Shadows of the Enlightened

Assassin's Camp

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a part of Shadows of the Enlightened, by Blackbird26.

Home of the Wolfpack

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Setting

Between the grounds of the two cities, deep inside the forest, lies a clan of assassins, they name themselves ???The Wolfpack???, or simply ???The Pack??? and they have prospered for years eliminating targets on both sides of the feud. The camp consists of one huge clearing surrounded by woods and several hidden paths that lead across them. Inside the clearing there are several cabins made of logs, and also tents. One big, more secluded cabin is the home of leaders. In the very center of the camp there is one big camp fire which is lit every night.
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Assassin's Camp

Home of the Wolfpack

Minimap

Assassin's Camp is a part of Valcrest.

4 Characters Here

Crystal Rivers [4] "Don't waste your breath on me... After all, one wrong word and it might be your last."
Daniela Rivers [3] 1st in command of the Wolfpack (DECEASED)
Evin Bana [3] Do you really think I'm going to tell you?

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crystal Rivers Character Portrait: Allison Blake (aka: Blackbird)

Earnings

0.00 INK

Allison had just made it to her bed a few hours earlier. It was almost morning but it was still dark, and she had one of those rare peaceful moments when she was so exhausted she actually fell asleep as soon as she laid herself down on the bed. She was way too tired to let the sounds bother her, or to even dream. And those dreamless nights were the few moments of relief that allowed her to keep her sanity intact.

Still... If she was expecting peace, that wasn't going to be a very good day. Only a couple of hours after getting home, she was being pulled away from her well deserved rest, by something that hit her right on the head. She mumbled some very unpleasant words, still half-asleep, and felt her heart nearly jump right out of her chest when she identified Crys as being her attacker, when hearing her voice. "I don't know what you said there, but I'm sure it wasn't nice."

Allison opened her eyes immediately and sat up. She identified the object that hit her as being one of her leather boots, that Crys probably picked up from the floor and threw at her. She put it on and reached for the other one, nodding. "One day I'll get back at you for this."

Crys nodded in disbelief. "No... You won't. Don't make promises you can't keep, it makes you look bad."

Allison looked through the cracks on the walls of the wooden cabin and let out a sigh. "It's not even morning yet, Crys! I got home a few hours ago!"

Crys stared at her seriously. "I know, I gave you the assignment. And watch your tone with me. You're graduated, but I'm still you superior." She then smiled and added. "I understand that you are tired, but my mother is calling all actives and instructors to see her. She has some announcement to make. So you better move, we're the only ones who aren't there already."

Allison didn't say another word. She put on her other boot and got on her feet. She followed Crys out of the cabin and walked to a larger cabin that stood further away from the center of the camp. Crys knocked and opened the door. Allison followed her in, and as soon as she closed the door Dani Rivers began to speak.

"Good. Now you are all here. We have received some disturbing information in the past night regarding the disappearances and strange deaths that have occurred in the past few weeks." She made a pause, and lifted a notification, that had been clearly torn off a wall. "This has been spread all over the city of Newhaven, and we have been informed that the same will be done in Blackpond shortly."

Allison's eyes widened as she read what was written in the poster Dani was showing them, and all of a sudden people started to talk amongst themselves in whispers. Crys, poked her between the ribs. "What does it say?"

Allison didn't look at her, she kept her eyes on Dani while she patiently waited for everyone to stop talking. "They are blaming us for the deaths. The ruler of Newhaven is offering 500 gold coins for any information on the location of the camp." She could feel Crys shiver beside her when hearing her words. Allison knew that Crys was thinking about how many people had that information. One would be enough to have them all killed.
If Allison had thought she would have peace... That thought now seemed like a very distant dream to her.

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"Five hundred gold coins, hmm..." Atzlan repeated in a whisper to himself what he read on the poster shown by Dani. *Newhaven's ruler must be real serious if such a prize is set out on simple information.* His head was already busy with setting up a list about who could possibly be aware of any details on the location of the Pack's hideout, but the few people that had or had had such information were either members of the Pack themselves, or dead. It had only been a simple precaution until now, but at this point it proved to be useful enough to save their lives.
He listened a bit to the people around him - many were startled, some close to panicking, and some remained calm. Thinking out loud but to himself, he whispered: "It is clear... our methods are almost exactly the same as what could be obsverved on the corpses. But if only we had information on the motives of the murderer, it would be much easier to prove our innocence." Then, louder, he said:" If we keep hiding we will be found, but if we act, we will be suspected even more. So what is to be done now?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evin Bana

Earnings

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Evin was standing beside Atzlan when the news was given to everyone. He could hear him talking to himself, but he wasn't sure what he was saying. Not that Evin cared all that much anyways. He was to busy with his own internal thoughts. While thinking though, he tried to maintain a good composure. He had a reputation on the line of being calm and mysterious yet charming and he wasn't going to let a little bump in The Wolfpack's organization ruin it. He didn't only try to maintain composure on the outside though, he had always remembered in training that the best way to stay calm is to think calmly as well and so that was what he did.
How do you stop a man who wants to have you killed? How do you stop any man who has placed a hit on you? He continued to think along these lines as the noise in the room grew louder.
"If we keep hiding we will be found, but if we act, we will be suspected even more. So what is to be done now?" He herd Atzlan say what Evin assumed was probably supposed to be an internal monologue and that is when it hit him.
"We need to kill the king!" He shouted. Everyone in the room grew silent. Evin waited a second for dramatic pause, "Just like anyone who has placed a hit on you. If you kill the person who is offering the reward, then no one will want to admit to the whereabouts of the camp. Sure we will have an even bigger target on our back, but it will give us time to figure out who really killed these people while the town goes into a panic over the king's death. Once we find out who did the killings, we can place the blame on him for the king's death as well." His plan seemed pretty sound to him, but he knew that there were some flaws and possible margins of error in analyzing the scenario. He slouched back onto a pillar and waited for a response.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crystal Rivers Character Portrait: Allison Blake (aka: Blackbird) Character Portrait: Daniela Rivers

Earnings

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Crystal shivered, slightly, when hearing Allison's words as to what the poster said. Not only because of what that meant, but also for the overwhelming amount of mixed emotions locked up in such a small space. She concentrated in keeping herself under control and not bumping up against anyone, that would make it all worse.

Someone talked about taking action and soon after that, silence... Followed by even more noise. Crys didn't understand why her mother remained silent in the middle of all that chaos. She recognized the sound of the door opening, and then steps in the room. Someone was late, and a smirk crossed her face when the girl who had just entered spoke up, and she finally laughed after hearing Ali's reply to all that. "That's just suicidal! You people are suggesting we kill both leaders of two cities that are at war, disregarding the fact that none of them has an heir to take their place. Not that I care, but I really don't see how that will benefit us in the future. That assuming we could pull it off, which is unlikely."

Crys nodded, after she finished laughing. "Shut up. All of you. There's more to be said here... Isn't it so?" She faced the direction where her mother was standing, and waited for her reply, after the room finally fell silent.

Dani Rivers spoke "I'm afraid, the reward is the least of our problems. The actual problem is, the deaths occurred in areas near where our actives where assigned to, and three of our actives sent on assignment last night did not return. Honestly, I doubt they are still alive. So, as of this moment everyone is to remain on camp grounds until further notice. That is an order I seriously advice you not to try breaking. If you have any pending assignments, report them to a instructor. That will be all."

Everyone started leaving, back to whispering and seeming unsatisfied, Crys started to follow, but her mother called. "Not you Crystal. I need to speak with you."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crystal Rivers Character Portrait: Evin Bana Character Portrait: Daniela Rivers

Earnings

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Everyone began to leave, but Evin stayed. Although his idea was turned down, he understood that the idea was in the back of the minds of the leaders and big shots of the clan. When Dani told her daughter to stay back for a chat, Evin interrupted saying, "Before you two talk, I need to take to you Dani.". Although he didn't have a lot of power if any in the Wolfpack, he found it important to set his opinion on the matter and under these conditions, it seemed important for everyone to be able to voice an opinion without a bias.
"We can't just sit in the camp. We need to act now." He said, well aware that Crystal could hear. "If we sit around, we wont get anything done. There will only be political talk that will get us no where. It is important we get people out on missions in order for us to gather information at the least."
He began to walk closer to Dani, getting close enough that the rest of their conversation in private.
"I have a few hunches on who it could be. Now don't get me wrong, it is only a hunch. Some of these hunches lead me to high up in the ranks of Newhaven and one of them even leads me to the death of my friend that you want to know about. So I suggest that you let me follow these leads if you ever want to know the truth about what happened the day my friend died."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crystal Rivers Character Portrait: Allison Blake (aka: Blackbird) Character Portrait: Daniela Rivers

Earnings

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Allison left with the others without paying much attention, until she noticed Crys had stayed behind. She didn't really want to do this, and she knew it would be dangerous to get caught, but she also knew that there was something Dani hadn't told them.
She leaned against a tree, not far from the cabin, and closed her eyes. Slowly the words coming from the cabin became audible, although Dani wasn't speaking to Crys yet.

"Evin, you have been here almost as long as I have, and your parents were loyal friends to my family, so I will excuse your little act of disrespect to my authority. Yes, I am aware of all this. I am already gathering information, and when it arrives I will make my decision. Until then, no one leaves camp. I want the actives to be at hand when I decide on what to do and I need the instructors to keep track of their recruits. Trust me... I don't plan on hiding, but let us be smart. As to your request... I'll give an answer when I have all the facts I need. I'll probably have it by the end of the day."

Allison opened her eyes quickly and her sight returned a bit blurry. She waited a while until she saw Evin leave, and tried again.

"Crys, take this. Know what it is?"

"It's a graduation ring. Who does it belong to?"

Dani didn't answer, instead Allison heard the sound of two metallic objects being dropped on a wooden table. Two other rings. "These arrived not long ago. They weren't the first to be sent either."

Crys answered on a lower tone as if whoever she was talking about could hear them. "Is it him?"

Dani sighed. "Yes, probably. So we have three different situations here... The Hunter, whoever is behind this killings, and the growing reward on our heads."

"Four problems, you mean. There's also the traitor."

There was a long silence, and Allison wondered what Crys meant with that. Until she came across something she had failed to notice... Only the actives themselves, the leaders, and the instructors, would know where they would be sent on assignment. Dani finally answered, and Allison understood why she paused all that time.

"Yes... About that, this is the reason why I asked you to wait. The killings occurred on areas near where only three of our actives were working at, every time. One of which was the only active working last night who actually returned."

"Ali? Who are the other two?"

"Evin, and Takei."

Crys laughed. "Great... The psycho, the suspected traitor and the outsider?"

Dani chuckled "I never said that. But I want you to keep them on observation. Someone is giving out information."

Crys sighed "Mother... You are the only one who hasn't said that. I think none of them is the traitor. Evin grew up here, where would he go? Ali... You know her, she's border-line insane, but she's loyal. Takei is too smart to risk having another assassin clan after her, or at least I hope so."

"Ali has severe anger issues, she's young and impulsive and not too bright at times. Evin is very much fond of bending rules, and there's the treason issue. Takei is a gifted assassin, but she was born and raised in another clan, is natural that her loyalty is questioned from time to time."

Crys insisted. "Anyone would know that as well as you and me. They would be the easiest people to frame."

"And whoever did would have to watch them... Unless you suspect your father and myself of doing this."

Crys stifled a giggle. "No, of course not. I will do as you say. Where is father by the way?"

"Getting information in Blackpond. You will all know what he discovered later on. Now move along, I do have some thinking to do."

The door opened, and Allison stopped listening, but she still couldn't see. So she never saw who was suddenly pressing her throat, against the tree, until she heard a whisper "Listen in on my conversations again, and you're dead. Understood?"

Allison nodded, which hopefully Crys must have felt, because she was released moments later, and fell on her knees coughing and drawing too much attention.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evin Bana

Earnings

0.00 INK

It was almost pointless to even try to convince Dani of anything. For some reason, she had enough respect in Evin to let him call her Dani, but for some reason, she didn't seem to have any respect for his ideas. She always seemed to dismiss them. Maybe was just because of what the whole treason thing, but it could have been something else. He knew that because of this account of treason, he would be even less trusted in a situation like this. They might think that he wanted out of the camp so that he could get his reward from the King of Newhaven. After that, it would be pretty easy to make a new life for himself. Five hundred gold coin would be more than enough to go into hiding, even if it was the Wolfpack he would be hiding from.
These thoughts passed through his mind, but it would only be his last resort. If the Wolfpack no longer wanted him or (to put into better terms) wanted him dead, this would be his only chance at safety. It was definitely a sad thought though.
Although the idea of breaking the rules to follow his leads now seemed tempting, Evin decided that it would be in his best interest to stay. He went over to the fire where everyone else seemed to be congregated. He always loved the fire. It was the only place he knew where he could go anytime to just think. To think about the things passed and the things which were to come. Sometimes he even went here just to clear his mind of stuff and that is exactly what he decided to to this time. Despite the fact that there were people around talking, he managed to clear his mind.

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Sebastian Rivers was seated in the back of the Inn in Blackpond. A small rest before going home. He had been speaking with his twin brother Kyle up until that moment. Not a pleasant conversation, but rather useful. In spite of never forgiving him for betraying the Wolf Hunters (Kyle left the Hunters and joined the city guard in Blackpond, after discovering that his brother was alive), Kyle never acted against him out of respect for their older sister who had raised them. Even if the Wolfpack had killed her, and he wouldn't let Bastian forget that.

Kyle was now captain of the castle guard. The kind of information he had, Bastian needed. Kyle on the other hand... He wanted revenge, since his wife was one of the first Enlightened to be killed in Blackpond. Although he hated the thought of it, the only ones who seemed slightly interested to find out who actually did this were Bastian and Dani.

All of a sudden a kid entered and started going on about the Pack's history. The assassins there did nothing, until the boy mentioned Dani's name. One of the assassins closer to Bastian made a move towards the boy as he was leaving, Bastian stood up and placed one hand on the grip of his sword. That move alone was enough to stop the man. Bastian sighed. "We do not attack children. Are we clear?"

The man lowered his head. "Yes, sir. But the boy knew..."
Bastian interrupted. "The boy is not the enemy here. He was was just earning a meal. I will return to camp now. Something tells me we will be having trouble there soon." He gave the assassins a cold stare and added. "Pay no attention to any provocations. That is an order."

Bastian was exhausted. He hadn't slept, meeting Kyle had brought back unpleasant memories, and his head was killing him. Still he was pleased with the facts he had gathered up. Disturbing thing was... He hadn't got anything on which member of the Pack was giving information. Luckily he had ruled out the obvious suspects, but that wasn't much progress.

----------------

He arrived at camp, it was almost night. He passed the guards and walked straight home, ignoring the several people trying to get answers out of him. Talking to Dani was first priority now. He entered the cabin and found her lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling as if all the answers were written on it.
He laid down next to her, kicking off his boots. "Don't tell me you've been here all day..."
She laughed. "I've been trying to decide on what to do. Tell me you have something for me."
He nodded in disbelief. "We've been married for how long? Fifty years? Haven't you learned by now that I always have something?"
She looked at him serious. "First of all... Wow, that's flattering! Second... What do you have?"

Bastian handed Dani a book. "Kyle's notes. It has all the information on the killings. Where they happened, how they happened, and information on all the victims. They were all Enlightened. And they had... Different abilities. Not two were alike." He hesitated, but then decided it was useless to try and stall any further. "The Hunter... I know him. Kyle mentioned seeing him in Blackpond. His name is Theron, we were friends a long time ago. And, for the looks of things, he knew I was in town. He sent a kid into the Inn to provoke me. He dared the men to demand the truth from you."

Dani sat up and laughed. "The truth? If that's what he wants... I'll give him the truth. Theron... I recognize the name."
Bastian looked at her, with a slightly curious look on his eyes. "You do?"
She nodded. "His father was my assignment. I remember we were ordered not to touch the boy. How wonderful!" In spite of the slight sarcasm in her voice, she was not at all amused. She patted him on the arm, with a smile. "Well, love... Let's call another meeting, I think I know what to do now."

Bastian got back on his feet and went to summon the instructors and tell them to gather all the actives, again. Dani had a wicked look in her eyes, he knew that look very well... And it still frightened him.

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"Another meeting, so soon after the first one?"
Sebastian had talked to him at the campfire, he probably was aware that most had decided to go there to think about the meeting after its end.
"Well. fine..." He stood up, beginning to inform everyone that he could find. He himself was quite surprised, as were many others. Why would Dani want to talk to them again so soon? It was not like he did not want to go there, sure it had to be something of interest, but it still was surprising.

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Allison tried to recover some of her lost sleep, but nightmares made it impossible for her to rest. A knock on the door scared her in her dreams and she bit her hand to stop herself from screaming. Screaming was unwise on times like these, and even half-asleep she knew that. She heard Crys speaking from the outside. "Ali! Mother is calling us again!"

Allison wrapped a sash around her bleeding hand and muttered "Damn, what now?"

Crys laughed from outside the door. "What?"

"Nothing. I'm going, just give me a minute."

Crys turned the door knob and Allison yelled at her. "Don't come near me right now!"

Crys gave up entering, knowing what she meant. "What's wrong?"

Allison finished attending to her wound and opened the door with a smile. "Usual nightmares. Nothing big."

Crys nodded in agreement. And they walked together to Dani and Bastian's cabin again. After entering, Allison leaned against the wall next to the door. She wanted to stay as far away from Dani and Bastian in order to hide her wounded hand. She knew they always noticed everything. After everyone arrived Dani remained quiet, it was Bastian who actually did the talking this time. Which was rather odd.

"I know you are all curious to know why you have been called here again. Well for those of you who have been around long enough to know who the Wolf Hunters were, it's more than enough to just say there is one of them still alive, and hunting. For those of you who don't know. The Wolf Hunters were the only group that ever came close to destroying the Wolfpack. A few years ago we attacked them and killed all of their members... Or so we believed. This man, known as the Shadow Hunter is the last surviver of the Wolf Hunters. His real name is Theron, and he is not to be messed with."

Dani broke her silence and spoke in a firm tone. "I know most of you are unsatisfied for being locked in. This won't be for long, but until this person is out there is better to stay in camp. We have also gathered information on the deaths we have been accused of, that information will be verified and I will be addressing this upon my return."

Crys interrupted again. "From where?"

Dani cracked open a smile, she had a dangerous look in her eyes, bone chilling. "I will be taking the matter of this Hunter into my own hands. While I am away, your father will take first command and you will take his place. You are all dismissed for the time being, however... Some of you might be getting assignments soon, so don't get too comfortable."

As people started to leave, Allison noticed Crys hadn't moved. After leaving the cabin she heard Dani's voice one more time. "Evin, wait a second. I have an answer to your request..."

Allison was feeling sick to her stomach, something big was going to happen.

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Evin put one foot behind himself then turned around. He walked closer to Dani, who had requested him to stay. Although he was getting his request, he wasn't sure exactly where he would be going. For all he knew, she might just have been calling him over to put him on some petty task that seems important at the time, but really have no relevance to the safety of the camp. It wouldn't be the first time he was left out in the dark like that. He had been sent on these assignments a few times, but now he was prepared to make sure it didn't happen again.
"Ok, what do you have for me?"

