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The Assassin The Soldier And The Thief
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Writer Nelso555
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The Assassin The Soldier And The Thief
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#14
Chapter 14: Juliet Haines
Nelso555
Dec 14, 2015
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No Plagiarism!FaWWmvQHUAJ7SyiNkn6mposted on PENANA

The Assassincopyright protection48PENANAD3RpvDbwNo

Arlandra Knight stared blankly into his drink, as if in it he would foresee his fate. Around him the seemingly distant clamour of the Barren-Claw tavern washed around in his mind as he downed yet another drink.copyright protection48PENANAUszRpWnfDi

He resorted to drinking quite often when he knew he had lost a target. He had escaped the solider but Garn was theirs now, and he was out of a job, said the storeowner in Surra – so what else was there to do other than drink?copyright protection48PENANAQmpIUHwf5C

Above the sound of the tavern hovered a rowdy melody played by a half drunk pianist. The man swayed side to side and bobbed his head loosely as his fingers danced over the piano keys like lightning. The tune fitted Arlandra’s mood quite well. Behind him a group of men shared drinks around a table and laughed and cheered merrily, they were clearly celebrating for some reason, and getting drunk out of their minds doing it. Fifteen other men were seated around the tavern, Arlandra was watching all of them all at once, and yet he barely moved as the revelries proceeded around him. He was good at that, and this was a particular skill that he had mastered before The Order fell. Oh great, here come the memories again.copyright protection48PENANABIGt7c6jIT

He ordered another drink, and god knew that he needed it. His mind was still fixed on finding a way to get to Garn. I can’t have lost yet… I need to find that camp…copyright protection48PENANAIDmhvMdS1Q

There was only one other man in the tavern who was alone. He was dressed for a fight and, wearing all black, his figure possessed a shady presence. The man approached Arlandra. He wasn’t armed – Arlandra could tell at a glance – which meant that the assassin was soon in for some new work. Maybe Garn can wait… I need a contract. As predicted the man sat at the bar, and slouching heavily to hide his appearance, he asked for a drink.copyright protection48PENANAaSdAB8i7nn

Without tilting his head, the man’s eyes flicked over and he stared for a moment at the mark of The Order, sewn into Arlandra’s sleeve. He downed his drink. “There’s only one man left in Noveria who bares that mark,” he said. “I take it you’re the assassin.”copyright protection48PENANAKZ6qseCzxl

Arlandra raised his eyes to the man, “that would be no lie.”copyright protection48PENANAtfZQwuCKmE

The man’s eyes were heavily shadowed and his silky black hair was platted in the style of a Raetaii traveller. “Then I take it you know why I’m here.”copyright protection48PENANABxwO77Xqek

Arlandra ordered another drink, to mourn another man who was soon to die. “What’s his name and where can I find him?” He was very subtle about these things. “And where’s my payment?” By now he ad drank too much to care for manners.copyright protection48PENANANYkTpM72mF

The man pulled a bag of gold coins from his belt and discretely placed it in front of Arlandra.copyright protection48PENANAoQUnGrSicf

Her name is Juliet Haines,” said the man. “She’s been a real pain in the neck for me lately and I’d like you to make her go away.”copyright protection48PENANAXNMtCUBzkQ

“Is she dangerous?”copyright protection48PENANAT8Pe2e0ahn

“Nothing you can’t handle I’m sure. Last I heard she was in Waterwell, so start there.”copyright protection48PENANAPFdK3TbVco

Arlandra finished his last drink and collected his bag of coins. “I’ll see you here when it’s done.” He stood up and left the tavern alone.copyright protection48PENANAb9bXDNSemd

That very day Arlandra Knight went to the poppy fields that lined the northern side of the Sandra River. He very much loved the beauty of this place – which was an odd coincidence seeing as he hardly loved anything.copyright protection48PENANA5glUuo9vyq

Juliet Haines, what have you done to deserve this? The thought stayed in his mind as he knelt down and selected a poppy. He raised it to get a closer look and breathed in the clean air. The fields around him were like a canvas that had been painted with a sea of red. Millions of poppies stretched over the horizon to the North, each one representing a life, an evil soul to be extinguished, or at least it was once, when The Order still existed.copyright protection48PENANATn66890k5d

Arlandra held the poppy that belonged to Juliet in his hand – it was gentle and beautiful. The poppy’s blood-red tone caught the sun and burned bright in his palm like a flame. He looked back to the flowing Sandra River and the barren desert on the other side. The river was the only barrier between the poppies and the desert, as if were it not, the desert would devour them and everything around them.copyright protection48PENANAIgnTe1H7f4

