The air was chill, the ground cold and damp. Zak opened his eyes, his vision blurry, he tried to focus and determine his location. The first thing he saw was the night sky, clouds filled his vision letting only a trickle of moonlight through. He managed to sit up, he felt woozy, like his head had been scrambled. Where am I? What happened?
Then it came crashing back to him. The assassins! They got him!. Fear gripped him, cold and terrible. He’d been caught, but he was still alive. That meant one of two things would, he would be tortured or killed Some of these assassins brought along apprentices on missions and then captured people to be used as real-life target practice.
But then he realized something odd. He’d been captured but he wasn’t bound, and he didn’t feel that odd sensation he felt when someone with ability was close to him. Why would they leave me in the open he thought.
His eyes widened in sudden realization. Oh Zakaria you fool!. A smile crept across his face and he began to laugh, though not too loudly. Only now did he remember the full flow of events. The assassins had indeed caught him, or at least they had caught a version of him. He looked around now and realized he was on a roof. That explained why the ground beneath him had been so hard and cold. He stood and looked around, he couldn’t be too far from where the assassins had ambushed him, and it didn’t take long to find them two buildings away in the alley he had passed out in probably only minutes ago.
As soon as he sported them, he stooped down so as not to be detected. Assassins were notoriously observant and sensitive. He smiled once again, to think that he had escaped. What had happened before he passed out? He had only felt a hand on his shoulder and the next thing he knew, everything went dark.
He couldn’t tail them anymore, they would know he was an ability user by now and would be more vigilant. He shook his head, his curiosity had gotten the better of him and he had almost paid a hefty price. It was time to go, he had his own business to attend to.
“This isn’t good Meribel. He’s an Obsidian.” The large muscular man said to their leader. All three of them had been shocked. Meribel had been the one to notice their pursuer as he’d begun tailing them some minutes after they left the bar. From his build, she suspected it was the boy she’d met at the counter when they walked in. They’d ambushed him in the alley but surprisingly, the boy vanished as soon as Pautt had touched him.
She looked at her subordinates. Whilst Pautt was already recovering from the event, Shani was still visibly shaken. This was her first mission from the guild and she’d run into an Obsidian. “We’ll have to abort the mission for tonight. We don’t know why we were followed by that Obsidian, and we don’t know if he’s around somewhere watching us. We can’t put the mission at risk, lady Luciela was very strict about the instructions.”
“S-so when can we be sure we will accomplish it?” Shani asked, she sounded nervous and was twirling her thumbs. Meribel gave an inward sigh. The girl would have to be more firm and do away with such clumsiness. She’d seen many a novice die because of such attitude.
“Stop that!” Meribel reprimanded. Shani almost jumped from the spot. “This mission is your first and although I have been tasked to lead it, it’s success benefits you the most. So you’ll be the one taking down the target.” Shani’s eyes widened but she said nothing. Meribel found it hard to believe the girl graduated from the Guild Academy. Why the hell would Luciela put her in charge of such a girl? She could have been an ordinary barmaid from the way she behaved.
“Any objections?” She asked Pautt who had been quiet.
“None” he replied. She shook her head. ” In that case we better find someplace to sleep. These clouds look like they’re ready to fall.”
With that the three left the alley in search of an inn downtown, all the while watching for the Obsidian who might still be tailing them in the shadows.
Zak lay on the bed thinking about the events of the day. Lightning flashed, thunder rumbled. The clouds had been gathering since morning and now it had finally come. According to the radio, there’d been frequent storms in Edinas for the past two weeks which Zak found quite odd. Although it was that time of year, the rains were early and this storm in particular was very strong. This could only mean one thing. There was an ability user in Edinas whose abilities were causing these storms. And that’s exactly who he was here to find. From what he’d deduced, the storms began when the new influx of prisoners arrived in Edinas. So it had to be one of them. As Zak thought about this, his mind returned to his narrow escape from the assassins and he shivered. Edinas was quickly becoming a dangerous place and if he didn’t have a reason for being here, he would have already left. What in Enkor’s name would attract assassins to a small port town like this? And not just any assassins, ones from the Guild? He’d have to be extremely careful in his business. If he ran into them again, he wasn’t sure he would be able to get away. He closed his eyes and listened as the wind rattled the windows and rain pelted the ceiling. All of a sudden, a drop of water touched his forehead. He opened his eyes and looked at the ceiling. Water had begun pooling into a drop right above his head. Damn it, what’s with inns and leaky roofs?. He picked up his blanket and proceeded to lay on the cold, hard floor before another droplet fell on his face. Sleeping on the floor was certainly not new to him. He closed his eyes and tried not to think of how he would have to break into the prison tomorrow.
Just as he’d begun to slip away into sleep, there was a loud bang on his door. “Open up! We’re searching the whole inn, there’s been a prison break!”
“What in Enkor’s name!!!” Zak shouted as he stood up.