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Crys had stayed behind to question her mother as to what exactly she was going to do. When she asked Evin to stay, however, Crys figured that maybe she should come back later. "Maybe I should leave. I'll come back later..."

Her mother laughed. "No, it's alright if you stay. I do need to speak with you."

Crys sat in a chair, and tried to distant herself from the conversation. From the sounds in the room she could tell exactly where her father was seated and the fact that he was tapping his foot on the ground slowly showed her he was quite distracted. Still, when her mother turned her attention back to Evin, and spoke, her voice overcame everything else. As usual.

"Like I said, I will deal with the Shadow Hunter myself. However... As to these other deaths... I'm sure they have nothing to do with the Hunter, and the fact that this other person knows so much of how we do things, disturbs me deeply."

She paused for a second, then added. "If you want to follow your leads, you have my permission to do so. However, I want you to choose someone to work with you. No one is to leave camp alone right now. Also, aside from the people in this room and your partner, no one should know what you're doing. We do have a traitor somewhere in camp at the moment."

Crys listened to the conversation, finding it rather amusing that, out of all people, her mother trusted Evin. Not that Crys disagreed with that. Still, she found his rule-bending and manipulative attitude a little annoying.

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Evin had a little smirk on his face when he was told that he could follow his leads. However, he was disappointed that he had to go on the mission with someone else. If he had to though, he was going to take someone who might be useful to her mission. He knew that he wanted someone who either knew a lot about the Wolfpack history or someone who is able to get into peoples business with ease. It would be better if there was someone who could do both, but he knew that there was no one in the camp that had the capabilities to do both. There were however two people who seemed to be very good at one or the other.
After a thirty second deliberation with himself, he looked back at Dani and said, "I want Crystal to come, and if taking a instructor is too much, I would like to bring Allison with me. They both have a skill that I would like to take advantage of." Then he began to say in a less enthusiastic tone, "If I can't take either of them though, I will be very much willing to take someone else."
He hoped that his wish oof getting either two would work, but with Crystal standing there he doubted that it would happen. He knew that she didn't like him; Since Allison was Crystal's student, he knew that if Crystal spoke out, it wouldn't work out the way he wanted. He looked over to Crystal to see how she was taking it.

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Crys felt her thought process stop suddenly when she heard Evin speak her name. She considered how this might end up, knowing her mother would have the final say no matter what her opinion was. Still, her opinion was... Better her than Ali. Still, her mother might not agree with that.

All of a sudden she felt the silence in the room and thought maybe she was supposed to speak now. "I wouldn't mind going. If that is alright."

Her mother was quiet, and Crys knew she was considering it, but when she spoke, it was not the answer she wanted. "No... It's better if Allison goes. I need you to take second command, remember?"

Crys nodded. "Couldn't you assign someone else then?"

Her mother replied and Crys knew by the tone in her voice that she was in trouble. "If you can give me one good reason, that isn't personal, why I should. I'll assign someone else."

Crys sighed. "I just think this might not be the best idea that's all." She could not go into any specifics with Evin still in the room, but her parents knew about Ali's issues.

Her mother's reply ended the discussion right there. "I know what you mean... Still, Allison has been an active for over a year now, and she has a perfect record while on assignment. She's very organized she is fast and she is the closest to a perfect shot I've ever seen. I don't see why she wouldn't be qualified."

Crys simply nodded, knowing it would be useless to say anything more. She could only talk to Ali before she left and hope she wouldn't lose control of her temper. She then turned to Evin, not bothering to pretend she wasn't unhappy with the decision. "You'll probably find Ali somewhere near water. I would advise you not to sneak up on her though."

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It was quite a surprise when he herd Crystal say that she would be fine with coming along with Evin, but when she said that she didn't want Allison to go, he was utterly shocked. Why wouldn't she care about working with me, but would care if I worked with Allison? He thought as the conversation between Dani and Crystal went on unbeknownst to Evin. When his mind came back to the conversation at hand, it was almost over.
"... I don't see why she wouldn't be qualified."
The look on Crystal's face was not a happy one at all. She almost looked disgusted. Disgusted at the fact that Evin was going to be taking her former student on a mission. He didn't even know how long he would be gone for. Evin just smiled a simple smile back. It would be rude to give a dirty look even if he was getting one from her.
"You'll probably find Ali somewhere near water. I would advise you not to sneak up on her though." She said, in a tone that didn't mimic her face in any way. It was very interesting to Evin. How could she have such a dirty look, but then at the same time have such a gentle voice?
"Thanks." he said. The dirty look continued. "You know, I remember when you were a little girl. You were the sweetest thing; Everyone thought so. Some people might find it difficult to see how sweet you still are with a frown like that. Even worse, frowning gives you wrinkles. You don't want to ruin that sweet face with wrinkles do you?" The frown didn't go away obviously. He was more egging her on than anything. "I guess I'll be off now."
Evin turned around and walked out of the room.

**********

"Hello" Evin yelled from the top of a hill near the lake. The hill wasn't that large and it had very little tree coverage. He thought that it would be best if he didn't want to surprise Allison. Evin slowly walked down the hill. Evin had packed two rather large bags full of luggage, so the walk down the hill--although it wasn't tall nor steep--was a rather tough one. Along with the bags, there was a pack full of assorted daggers and knives. Before Allison had a chance to ask any questions, Evin said, "You are to accompany me on a mission, under direct orders from Daniela Rivers. We are to go on a mission to follow some leads which have come to my attention after the first meeting. Although I would like to tell you more about the mission right now, I would prefer to tell you more once we get out of camp." He looked down at the small bag of weapons that he had brought. "I have taken the liberty to pack a bag for you and gather a few of you're daggers. If you need to get anything else feel free to do so. We will be leaving in about fifteen minutes so I would hurry. But please, don't rush.

**********

Evin was at the door of a poor little home. It looked to be in disrepair and was covered in dirt and leaves that could easily be years old. The door itself was pretty nice, it looked like it could have just been put in the other day. It was finely carved rosewood with an engraving in the middle at about eye level. It simply said 'Bana'. Evin knocked on the door and in a matter of seconds Evin's mother answered.
"Oh hello Evin! Come in!" She was so excited to see him. "I'll heat some water for you. What kind of tea would you like?"
"Actually, I just came over to say goodbye. I'm going away on a mission and I don't know when I'll be back, but I need to give you something."
"What is it?"
"Here." He handed her a map. "This is a map to a secret location that I found in the camp. I thought you might need it if the camp is to be attacked. Please go strait there if it is attacked, I don't want the same thing that happened to dad to happen to you." He paused a moment, thinking of his father's death when the Wolf Hunters attacked. "Well I need to go now."
Evin gave his mother a hug and began to walk to the front gates of the camp where he could see Allison was waiting for him.

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Allison had listened to Evin very carefully, and in silence. As soon as he left her she walked straight home and got her bow and quiver. As he had said fifteen minutes, she sat down for a second or two, meanwhile Crys entered her room without knocking. Allison smiled at her. "I'm fine Crys."

Crys shut the door and pulled a chair. "I'm sure you are. Just a few reminders... Evin has been an active for much longer than you, which means you must do as he says. You understand that?"

Allison nodded in agreement. "Sure, I understand."

Crys smiled. "Good, and what can anger and fear do to you?"

"Anger and fear cloud my good judgement and force me to make mistakes. And mistakes will get me killed." Allison recited those words without hesitation. As she usually reminded herself of that before going on any assignment.

Crys opened a smile. "Great, all set then. Are you alright to shoot with that hand. It's still aching isn't it?"

Allison looked at Crys serious for a second. "Hey! Don't do that!"

Crys laughed. "You listen to my conversations and I will intrude on your feelings. Just like that. Are you alright to shoot?"

Allison sighed. "Yes, I'm alright to shoot. I should get going, I don't want to be late." She got up from her bed and walked past where Crys was seated. While she passed the door she opened a smile when hearing the familiar sound of a wooden flute coming from the inside of the house. She walked towards the gates whistling the familiar tune, a rare smile spreading across her face and lighting up her eyes as she walked.

-------------------------

Dani Rivers was ready to leave. And while checking her knives, she listened carefully as Bastian spoke.
"If decides to show up, he will already be there when you arrive, and he will know the area well enough to have a plan. If you approach the area and don't see him... Walk away."

Dani sighed. "I know the area too, you know. And don't worry, the problem with plans is that... When other people are involved, they usually fail. Whatever he's expecting of me... This is definitely not it."

Bastian sighed. "Are you sure about this? What makes you think he'll believe you?"

Dani got on her feet. And stopped to face him at the door. "He won't, but he will want to be sure. If he will care or not, that's a completely different story. As far as I'm concerned, this is a chance I'm giving him to end this."

She walked through the door, without another word. That was her usual goodbye, and he was very much used to it by now. She walked through the gates quickly and walked straight to her destination. Bastian was right... He was already there.

Dani approached the man slowly, her hands away from the Sai daggers at her waist, which was merely a gesture, she could reach them in a split second. She was trying to keep herself as controlled as possible, but she cracked open a smile anyway, as she broke the silence."It's been quite some time, hasn't it?"

She remembered the last time she saw that face, as well as the first. She wouldn't have believed those two people to be the same, if she didn't know better. Still, she had decided that, for the sake of her clan, she would forget everything. With all those thoughts running across her mind, none of them showed in her cold blue eyes as she stood there before him. Dani had many years and many deaths on her shoulders, no hunter was ever to intimidate her. If she was to die there... Death never really frightened her.

If she was to die there, she was well prepared to drag him along, but at this point she was still hoping it wouldn't go that far. She waited patiently for him to reply, leaning casually against a nearby tree. She still kept herself in a considerable distance, for the time being.

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When Evin made it to the gate, he saw that Allison was just arriving as well. Another active was there too. It looked to be Takei in an argument with the guards, but when he made it to the gate, the argument had blown over. He just got to hear the last part of the conversation. He heard them talking about Dani being out in the woods a little further up. Although he wanted to see what she was doing out there, he had a job to do and the quicker he got started the better. He brought his attention away from Takei and back to Allison who looked to be waiting patiently. She seemed pretty nice, maybe it was just because she was nervous. He had no idea. He dropped the bag that he was holding and said, "Here's you're bag Allison. It has everything you will need on this mission. We will be doing a lot of camping I assume so I made sure to include a tent as well as some extra food in the bag."
He walked past the guards, ready to start his mission with Allison.

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"Hm..."
Back in his little house, Atzlan checked his weapons. There was little to do, since they weren't allowed out of the camp for the time being, and he had no missions which would allow him to bypass this order.
His sword was in good condition, he had stocks for throwing knives and ninja stars - although he never used them, it was good to have some at disposal - and his kama were sharp... but as he opened the chest in which he was storing his two tonfa, he smiled a bit.
*Ah, that's right... I have used them for training just a while ago, on that granite rock.* The iron balls were damaged beyond acceptability for him, which was not much for others. Some might never have noticed the scratches and holes on the otherwise smooth surface of the heavy balls, but he cared for the condition of his equipment. And besides, there was nothing to do right now. So he strapped the longsword to his back as he always did when leaving the house, put the two tonfa into a bag, threw it over his shoulder and went outside.
It was just a short time to the blacksmith of the camp. Atzlan knew him well - Albei was a good friend of his, they had known each other since they had become Actives, but in a tragic accident he had ended up losing a large portion of his right arm, which had made him inept for continuing his work. He now could not lift his arm above his head, otherwise he'd suffer terrible pain. Instead he had learned the art of smithery, and was now working for the Wolfpack as a smith.
Atzlan knocked on the door, and entered. "Hi, Albei", he said putting his bag to the ground. He held his hand up, and Albei let go of the hammer with which he was just working on a piece of metal, and gave him five.
"What is it, Atzlan?"
"My tonfa are damaged, I need your help. Or I repair them myself in here." He said that to annoy Albei on purpose. He knew that his furnace and anvil were his most prized possessions, and thathe would never let someone else touch them.
"Give them to me, and come back tomorrow", replied the smith. "In exchange, you'll stay here for a bit of time, so I don't get bored at work." It wasn't an order, but an offer, he knew Albei well enough. But after these two gatherings, one had to talk to someone. So he took a chair from the adjacent room, and sat down near a wall. "What do you think of the recent events, Albei? I mean, the gatherings, the murders, Dani's order to everyone not to leave the camp..."
Within moments they were in a discussion. When it came to talking, Albei was unmatched: he could make speeches of hours, but no one would get bored by it if they listened. Maybe it was one of the side effects of being a smith in a small camp of assassins which use not to talk more than it is necessary.

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Crystal was extremely bored, or maybe she was just feeling that way because everyone else was. Maybe both. Probably both.
She walked to the lake where Allison usually hung out by, and sat near it next to a tree. She didn't usually go there, but it was quiet. She couldn't sleep and something was making her slightly depressed. She pulled out her flute and started playing a sad melody, in a very soft tone, as if in a way she was pouring her frustrations out along with the sound.

Crys had spent three long years as an active, and four so far as an instructor. She had lived in that camp for 21 years. And she knew something was definitely wrong, but couldn't know what. That was frustrating.
She stopped playing and started paying attention to the sounds of the water on the lake, the birds, and a distant wolf howling somewhere... She felt somewhat lonely sitting there. It had been her choice to distant herself from people, but reminding herself of that didn't make it any easier. Allison was her only friend, which was ironic since as far as anger and sadness are concerned... Ali was the worst. Still, Crys had become somewhat unaffected by her. Maybe because of the five years they trained together, maybe because Ali knew about her ability. She wasn't exactly sure.

Crys broke out of her thoughts at the distant, yet loud, sound of angry shouting. Her mother was home, and she seemed very angry at the guards at the moment.

--------------------------------

Newhaven/Inn

Allison noticed the man flinched at the sound of the name, even if he was controlled enough not to turn. Still, it was more than enough to convince her. She looked around, the only people there were Pack members, even though her and Evin were the only actives. That was good, it allowed her to give orders, and so she did.
She looked around the room and gave a word, coldness spreading across her eyes. "Clear out. Now."
As Ali had learned when only a recruit, an active's word is law, specially on the field. So everyone quickly cleared out of the room. Justin hesitated, but Ali looked at him, and he left also.

She sat back in her seat, and let out a sigh. "A split second, but you gave me the reaction I was looking for. I hate being here. I don't want to drag this any further by pretending I don't know who you are. So... My partner here has a few questions for you. Answer them so I can leave. Please."

Following the word "please", she put her knife away and crossed her arms, looking at him seriously. This would have been a dumb move in any other day, but looking at Theron... He could have killed them both already, so why hadn't he?

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Crys got up from where she was seated and walked to the center of the camp, to see why her mother was so angry. She walked passed two of the guards as they were moving away from the gates. Others were coming to replace them. The yelling was already over with, still... Her mother was still angry, when she came near her.
"What happened?"

"Takei followed me, that's what happened. She walked right passed the guards. She could have been killed because of this."

Crys laughed. "She was almost killed a thousand times since she got here. She's not the brightest kid there is, sometimes. Was she hurt?"

"Yes, but she'll be fine. Still, could you keep an eye on her until morning?"

Crys frowned slightly. "Keep an eye on her?"

Dani Rivers let out a sigh, an replied. "Just make sure the kid doesn't spike a fever during the night, will you? The healer said she will be out cold until morning, but those herbs can have really nasty side effects. I'm sure you remember."

Crys shivered at the memory, then nodded. "I'm an instructor, not a babysitter."

Dani laughed. "What is the difference, really? Do this as a favor, Crys. One night won't kill you."

Crys sighed. "Fine, but I want an assignment. I'm tired of being stuck in here."

"Okay. That is a deal. She was taken home."

Crys smiled, and nodded in agreement. She knew her mother could have simply ordered her to do this. She walked to the small wooden cabin and entered. She could tell by the breathing sounds, that Takei was unconscious. She sat down on the ground beside her bed and stayed there, leaning up against the bed so she could sense if the girl started shivering for any reason. She wasn't really planning on sleeping anyway. She pulled out her flute again, and began to play a soft tune, something she couldn't seem to recognize herself.

It was late night already, it wouldn't take long until sunrise.

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Crys let out a sigh at the waking girl. Her feelings were a mess, for what Crys could tell. She wasn't really trying. "My mother asked me to stay and make sure you didn't spike a fever. Lucky you... If you did I would have to bring back the healer." She smiled. "Do what I do... Don't get caught."

At that moment the door opened, and she recognized the voice of the guard her mother had been yelling at. He didn't say anything, and Crys had guessed he would be giving Takei one hell of an ugly look. "Hey! What is your business?"
The man probably hadn't noticed Crys, because his tone changed on the spot. "I apologize. I was distracted there for a moment. Your mother is now requesting your presence. She has an assignment for you, and she wants you to take... Takei, with you."

Crys smirked at that comment. "So predictable... Alright. I'm on my way."

Crys gave herself a moment of thought before standing. She knew that whenever her mother thought an active was causing too much trouble she would assign the poor kid to work with Crys. The only one who had ever survived that had been Ali... And barely. For what she had sensed on Takei, she wasn't really expecting much.
At last, she stood up, and turned to the girl. "I will be back soon with the assignment, pack two weapons only, and any other item that are necessary to you. Nothing else. When I call for you, we leave immediately."

She didn't wait for a response, and left to meet with her mother. She was surprised to find her waiting outside the cabin. "Your father is asleep. Is better not to disturb him."

Crys frowned at that. Her father was usually the first to get out of bed. "Is he sick or something?"
Dani Rivers sighed at her daughter's curiosity. Although Crys could tell she was smiling lightly. "His brother was killed last night. They haven't actually got along in years, but... He is very shaken."

Crys nodded. She knew her father had a twin brother, but never really met the man. "What do you want me to do then?"

Dani sighed. "I assigned Takei to your service. You're an instructor, so... You do whatever you want with her, by the rules."

Crys sighed in response. "I can sometimes see what's broken, mom... Doesn't mean I can fix it."

Dani laughed. "I know, Crys. But this girl... Her instructor was a little overwhelmed by her talent, I think. So I'm putting her on observation for now. She will only go on assignments on her own again, if you clear her."

Crys nodded in agreement. "Was it really that bad? It was nothing I hadn't done before myself, or Ali, or even Evin if I recall."

"Not during a lock-down. Not like this. Listen... although she is to accompany you... These two tasks are very serious, or I wouldn't be handing them to instructors."

Crys frowned again. "Instructors? Who else is in on this?"

Dani laughed. She knew Crys didn't like to work with others, they distracted her. "We received two messages since last night. One from Blackpond, informing of Kyle's death. One from Newhaven, informing of the mess Evin and Allison are in."

Crys, for the first time in that conversation seemed upset. "Allison is in Newhaven? What happened?"

"Ali is fine, for the moment. She is handling it quite well actually. Evin is the problem. He has accepted to take on the Shadow Hunter on a duel."

Crys nodded. "What the hell is that idiot thinking? So what am I supposed to do?"

Dani laughed. "Go there and fix it. Talk them out of it, if you can. If you can't... Give Evin something he can use to win. I'm sure there will be something there. Afterwards, do straight to Blackpond to look into Kyle's death. You see... He was our only source of information. He's gone, so we need to get it ourselves. I will be sending Atzlan there today. Join him when you can."

Crys was considering all of it. It was a lot, it was extremely serious, it would be harder with a inexperienced kid tagging along. "I'm supposed to do all this while babysitting that kid? She will get me killed."

