Gender: Male Age: 53 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
Finding an assassin
I was watching a marketplace when the young beggar stopped beside me, “Sir?”
I glanced at him, “Yes?”
He looked around, “I have something for you.”
I waited and he swallowed before looking at me, “An assassin was hired to kill Duke Justice.”
I looked around, “How reliable is this?”
He swallowed again, “It comes from the shadow house.”
I slipped a gold coin out and tossed it, “Stay safe.”
He disappeared quickly while I thought about what he had said. I turned and started walking towards the richer part of the city. It was a little while before I reached the manor I was looking for. I slipped into the shadow of a building and carefully looked around. I saw the other watcher a minute later and moved back and used a side alley behind a row manor estates.
I silently slipped up behind the watcher and was tempted to hit him with a stick. Instead I used it to tap his shoulder. He jumped and cursed as he spun around, “WHO!”
He swallowed and looked around, “I didn’t do anything.”
I smiled, “Yet.”
He backed away a couple of steps and I followed, “Who is the assassin?”
He shook his head and I sighed, “Tell me or I take you in and let the guards ask.”
He looked around, “He’ll kill me.”
I shook my head, “Not if I take him.”
He finally nodded, “Peter the knife.”
I gestured, “I don’t want to see you for a couple of weeks.”
He turned and ran off and I started walking towards the front of the estate. The two guards at the wide gate looked alert and competent. I nodded to them and addressed the older one, “I am a thief taker and need to see Duke Justice.”
They looked at each other and the older guard grinned, “Duke Justice is the head of the Minister Court.”
I nodded, “I know that. He needs and requires information I have.”
He looked at me for a minute before nodding and gesturing to the other guard who turned to walk to the large front door of the manor. A few minutes later he returned and escorted me in, when I walked into the study the duke was behind his desk. A young looking servant was beside him pouring tea.
As I crossed to the desk something seemed to send a chill through me. The guard waited beside the door and the duke looked at me, “you wanted to speak with me...”
I pulled a stick and threw it in one motion before lunging. The stick hit the servant’s hand with the thin dagger. I grabbed the servant and twisted as I fell to the side. He went backwards and over me as I hit the floor. I kept rolling and grabbed a hand and twisted. I turned him until he was below me and I had his hand behind his back. I pulled it up hard, “give me the other hand!”
He snarled and tried to struggle as I spread myself and twisted his arm, “NOW!”
The guard reached me as I grabbed the servant’s other hand. He grabbed me and the duke barked an order for him to wait. I sat up as I held both wrists and then I shifted and pulled thin leather ties from a sleeve. I tied his hands before standing and pulling him up. I carefully searched him and glanced at the duke, “I’m sorry your grace. I came to warn you but the assassin was already here.”
He looked at the young man as I moved to pick up my stick and the dropped dagger. I turned the man to face the duke, “You should keep your guards with you and take extra precautions until I find out who is behind it.”
He smiled, “Thank you, I will.”
I nodded and pushed the assassin towards the door. The assassin was silent all the way to the guard building. I shoved him towards a guard that had started walking towards us, “He tried to kill duke Justice. Strip him before you put him in a cell.”
The guard snatched the man and roughly started shoving him towards the door heading to the cells. I sat with the guard Sergeant, “No commander?”
He shook his head, “A small mob fight in one of the markets.”
I nodded and started writing out a report as I told the sergeant about someone hiring the assassin to kill the duke. I handed him the parchment when I finished and stood, “Don’t let your men relax around that man.”
He nodded and I walked out and started walked towards the poor area called thieves quarter, the tavern I went to was in an alley. I slipped into the common room and everyone went quiet. I smiled and crossed to the only table with one man at it, “hello Gregor.”
He was frowning, “I sent you a message.”
I nodded and tossed him a gold coin, “Where did the information come from?”
He licked his lips and looked around. I glanced around, “How many of you have I caught and let go?”
They all mumbled and looked away. I nodded, “This is the time to pay me back. Duke Justice isn’t like the others, you all know that. He was the one to send the extra supplies down here and the food rations. He is also the one that makes sure the men sentenced to work farms are fed properly and have a bed to sleep on.”
They were all nodding and I looked at Gregor, “I need the man that paid for the assassin.”
He grinned, “It wasn’t a man.”
I looked at him and then around the room. He laughed, “It was his mistress.”
I sighed, “He isn’t going to like this.”
Gregor looked around, “We heard a strange mercenary accepted her money too.”
I looked at him, “There were two assassins?”
He shrugged, “yeah.”
I turned and tossed another gold coin back, “Thanks.”
This time I didn’t walk, I jogged. When I reached the guards building I shouldered the door open and walked across the room as all the guards and the commander turned to look. I opened the back door and walked into the cell area. The naked assassin was bruised and battered as he glared at me. I stopped in front of his cell, “What’s his name.”
He spit on the floor between us. I ignored the guard commander and the guards, “I will ask once more before I open the cell and rip your manhood off. What is his name?”
He looked around before looking at me, “David Kechem.”
I spun and pushed through the guards, “There’s another assassin.”
