one of the balconies high above the street.
Akira hurriedly escaped the area and continued to walk down the streets. When he reached the richer part of town the streets again became less crowded than the market streets.
Akira heard shouts of surprise from behind him and the sound of hooves on the stone-paved road.
Looking behind him he saw multiple fine black warhorses rushing down the street in a full gallop obviously they were on an important errand for some lord.
“Make way! Make way!” shouted the horseman riding in the front.
Everyone in the streets all jumped to the side of the streets to open a path for the horsemen.
As they neared Akira they veered towards him. Akira seeing this was unable to move back any further due to the wall behind him.
Using his shield and the wall behind him as support, he braced himself for the impact of the horse.
The lead horse slammed into him and was forced to a halt after running into what felt like a brick wall. Whining the horse raised its front legs up into the air planning to smash its hooves down onto Akira’s head.
Akira rolled away from the warhorses attack successfully dodging it. Unfortunately, the person who had been standing near Akira was not so lucky and had his head caved in.
“Can you not control your horse?” shouted Akira angrily, “What kind of horsemen are you to be unable to stop your horses from attacking random people?”
“Shut your mouth scum,” shouted the captain of the horsemen. He then turned to his men and motioned them forward, “Let’s go.”
Akira arrived at the castle. The guards knowing who Akira was lead him into the castle.
“Sir Akira, the princess has asked for you to wait for her in the west tower tearoom. I’ll lead you there if you are ready,” said an elderly butler in black clothing.
Akira nodded, “Lead the way.”
It took them only a few minutes to reach the west tower the butler walked ahead of Akira up a set of stairs to the top of the tower.
The top floor had no walls and was wide open only having a stone roof supported by thick pillars Cloth awning was hanging from the ceiling protecting the balcony from the sun.
Multiple expensive looking cushions were scattered on the floor all placed around a single table.
“I’ll go bring refreshments for you while you wait for the queen,” said the butler bowing and leaving.
Akira was stunned by the view from the top of the tower he could see the whole city from here.
He walked the balcony and gazed outside lost in thought.
‘Is someone trying to kill me? There were way too many close calls just this morning to be a coincidence.’
“Sir your refreshments,” said the butler quietly.
Akira did not hear or notice that the butler had returned since he was still deep in thought.
A determined look entered the butler’s eyes as he put all the strength into his legs and swiftly ran towards Akira.
Akira hearing the sound of running footsteps turned sideways to see who it was.
He was shocked to see the butler run past him and jump off the balcony.
It looked like that to Akira but in fact, the butler had miss calculated his attack and with Akira turning around it had caused him to trip and fall off the balcony.
Akira quickly looked down to see the butler’s body become a gruesome mush as it smashed into the ground.
“Akira you’re here!” came the happy shout of Jezebel as she entered the room.
Akira in a daze turned to look at Jezebel.
“He jumped…” was all he could say while pointing at the ground.
“Really?” she didn’t know what he was talking but knew something had happened so she walked over to the balcony to look at what had stunned Akira.
Seeing the body she let out a laugh and said, “How odd!”
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