Silence set in for a few seconds, and the answer came. "She is your assignment. Don't you see? She is officially your recruit now."

Crys processed the information, and the started to laugh. "You're telling me this kid is the first active to be turned back into a recruit? I Can't wait to tell her that!"

Dani chuckled. "Suit yourself... Just hurry up. The duel is tomorrow, so you need to get to Newhaven."

Crys sent one of the guards to warn Takei that they were leaving. She stopped by the gates and waited, with a smirk crossing her face. "This should be fun."

While she waited, she heard one of the guards warn the other instructor he was being summoned. Things were starting to get busy in the Wolfpack again... Finally.

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The same man that bursted into the room came back again, "Go back home and pack your things. Meet Crys back at the front gates, you're leaving on the spot." The tone of his voice held some sort of disgust for her, and the way he sneered made her want to carve a smile on his face. Takei pocketed the items on the bed-side table, she held the blood crusted shuriken star and threw it at the trash can, it was worthless now that it wasn't as sharp.

She ran down passing Crys talking with Dani and closed the front door slowly, her boots thudded on the ground as she sped by the civilians. Her house was a lengthy run from the cabin, its isolated as if on purpose. Opening the front door she dropped herself on the metal chair near the table where she placed her weapons and letters. She grabbed a kunai and studied the poorly bandaged wound, it hadn't been tight enough so blood was beginning to leak through. The blade ripped against the bandage in an easy swoop, small drops of blood fell on the floor as Takei stretched over to get her own gauge.

The gauge she used were hand made and rare to find around the area, the gauge is layered and smeared in healing herbs. The white gauge was wrapped around Takei's slender arm as tight as she could with one hand. Finished with her wound she got up and threw out the blood soaked wraps, Takei passed by her weapon rack and grabbed her belt pouch. The pouch is made of gray wolf skin and can hold numerous items.
Slinging the pouch on her waist she walked around her cabin grabbing weapons and hooking it on. 3 kunai's freshly sharpened, 2 smoke bombs, more gauge, a few herbs and thin plastic string. Doubling over her weapons, wounds and final outfit she heard a knock on the door. The guard told her to meet Crys at one of the gates, and she hurried up once more. Before she left she grabbed a leather backpack thinking the waist pouch wasn't enough. Closing the door she ran half way to the main gate until she got to the main road. It was busy on the main road, families bustling around working as hard as ever.

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Dani Rivers had a lot on her mind already. The clan was growing more and more tense with the lock-down, and now Justin's bird had arrived with no message, and blood on its feathers. Above everything troubling her there was Bastian, as he insisted to leave for Blackpond himself.
They had argued for a while, they had yelled at each other even. Dani usually yelled, but Bastian almost never did. That only worried her more. Now... they had been quiet for quite some time. Dani was in bed staring at the ceiling, Bastian was sitting in a chair. The silence was suffocating. Dani sighed and broke it, her voice came out a little more angry than what she intended, but at that point at least she was calm. "I can't stop you, but I don't like this. Honestly what does it matter now?"
Bastian nodded quietly. "I can't sit and do nothing. My brother burned inside his home. There was nothing left of him to bury. How can I?"
Dani pulled her gaze away from the ceiling and looked at him serious. "You doing something doesn't bother me. What bothers me is the state you're in right now."

Bastian didn't answer, and soon the door opened with a loud sound. A guard entered and announced. "The Shadow Hunter has been captured."
Dani and Bastian got on their feet immediately. Dani looked at the man intrigued, if there's one thing she knew was that Theron would not be captured alive. If he was there, he had come willingly. "Alright, let's see what this is about."

Dani walked to the center of the camp to find Theron standing there. Allison passed her by and put a note in her hands, but didn't say anything. Dani found that very strange, until she read the note and cracked open a smile, nodding, and walking to the Hunter. Bastian stood right behind her, and whispered. "Do you need my opinion in this?"
She nodded and whispered back to him, without turning around. "No, I already decided. If you want you can go now, but... Don't do anything you'll regret later."
Bastian smiled at that comment, but didn't really say anything else. He would be back at that same time the next day, and none of it would matter anyway. He smiled at Theron for a second before walking away. Bastian didn't seem worried about what might happen there, he knew Dani way too well. If there was something left to save then she would try. It was simply in her nature.

Dani let Bastian walk away and make his way for Blackpond. She was sure it wasn't a good idea to let him go, but she couldn't really stop him. She turned her attention to Theron. He surely seem different now than he did last time. She was aware of the eyes around them and knew she would have to explain all this sooner or later, but at the moment it didn't seem that important. "Follow me, I have something to show you."

She walked Theron away from the center of the camp, through a trail and to another clearing. A more secluded, and darker clearing. The clearing was filled with crosses made of stone and wood, with names carved on them. Some of them had flowers placed before them. Dani sat down, leaned against a tree. "This is a memorial, of sorts, it was Bastian's idea. After my sister died we put a cross here for her, we have done this for almost everyone of our members killed ever since, and some of our victims, if we believe they were worthy. After a while it has grown quite a bit. I'm sure if you look, you'll find your friends names around somewhere, Bastian has arranged for that. After all... The Wolf Hunter were worthy opponents. Even if unpleasant ones." She looked away from the crosses and at the Hunter. "So, have you learned the truth then? Is there something you wish to discuss or do you want to be judged right now?" She wasn't in a hurry, even though she had already decided.

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#, as written by Sibrand
Theron was brought to his feet once more and he slowly followed Dani away from the crowd of people. He felt the stares of hatred from countless eyes as he turned his back towards them. If it had not been for Dani they had all attacked him and he would have refused to fight back for that's more or less what he deserved. Dani lead him into a clearing that was dark yet small streams of light were thrown here and there by the growing sun in the north. He listened with great interest as Daniela told him of this site and who lied here. When she spoke of her sister it was like a knife penetrating his heart. He didn't cry, or at least not yet. She mentioned the Wolf hunters, Therons old friends. They had been deceived by lies and blinded by hatred just like him and so he found it more easy to forgive them then forgiving himself. He heard Dani speaking one last time, asking if he wanted to talk or if he wanted to hear his judgement right here, right now.

"So much death... Never again. Never again." He thought and made his way over to the graves where his old Hunting friends lied. He only stared at them for a couple of seconds before moving away, eyes closed at the moment. After that he moved over to the grave where Daniela's young and fragile little sister lied buried. She was killed from the blade of a wicked man, a man without any emotions and no real goal. A small and lonely tear ran down Therons check as he went down on both knees in front of the grave. He didn't care if he looked pathetic to Dani, he just didn't care anymore. His hand reached into his dusty robe and once it came out, it came out holding a red rose. He smelled on it for a second and held it close to his heart. After whispering something out of Dani's reach of hearing he dropped the rose on top of the little girls grave.

After that he rose up and faced Dani from where he stood.


"I am ready for judgement."

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Dani smiled, she reread the note Ali had shoved in her hand. Then she looked at Theron. "Ali handed me a note just now, explaining how you pulled her out of the fire... And briefly explaining what happened at the Inn. She also says here that... She personally would rather not see you dead."

She looked around the clearing, and laughed. "She also kindly reminded me of something I said to her some time ago about revenge. She is a messed up kid, but she is annoyingly clever." She put the note down. "Other than her, and maybe Bastian... Everyone else in this camp probably would rather see you dead. I understand them, and I can't blame them for it... And I will be judged for this, as I have been for many other reasons in the past years, but I have no intention of killing you. If I was to judge for your actions... I'd have to consider I owe you the lives of two of my actives, and my daughter. If I killed you, that would be revenge. And that is something I decided I don't want for myself anymore. It brought me nothing but pain, and I'm tired of it."

She got up and walked to her sisters grave. "All I want from you, is the name of the traitor who had been giving away our secrets. After that... Your life is your own."

-------------------------------

Newhaven

It took sometime for Jake to return, but finally he did... Alone. "I'm sorry. I couldn't find them. Hey, maybe they made it back to camp." He made a long pause, and added. "Crys... Are you alright?"

Crys nodded, breaking out of her thoughts. Theron's speech before leaving had made her uncomfortable, and she had a strange feeling that something was very wrong. "I'm fine Jake. I'm just tired. Thank you for all your help."

Jake laughed. "As if I had a choice... So, what now?"

Crys stood up, and smiled. "Now, we leave. I am on an assignment after all."

She left, having said that, she wasn't really paying attention if Evin was following, but she could hear him. The soldiers seemed to have assumed everyone got away, there weren't that many out there as there would be any other day. They made it out of the city and made their way to Blackpond. Crys didn't speak at all on they way, the uncomfortable feeling growing at every step. Once they made their way inside, she noticed the sounds of the street were different of what she remembered. And a overwhelming sense of fear overcame her. She finally spoke then. "Something terrible has happened here..."

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Allison handed Dani a note, explaining what had happened at Inn, and shortly before that, and also a little bit of her personal input, although she doubted that would really count for something. She wasn't as close to Dani as she was to Crys, although they had talked many times since she first arrived in camp. On her first couple of years Dani had worried about her state of mind, which Ali found extremely unnerving, but was still very grateful for. She walked past Dani and went to a somewhat large cabin and entered, nodding as the nice ladies who worked there as cooks greeted her, she sat by a wooden table quietly. One of the young girls who were studying to become healers was also there, she nodded at Ali and moved to sit next to her. "What have you done to your hand there?"

She looked at the girl with the corner of her eyes, she knew the girl from the last time she had been injured, although, it had been very serious then. Annie became very annoying about her lack of care with her health ever since. "It's nothing, just a little cut. And yes, I cleaned it properly."
The girl smiled innocently. "I'm sure you have. I mean, you surely wouldn't risk your hand, you are an archer after all..."
Allison sighed, irritated, and put her bandaged hand on the table, while reaching for a bowl of soup she had been given, with the other. "Fine, have a look if you think it's necessary."

Annie removed the sash Ali had used to bandage her hand and examined it. Ali started eating a piece of bread, absently, while Annie replaced the bandages with ones soaked in some kind herbal extract. "There. You did quite a nice work on that bandage, but this will help it heal a little faster."

Ali nodded, soaking a piece of bread in the onion soup. "I don't really see what's the rush."
Annie chuckled sipping from her cup of tea. "Ali, have you heard from Takei?"
Ali looked at her curious. "Not really, why?"
Annie sighed. "well, the herbs we used on her were rather strong. Maybe she shouldn't have been sent on assignment so soon. Anyway, I have to get going, don't forget to change those bandages later, alright?"
"Sure." Ali said, not really paying much attention.

They should have made it back already... There was blood on the trail. Maybe Jake found them and turned them around. Yeah... They were probably with Crys.
She pulled her thoughts back to the bowl of soup, hoping everything would just turn out okay.

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Vilen, who had decided that it might be best to hang around Ali until he was sure that he was off the hook, followed her to where she was eating and got some food himself. He watched Annie rebandage her hand as he absently chewed his food, not really tasting it as he did so. Once Annie had gone away and Ali was able to concentrate harder on her thoughts, she adopted a rather introspective look. Clearly she was considering something very thoroughly.

"You're thinking about that blood we saw on the trail earlier, aren't you?" he asked her. When she looked surprised, he just shrugged. "I do notice things, you know. I realize that everyone thinks that I am totally incompetent, but Crys graduated me for a reason." He finished off the last of his soup by bringing the bowl to his mouth and slurping it up, not really caring much for manners at the moment. He and Ali knew each other well enough that there wasn't really much of a call for unnecessary courtesies. "Judging by your response, I assume that is what you're thinking about. Do you think it belongs to one of the members of the pack?" He thought for a moment. "I can't imagine someone killing one of us in the woods. I mean ... if I were trailing an assassin through the woods, I would see if they could lead me to the camp first, don't you think? We would have seen the blood closer to camp." He clapped a hand on her shoulder. "I don't think you should worry too much about it. Not when there are so many other more important things to worry about, like my immediate future. I saw that note. There wasn't anything about me in there, was there?" He smiled and raised an eyebrow.

Now he was just trying to cheer her up. Really, he wasn't worried too much about his own punishment. At worst, he would just be placed on a more strict lock down. His weapons would be taken for a time, and he would have to sit around the camp doing nothing for a week or so. Or maybe a few chores. They weren't going to kill him for leaving the camp, and anything less than death would be nothing more than a little hiccup, as far as he was concerned.

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Ali looked at Vilen seriously for a second, she didn't really like being touched in any way unless it was necessary (like what Annie had just done), but decided to dismiss it this time. "I think with all that is happening Dani might just forget all about you. I assumed it would be better if I didn't remind her."

She smiled. "And if you weren't at least a little incompetent you wouldn't have been assigned to Crys, right?" She was joking, of course. She didn't consider Vilen to be incompetent at all, and she knew it was very rare for Crys to approve anyone. "And yes, I was thinking about the blood. And I was thinking that Takei and Justin should have made it by now. And I was resisting the impulse to go looking for them. Still... Jake could have caught up with them and led them to Crys and Evin."

She sighed. "We were not supposed to leave anyone behind. And I should have gone with them, wasn't for..." She went silent and left the sentence unfinished. "Anyway... If it wasn't for Theron I wouldn't have made it out. I owe him, that's why I wrote that note."

She sipped some of the tea she had been drinking, it was supposed to help her sleep, but she doubted it.

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#, as written by Mymoir
Mym walked slowly along the dirt path, not sure where he was going, and not really caring. The fire roaring at the center of the camp was still visible, so he hadn't gone too far. Today had been a sullen day, not eventful or particularly boring; just unfulfilling. Now all he could think to do was wander around until he found something to actually do--

And then his stomach decided to growl.

Mym faltered for a moment, then sighed, picking up his pace and making his way towards the kitchens. He passed the other Pack members wordlessly, with a small smile or nod here and there, letting his feet carry him. Finally, he climbed the small flight of steps and slipped into the cabin, the scent of bread and soup moving through him. He quickly scanned the room, and upon spotting Ali and Vilen, he smiled.

"You're back." Mym called to them, crossing the room carefully and seating himself on the edge of the bench across from them.

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Ali looked at the newcomer and sighed. Why was everyone wanting to talk today? she was obviously not the kind of person to force herself to be social, but to the few people she could tolerate she would make an effort to at least not be rude. "Yes. I bet your day was just the best." She smiled as if to reinforce the sarcasm, had it gone unnoticed. A few hours ago she would be giving anything to get out of the the lock down, but now she almost wish she hadn't left at all.

All she and Evin managed to do was cause a commotion, and most likely get the Inn destroyed. Takei and Justin were missing, well... Maybe not, but they could be. And now... She had seen a lot she didn't like today. Bastian leaving the way he did was one. She remembered Crys saying she was worried about him. She wondered why.

She smiled after quite some time of silence. "Sorry. I Had a lousy day. I wish we were allowed to have alcohol." She laughed as some guards entered and gave her ugly looks as they passed them. "Thinking about it, Dani is right... Drunken assassins... Not the best idea."

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Vilen decided that he would take this one for Ali, who was seeming a little ... overstretched at the moment. He picked up on Mym's concern, and chuckled a little to try and diffuse it. The last thing they needed was panic over the potentially missing members of the pack. If need be, something would be done about them, but he wanted to believe that they were just fine and making their way back now.

"Looks like we're a hot item," he thought out loud. "Everyone wants to know what's going on, don't they?" He grinned smugly. Of course they all wanted to know. The camp was in lockdown. They were just a group of bored killers all confined to one space, which was never a good thing. Most didn't have the stones to sneak out, so they had to wait for the ones who were allowed to come back. He couldn't deny that he liked the attention.

"Basically," he began as he leaned back on the bench, stretching his long arms overhead and then resettling them on the table, ready to tell a story to which he didn't really know the details. But he figured that if he told it with enough conviction, it wouldn't feel empty. "What you missed is this. Intrigue, murder, fire, escape, crazy lunatic hunter, more escape, and ... yes, that's the short version of it. General chaos and excitement. The usual. Though that hunter was a little unexpected, at least for me. But I also came a little late to the party, so I'm a little fuzzy myself." What's more, he wasn't exactly sure how much he SHOULD be telling. Again, his prudent voice told him that he should probably stop, as he wasn't supposed to have left the camp in the first place. The less people that could attest to the fact that he was ever gone at all, the better. But the part of him that craved the attention of those around him kept going.

"I wonder if she's killed him yet ..." he broke off suddenly to have another vocalized thought. "If she is, she's taking her sweet time about it. Poor guy. He wasn't that bad for a hunter."

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#, as written by Sibrand
Theron smiled at Dani's words. It seemed like Allison had taken a liking to the old man. or maybe it was just because he saved her and Crystals lives. Evin was another matter that should not be discussed. He remained at the little girls grave, looking upon it's peaceful resting place. How could he have done something like this? No... He had shake all of this off of him now! It was in the past, this is the presence and tomorrow is the future. He can only look forward and move forward, not backwards for that means deep and uncontrollable sorrow. He faced Dani once more as she continued speaking. She told him that she would not kill him. Theron was a bit shocked to say at least, but the feeling faded when the assassin moved closer to Theron.

"All I want from you, is the name of the traitor who had been giving away our secrets. After that... Your life is your own." She said and Theron couldn't find the words to say anything. His mouth was dry and his words seemed empty somehow. Your life is your own...? No, he had no goal and no true purpose to live. What would happen after he had turned another girl over to the never ending wheel of death? Would her blood be on his hands? Would her spirit haunt him in his dreams just like Dani's little sister did? No, he could not do that. But then as he was about to refuse an idea kicked in and as always he took advantage of it within a split-second.

"If my life would be my own... Then I refuse to say her name. Let me instead train and teach her everything I know and then you can judge if she is to be killed or not. All I ask for is a chance to show the rest of of the Pack that my redemption as come and passed and that my knowledge is gold worth for assassins such as yourself. What say you?" Theron finally replied, a bit over excited but he refused to admit it.

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Allison kept quiet and let Vilen speak. She wasn't really caring much for the conversation. She was trying not to think of what might be going on between Theron and Dani at the moment. Whatever decision Dani would make would be the right one, even if it was one she didn't agree to. After all, she knew Theron for a few hours only, and it wasn't much like her to be trusting people this easily. She nodded looking at Vilen serious once he was finished. "You talk too much sometimes. And you should seriously think twice before calling anyone a lunatic. Who knows how many deaths we'll all have on our hands ten years from now? Those things take their toll on a person's mind as well."

She sat back and let her eyes wander around the room. Not minding the guards that were still staring. She smirked recognizing the guy she had shot at earlier. Dani must have given him hell for letting Takei follow her. The idiot.

---------------------

Dani was a little disappointed, to say the least, but she was slightly intrigued as well. She laughed lightly. "I could, if I wanted, simply order Crys find out. Although I would much rather not put her through it. It would be a lot easier now also, knowing it's a girl. But let's say, for the sake of this conversation that I was to agree with this... What could you possibly teach this person that would make me trust her any more? There are a great deal of things I'm able to forgive, betrayal is never one of them."

Dani always made sure to speak to any newcomers, and she would always tell them that if they could leave their past behind, she didn't need to know about it. She would trust them into their family, and she wasn't willing to easily forgive anyone who would took that for granted.