After I left the building I headed back to the duke’s. When I stopped at the gate the guards looked at me and frowned. I nodded to them, “I need to see the duke again as well as your guard commander.”
They looked at each other, “he went to the courts a few minutes ago.”
I turned and ran toward the city courts building. It was less then a minute before I saw the duke ahead of me. His guards were looking around as they walked and the one in back turned to face me. He smiled as he pulled his dagger and turned to step closer to the duke. I was still to far but pulled out a weighted sap and threw it.
The assassin was moving between two other guards when the sap hit. He stumbled and they all turned towards me. I pulled my sticks and slowed to a walk as I pointed one at the assassin, “surrender and I will make sure you live.”
The other guards looked at him as I seemed to ignore them. The duke glanced from me to the assassin before backing away from him. The assassin looked around before reaching into his shirt and pulling a second dagger. The other guards moved away and I shifted as I stopped a pace away. He snarled as he moved sideways, “You should have stayed out of it.”
I watched him as I shifted and moved into his circling and into his path. He thrust one of the daggers towards my hand and shifted as I brought the stick up and out to knock it away. It had been a faint and he lunged with the other dagger. I snapped my other stick down hard and there was a crack as it hit the back of his hand, breaking bones.
He rocked back as he dropped his dagger but I followed him as I moved in. He stabbed out with his other dagger but I was expecting it and struck his wrist with the tip of my left stick. He cried out as the dagger spun away and I stepped in and jabbed into his gut with my right stick. He grunted and started to fold over as I brought the other stick around to hit him on the side of his head.
He twisted and fell to the ground and I quickly knelt. I yanked his arms behind his back as I pulled out leather binding cords. When I was done tying his hands, I yanked him up. I looked at the duke as he came forward, “It is almost over. Your mistress was the one that paid them.”
The duke stiffened, “She wouldn’t...”
I just looked at him as his face reddened and shook my head, “next time your grace, just marry the girl.”
I pulled the assassin to where my sap was and then I picked up the two daggers. I pushed the man in front of me as I started back to the guard headquarters. When I shoved him in, the commander turned to look and gestured for a guard to come take him. I set his daggers on the table before sitting and pulling a parchment to me, “He was the second assassin. As soon as I finish this I will go bring in baroness Maldive.”
The commander started, “baroness Maldive?”
I glanced at him but continued to write, “She was the one to pay the assassins.”
I finished and sanded the parchment before pushing it across the table. I stood and headed for the door and back to the nobles quarter. The two guards at the baroness’s gate blocked my way and I smiled sourly, “Your lady broke the king’s law. Move or I will move you.”
One smiled as he fingered his dagger and I sighed before shifting as I pulled both sticks. One lashed out and I slammed a stick into the smug guard’s head and the other slashed down to strike the other guard’s wrist as he pulled his dagger. I moved into him as his partner dropped to the ground and struck again, this time along side his head. He collapsed and I started for the wide front doors.
I walked into the elegant entry and slashed sideways to hit another guard across the face. He fell to the floor as I started towards the baroness across the room, “baroness Maldive, I am arresting you for the attempted murder of duke Justice.”
She was white faced as two more guards appeared. I didn’t slow or hesitate as they spread out. I moved to one side and fainted before bringing the other stick down on the guard’s wrist. I heard the bone break as I moved into him and jabbed the end on my stick into his gut. He folded as I grabbed him and shoved him towards the other guard.
I followed and slashed across to break knuckles of his hand clutching his dagger before moving closer to jab my other stick into his face. As he stumbled back I kept moving and broke his other hand before hitting him along side the head. I turned to the baroness, “either come quietly or I will tie you and put you over my shoulder.”
“That won’t be necessary thief taker.”
I looked at the front door to see duke Justice as he walked in and sighed, “The law was broken your grace.”
He started across the room, “I know that but I won’t press charges.”
I shook my head, “If you don’t the two assassins will be freed.”
He stopped in front of his mistress, “I know that too.”
I smiled, “I’m glad you have decided to honor your mistress your grace but she has broken the king’s law.”
He sighed and glanced at me, “and you always bring in those that break the king’s law?”
I smiled, “You know I don’t but this isn’t stealing food or clothing.”
The duke nodded as he looked at the baroness, “This I know.”
I walked to them and the baroness turned to face me. I shook my head, “I will honor the duke’s request. Know this, if he ever comes to harm I will come for you and it won’t be to bring you to court.”
Her face paled and I nodded before looking at the duke, “You owe me your grace.”
I turned and started for the door.
The rumor spread through the city of a band of cutthroats that were raiding nearby towns and villages. I glanced up at the commander and one of the ministers as I finished the report on taking three men that had killed a clerk, raped a woman in the shop and stolen half a wagon load of bolts of cloth.
The minister was angry because the commander didn’t have enough men to patrol the outer edge of the city. I sanded the document and slid it across the table, “What makes you think these raiders will attack the city?”
The minister snorted, “Most merchants on the edge of the city do a lot of business with the farmers and then bring the produce into the city. Some are freight companies that load and ship to the towns and villages around the kingdom. A lot of money is involved and few guards are there to protect them.”