The water’s smooth crystal surface caught the sun so that it lit up with powerful opulence, and over the rising of the sun, the fields, desert and river burst out with a mixture of red and orange light. Such a place made Arlandra feel free, but it also reminded him of the life that he left so long ago. He pushed it from his mind, as he always did. There was work to be done.copyright protection48PENANAklkGfP4olC

Waterwell was a remarkably small village, resting surreptitiously on the bank of the Sandra River. It was known eminently as the village that hid under the consuming shadow of the Bridge of Waterwell. The people here were extraordinarily lazy in terms of naming things when they built this place.copyright protection48PENANAOe0Ul84msa

The bridge was massive, though, and the concrete sky it formed for the people below was godly to say the least. Arlandra sometimes wondered how they built it. Anyway, he walked down the village street, his mask was not on his face, and he made straight for the local tavern. Another tavern, he thought, shaking his head, this can’t be coincidental.copyright protection48PENANAAarX4GYLNe

The tavern inside was much friendlier than the last place he’d been to. There was very little smoke in the air and the place was more or less quiet, and everyone was more relaxed. He was straight to business, as always, and he sat down quietly at the bar. The barmaid working there was a young woman, her eyes were sweet and her light hair was neatly tied up at the back of her head. Arlandra noticed a bright streak of blonde pulled over her right eye. She was too fair a woman to be working as a barmaid, he thought.copyright protection48PENANAP8zaOPZSdl

The woman approached the assassin whilst thoroughly cleaning a mug. “What can I get you?”copyright protection48PENANAv2AwXWF1j7

In response, Arlandra placed three gold coins on the bar top. “Information, if you don’t mind. I’m looking for a friend.”copyright protection48PENANAcTiDQmjP86

The barmaid placed the mug under the counter. “This is a small place, not many people go unnoticed here. What do you call ‘em?”copyright protection48PENANA4XeE73t7WG

“Her name is Juliet Haines.”copyright protection48PENANAtsI3YFZDHj

Arlandra noticed the maid’s face go a shade paler at the mention of the name. I see, he thought.copyright protection48PENANALTc4x3rQSz

“Ah yes, I know Julie.” The girl smiled. “She’s a regular, like most of the people here – in fact you might have just missed her. She went out the back.” She barmaid selected another cup to clean.copyright protection48PENANAXXxcBEg5Mc

Arlandra placed a hand over the poppy he was keeping in his front pocket. He stood up, thanked the bar maid, and swiftly made for the exit, pulling his mask on as he left.copyright protection48PENANAMfEvjDajhS

Juliet Haines felt a chilling rush of relief as she watched the assassin go. With a jittering hand she set down the cup that she was cleaning and reached for the knife she had hidden in her left boot. It wouldn’t take long for him to find out he was lied to. He’ll know she wasn’t really a barmaid.copyright protection48PENANAC2MO7jRyaK

With the thought in mind, she rushed from the tavern, following the assassin out the back door. She knew that she couldn’t hide, no one could, and so there was only one way to end this. She entered the tight street outside, it was dark under the concrete sky, and she guessed that if she’d lived here it would have seemed normal.copyright protection48PENANA88IFlkjBp6

There was a sound – click! Juliet’s heart dropped and she ceased to move. There was a voice behind her. It was steady. “Juliet, I presume.”copyright protection48PENANANblsGF5RYn

She could feel the end of his pistol staring at the back of her neck. She couldn’t breathe, and her lungs had seemingly turned into stone. She had to do something. “Please!” she whimpered, “I beg of you.”copyright protection48PENANAKApwpxQg51

“Begging isn’t going to save you your life.” The assassin came forward and Juliet froze as he gripped her by the shoulder and pressed his pistol against her waist, keeping it well from sight.copyright protection48PENANA1d9JSv3c6t

“Walk,” he demanded, “slowly, or else you’ll die right here.”copyright protection48PENANAiUEEnljtch

Juliet did as she was told. She wanted to scream but she stayed strong and tried to think. “Wait!” she cried. “I can help you!”copyright protection48PENANAQWSgthNkyT

The assassin jammed his gun harder into her waist. “Quiet!” he hissed.copyright protection48PENANAlz6vjZ0nc6

“Garn Pallerii!” Juliet cried. “If you promise to let me live, I can get you Garn Pallerii.”copyright protection48PENANAQv1v9oQtR3

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