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#, as written by Sibrand
Theron didn't doubt for a second that with the right information Crystal could easily sniff out the so called 'traitor' but he felt like this was something he just had to do. He had dragged her down into the abyss and now after realizing his mistakes, seen the light and accepted the fact that his point of view had been wrong he now felt like he had to help her back on the right path and while doing so making her a better assassin in the process. He just had to find the right words to convince Dani on all of this, but how? Several ideas and speeches formed themselves in his mind but they were quickly dismissed has bad ones or useless ones. At the end Theron did something he had never done before: He spoke directly from his heart, not thinking what he was going to say and when he was going to say those chosen words. He just spoke his mind.

"You assassins have always eliminated targets that are either unaware of you hunting them or being aware of it. You've always hunted targets that has been moving or standing still, but you've never had the experience of hunting another hunter, now have you? All those that killed the Wolf hunters are long gone, either from age or from my blade to which I'm not all too proud of, but that's the current situation we're in." Theron started walking away from Dani, looking at other grave stones. "I've heard of this hunter who hunts enlightened people. He's a hunter and from the looks of it almost as good as I am. If you ever want to have a chance of taking him down you need my knowledge. I could teach this person in question so that she later on could teach others, unless you would be willing to let me teach all of those that you want to hunt this hunter? In either case, I'd like to pass on my knowledge before I leave you all."

Theron stopped at a random grave and faced Dani again.

"See it more as a gift from me to you. For all that I've done in the past."

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Dani listened carefully to Theron, he had a good point. She still wasn't comfortable with letting the traitor go unpunished. Still, she smirked slightly. "I must correct you in two things: This killer is not only a hunter, he knows things about the Pack that no one would learn simply by studying our habits. And I believe he is better than you, no offense. Also... I've killed my share of hunters and I'm still around. And there are a few others as well, but that is not important right now... "

She looked Theron in the eyes for quite sometime, wondering whether or not this was the right decision, and wishing she hadn't let Bastian leave. At the end, she knew no matter how long she thought about it... She was going to follow her instincts in the end of it. "Alright... Let's say I'll agree to this, under three circumstances: First, I still want to speak to this girl. Second, you will teach who I assign to you, like any instructor would. Third... If you want to live in this camp and teach my assassins, I need you to take the oath." She smiled, and added. "Hunter or not, in my camp you are bound by my rules."

She got on one knee and touched the cross on her sister's grave, with her right hand, then stood up and faced him. "If you think you can agree to these conditions... Then we have a deal."

------------------------

Crys walked straight passed the guards following Evin into the Inn. Immediately upon entering she could smell a lot of blood, and something else she couldn't quite tell what it was. One thing she knew... Someone was dead. She was still wondering what the commotion was all about, when she heard Evin speak. Her thoughts vanished from her mind painfully. She located the body and got on her knees next to it, not minding the blood. She touched the dead man's face, and felt as if something inside of her had broken into a thousand pieces. It was definitely her father. One of the guards approached her as if he was to pull her away. She didn't turn at the man, but spoke in a calm, cold, and yet furious, tone. "If you touch me, you're dead." The man flinched, and took a step back

She closed her father's eyes, trying to control the pain, and the rage she felt inside the best she could. She faced the soldiers and spoke. "This is my father, and I will arrange to take him home as soon as possible. In the meanwhile I suggest that you all leave, if you have any joy in living." She pulled both her Sai as she spoke, her eyes had a unusual and threatening spark to them.

Silence fell... And then the sound of footsteps walking away as fast as possible. She closed the broken door of the Inn violently after the last soldier walked through it. She sat on a stool next to the bar, unaware of the fact that she had blood on her hands, and was shivering. She knew it was unwise to just sit there, but she couldn't really think at all. Her mind was completely occupied trying to accept the reality of what had happened there.

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#, as written by Sibrand
Theron wasn't surprised by Daniela's reaction, but he had to confess that he had not seen it coming. The thought of this new hunter being better then him was possible yet it remained to be seen. He thought about these conditions that Dani had proposed for quite a while until he finally decided what to do.

"I'll let you talk to the girl, but nothing more. I wouldn't rather want to find her dead somewhere." He said, leaving out any of those empty threats assassins usually made. They were a intelligent kind of people for sure yet the way they acted showed signs of stupidity, but never the less, they were his only chance. With that being said, Theron went down on one knee before Dani.

"Tell me this oath and I shall commit to it." He said, with deep respect for his new found ally.

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#, as written by Sibrand
Remaining on one knee, The soon to be instructor for some recruits or maybe even actives when you looked at the task ahead of them, stood all still. Dani would assign two or three of the people she would want to go hunt after this new hunter and this girl would remain here, to train further. Theron listened closely and quite interested on every word that came out from Dani's mouth and he swore silently that he would obey them all. When the word came, Theron placed his hand to his heart and swore the oath.

"I swear that no matter what, my loyalty will always lie with the Wolfpack and nowhere else until death takes my life or I'm released of this oath. My life for the Pack." He said and rose from his position to face Daniela. He had now sworn the oath and was part of the very group he had hunted for so long. He was one of them now. With that Theron pulled off his black hat and threw it on the grave where the name 'Sarah' was carved on. She would have been proud of what he had done this very hour, even though her goal had always been to try and kill every single one of these assassins. He knew the truth and he was certain that Sarah also knew the truth as well. After throwing his hat away, the newly appointed Instructor faced his great leader.

"The girls name is Gloria and she's an active. I believe she is to be found either where she sleeps or where most people go to eat. But before you go, I'd like to know which ones you are going to assign under my command and teaching?" Theron asked with a small smile across his scarred face. He wanted to start as soon as possible for there was no time to waste and the hunter was still out there, killing people by the hour.

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Dani smiled at Theron's question. "Well... If I was to think of people I want handling this... Crys and Evin would be my first picks. Usually where my daughter goes Allison will follow, so... There. Plus anyone else Crys would want to assign. She will know a little better since she works closer to the actives. She will also be able to tell you of their weaknesses and strengths, should you need that information. Speak to her when she returns."

She wrote the girls name down on the back of Ali's note and made one of the guards deliver it to her and tell her to bring the girl in for questioning. Why Ali? Well, she was unlikely to harm the girl unless she was attacked. Also, she wanted to speak to her about what happened at the Inn, since it hadn't been very clear yet.
When she went back to center of the camp, she noticed that most of the actives and recruits had gathered there while she talked to Theron, probably waiting to hear of his death. She took a deep breath and announce that the man by the name of Theron had taken the oath, and therefore had been accepted as a member of the clan. And also named an instructor. She waited patiently for the protests to silence. "It is decided. We have bigger enemies at this time, and we do need all the help we can get."
With that she went into her house, and waited for Ali to bring her the girl by the name of Gloria.

---------------

Ali was still sitting at her table, looking at her empty cup of tea, stalling so she wouldn't have to deal with her insomnia. When one of the guards, entered and dropped a paper on the table in front of her. "You are to bring this person for questioning, and wait for Dani to call for you." Ali picked up the paper and read the name. "Right... " She stood and started walking away from the two other actives with a simple "See you around."

She walked out of the cabin and looked around the center of the camp, overhearing many angry comments as she did so. Putting the pieces of conversations together she discovered Theron was still alive. Good.
She didn't see Gloria anywhere. Ali didn't socialize much, but for hanging around Crys, she usually knew everyone's names. She was heading for the area where the actives homes usually were, when she noticed a guard knocked out on the floor. She followed the path the guard had left open until she was able to hear footsteps. Then she spoke aloud while knocking an arrow and drawing her bow. "Halt!"

The girl that had been calmly walking away from camp stopped and turned slowly. Ali smiled at her and added. "You were running, huh? That's a lousy idea. You'll be found an killed if you do that. Specially if you keep walking now. I don't usually miss. Even if I do it'll still hurt quite a bit."
The girl seemed to consider the words for a second. "Why don't you shoot me then? Will I not be killed anyway?"
Ali nodded, laughing. "No. Dani wants to see you. Alive and unharmed." She smirked a bit and lowered her bow. "Go figure, she is a forgiving mood today. I'd take the chance if I were you."
The girl sighed. "Alright. I'll go with you."

Ali put the arrow away in her quiver, turned her back and slowly started to return through the path. She could hear the girls steps behind her, so she didn't bother to check much. She seemed smart enough to know what was best for her. When she reached center of the camp she felt a sudden wave of silence that simply didn't feel right. She saw Crys entering followed by two workers. The moment she laid eyes on Crys she knew something was off. Not only did she look pale and shaken, she had blood on her. Then she noticed the workers were carrying a dead body, wrapped on a blanket.

Ali's mind wandered to everyone who was absent... It could be Takei, or Evin, he hadn't returned with Crys. However when she noticed the Katana that had been placed on top of the body, she felt as if her heart had stopped beating. She looked at Crys completely terrified as she walked a straight line towards her. "Ali, where is my mother?"
"At home. Crys..."
Crys simply laid a hand on her shoulder, a sad smile crossing her face. "There's nothing you can do for me, thank you." She turned around and entered her mother's house.

As the sound of whispering spread all around her, and guards ran across the camp, making sure everyone knew what happened, Ali stood where she was.
Seconds later, a painful scream silenced all other sounds. Dani's voice sounded as if she was going through indescribable agony, therefore, at that moment... So was Crys. Ali closed her eyes as she allowed reality to hit her... Bastian was dead.

Dani had lost her husband, Crys had lost her father... The Wolfpack had lost one leader, maybe both. Even worse than death... There was agony.

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Vilen raised an eyebrow as he heard Dani's news. Well, that was certainly unexpected. However, he had never been inclined to disagree with his leader's judgment, and he sure as hell wasn't about to start now. Clearly the man had some skill, and not only of the physical sort. It must have taken some pretty good persuasion to keep Dani from killing him. Or at least that was Vilen's opinion on it.

Deciding that it didn't really matter, Vilen turned and prepared to get himself out of the center of attention. Obviously it would be in his best interests to lay a little low. He was heading back to his own bunk when he saw a few of the workers trudging in, a bundle that resembled a body shared between them. Automatically Vilen stopped, listening to what everyone was saying. There were many whispers carrying many different names, but judging by the way that Crys looked, it was bad. He longed to step forward and ask his instructor what was going on, but she just continued walking past everyone. He assumed that she would give him the same treatment, and decided that he would just have to wait.

But then, he saw the katana that rested on top of the mound. He recognized it, because he had often found himself admiring it. His eyes opened wide as his mouth dropped open. This was impossible. There was no way that Bastian was dead ... it just couldn't be.

He joined the crowd that had amassed behind Bastian's body, his eyes not leaving his bundled form. Everyone was whispering, everyone was unsettled. Even those who weren't sure that it was him were assuming the worst regardless. The procession stopped at their leaders' house, and then everyone knew what had happened. The body was carried inside, and seconds later, a horrible, blood-curdling scream came from within. The intensity of the pain this scream conveyed was such that Vilen flinched at the sound, and was suddenly overcome by overwhelming sorrow. Things were getting bad. Of course, all of those other murders had been devastating, but this was something else entirely.

In the back of his mind, Vilen couldn't help but think that no one was going to be thinking very much about his transgressions at this time. However, that didn't even offer him any comfort. There was one other thing that occurred to him as well, though, and that was the fact that the lockdown might be lifted sooner than anticipated. He doubted that Dani would let this one go. She would send her best out in full force to find her husband's murderer, and Vilen anticipated this order eagerly. Whoever this was had to be stopped.

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#, as written by Sibrand
Theron had followed Dani out from the small valley and into the camp once more. He wasn't sure how the other assassins would react to Daniela's decision, but he bet that they would sure as hell not be happy about it. He was of course right. There he stood, next to Dani as the many actives, recruits and guards shouted in disagreement to Dani's choice of action. They didn't want this murderer amongst their own ranks, less being an instructor for any of them. Resistant to new ways, blinded by hatred and judgment towards a man with a dark past but with a bright future. That's all Theron could see in these peoples eyes when they looked at him. One day they would accept him but he had to work for it. The protests started to calm down now and suddenly everything went quiet as people went back to their duties around the camp.

Theron felt peoples hateful stares burn through his back as he sat down by the campfire. The kids around him pushed themselves away from him, but he didn't pay them much attention anyway. All he had to do now was to wait for Dani to talk to Gloria and for Crystal and Evin to come back before he could get started with the training. They had a long journey ahead of them and the sooner they started the better. Theron remained still, looking into the dancing flames in front of him. They seemed so free, so full of life and passion. Oh, there was so much a simple fire could do. Mostly destroy and hurt things but still, it was a powerful element and once it has reached it's peek of power only water or earth could stop it, nothing else. Think about the possibility you have with fire...

Suddenly there was a small commotion by the front passage into the camp which interrupted the instructors thoughts. What was happening? Was it bad news or good news? Was there good news about the hunter or maybe bad news like someone has died? Theron could not sit around and guessed anymore and with that he got up on his feet and moved over to a crowd of people who were watching a couple of workers carrying a corpse wrapped in a blanket. They were lead further into the camp by Crystal and by the looks of it she seemed very sad, but maybe that was just Theron's good eye? never the less, Theron threw another look at the corpse and on it lied a katana which he immediately recognized as Sebastian's weapon.

Like a lightning a pain hit his heart which made him lose balance for a split-second before he regained it. He was now the last one of the Wolf hunters which was a bit sad if you thought about it. But the most saddest thing was that he had now lost a newly found ally and a very old friend. He remained speechless as he watched Crystal walk into the cottage where Dani where. Only few seconds after the guards had carried Sebastian's cold body into the house there was a high pitched scream coming from the cottage and it didn't belong to Crystal. No, it was Dani screaming out of sorrow and agony. She had now lost her husband and the Wolfpack had lost their second-in-command. A great loss to which they would surely recover from but for the time being they had to pay their respects to Sebastian for his sacrifice. Yet Theron remained unaffected more than losing his balance for a second when realizing the identity of he dead one.

He decided that he would want to wait until Evin returned and heard the news of Sebastian's death before he would gather all of those he was going to teach. Things had to cool down first and so he made his way towards the place where they served food. He was starving to say at least.

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Allison stood where she was, frozen. Hours passed her by as arrangements were made so that whoever wanted to, could pay their respects. Ali was unsure if she would be able to say goodbye at that moment, she hadn't been able to completely take it all in yet.

In the Wolfpack it was rare for them to have a body to bury. The sad reality was that most killed assassins were buried around the forest in unmarked graves or were never even found at all. As far as Bastian was concerned, pretty much everyone liked him. It was impossible not to.
She finally managed to move, and went to the same place she would always go to when she needed to think. She sat by the lake and stared at the water, cursing at the world for taking the life of a such a good man. I her mind she remembered how Dani and Bastian had taken her in, she thought about everything Crys had done for her, including an occasional lie and countless arguments with Dani, just so she could complete her training. They didn't deserve this kind of pain. It was just not fair.

Ali knew that now, at that particular moment, the Pack's survival depended mostly on Crys' ability to hold herself together. She was sure that Dani wouldn't recover soon. At least not soon enough. She couldn't blame her, and she was sure to shut up anyone who would. There were always people who believed that leaders have no right to be human, or feel pain, the same way they do.

All of a sudden a voice called behind her. It was the same guard she had fought with earlier, although the tone in his voice had changed. "Blackbird... Crys is calling for you."
Allison nodded so the man would know she had heard him. She smiled slightly to hear him call her by her alias... Bastian had picked that name for her. Since she was unable to choose one for herself. She had been named Blackbird because of the black arrows she used. Black arrows with white feathers. She liked the name and kept it. That was little over a year ago... It seemed like a whole other life now.

Ali stood up, and walked back through the trail. She found Crys and walked a straight line to her, not minding all the stares. "You called for me?"
Crys had washed the blood off her hands, and had changed her clothes, but she still looked as if she was completely miserable. Which she probably was. "Yes, I did. Say your goodbyes, and... Meet me in the dining area. I have a few things to discuss with you."

Ali nodded. "I don't know how to..." Ali stopped talking. It was extremely insensitive to ask Crys what to do here. Truth was, Ali had never buried her family, she didn't know how to say goodbye. Bastian's body had been placed in the center of the camp, and there was a long line of people walking up to him to say goodbye, or leave something to be buried with him. Ali looked at them not knowing what she could possibly say or give to a dead man.
After some silence Crys answered her. "Just think of something you would want him to hear from you. Anything really, but... Do it. Alright?"
Ali watched Crys walk away, and sighed. She didn't want to, but if Crys asked her to, she would. She got in the line. She closed her eyes to try to hear what people were saying, extremely unethical, but... She didn't really care. She opened her eyes seconds later, her sight a bit blurry, but not gone. People were mostly saying thank you, or simply goodbye. Nothing exactly personal about it. She figured she could simply do the same. Although she had talked to Bastian many times, and constantly lost to him at chess matches... This was hard.

---------------------------------

Crys walked into the dining area, her senses were a bit off, so she couldn't really know who was there and who wasn't. She could feel the staring though, pitiful looks usually made her want to scream. Right now though, she simply didn't have the energy. Her mother had made her promise she would eat something and try to sleep, once she managed to put two words together.
Crys had promised so she would try, although she really didn't think she could swallow anything at the moment. One of the nice ladies there had poured her some soup, and a cup of tea, but she hadn't reacted to it. Her hand resting on top of a small pile of things she had laid on the table, she was supposed to give them away to certain people.

After a few minutes she heard the door open, and couldn't help a smile when hearing Ali's voice. "What are you people looking at?"
Crys nodded smiling. "shut up and sit, will you?"
She heard Ali sit beside her and raised her head to face her. "So, can I know what you said?'
Ali sighed. "You can. Although, you might not like it."
Crys frowned slightly. "Why, what was it?"
Ali paused for second, then answered. "I said: Check-mate, loser!"
Crys stared at her confused. "What?"
Ali chuckled. "Well, he always used to say that the only way for me to beat him would be over his dead body... I thought it'd be appropriate."
Crys couldn't help but laugh at that statement, it made her feel a little bit better. "I'm sure he would have appreciated the irony. Did you get frowned at?"
Ali laughed. "Not more than usual, but then... It was a personal joke. I also left him an arrow, I think he'd like that."
Crys nodded in agreement. She knew that her father would much rather if people didn't cry much on his account. Even if it was inevitable.

Ali broke the silence. "You said you had things to discuss with me?"
Crys sighed. "Yes. I need you to meet Evin in the village closest to Blackpond, in three days. And take this to him."
She handed her two books "The second one is... My uncle's notes on the killings. My father left a note hidden in his things, and it said that if something happened to him... And then a list of things. This is to go to Evin. I don't know why, but... He knew something we don't obviously. Also..."
She also handed Ali her father's chess board and a wooden box containing the pieces. "He wanted you to have this."
Ali paused a little before answering, that seemed to have affected her deeply. Finally she responded in a barely audible tone. "Really?"
Crys nodded. "Yes. Be careful with it. Now go get some sleep, because you have to leave soon."

Ali got up and left. Crys sighed, and finally started eating. She had a lot to think about, and very little time to pull herself together properly.