I sat back, “What about the Militia? The wall is well inside the city now, don’t they patrol around the city?”
He sighed, “You know we have several small internal fights going in the kingdom. The king has them spread out until we don’t have enough here in the city.”
I frowned as I thought and looked at the commander, “I could spend a few days wandering around the merchants stockyards?”
He snorted, “You are good thief taker but there are at least twenty or more raiders in this group.”
I smiled, “Towns and villages are small. If they raid into the city they will be spread out.”
I stood, “I could use a few days off to just relax and walk around meeting people.”
I left and crossed to a street vender selling sausages in thick bread rolls, “good morning Thomas.”
He smiled, “Thief taker. My Emma said to thank you for finding and helping our daughter and son in law.”
I smiled and nodded to the rolls, “It was my pleasure, I need a couple of rolls.”
He tried to just give them to me but I left a half silver on his cart when I walked away. I ate as I headed down the wide main street towards the south gate. When I reached the outskirts of the city I wandered around speaking to men or women. I was a little surprised at what I found, there were three or four merchants making a lot of money out here and they were all close together.
I found a stable hand that let me stay in his tack room and kept looking and walking. There were more rumors of attacks and some of the towns mentioned were closer. Five days later it was early afternoon when I noticed men on horses filtering into the area. They all seemed to have some type of bow and they all carried swords.
I slipped between corrals and moved quickly towards the richest merchant’s counting house. I grabbed a pitchfork as I jogged into the street to see four men on horseback in front of the counting house. The front door was wide open, (something they never did). I wandered towards the horses and one turned and look at me before turning his horse, “Go around city scum.”
I smiled as I drew close and jabbed towards the horses head. It screamed and reared, throwing the man back and off the horse. I kept moving as the other men reacted and stabbed the pitchforks into the rear of another horse. It leaped and bucked and the man went straight back and off as I swiped towards another man. He was trying to control his horse and jerked back and fell half off the horse.
The last man was trying to draw his bow and aim at me. I threw the pitchfork towards his horse and it screamed and went wild bucking and twisting around when it was hit. I spun and kicked out into the groin of a man rising from the ground before pulling my night sticks. I slammed one into the face of a man and hit the man half on his horse along side his head.
I glanced at the men on the ground before quickly kneeling and tying their hands. I looked up when three men with naked swords ran out of the counting house. I stood with my sticks as they spread out and moved to the side and straight into one of them. He lunged and I turned and brushed the sword away as my other stick slamming into his forehead.
He dropped to the ground as I quickly back stepped another lunging sword and brought a stick straight down to break the wrist. I turned and slashed across with my other stick and it hit the last man along side the head. I kept moving as he fell and the man with the broken wrist rushed me. He stumbled over another man and I struck. I brought one stick down on his arm as my other slashed across to strike the side of his head.
I glanced around as I pulled a few more leather ties out and put all the men together. I pulled them across and into the counting house where I found the clerk dead. I left the men and headed to one of the other counting houses. It was just down the street and around a corner. When I ran around the corner it was right into the group of milling horses.
The raiders tried to stab down at me but I stepped aside and started yanking them out of the saddles and hitting them in the face or head with a stick. When things calmed down I had four men moaning on the ground. I tied them up before walking towards the counting house. I walked through the door and slapped a sword away with a stick and slashed across to hit the man between his eyes.
Three other men were in the room and two rushed me. I slid to one side and pushed a chair into one of the men as I stepped into the other. I brought the end of one stick down as he slashed at me with his sword but the tip of my stick slammed into his hand. He screamed as bones snapped and I brought the other stick around into his head.
I moved to the side as the other man lunged and brushed the sword aside before lunging in and bringing my stick down. I was aiming at his head but he twisted to the side and I struck into the side of his throat. He staggered to the side as I went after him and slammed the other stick across and into his face.
He dropped to the floor and I started walking across the room towards the last man standing over the bodies of a merchant and his clerk. He was licking his lips as I came closer and lunged. He was to far away but I slapped the sword and it spun away. He dropped to his knees and started to beg but I saw one hand fumbling with a dagger and kicked out and into his face.
He went back into the wall and the dagger slid across the room I moved forward and struck as I knelt, bringing a stick across into his head. I looked around before starting to tie their hands. I pulled all of them outside and to the other group. I kicked and push until they were all on their feet. Merchants, shopkeepers and clerks all watched as I tied the horses together and pulled them after me as I began pushing and shoving the men.
I went back and rounded up the other horses and pulled the other group of men out. The walk through the city was with a growing crowd that threw rocks at the men and spit on them. Even the few guards I met along the way took a moment to spit on them. When I pushed all the men into the guard building there was a small group waiting including several ministers.
The guards pulled the men away towards the cells as I walked to the long table, “I wasn’t able to bring all their weapons but the horses are outside.”
The commander gestured to a guard and glanced at the ministers, “I can’t believe you took them all.”
I smiled as I began the report, “They weren’t very good with the weapons.”
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