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#, as written by Sibrand
The night was long and rough for the tired man. The last bed he had slept in was in the Inn and that one could not compare to the bed here. He shared the instructor cottage with four other instructors but that didn't bother him at all, as for the others though, well that was a whole other story. The moment he had walked into the cottage they had stared at him for a couple of seconds before they returned to their duties around their beds. He couldn't blame them though, he was known to them as a cold hunter and a emotionless murderer. With time they would surely change their opinions about it but for the moment he was not going to engage them in any conversation. During the night Theron had had several nightmares and it ended with him pulling himself up from his bed and making his way over to the lake lying nearby the camp. It was at this very spot he had discovered Allison for the first them when she had stared into the cold water, probably thinking. He had found her quite interesting since she had shown no signs of anything he had thought about the assassins. Never the less he had looked at her like he looked at any enemy. Now it was different. When he looked at the people around him he only saw allies and good people who were judging him too early but with good reasons too.

He was now sitting in the dinning house, eating a quite large breakfast. He had at least already gained four good friends in the camp; The four cooks Brenda, Greta, Mobir and Fala. They seemed to enjoy his good mood, his courtesy and his large appetite. Even though it was not the kind of friends he had thought he would get the first day there, it was still a good opportunity to learn of others through them. He was half through his breakfast when a guard in-duty strolled into the dinning hall and he were heading straight for Theron. The eating man didn't pay him much attention as he was still very hungry. Then something happened that he had not counted with. The guard bowed before him before speaking.


"Instructor, Crystal wants you to meet her by the training grounds." To which Theron smiled and nodded. Well it was good to see that some people had accepted him after some sleep and deep thinking on the matter. Yet for the moment he just couldn't leave this half-full plate with food for the garbage sack and so he kept on eating.

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About one good hour after the guard had told Theron to meet Crystal by the training grounds the instructor arrived to the place of the meeting. From afar he spotted a man and a woman talking. It was of course Crystal speaking with Vilen. Though they ended their conversation before Theron had a chance of hearing what the topic of the conversation had been. Unfortunately, the attention now lied on him as he stopped before the couple.

"Sorry that I'm late though you can't start a day without a full stomach." He said and smiled at both of them. "What was it that you wished of me, Crystal?"

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Crys heard Theron coming from a distance. She hadn't known him that long, but she could pretty much recognize the sound of his footsteps already. His moods had changed drastically from the man who she had spoken to in Newhaven, she smiled slightly, and waited for him to speak. Then answered. "Morning! How are people treating you so far? Well, my mother wasn't exactly clear on what you two had agreed on. At the moment she's not the easiest person to speak to either, so... I thought it'd be easier to just ask you. Who did she already assign for training exactly, and... Is there anything you need to know that I can help you with?"

She leaned against a tree, casually, much like her mother usually did. It was a sunny day, and there was a warm breeze flowing through the trees. This alone would have left her in a absolutely perfect mood, but at the moment it didn't matter anymore.

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Ali nodded again. "Alright. Although I doubt you'll get much out of Dani today. Last I heard she was barely speaking to anyone. She hasn't even opened the door for anyone other than Crys." She smiled. "Oh, I should warn you, so you won't be too shocked when we get there... Theron is now a member of the Pack, and an instructor as well." She didn't know what Evin would think of that, but she was actually glad to have Theron as an ally. Because... Let's face it, they weren't really doing that great in finding this killer. However that guy was, he was one step ahead of everything they did. And being one step ahead of Bastian... Wasn't a simple task at all.

She turned and started making her way back through the trail, whistling. It was a warm day, and Ali though that if it stay this hot it might rain. She liked it when it rained. That meant the campfire wouldn't be lit, she would sleep better then. Other than her whistling Ali kept quiet all the way back.

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#, as written by Sibrand
Theron was happy enough to receive a smile back, even though it was from Crystal who had not seen his smile in the first place. Strange, but he guessed she was just in a good mood after a good night sleep. Theron had stopped next to Vilen and was now standing in front of crystal as she spoke to him. The guy was not moving, not even to look at Theron. What had Crystal told him? Oh well, that was a matter to discuss another time. It was his time to speak in this conversation.

"Well I've been treated the way anyone would treat a man who has killed most of your friends and posed a threat to your family for several years. In short; not good, but that doesn't matter. I'll get used to it." He replied chuckling slightly before continuing. "She's assigned you, Allison and Evin for training and she also told me that whomever you thought would suit for my training sessions would of course also be accepted. As for your assistance, I have to say no. I do not need any help as of now, but be sure to know that I will probably need your help in the future." He finished, almost feeling important but he threw those thoughts aside. All that was needed now was Allison and Evin back in camp.

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The entire way home, Evin could not stop complaining about how Theron was an instructor. Why did the man who committed so many crimes upon the Wolfpack become an instructor, but Evin who had only an accusation of something that no one really understood couldn't be an instructor. As he walked passed the entrance, he pushed over the guard who had stepped in his way to see who it was. It was basic protocol, but Evin wasn't in the mood for protocol. When the guard yelled at him to stop, Evin turned around and gave the man a dirty look. The guard had decided when Evin turned around to just let him be. He was not in the mood to stop for anyone, he needed to talk to Crystal. If Dani was to emotional to talk at the moment, he was going to talk to Crystal. Supposedly she was the only one Dani would let anyone talk to at the time being, so Crystal would probably know why this happened.
He walked around the camp, trying to find out where he could find Crystal, when finally he found her in the training grounds with Theron.
"I've heard what has happened! Do you really expect me to accept what has happened? Why does he deserve to be an instructor?" His rage was consuming him, but he couldn't stop. "Don't get me wrong, he is a very talented person, but it seems rather wierd that we are trusting him so easily. He should have at least put on a tight leash on him for a while while we figure out if he has any other motives for doing this." He stopped and began breathing heavily. He really couldn't handle this right now.

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Crys laughed at Theron's response. "Oh, I knew they'd treat you bad. That was rhetorical. Alright... If you haven't noticed yet after what happened at the Inn, Ali has an extreme fear of fire. When she is confronted with it she may turn violent or non-responsive. That is something you need to know if are to work with her, but you cannot ler her know I told you. She might try to kill me if you do. Also... Expect resistance from Evin. And... Other than that... I might assign more people but... I rather wait for Ali and Evin. I had the guards send them both here when they arrive. Hopefully they'll listen. Sometime they don't, then I'll have to go get them." She wasn't joking, although she was still smiling.

Her expression changed a little and then she added. "I also have to ask you to... If you have any problems, come to me, and don't knock on my mother's door. She is really not well right now. Alright?"

At this moment Evin stepped in the clearing complaining about Theron. Crys started laughing as he spoke, he was reacting exactly as she had imagined. She waited until he made a pause. Ali had walked past Evin and stopped somewhere to her left side. She faced Evin, her expression turning serious. "Theron has knowledge we don't have. And at this point, he is not simply an instructor, he is your instructor. And Ali's, and mine as well. In spite of that... As for his leash, I am it."

She took a deep breath and added. "I'm willing to do whatever is necessary to find this person, and rid the world from his sorry existence. Anything. Still... Since my mother has asked this of me... I will not see this as revenge, and I'm following my orders. And I'm going to make sure that you do too. Unless you wish to challenge me for second command." She waited for his reply calmly. Crys had promoted Evin, and she could simply explain that to him. However, his manners towards her at this moment made her want to let him suffer for a little while. He needed to learn to take other people into consideration before speaking, or taking a step. If it had to be this way, so be it.

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Ali followed Evin through the gates and until he found Crys. She immediately realized she should have kept quiet about Theron. Once he entered the training grounds angry like that, and started to complain to Crys, Ali knew that could end up badly. She walked past Evin and stood next to Crys, in order to try and calm her. If Crys sensed her emotions over Evin's, then it would be alright. If his anger affected her, someone could end up hurt. Ali knew that well, out of her own experience.
When Ali heard Crys ask Evin if he wanted to challenge her, Ali honestly hope he would back down now, or things would surely get ugly.
She looked at Evin with a terrified expression and simply mouthed two words to him. "Back down."
He didn't know this, he couldn't know, but if he didn't calm down soon... His rage was going to come back to bite him... Literally. They could hurt each other, and what was worst... She would seriously regret it later.
Crys didn't like to lose control, and at this moment she was vulnerable, even if she refused to admit it.

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Evin was about to continue to argue when he saw Allison mouth words telling him to cool down. He wanted to continue so much, but he could tell that she was really desperate to have him stop. He stopped.
"I'll calm down for now, but don't expect me to take kindly to anything that he orders me to do."
He waited a while to calm down and then he took out one of his throwing knives to throw at one of the targets that was in the training grounds. Because his throwing knives were so off balance, he missed his target. He then used strings that were attached to the knife to change it's trajectory and hit the target. It helped him calm down a little more. He then looked over at Theron to see how he had reacted to it.
"So, what exactly will we learn from you that I can't learn myself?" Evin asked.

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#, as written by Sibrand
Observation of a tense situation; It's one of the things that makes wise and great men amongst the fools and uneducated people in the world. Not that he thought the ones he was going to teach was fools nor uneducated but they still had much to learn about life and all it's aspects. Even Crystal had things to learn. Like Theron had thought yesterday; 'through teaching you will learn and trough learning you will teach'. To fully understand these words you have to extent your mind to what's more than just reality. In theory it did sound easy but in reality it's really hard to do. Yet with time they will learn just like he had to learn.

Theron had observed this whole situation between Crystal and Evin, the man's burst of rage and his uncontrollable anger. Immediately the old Instructor realized that this was the thing he had to teach Evin; how to face everything he's been through, accept his past and his future and then control his anger even in the most tense moments. This would make him strong, maybe even stronger than Theron himself but who knew?

Crystal seemed too sure of her position in this clan, of her powers and about the picture people had of her. She has to face reality, even though she seems to be one of the more smarter in this group of people. She still had much more to learn and this was going to be just another step in the right direction.

Allison will need much training for she is stuck with the training Crystal gave her. She has to extent her mind to other ideas, other ways of facing a situation and learn how to confess her feelings to someone close instead of keeping them locked inside. By letting them out she will forgive herself for her actions and mistakes just like Theron had. But first he would make sure she overcame all of her fears, both the outside ones and the inside ones.

Suddenly he realized that Evin was speaking to him, questioning what he might be able to teach them that they could not possible learn themselves. That will not be his role, he will simply push them in the right direction and from there they will learn more than they can imagine all by themselves. But it was time for him to reply to be able to get this training started.

"The question is not what what you will learn from me, but what you will learn from each other and yourself with my help." The teacher replied and walked passed his little group, moving up towards a couple of wood benches standing in a smaller clearing. He gave them the sign to follow him and sit down. After a couple of seconds and some resistance from Evin they were finally all gathered in front of him. The training of their life was now at hand.

"First, a couple of rules for without rules you will learn nothing and there will be no order. First rule: During training sessions you will address me with 'Sir' or 'Instructor'. Not by my name nor by any other name for then I will ignore you. Second rule: You will obey every order I give you, even if you don't like them or agree to my ways of teaching. I will not have you interrupting my training session with complaints. Third and last rule: Do never resist the challenges I give you for they are not given to you for harm, but for learning. Learn them and grow stronger from them. Those are the rules."

Theron moved down and it looked like he was about to sit down on the ground but before he reached the ground a small piece of earth rose from the ground that meet his butt. He had just showed them his enlightened ability but he didn't think it would affect much between them. He had to show them the truth sooner or later. He gazed at them for a while before speaking one last time.

"Tell me and do be honest, what are your greatest fears in this large world? If you're not honest with me then I will not be able to help you with anything."

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Crys listened carefully to Theron. When he began to move, she immediately followed, when she passed Ali she laid a hand on he shoulder as to reassure her that everything was fine. A empty gesture, really. She wasn't fine, and Ali knew her long and well enough to know that. She sat down at one of the benches and felt Ali sit next to her, as if to make sure that whatever happened there was over. She couldn't help but find it funny. She had nothing against Evin except maybe his ability to get on her nerves, which she knew could be dangerous. As Theron spoke his rules she started looking back on what had happened back there and realized maybe she had been affected more than she thought. Ali noticed, why didn't she? She turned her attention back to Theron.
She smirked a little at the thought of calling someone 'sir', she had never called anyone that, not even her own father, but if those were the rules, she would follow.

She faced Theron after she heard his question. She had felt the ground move slightly, but dismissed it, she was focused on the question at hand. She didn't want to admit to these things, specially not in front of Evin and Ali, but he asked for honesty, and so she would be honest. "My biggest fears... Right now, there are three: I'm afraid I might lose my mother as well. I'm afraid I won't know how to lead this clan without her, let's face it, I'm not ready yet. Other than that... I'm afraid of how incredibly angry I am right now and how it's clearly affecting my judgement." She made a pause and added, with a small smile. "Sir."
She realized that the sound of that might have come out a little disrespectful, but this wasn't easy for her. If she felt like she had the choice, she would be hiding in her room as well. She would be feeling her pain, just like she always told Ali she should do. There was no other way to get through this, and she wanted to get through it. At this moment, though, she felt she simply couldn't risk being overwhelmed with grief while her clan had no leader. It was not an option.

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Ali sat next to Crys, simply because she seemed like the less altered person at the moment, that was rare and she hoped it would last. She listened carefully to Theron's rules and nodded in agreement, aside from calling him sir, they weren't so different from the rules Crys had given her six years ago. She shivered when Theron asked about fears, she didn't like the idea of giving out her greatest fears after agreeing to go through anything he challenged her with. Seemed like a dangerous thought to her. While she thought that through, Crys began to speak.
Ali didn't expect to hear Crys admit to all of that so easily, somehow she felt like she wouldn't be able to do that in a million years. She looked at Theron as if she suddenly hated him for putting her through this. Sitting next to Crys, she knew lying was completely out of the question, she sighed. "My whole family died when my village was burned down, so that makes me not like fire much. I react to it in a way that... It's unpleasant to say the least. I don't react that way because I'm afraid of it. I'm afraid of it, because I react that way." She felt herself shiver and stopped talking. She suddenly heard a whisper next to her "Breathe." She didn't look at Crys because she wasn't sure if the others had heard her also. Her heart rate had increased considerably, she knew Crys would have noticed that. She took a deep breath. "If am to think of what really terrifies me... I'd say I'm afraid I'll have to live with this forever, that I'll never get through it. I'm afraid my anger will take me over, the same as it has before... To sum things up: I scare the hell out of myself most of the time. So, there."

She smiled at Theron, still slightly angry at his question. "Are we allowed to know what your fears are, sir?" That might have sounded disrespectful also, but it would be intentional. Ali felt extremely uncomfortable talking about these things. It took her almost a year to talk to Crys about her family, she didn't trust Theron at all in comparison. So, yes, she felt he had no right to know. No matter how that would make her stronger. Her first thought was to move away from Crys, but she felt she had grabbed her by the shoulder again, so she didn't move. She sighed, calming herself, and muttered looking down at her feet. "Sorry... No complaints."

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Evin stood there listening to what Theron had to say about what they would be though. It sounded like he was saying 'I don't know' but in a fancy way to him. Theron began to walk away from the group. I guess he expects us to follow? He thought as he contemplated following like the other two. He finally came to the conclusion that it would do no harm if he did follow, but then he started to tell them the rules he set in place for them. Evin absolutely hated rules. He thought of them as a tool to enforce oppression on people. He especially didn't like the first rule. He much prefer to call people by their first name and nothing other than that. It was a form of respect in it's own, but it also allows that the two are on equal terms with each other. Evin was taught to kill titles. If he didn't treat everyone as his equal, he wouldn't be able to put people to death with the humility that his job required him to. He didn't care if Theron would ignore what Evin would say, but he would not call him sir or instructor ever. Besides, even if he ignored what Evin said, he will still have heard it and he will therefore be forced to think about it at one point or another whether it be conscious or subconscious.
After Theron had finished with his rules, he showed them a little tidbit of his ability as an enlightened. It wasn't much of a shock that he was enlightened, but it was still pretty impressive to see. He then asked them all a question. "Tell me and do be honest, what are your greatest fears in this large world? If you're not honest with me then I will not be able to help you with anything."
Crystal was the first to speak up. She didn't really put it together at the time, but he then realized that Crystal was probably second in command after Sebastian's death. Her fears mostly revolved around the pressures she now had as second in command. As for Allison who went next, she was mostly afraid of fires. It made him think about what had happened in Newhaven when the Inn caught fire. That is why Theron had to get her out of there.
Before Theron could respond to the question Allison had given him, Evin decided to tell him his biggest fear. "You could say that my biggest fear is oppression. No surprise there. I don't let those fears get in my way though. If I did then I wouldn't be able to become the assassin I am right now." He took pride in his answer. "Oh, and if you expect me to call you sir Theron, you have something coming to you. Just because you are my instructor does not mean you are above me in any way. So I will call you by you're name and only that so we can treat each other more as equals than anything else." He continued by saying, "I too am curious Theron, what is you're greatest fear?"

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#, as written by Sibrand
The instructor listened carefully and with great interest has all three of them, even though Evin immediately took the liberty to break one of the essential rules Theron had presented, spoke of their fears. From what he heard he understood that Crystal's outside fear was circling around her anger that anyone could easily trigger and her inside fear was that she felt like she was not ready to lead this clan, least lead a people. Not much to work with but Theron already knew that Crystal was more than ready for the task ahead. She just had too see the light in the end of the dark tunnel.

Allison spoke of fire, just like Crystal had mentioned and how she was affected by the sight of it. So her outside fear was Fire for reasons related to her past and her inside fear was how she acted while being in the presence of this great element. Now this was interesting indeed. She had a phobia of a sort and by bringing that fear out of her body would make her strong, very strong and focused. It would be like cutting off an infected part that had been growing larger over the years. She might resist everything he wants her to do for this very reason but once he was done with her she would hopefully be grateful.

Evin was another matter. He spoke of oppression as a fear of his yet he acted solely on passion, pride and the manipulation of others to gain his goal. He acted on the ways of oppression and spoke of it has a fear. In mind Theron would call him a hypocrite but in reality he would call him a blabbering fool, yet this was not the time for nicknames. Evin continued to speak but his words were empty to Theron for he spoke with disrespect which was one of the many things the instructor would fix with this man by the end of this long journey.

The question asked by Allison and reinforced by Evin still hanged in the air, but Theron was going to make something clear for Evin and the rest of the group before he continued this lesson. Rising from his seat, the earth returned to the ground and he positioned himself in front of them.

"I will make one thing clear for you." He began, speaking to everyone before him with a firm voice. "That if you treat me with disrespect, break my rules or leave my sessions before it's done I will make sure that you are either expelled or executed for treason. Because if you deny the chance Dani and Crystal has given to you, the chance I've provided for you then you turn down the chance of helping the entire clan and that is called treason and I don't want to have a disloyal, undisciplined traitor amongst this clan. Is that understood?" He finished, looking over at Evin.

"Evin, once you act like a grown-up, face the reality of this situation and grab this chance I've given you I will treat you as a equal and this I promise you. But as of now you have been warned; one more slip and I will take your case of treason to Dani which I don't think neither of us would like very much."

After ending his long speech, the instructor scanned his so called 'new recruits'. After a small pause Theron answered the question that had been posed by Allison to him.

"My one and only fear is the moment of truth. You see, in every life there will always be a moment of truth and if you pass it you will be forever changed." He said, leaving out what happened if you wouldn't pass it since that was the thing he feared the most. "One can never predict when his or hers moment of truth will arrive but one thing is sure, when it does happen you'll know it for sure. My greatest fear is the scenario where I can't pass the moment of truth and is stuck as my old self." He said and bowed before the people before him. "Today's introduction is over and tomorrow we will begin with the training. But for now grab some food, get some sleep and think over what has been discussed here today. We will begin at dawn tomorrow, don't miss it."

And with that, Theron left his group. He was heading back to the camp. He had a certain friend to speak with before he could get any real sleep.

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Crys was again irritated by Evin, but she kept quiet. There was nothing she wanted to say that would be useful for this, if anything it would make things worse. Also, Theron seemed to have set things straight very well, however Crys wasn't sure that would be enough to get him to back down. Stubborn idiot. She would have to tell him he was promoted eventually, but it wouldn't be today. She also felt she should have a conversation with him soon if they were to work together, or she could eventually try to kill him. Either she made it or not it wouldn't be good. Now was not the time for that either though.

She was much more worried about Ali's rage quickly building. Talking about this, even as vaguely as she had, was more than enough to put her in an awful state of mind. Even though Ali was ten times better than what she was when Crys started working with her, that was nowhere near a recovery, and even further away from her full potential, if she managed to get through this. Crys honestly wished she could, because as an instructor there was only so much she could do for Ali. As a friend, though, there was one more thing.

So, as soon as Theron said they could go she dragged Allison aw lake and dropped her down where she would usually sit. "What the matter with you Allison?"

"I don't want to do this. I don't."

Crys laughed, and nodded. "I don't care what you want. Do you think I'm not in pain right now? Do you think I want to be standing here listening to your whining? Get over yourself! You are not that important to me, kid! Not more than my father's death, not more than my mother. I'm here with you right now because I have to."

"Don't bother."

"I don't Ali. At this point I barely even care. I am warning you of one thing: This is it. If you refuse to anything he throws at you, or brake the rules, I won't lift a finger to help you. You better believe me. If anything, I'll put you out of your misery myself. That's what you always wanted, wasn't it? So when you meet your brother on the other side you can go ahead and tell him he died for nothing. Because you're too much of a coward to take a little pain."

Crys knew very well that was enough to set her off. No matter how fast Ali would come at her, she could block her easily. Ali was terrible in hand to hand, Crys was not. Even so, Crys took the first punch to the face before blocking Ali and pinning her face-down on the ground. When she spoke again it was in her most calm, and dangerous tone. "I've done all I could for you, Allison. When I brought you before my mother for the first time she said you were a wounded animal, the best to do was to put you out of your misery because you would never become anything. And I protected you because I knew she was wrong, but this is it. I can't hold your hand anymore. This is something you have to do for yourself. You have to decide if you want to live through the pain or die a coward."

Crys let go of Ali, and sat on the ground next to her, she took a deep breath and added in a much more gentle tone. "If you're my friend Ali, you'll trust me when I say that you need this. You'll do what Theron says, and you'll help me find that killer. This is the only thing I'll ever ask of you."

Ali sighed, now she sounded more calm. "Alright. I'll do the best I can. I promise."
Crys smiled. "Good. That's all I needed to hear. Now, you heard the man. Go get some food. I'll go in a few minutes.
Ali got up and chuckled. "Yes, sir!"
Crys nodded smiling. "Careful with the rules."
Ali laughed. "Sure. Good luck explaining to people about that bruise on your cheek."

Crys laughed, but didn't answer. She got Ali to promise, and that was exactly the point of all of this. Allison could have a thousand flaws, but she would never brake a promise. Crys got up and started walking towards the dining area herself.

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He listened patiently and calmly as Theron blabbered on about rules and treason. If this it was treason because he was a little mad about a small rule, than let him be executed. He had done far worse than not call someone sir. It was a rule his old instructor had. He went to Dani's mother about it when Evin wouldn't follow the rule. After a while, it didn't even matter because his old instructor could understand. Theron was going to be treated no different and he was sure that this would be what Dani was expecting too. Theron ended his speech by telling them where they had to be and at what time.
Theron then dismissed them. He waited for Allison and Crystal to leave. He then looked over at Theron, "You know just as well as I do that it wasn't a slip up when I referred to you as Theron." He then turned away from him and walked back towards the center of the camp, but then he turned around to say one more thing to Theron. "You know there is more than one way to respect someone. I'm sorry if my form of respect is one you aren't used to, but don't expect me to change it. I will remind you though that in a camp full of people who choose to kill for a living, there are many ways that people show their respect that you might not understand."
With that Evin had to go speak to Dani. He left Theron and started towards where it seemed Dani probably was. From the way people avoided walking near the house and the fact that a few of the camp's guards were standing outside the house, he assumed she was in there. He walked past the guards telling them that he had important news regarding the killer. That was partially true, but the real reason had more to do with Theron. Evin knocked on the door before he entered the room. Dani was sitting at a desk where she had only one little candle lit. Evin grabbed a match from Dani's side table and lit a few more candles with it. He then sat on a chair in the other side of the room. She was saying nothing, but he could tell that she was willing to listen.
"Now, I do understand what you are going through, and I like everyone else in the camp understand what you are going through, but I do have a few things that I need to talk to you about. First, it's Theron. I understand that he is now a member of our group, but why is he an instructor? Even worse, he treats us as if he owns us and can get rid of us whenever he wants. It makes me a little uneasy when you take into consideration his past with the Pack. I'm willing to let him teach me, but I will not let him treat me like his pet while he is so don't be surprised if he comes to complain a few times."
"On a completely different subject, I would like to let you know that I have gotten a few leads on the killer." Evin wasn't sure how to say what he wanted to without mentioning Sebastian, so he paused for a few seconds. "I, uh, I discovered a page in a book that describes the dagger the killer used. On my way back I took a look at the passage. It mentions a dagger that has the capability to entrap the powers of people who are enlightened within it, but it can only take the powers once the one who has them is already dead. It is an interesting read. Anyways, on a final note, I would to glad to let you know that Perry is alive. He is living with a group of healers in the ruins of Blackhurst. I guess I will leave you to yourself now."

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Dani was definitely not having a good day. And she doubted she would have one anytime soon. When she heard a knock on the door she was about to tell whoever it was to go away, but before that Evin walked in and started to talk about Theron. That was actually a pretty good sign to her. She waited for him to finish then answered, without really bothering to look up at him. "I assume Crys is not very happy with you at the moment. Go ask her, politely, about your current status in the clan." She then looked at him serious. "Also, I accepted Theron to work with the people I consider the best in this clan. The people who I want to find this killer. Either you follow the rules or not, is up to you, but if I get one complaint from Theron I will reassign you to the most boring and useless task I can find." She smirked. "Your choice."
Dani didn't mind Evin's manners most of the time, but she thought it was about time he learned to trust other people's judgement and not question everything.

She frowned when hearing about the dagger. She had assumed the killer would be gathering powers somehow. Still she made no comment on that or about Perry, even though she found that curious. She simply waited for him to leave.

----------------------------

Ali made it to the dining are and was greeted by a smiling lady by the name of Brenda. "Hello, child. Whatever happened to your face?"
Allison frowned for second, she had pretty much dismissed the fact that she had been face down on the floor a minute ago, when she realized what the woman was talking about she smiled, wiping the dirt off her face. "Oh, nothing. Some friendly debating, that's all."
"I assume it was Crystal you have been debating with?" The woman asked in an amused tone, while serving her a exaggerated portion of stew.
Ali snickered, looking at the food with a slightly frightened look. The cooks were always trying to get her to eat more... She rarely ever showed up there at all, so they assumed she didn't. It wasn't an incorrect assumption, but... Ali never really had much of an appetite. She thanked the woman and sat at a corner by herself.

She sighed looking at the food, Crys' words still stuck in her mind. "I'm not a wounded animal." she mumbled before starting to eat.

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"It seems like I only see you in this dining hall," Vilen said to Allison as he came upon her. He had already eaten, so he didn't bother sitting down yet. He loomed over her, his arms crossed in front of his chest. Naturally, as Allison had been busy with Theron, he hadn't seen her in a bit, and he was curious as to where she had been. But, he wasn't sure how much she would divulge if asked. Instead he decided to try a different subject.

"So ... you were ... debating with Crys, huh?" he asked, his eyebrows raised incredulously. "That doesn't seem like it would be a very wise course of action. Especially now with all that has happened. I bet she is ... on edge, to say the least." Vilen, who had left his parents a few years prior, and had done so with ease, never really understood the attachment that children felt towards their parents. But he was well aware that he was one of the few who felt this way and was careful to keep these types of opinions to himself. "What about? Must have been serious if she would actually ... knock you down." Allison had missed a bit of the dirt on her cheek.

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Ali smirked. "Yeah, but I hit her once. Anyway... She was just... Reminding me of something." She looked up at him and then passed her hands through her face again. "Damn. Not like is that bad... I spent my first year of training eating dirt practically."

At that moment Crys went in, got herself some food, not minding the stares. The only response she gave was to the cook Brenda, when she asked her what happened to her face, same as she had asked Ali. "I have a mother, thank you." That was awfully rude, and not very like Crys, but Ali knew she had a bad day also. Crys walked over and sat next to Ali, and muttered angry. "I let you hit me, you know?"
Ali sighed. "Yes, I know. I don't know why, and I don't care. Can we forget about it now?"

Crys nodded and answered sarcastically. "Yes, sir."
Ali, laughed, choking in her cup of tea. "Don't do that. It's not nice."
Crys laughed. "I can't be nice right now." Then she stared at Vilen as if she had just notice him there, although she had sensed his presence before. "Dawn, tomorrow, training area. Be there, and don't be late." She smiled. "You didn't honestly think I'd forget your rule breaking, did you?"

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Evin simply smiled and got off his seat. "You know I always rely on you to say exactly what I don't want to hear and I know you can rely on me to not listen very well. So I hope you don't get to angry if I didn't quite hear you correctly." With those words, he blew out the candles that he had lit and went left the house. As he walked past the guards, he nodded to them and wished them well. The workers at the fire pit were attempting to reignite the flame. It was useless though seeing that the rain had dampened everything too much to light it. The bulk of the people though were in the dinning hall and Evin decided it would be best to join the crowds. He didn't like the food they made there all that much, so he had a bag with simply a piece of fruit and a bun. It wasn't the greatest meal, but it wasn't the food that the made in the kitchen and that made it feel like a feast to Evin.
Entering the dinning area, Evin saw Crystal, Allison and Vilen sitting at a table together. Evin took out his bag of food as he approached them, trying his hardest to avoid the lady named Brenda who tried to offer him some food. When he made it to the group sitting there, he didn't sit down. He glanced over at Vilen, "Hello." Not allowing anyone to respond, he said, "Crystal, I would like to speak to you about a few things. It's rather important. And I believe you wanted to talk to me as well."

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Crys nodded at Vilen's question. "No, we cannot talk about this." She smiled. "Don't worry too much. Just be there."
Ali noticed Evin coming their way, and her eyes widened a little when he approached and spoke to Crys, she really didn't want to see her upset again. Crys simply nodded smiling. "Ali, relax, it's fine." she then faced Evin. "Indeed, we should talk." She stood up to leave the table, but before that she addressed Ali in a serious tone. "If you dare to close your eyes right now, we'll go past friendly debating. Do you understand?"
Ali sighed, she was planning to do just that. "Yes, I understand."
Crys nodded getting her plate from the table, and walking past Evin towards another table on the other side of the room, with a simple "Follow me."

Ali was curious, but then... She wasn't afraid to ask Crys about things she wanted to know. She looked at Vilen, and laughed at his expression. "Cheer up. You've been assigned to the joys of Theron's training. Crys is the least of your problems now, believe me. It was not a fun day."

She gave the remaining stew in her bowl an ugly look and pushed it away. "I'm done."

-----------------

Crys walked to a table on the other side of the room making sure Evin was following, sat down, and sighed. She was tired, and irritated. Other than that, a little sore from the punch to the face. She pulled a wine bottle from her bag, discretely since they were not allowed to have alcohol in camp, and poured some on her empty tea cup. Then she spoke. "So, how did disturbing my mother work out for you?" She smirked. "I have things to say, but I'll let you talk first if you like."

She sipped from her cup quietly, and put the bottle on the table. "Have some if you want."

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"Theron? Training?" Vilen asked, surprised. He was aware that the man had become an instructor, as was everyone, but training active assassins? This was all way too much. Up until about twenty-four hours ago, he had been enemy of the assassins. As far as most were concerned, he still was an enemy to the Wolfpack. Sure, Dani had seen fit to forgive him and even welcome him into their ranks, and no one would dare oppose her, especially at this time, but that didn't mean that people liked it. And now Vilen was going to have to train under him?

Ali was right, Crys would be the least of his problems, now. After all, he wasn't too confident in the sanity of the new instructor. But he supposed that it was better than real punishment.

"Why is he training us, though?" Vilen inquired. "Aren't there some recruits that require attention? Shouldn't we be more worried about this ... man who is going around murdering our leaders?" Then recognition dawned on Vilen's face. "Ooohh ... so the Shadow Hunter thinks that he has some special insight that he can share with us, doesn't he?"

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Rarely did Evin ever drink and when he did, it never had all that much. He didn't think it would hurt him to have a little right now. He took the bottle from Crystal's hand and poured himself a small bit in the cup that was pre-placed for anyone who walked in. Evin did find it a little hypocritical that Crystal was breaking the rules yet if Evin broke even a simple rule, Crystal would freak. On the other hand, if Evin was to say anything after taking some himself, it would be even more hypocritical. He decided it would be best just not to comment on that.
He noticed that Crystal's cheek was a little discoloured. He wouldn't take much notice to it, but he could tell that it was a little painful from the way that she would slightly tighten her muscles around the discolouration. It was obvious when he thought back to what Crystal had said. If that was a friendly debate, he didn't want to know what an unfriendly one was. It kinda amused his a little.
Evin then decided to get to the discussion at hand.
"You know, I think you're mother needed to talk to someone. From what I understand, she hasn't been talking to anyone besides you. Even though she was depressed, she seemed to like the company. While I was talking to her, she just so happened to tell me that I have a new position in the clan and that I should ask you about it. I'm assuming that you've been keeping something a secret from me then. So could you please tell me what this secret is yet?"
Evin took a sip of his wine. Wine wasn't exactly his cup of tea, if he had alcohol he usually prefer just a good beer from the inn. It wasn't bad though so he continued to sip, as he waited and looked at the bruise that was beginning to develop on her cheek.

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Ali watched Vilen amused as he seemed to put the pieces together in his mind. "Ooohh ... so the Shadow Hunter thinks that he has some special insight that he can share with us, doesn't he?"

She laughed, she wouldn't call it that based on what she'd seen. "I don't know what Theron thinks, but Dani seems to trust him, Crys sees no problem with him... It's enough for me. Doesn't mean I find it pleasant though. Also..." Ali smirked remembering their conversation with Theron. "Apparently we have a lot to learn from each other. Just don't ask me what that means, I really don't know. What I do know is that Crys was this close to killing Evin earlier today." She sighed. "I really doubt those two are able to learn anything from each other."

Evin was who he was, but Crys was just as stubborn, and could be just as stupid when she was angry. Which at the moment, was pretty much all the time. Ali was worried about her. She knew what it was like to be that angry. She knew Crys would be thinking she should have been there sooner, that she could have done something, even if it wasn't true. She couldn't possibly do anything about it though, unless Crys decided to talk it out.

---------------------

Crys let a little smirk cross her face when Evin didn't comment on the wine, she could tell he wanted to. "I know I'm breaking the rules... But there are rules, and there are rules. I have also visited Jake several times, even though it was against the rules. I don't believe I'm some kind of saint, or that I won't be punished if caught." she shrugged. "I simply think some things are worth it. And this..." She pointed the wine. "Is something that calms me sometimes. Even though it's unwise to drink it often... I figured now would be the right time to have some though."

She sighed. "Yes, Evin. The second thing I did when I took second command was to promote you to instructor... This morning, before you barged in acting like a spoiled three year old. I immediately regretted it the moment you opened your mouth to speak, so I didn't tell you."

She took another sip of wine, and added. "I could take that title away, and I can at any time, but I haven't considered that as possibility quite yet. Although, I am starting to worry about the possibility of having a legion of manipulating jerks wandering around the camp in a near future." She said that in an amused tone, and not really concerning herself with the fact he might be offended with the comment.

She finished drinking and leaned forward, resting her chin on her hands. She smiled. "Tell me something... You lied when you said oppression was your greatest fear. Didn't you? Or you lied about it not affecting you. Because I don't see it as a possibility that your greatest fear has no effect on you."

Her tone was in no way an accusing one, still... She had sensed something was off in what Evin had said and, if anything, she wanted to see if that would change now. She poured another cup of wine. Still smiling and waiting for a reply.

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Evin listened with great curiosity as Crystal spoke about what Evin had thought about the wine. "There are rules, and there are rules," she said to him. Evin didn't expect to hear this from Crystal. It sounded more like something he would be saying to her, and with that she would probably respond with something like, "Well what if everyone thought that way, the line between what a rule was and what a rule is would be non existent." Of course, Crystal would have a way of saying it that would belittle him some way. The fact that she was making these comments about rules seemed a little hypocritical to Evin, although he decided not to say anything. He just took a sip of his wine as he gave her a look somewhat similar to when she took out the wine to begin with. She couldn't see it of course, but somehow he could tell she understood.
Crystal sighed, he wasn't sure whether it was the face he had gave her or if it was just the fact that she didn't want to talk to him. The thoughts were erased when she started to talk though. She had told him that he was promoted to instructor. He was instantly overjoyed by this idea. He thought about lots of things like the things he would teach and even who he was going to teach. the mood changed a little when Crystal had threatened to take it away and it wasn't good. He knew that Crystal was easily frustrated by Evin. It would be fun to see where this would go. She continued by trying to insult his character which amused Evin even more considering that she was just describing him as a three-year-old.
She then asked him about his fears, and the fact that she thought that he was lying about what he was afraid of. He was surprised that she could figure this out. She obviously knew Evin more than he expected.
He mimicked her movement and placed his hand on his chin before saying, "I'm surprised at how well you can read me without being able to see me. It makes me wonder how you do it sometimes. It's true that oppression is not my greatest fear. I do have greater fears that are rooted deep within me and I sometimes think can never be changed, but I'll let you know tomorrow when I tell it to the entire group. You know, for convenience sake."
"I would also like to know about this book that was given to me." Evin took out the book that Allison gave him from Sebastian, "She told me that you would know what it is all about."

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Crys considered telling Evin what she could do, but thought maybe that might scare him a little. "Other than my parents, Ali and Jake are the only ones who know how I do it. Since is relevant to what we're working on, I'll simply tell you I'm an enlightened, and leave it to that. If I end up dead with a stab wound sometime you'll know why."
She smirked and continued. "The book... I don't know what it says, obviously, but I do know that my father's brother lost his wife to this killer. So after her death he investigated and gathered information on every death that occurred until he died... One night before my father's death. It's all written there. Who the victims were, what they could do, how they were killed... Everything."

Crys smiled, and spoke in a much more gentle tone. "I don't dislike you Evin. Not one bit. What bothers me is that you always seem to measure your words and actions in order to get the upper hand or take advantage. Most people consider you charming and pleasant. To me, it makes it hard to trust you." She laughed and shrugged slightly. "Maybe I'm just weird like that."

She poured the rest of the wine, and chuckled. "Just so you know... The ultimate hypocrisy in the world is telling yourself you're not a hypocrite. Everyone is a hypocrite Evin, one way or another. A bottle of wine is not my biggest transgression, not by a far. The worst thing I did would force my mother to have me executed. So, I never told her, I let Jake confess to it. I had him expelled for something I did. Things like this happen when you brake the rules, people get hurt. So I discourage people to do it. So I'm a hypocrite, yes."

Crys got up and nodded. "I should go get some sleep. If I'm not sober tomorrow... Well... My mother won't care, she's in a shock. But still..." She slipped the bottle back into her bag, and smiled before walking away. "I'm glad you found your friend, by the way."

Crys left not leaving much room for questions, and went home to sleep. She knew it'd take at least a whole other bottle to actually affect her, but she thought it was best to sleep the wine off before training.

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#, as written by Sibrand
Moving slowly in the heavy rain that crashed down from above, the dark figure made his way over to the lonely and sad grave before him. Sorrow and grief was something a normal person would feel but this man had showed enough of those emotions to last a lifetime by now. Upon reaching the grave the man dropped to both his knees, feeling the earth around the grave with his glove covered hands. The earth was dirty, wet and sloppy because of the rain but he kept on digging his hand into it. The feeling of sorrow was smashing inside his head and heart but his facial expression remained untouched while looking at the grave stone. On it there was a text, one very familiar to the man which said:

"Here lies Sebastian Rivers; A great husband, a wonderful father and a remarkable leader. You will be missed for the person you were and for your good deeds in this world. May you Rest in peace."

A simple and yet very beautiful couple of sentences that would bring any man or woman who knew him to tears but the figure sitting on his knees before the grave with his hands deep down in the dirt remained cool and emotionless. He had now stopped to move his hands as if he had caught something deep inside the earth but that was not the case. The feeling of sorrow was starting to take over his mind as a lone tear slowly fell from his eye down to the ground. Upon reaching the ground it emitted a wonderful sound that didn't sound at all like all other water drops that fell around him that very moment. It was a special kind of water, a tear from a man who had lost everything and still remained vigilant to his cause. But for how much longer? More and more things around him died and there was not much he could do about it, at least not alone.

Another tear dropped from his eyes as he pulled his hands out from the earth and rose them to the sky above him. With him followed two perfectly shaped stone pillars next to the grave. Standing each on the opposite side of the grave, these pillars were joined by four others that dug themselves up from the ground a couple of meters away from the grave and each other. Suddenly there was three long stone pillars on each side of the grave, making a little path leading up the dead mans resting place. This was one of the smallest things the figure could do for his old friend but he would do more when time came for it. The man remained on his knees and stared at the grave stone for a couple of seconds.

"Do you remember in the old days? When we were part of this little group that thought themselves more powerful than almost anything else? How we hunted for blood and our weapons were the hunger for vengeance? That time is now long gone and for that I'm grateful..." The man began and looked at the pile of dirt where Sebastian were buried.

"We were best friends back then... You were like a brother to me, the brother I never had. We shared almost everything together. It was a time of great joy, until you went missing that is. I was crushed at the time and no one could calm me down. I practically tore the entire cottage down." The man continued, smiling. He was crying silently now yet it didn't affect the way he spoke.

"I will always cherries the moments we had together for they are the ones which keeps me going, heading forward towards my destiny. I thank you for everything and I hope for everything in the world that we'll see each other on the other side. Also don't you worry about Daniela or Crystal, I will keep my eye on them for you until they may join you as well when the time for it is right." He said and rose from his position. "I will, as I said before, join you too one day, but only when my task in this world is completed. I will not fail you nor anyone else you loved. I hope you can forgive me for everything I've done to you and your friends in the past and watch over me in the future for I will need every help I can get."

And with that the man once named 'The Shadow hunter' left the grave site of Sebastian Rivers, heading towards his sleeping place. He had to get as much rest as possible for tomorrow the real training began and it was going to be really tough for everyone.

On each pillar there was different pictures carved into the stone that resembled moments in Sebastian's life. One was showing him and a group of other people discovering a boy in the same age as Sebastian in their cottage. Another was showing a picture of him being spared by a girl who looked like Daniela. At the two last pillars standing closest to the grave there was two pictures. One looked like a weeding where the man was Sebastian and the girl was Daniela. Behind Daniela stood Crystal and behind Sebastian stood Evin, all looking happy. This might not be like it had looked like but Theron hoped that it had been like that. The last picture showed Sebastian standing next to Daniela with a big smile, holding his arm around her waist. Beneath him stood a small girl that looked almost like Crystal who was around 12 years old and she wore a nice dress for a change. She was holding her beloved dads hand and she too smiled.

This was Sebastian Rivers memorial and grave and it was not going anywhere in a very, very long time.

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The seventeen years old active named Gloria stared at the table a couple of meters away in the dinning hall. There sat Allison, the girl who had spoken to her before, Crystal, Allison's former instructor and friend from the looks of it and Evin, the most irritating man in the entire camp yet a very skilled assassins from what she had heard. There was also Vilen, the strong and handsome guy Gloria had fallen in love with a long time ago. He was so good looking and had such a funny humour that Gloria loved. Suddenly she caught herself staring at him for too long and one of her closest friends, Tanni, waved her hand in front of the paralyzed girl sitting next to her.

"Soon you'll have to ask him out or something because staring at him won't make him more interested." Tanni went on saying, before biting into a large pie piece. Tanni was one of those girls that never got fat even if she ate like tons and tons of food at the same time. She just couldn't get fat and Gloria found this amazing while she had to struggle sometimes to stay on the good side in these matters.

"I know, I know, But I... I don't know." Gloria replied, letting out a loud sigh. "I mean he's probably already together with someone or not even interested in me."

Tanni gave her a serious look after finishing her pie. "Well If you're going to go around with that attitude you'll definitely never get him on the hook." To which Gloria only nodded, a bit sad that it was true but she was so darn shy and every time she was about to say something to him she either messed up by saying something stupid or just couldn't get a word out of her mouth.
On top of all this she had a training session with the person she had once given information about the clan to; The shadows hunter. Theron was his name but never the less, that name would never leave her mind. He had left a note on her bed, explaining everything and told her about the training session at dawn tomorrow. She would of course not miss it for anything in the world, well maybe to make out with Vilen... Yeah, like that would ever happen.


And so she let her head fall to the table and stared into the brown thing before her that was the dinning table. She was so screwed.

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Jake watched the man by name of Theron from behind a tree. The rain made it impossible for him to hide himself better. He stood there quiet with his head down, and his own tears running from his eyes. After Theron walk away, Jake went into the memorial area, and stood before the grave. Sebastian Rivers was the closest he ever had to a father, his death was painful to him in a level only Crys would be able to compare. He got on his knees, and touched the gravestone with his fingertips. "I'll try to take care of her. I promise." Jake sighed. There were no words for his feelings. "She won't let me, and she might hate me for it, but I'll take care of her."

Jake knew Crys since they are kids, and he knew her well enough to know she probably hadn't cried yet. She was bottling up, and she would probably explode eventually. Better sooner than later, and Jake would see to it, with a little help.

--------------------

Ali had watched Crys leave and her curiosity spiked a little. No, better to just let her leave. She smiled as she looked around and noticed the girl Gloria looking at their table, at Vilen. Ali controlled the urge to laugh, and nodded to herself. Really? I mean... She looked at Vilen for a second... Really?
She finally chuckled a little. And turned her attention to Vilen, since he was the one sitting at her table. She felt slightly embarrassed for staring. "Sorry... My mind wandered off a bit. Anyway, it's better if I go to sleep. I suggest you go to... We can't be late tomorrow."
With that she got up, and walked out of the dining room. When she got home she found Jake sitting in her bed, smiling. His eyes were reddish as if he had been crying though. Ali frowned, confused, as she closed the door. "What are you doing here?"

Jake smiled "I was forgiven. Crys sent me a letter. I feel slightly uncomfortable though. Dani is not quite herself, I imagine. I don't know what Crys told her to get her to agree..."

Ali laughed. "No, Jake. I meant in my room. What are you doing in my room?"
He laughed also, and moved from the bed to a chair near a table at the corner. He looked at the chess set on the table. "Want to play?"
Ali sat across from him, nodding. "No."
Jake smiled sadly. "I understand. It's not the same, right? How is Crys handling it?"
Ali smiled back. "People are so obvious..."
Jake looked at her curious. "What?"
Ali nodded. "Never mind that... Crys... She's not handling it at all. She's ignoring the pain completely. It might not last long though."
He sighed. "Some things never change... I'll try to speak to her tomorrow. Thank you for telling me."

He got up and walked to the door. "Good night, Ali."

Allison smiled at the closing door. "Good night Jacob."

The rain was still falling. The sound of rain drops on the roof, and knowing that the fire wouldn't be lit, helped Ali sleep soundly for the first time in a long time. The next day would be a long day.

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Vilen nodded slowly to himself, watching Ali walk away as he pushed away from the table into a standing position. He didn't doubt the wisdom in Allison's advice. By normal accounts, it wasn't late, but for someone who had to be awake and train at dawn, it might as well have been midnight.

Allowing his mind to be absorbed in thought, he started to stroll slowly towards the exit of the mess hall. He couldn't help but wonder about Theron, about Bastian, about Crys and Dani and Ali ... everyone. It all had to fit together somehow, and now he was involved, too. A smile slowly tugged at the corners of his mouth. He couldn't help it, it was what he had been waiting for.

"Should be exciting ..." he murmured to himself. He received a few looks for talking to no one in particular, but he didn't let it bother him. In fact, he even smiled at them, waving at a few, greeting the ones he knew by name.

"Hello, Gloria," he purred as he walked by her, but didn't stop. He left the hall and walked towards his own cabin. He drew his sword as he walked in, inspecting the blade. It hadn't seen that much use during the day, but there was still a bit of grime on it. It didn't necessarily need to be cleaned, but the ritual of shining his sword was something that soothed him. He let the task absorb him as his hands ran up and down the smooth steel, and when the blade and his mind were finally clear, he lay it beside his cot as he lay himself down. Based on Allison's and Crys's warnings, he was pretty sure that he wasn't supposed to be looking forward to tomorrow.

But he couldn't help it.

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Crys was sound asleep, when she was disturbed by a knock on the door. She sat up and immediately knew who it was. "Hang on a minute!" She got dressed and washed her face. She then answered the door, and immediately started gathering her weapons, not minding the boy who walked in. Jake laughed.
"That's a warm welcome, huh?"
Crys sheathed her Sai, and smiled. "Sorry, I don't want to be late."
"Wow, you are nervous about this. That's new."

Crys nodded smiling. "I'm assigning you for this mostly because you've been away for quite sometime. Don't embarrass me Jake."
"Again... Warm. Have you no trust in me at all?"
"If I didn't trust you, you wouldn't have made past the door." She smiled, and passed him to leave the room. "Come on, I really don't want to be late."
Jake followed her out. "Relax Crystal, we have at least an hour before dawn... I actually wanted to talk to you for a change."
Crys sighed. "Sure. This way." She led him towards the lake and sat by the same usual tree. She pulled out her flute and smiled before beginning to play. "Talk, I'm listening."
"What happened to your face? If that Theron guy did this, I swear..."
Crys laughed. "Ali did this. And Theron would probably wipe the floor with you if you tried. Face it Jake, my dad might have trained you, but you're far from being as good as he was. Just relax okay?"
"Do you miss him?"
She stared at Jake serious. "Would you miss breathing?"
He sat next to her and sighed. "You can't keep doing this Crys. You'll brake eventually."

She laid her head on his shoulder, and smiled to notice that it made him nervous. "Just stop talking. Let me know when we have to leave."

---------------

Had he been in this situation any other day, Jake would be as happy as can be, but not today. He knew Crys was just miserable, and that thought would simply rip the joy out of everything. He put one arm around her, carefully.
Crys was very close to Bastian, mostly because he was as calm as anyone could be, unlike Dani. He was the one person she could always run to, and he was gone. If anything, she would be feeling very alone now.

A voice broke Jake out of his thoughts. It was Ali. "You guys are going to be late, it's almost dawn." She sat by the lake and washed her right hand, it seemed to be wounded. Crys sighed. "How's that cut healing?"
Ali bandaged her hand up, and smiled. "Just fine. Thanks for asking."

Jake looked up and sighed. He did not want to move from where he was any time soon, but they did have to go. "It's time to leave now."
Crys sighed, and got on her feet. "Alright then, let's get moving." She walked out of the clearing, Jake followed her walking next to Ali.

Ali was whistling and seemed very calm. Jake smiled. "Did you sleep well then?"
She laughed. "Yes. I did sleep well." She smirked and lowered her voice. "Seriously, could you be more obvious?"
Jake looked at her irritated. "Mind your own business, will you?"

They arrived at the training area, and waited. It was still a little early. Jake didn't really know what this was about, Crys hadn't explained. Ali seemed anxious, and after some time, he started to feel the same way.

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Vilen awoke about a half hour before dawn. As he threw his feet over the side of his cot, he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes before stretching his limbs back into usefulness. He sprang to his feet and then fell to the floor, catching himself in a push up position, completing a few before standing back up. Everything was accounted for, nothing had fallen off during the night. He was ready to roll.

He pulled on pair of black pants, a white shirt, and his tall black boots. Turning to the corner, he contemplated bringing both his sword and his bow. In the end he decided just to bring his sword. As he walked out the door, he entertained the notion of getting another sword. Perhaps just like the one he had. He let these inconsequential thoughts fill his head as he ambled towards the training grounds.

When he got there, Ali, Jake, and Crys had already arrived.

"Goooood morning, everyone," he drawled as a yawn escaped his mouth. He then looked through the trees to the horizon to make sure that it was not yet dawn. He wasn't late. Then he smiled at everyone. "You're all up early." The slight chill that usually accompanied early morning bit softly through his shirt, and Vilen shivered a little as he yawned again. He hoped that it would wake him up properly before Theron arrived. "So ... you all did this yesterday. Anything I should know before our revered instructor graces us with his presence?"

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Ali had brought her bow without its string, which she now had taken out of her pocket and was examining for tears before stringing the bow. Leaving it strung at all times could severely compromise the integrity of the wood, and to her that bow was irreplaceable. So she was obsessively careful with it. After making sure the string was as perfect as it should be, she pulled another long string with leather straps on the tips. Jake looked at her confused. "What is that?"

Ali didn't stop what she was doing, she simply shrugged. "I use this to help bend the bow enough to place the string correctly."
Jake nodded. "Right... You are aware that you probably won't need the bow in the first place."
Ali simply shrugged. "Here, watch this..." she slid the loop on the bow string up until almost half of the top limb, and fit the bottom loop into place correctly. Then she fit the leather straps on both ends. She held the bow by the grip, stepped on the longer string, and simply lifted the bow until it bend. She pulled the loop to the tip and lowered the bow slowly. "All done." she removed the leather straps, and folded the longer string, slipping it back into her pocket.

Jake nodded. "That's impressive Ali. I would usually just bend it with my hands."
She nodded while drawing the string a few times. "That can really hurt the wood Jake, but then... Not all people are as attached to their weapons as I am." Finally, she seemed satisfied with it and looked at Jake. "That's why there are few good archers out there. It's easier to maintain a blade than a bow."

Jake was about to answer when Vilen arrived. He decided to keep quiet this time, and simply nodded at the guy when he greeted them. Ali laughed at his yawning. "Morning." Her eyes went from Vilen to Jake, who seemed seriously confused, and she smiled. Those two might actually make this fun. She nodded. "We just talked yesterday. It was more like an introduction. He only said that we should address him as Sir or Instructor, and pretty much... Just do as he says. Even if we don't like it. I'm pretty sure I won't, but..." She shrugged. She wasn't going to say Crys had convinced her to do this.

She pulled an arrow from her quiver, knocked it, drew, and released it at the center of a target that had been left there. All in one fast and fluid movement. She shot a couple more times and went to retrieve the arrows. Crys had been playing a soft song on her flute the whole time they were there, leaned against a tree.

Ali sighed and nodded. "I hope Evin gets here on time. It's not like he made a good impression on the first day." Sure that was one huge understatement. Still, in spite of his behavior, Ali did like Evin a little bit. She wouldn't want to see him get punished for something completely stupid.

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Evin had slept for a good eight hours. When he woke up, he could tell that the sun was just about to come up, maybe even in the next ten minutes or so. He didn't get up immediately though. He usually used his ability to alter his perception of time to make it feel like he had slept longer. He didn't today, because he didn't want to feel the pain that would have come with it on a day like today. He had to get up soon or else he would get a dull lecture about being on time, and Theron would probably come up with a unique way to punish him. That seemed like the thing that he would do at least, not like he knew him all that well though.
He got his clothing on as the light from the sun slowly woke up itself. He needed to prepare meal and get his equipment ready too. Who knew how long or even what he would end up making them do. Evin needed to be prepared for everything and not only the things he could expect. He needed to mentally prepare for it as well. There wasn't much time to do so, so he decided he would do it right before the training started. He grabbed a container that had some soup in it that Evin had prepared earlier in the night before he had gone to sleep. As for equipment, he had grabbed a few of hid daggers and a few other things that although most assassin's would find impractical, Evin loved. He had put all of this in a pouch he had and a bit underneath his clothing.
By the time he had done all of this, he had only about two minutes before the sun actually came out. Any normal person would have ran, but Evin was not normal. He just walked patiently to the training grounds that were about a minute and a half walk from where he had been sleeping that night. He decided to take the extra thirty seconds her had to enjoy the fresh morning air and admire how the dew sat on the grass so pleasantly as if they had just sprinkled on.
Evin arrived at the training grounds just on time. The sun had finally risen. Everyone else seemed to be there and even Vilen was there. Theron must have asked to put him on as well. He didn't really pay much attention to what they were doing though. He just sat on the floor and began to meditate, mentally preparing himself like he had told himself.

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Gloria had not been sleeping all too well that night and she got up just a few hours after going to sleep in her cold bed. She couldn't get her mind of all these things. The training session with Theron at dawn and what might come from it, her unquestionable love for Vilen and how Theron had convinced Dani to spare her life... So many questions and yet no time to discover any of them. So Gloria had made her way to the training grounds four hours earlier and started to train with her sword arts and hand-to-hand combat just for good measures and a way of killing time until the training started. After training intensively for about three good hours she made her way over to the familiar benches where people usual sat while their instructors teached them with words and not actions.

Another hour came and pass yet a more boring one though. Well at least until Allison, Crystal, Vilen and another guy she didn't recognize came too. They didn't seem to take much notice in her, which she found to be perfectly okay. But she couldn't help but throw looks of temptation at Vilen now and then while longing for his strong arms around her. It just came naturally and once he discovered it she quickly became embarrassed about it and buried her red blossom face deep in her hands.


"I screwed up. I totally screwed up!" She thought for herself.

---

If it had not been for a couple of hours of sleep Theron would have been really drained of energy that morning. Pulling up pillars of stone from the earth didn't usually take much energy from him but to also crave in pictures at the same time, now that was something different. Still, he was very proud of the memorial he had given his best friend and that little speech as well. It was not much but it was enough for the time being. There was still much to do before he could join his friend in the after life and there was many people that would come and go that would be teached by him and teach him in many different things. He had a long journey ahead of him, but the feeling of sorrow will always remain in his heart to remind him of Sebastian and everything that man loved the most.

Moving swiftly Theron finally came out from the woods from his students left side and made his way up to them. The sight of Gloria sitting there, of Vilen looking at him with great curiosity, Allison fixing her beloved bow, Jake looking at Crystal while she was focusing on her new instructor and Evin meditating by the looks of it made him smile. This was going to be a great day, hopefully. Theron positioned himself in front of his group of students and so the session had begun.


"Good morning everyone." He said and was greeted by a couple of 'Good morning, sir' and 'Good morning, instructor' which made him feel even more at ease about this than he had felt this very morning. Looking over at Evin, Theron smiled once more and continued.

"As you can see, Evin as already started the session and so I'd like you to follow his example. Meditate for five minutes. Think about what you might face through this training sessions, what you might learn both from yourselves and from the ones around you here today, what you will use this knowledge for and what the future might hold for you." He said and sat down on the closest stone he could find for he thought the benches were a little too uncomfortable for his taste. Besides, he could shape the rock to fit his butt perfectly.

"In complete silence." He finished and watched as his students one by one began to meditate.

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Vilen's nose crinkled as his mouth formed a sneer at the command to meditate. It had never been anything he placed too much stock in. Too much concentration on thought led to thinking too much. Vilen was usually one to let his instincts take over. However, he didn't do anything but roll his eyes as he sat down on the ground and made an attempt to clear his mind of everything but the task at hand.

Unfortunately, Vilen's mind was content to remain nice and full. He had been eager for the training. His mindset hadn't been a calm one as he walked over. What can I learn here? He inquired of his subconscious. Hopefully how to kill the bastard who's doing this? After all, wasn't that what they were there for? What am I going to do with this so-called knowledge? he asked himself.

Well, that's easy. Kill the bastard who's doing this. This is stupid.

Vilen shook his head as he opened his eyes and looked around at his comrades. Everyone looked fine except for Gloria, who seemed a little trouble. This wasn't working for him, either. He then looked at Theron, who was standing in front of them so sure of himself and confident that he was doing the best thing for them. Vilen exhaled loudly. Despite his past and his probably insanity, Vilen had a hard time doubting his ability as an instructor and closed his eyes once more. If he couldn't do this exactly to his instructor's demands, he could at least take something seriously for once and make an honest attempt.

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Ali had been frowning at Jake since he had been staring at Crys as if he wanted to see right through her. Which, thinking about it, was extremely ironic.
She was a little startled by Theron's presence, she hadn't heard him coming, but Crys certainly had because she had stopped playing. Ali muttered a "Good morning, sir." while trying to focus. She was still unsure if she wanted to do this, but... Oh, well, this wasn't meant to be easy.

As attentions quickly turned to Theron, he ordered them to meditate, in complete silence. Ali sighed. She leaned her bow, carefully, by a tree and sat on the ground near it. She took a long deep breath and closed her eyes, hoping she could avoid enhancing any other senses by doing so.

Ali didn't know what to think about. She usually didn't think of the future at all, she certainly didn't think about it as much as she thought about the past. She didn't see herself really going anywhere, not even after this. She usually saw learning as something that would help her survive, even if most times surviving didn't seem all that good for her. She smiled. She could hear people's heartbeats and the sounds of their breathing. Hum... She hadn't noticed another girl there... How long is five minutes anyway?

She gave up trying to think and decided to simply let her mind wander freely until the time was up.

--------------

Jake was a little skeptical about the whole idea of meditating. but he always used to do it when he trained with Bastian... So he immediately chose to sit next to Crys, without giving it that much thought, and closed his eyes. He couldn't help but think about how long it has been since he's been in camp.
He had missed that place so much it was hard for him to really focus on anything, still... He always assumed Bastian would still be there when he came back. Jake always assumed he would come back eventually.
As to what he would learn there... He was unsure. He hadn't been there the day before, so he had no impression of Theron. The two people he knew best in that group were Ali and Crys.
Crys was who she was, although not much at the moment. If she was interested enough she could know you better than you know yourself, and use it against you easily. Jake had learned that the hard way. Ali, was a smart kid, if she could clear her mind long enough. She was good with details and she liked to pay attention to people. They were both simply great people.
Jake remembered Evin as well... However, he couldn't really say he knew him.

----------------

Crys stopped playing the moment she heard footsteps, a little while after that Theron wished them good morning. She responded, while putting her flute away. She hoped Jake would stop staring at her. She knew he was worried, but it honestly annoyed her. When Theron said they should meditate she simple nodded in agreement and took a seat. She really didn't have room for anything in her mind except the fact that she had way too much on her hands at the moment.
Her father always used to say that the only way she could ever disappoint him is if she did nothing. Ironically... She didn't feel she could do anything more than nothing at the moment.
She didn't know how to start looking for this killer, she didn't know how to take of her mother now... She definitely couldn't do both.

Crys sighed... This would be harder than she expected.

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Evin meditated for a while while he waited for Theron to arrive. He didn't really think of anything while he waited, he just wondered through a blank void in his mind where nothing could be seen or deciphered. It was probably where all the truth lied. It wasn't that he lied, as a matter of fact, whe he thought of it a bit, it was probably what Theron had mentioned as 'the moment of truth'. No one could fully understand it, not even him, but when it would come out, it would come out with full force and become an unrelentless flow of emotions held back through one's entire life. It probably wouldn't be fun, but it would be enlightening. He was sure of that.
Theron came, but it didn't surprise him at all. His mind was so clear that he could hear him and feel his footsteps in the distance. He broke out of his deep meditation in order to listen to him when he started to speak, but he didn't completely break. He listen to him say to follow his example and meditate. Evin chuckled a little bit because he could tell that Theron was just trying to get him involved before he could find a way to rebel. Afterwords, he began to get back into his deep meditation. He didn't do what Theron had told him though. Anticipation was a flaw in the human mind because when what they anticipated does not happen, people just became clouded with the question of why. Why didn't it work the way I thought? They forget about the task at hand. Instead, he went back to the blank void. It was the best way to lose his thoughts for a while and it would be best if he worked on a blank slate. He didn't get rid of all of his thoughts, because then he could just allow himself to be brainwashed and that wasn't about to happen. When he was done, he broke out of it. He didn't think he needed Theron's permission to stop though.
"So when is the actual lesson going to start?" He asked a little frustrated. It wasn't the fact that he thought meditation was a waste of time, it was just that he didn't like what he was trying to do with the meditation. People who aren't prepared to meditate could not do it in the time that Theron was giving them and with people with so many distractions, was not enough.

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Ali had gone into a different state of mind in only a few minutes, two maybe. It wasn't the silence, but the sounds that she could pick up that actually calmed her. She could hear people's heart beats, their breathing... She could pretty much tell what their state of mind was at that point. If she tried to she could hear the little stream that ran not far from where they were. It was a very nice sound.

Bastian had always told her that life is not a game of chess. The pieces on the board won't stay in place while you think ahead of your moves. Life moves by itself, either you will it or not. That was one thought Ali had found inside her mind at that moment that didn't sound completely useless. She held on to it for a second.

Moments later Evin's voice intruded on her thoughts, and not only startled her, but literally hurt her ears. She opened her eyes and covered her ears. Everything was black, of course. She muttered. "Too loud!"

It probably wasn't loud at all, but it was to her. After covering her ears for a couple of minutes she managed to get her sight back, and her hearing to normal. She sighed, and decided to simply pretend nothing had happened. Luckily others would do the same.

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Theron had risen from his seat and was now circling them in silence, watching them closely. He scanned them, noticing every single movement they did while meditating. It was sort of a funny thing to look at, but Theron kept his smile away. This was a serious moment and he would not disrupt the balance before the time was up. But of course one of his less brightful students had to interrupt the whole process by speaking.

"So when is the actual lesson going to start?" The man spoke. It was of course Evin, that foolish child. In the end of the lesson, Theron would punish him severely, but as of now he ignored the little brats question and gave him the sign to remain quiet. He didn't want to Evin to destroy the concentration he hoped the others had gained from this. They would do this every day from now on, before every training sessions just to gather focus and strength for the challenges ahead of them. That's what the Wolf hunters had done and that's what the Shadow Hunter had done before every kill. It was one of the reasons they had assassinated every target with a outstanding precision.

After five minutes had passed Theron stopped once more and watched as they opened their eyes, one by one. He didn't care if they had thought about what he had told them or not, as long as they had meditated in peace. Looking at them, Theron began to speak once more.

Vilen was the first one to ask what they would be doing, leaving Evin out of the picture to which Theron answered with the following sentence:


"Very good. We will be doing this in the beginning of every training sessions we'll have from now on. With time you might understand why, but for now I have another task for you, but first..."

Turning to Evin, Theron looked at him with a cold facial expression. "Evin, leave my class for today. You're behaviour and attitude is not welcomed here. If you believe that you can act more mature tomorrow then you are welcomed back, but for now you have to leave." He commanded, and pointed towards the camp. He was going to let Evin run for it today, but if he continued like this tomorrow there would be blood. That is, if he even came back tomorrow.

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Crys simply sighed and opened her eyes when she heard Evin speak. It wasn't surprising to her at all, and she didn't even bother to be annoyed by him this time. She heard Ali complain and a slight smirk crossed her face, but other than that she didn't react. Jake seemed about to say something, but she managed to grab his arm before he made a sound and he kept quiet.

When Theron said they would be doing this everyday she couldn't help but smile at the memory of her father doing this every morning, and her mother asking him what was the point of it... Every morning. The smile faded, and she let out a sigh. She didn't quite react to Evin being asked to leave, she knew he was getting off easy. When Vilen began to speak though, she felt things might escalate. Still, she resisted the urge to tell her former recruit to keep quite, it was not her place to do that anymore. She did turn to Ali with a frown when hearing her laughing at Vilen's comment. Ali muttered an apology that was, in the very least, insincere.

Before anyone could say another word, a guard barged in, taking a bow. "I am very sorry to intrude on your training, Crystal. Lena has just arrived and she has asked to speak with you."
Crys faced the man without any shifts in her expression, thinking of what answer to give him. She then turned to Theron, and bowed respectfully. "Sir, if I may, it's important I speak with Lena before she sees my mother. It won't take more than a few minutes."

It was very important to talk to Lena before she saw Dani. However, Crys would not go anywhere without her instructor's permission. That was the least of respect she would expect from any of her recruits, she wasn't going to offer him anything less.

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It was a little amusing that he was being asked to leave. Evin didn't expect it. He wasn't all that sure what to expect when he said it, but after he did it, he understood one thing. He understood that this was only the least he would do. If he knew from past experience, people liked to try to go easy on other people before they got rough. If such a little thing could set him off, then he could just imagine the possibilities of how much fun he could have with him. It wasn't what he intended, but Evin didn't like losing and if he lost to Theron he would never live it down. Some people might have called him egotistical because of it, but Evin saw it as more of a drive, inspiring him to do what he does.
At that moment, a guard had walked in asking for Crystal who then asked to be excused from the training. Evin smirked, it would be perfect timing for him to speak up. He was already swamped with a bunch of other things which would cause a slight feeling of vulnerability.
"I know you know that you need me. If you want people to fully learn their lessons properly I know that you need me and more importantly," he smiled, "you needs me. If you want to learn anything yourself, you need me. Right now, you think the only way to solve you're problem is to get rid of it. It's like what you spent most of your years doing with the Wolfpack. Even though you have changed you're course in life, you haven't changed the personality flaw that you and I both understand well."
"If you want me to leave though, I'll leave, but like Vilen had implied, it isn't over. It is obvious that this lesson isn't going too well anyways. I'll create my own little lesson by reading up on some information that I've acquired on the killer. At the moment, that seems like a more productive thing to do anyways."
Evin simply walked away from the training grounds. He did anticipate a possible attack as he left though so he discreetly withdrew his dagger. He wasn't about to let Theron take advantage of him.

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Vilen sighed and rolled his eyes at Evin's proclamations of his own importance. Here was the problem with people who were good at what they did: they generally knew about it. Confidence was one thing, though. Arrogance was another entirely. Someone was going to have to deal with it. He was sure that he wasn't going to do it, but Theron should have. Unfortunately, he seemed to be losing his grip on the situation rather quickly. Though he wouldn't say so, Vilen was of the opinion that he was handling this all wrong.

Whatever his qualifications, he was still the new guy. Evin had been a part of the pack for years, as had all of them. Though they were willing to listen to Theron, respect wasn't going to be given so automatically. The problem was, that's what he was expecting. He thought he could escape his past, and maybe he could, but not so easily. He had still committed crimes against the pack, and there were those who would not forget it so quickly. And there were those, like Evin, he assumed, who resented Theron for his miraculous pardon. If any member of the pack had committed the crimes Theron had, they would have been executed. Instead, he had been welcomed into the pack and promoted immediately to instructor.

Vilen, of course, didn't really care too much about it. It made no difference to him whether Theron was alive or dead or his instructor. He would take whatever came to him in stride. Others were a little more persnickety. Like Evin. Neither of the men would swallow their pride and work well together, it seemed. Until Evin could accept Theron's leadership and Theron could get over Evin's general repugnance and use it to his advantage, they would go nowhere.

"I wasn't aware that I had signed up for exercises in dick measurement," Vilen drawled lazily, and then looked to the women present. "Excuse my vulgarity, ladies, but I'm sure you find this nauseating display of machismo just as tiresome as I do."

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Crys was starting to lose patience. Seriously starting to lose patience. Still the first person to speak was Jake, after the second time Ali started to laugh. Knowing Ali she would have said all those things herself, if Crys wasn't standing right there.

Jake turned to Crys, and spoke in a soft tone, yet audible to the others. "Your mother assigned this idiot for this?" Crys assumed he meant Evin. In spite of Vilen's choice of words, he was making a valid point.
Crys nodded in agreement. "Yes."
Jake sighed. "This guy is a waste of space. Maybe in a matter of time, which we simply don't have, he will grow as a human being, but... Now? I mean... If he isn't willing to sit, shut up, and listen, how...?"
"That's enough Jake. None of us has shut up and listened quite yet. Pointing fingers won't help anyone right now."

She frowned turning towards the center of the camp. Without turning back to face anyone she started walking. "I'm sorry, I really do have to go handle this."
Crys really didn't want Lena wandering around camp on her own, and it wasn't like she could disrupt training any more than it had already been disrupted. She wasn't so skeptical about Theron's skill as an instructor as the others, reason why she wouldn't intervene. Still, if it became necessary soon she would make them shut up. This wasn't a game to her, and Jake and Vilen both had a point, but they were all wasting time.

------------------------

Helena Turner was born and raised in this camp. However, growing up she discovered that her talents were much more inclined to taking care of other clan member's wounds, than actually causing them. Even so, she stayed in camp until she was fifteen years old. She had started training Dani's little sister only a few months before she died, and was released from her oath months later, on her own request. After that she left camp and moved to the a village near the ruins of Blackhurst.
Dani had visited her friend, and many healers have come to camp from Lena's clan. However she hasn't been there herself in over 20 years. To be more specific... She was last seen in camp when Crys was born, and never again after that.

It is no wonder that heads have turned and whispering erupted when she arrived that morning. Most of the youngest clan members have only heard of her as "that healer lady", the few that had been face to face with her were ones who had been near death. Word around camp is that, if Lena can't save your life no one else can, she wasn't one to give up until she had tried everything she could think of. In some cases that could be quite painful. Still, she was considered a miracle worker, to which she would always deny. Still, she was extremely respected.

Crys located Lena waiting by Dani's house. She hadn't come close to the door yet, she was simply standing there staring at it.
When Crys stopped next to her she smiled, still facing the door. "So... Theron? That's interesting. Do those people know of your father's history with the Wolf Hunters?"
Crys sighed. "No. I might just tell them soon. It's no use keeping it hidden anymore."
Lena smiled. "He was a different person when he arrived here, your father. He had a lot of rage in him. A troubled soul." She laughed. "Who would've known, huh?"
Crys simply nodded. She knew Lena well enough to know she would just go in and out subjects randomly. Suddenly the woman faced her. "How is Allison doing? Annie mentioned seeing her a while ago."
"Ali is..." Crys smiled. "The same, I guess."
Lena laughed. "Since when do you guess? Anyway... Tell me, how is she?"
Crys sighed, facing the door. "She isn't. She is in so much pain right now, she just can't process anything else."

"Tell me child... Do you want her back now, or do you want her to actually get better? There is only so much I can do in a small period of time, you know that."
Crys didn't give it much thought. "I can hold my own for has long as it takes. I want her to get passed this. I don't care how long it takes, or what it costs me."

Lena sighed. "Have your mother told you about her sister, Sarah? Dani was broken when she died. I thought she wouldn't live through it. No matter what it takes, she will get out of this bad place eventually. What you need to do, is take care of yourself, so she won't get out of this and discover something has happen to you as well. That will crush her, and she will never forgive herself. Am I being clear enough?"
Crys nodded again. Lena could see right through people in a frightening way, and even if most times she was a pleasant person... Her presence was somewhat bone chilling at times. Maybe that was just Crys' impression of her, maybe not.

Lena opened Dani's door unannounced and entered. Crys hesitated at the thought of going back to training. She didn't want to. She would rather take whatever punishment, if Theron believed it to be necessary. Going back to that tension, right now, just seemed like a terrible idea.
So Crys did something she hadn't done quite yet... She visited her father's grave, and simply sat down next to it.

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That was enough. So far Theron had tried to stay calm, show pride in what he teached and every decision he made but to solve this situation he had to use force as he was sure he would have to use a whole lot more but Evin really had to learn that he might be skilled, but not invincible. Theron had already learned that by being defeated by Dani through knowledge and not in the heat of battle. He was now going to teach this brat a lesson about manners and accepting new things. Sure he could admit that he might have meet this situation with a bad approach by demanding respect immediately and he could admit that. Starting from now on he would try a different way but first came the little duel he had promised Evin before. He watched as Crystal left the training grounds, but he didn't blame her. The lesson had already been disrupted as it was. With one swift move, Theron created a wall of stone in front of Evin to stop him from leaving the training area.

"This lesson is over. We will continue at the same time tomorrow. But for now, I have to ask everyone but Evin to leave. Both of us have something unfinished to clear up." He said, facing his students. After they've left, which didn't take a long time, Theron brought the stone wall down. There was a long silence between the two men. They looked at each other, one with hatred in his eyes and the other with despite in his. This wasn't going to end in anything less than blood being spilled, but Theron would make sure that he would not die nor if he got the chance, kill Evin. The wind hit their faces like a soft pillow and it's strength only increased as water started to pour down upon the earth from the skies above. Moder earth was watching them and she was not happy. Suddenly there was a lighting not far from their location that struck a tree. The tree didn't land anywhere close to the training grounds but you could still hear it crash into the ground from where you stood.

"I've been patient with you Evin, tried to get you into this for the sake of Daniela and Crystal. I didn't like the idea at first but I've come to accept it." He said and took a step closer to the man before him. "I know that you are having a hard time accepting me as an ally instead of an enemy right now and I know that nothing I say will change that for you."

At this, Theron pulled out his sword and took yet another step towards Evin. The heavy rain kept on smashing down towards the ground, the lightnings increased and the earth felt unsteady somehow.

"Back in Newhaven I promised you a duel and now I will uphold that promise. But this time we shall change the bets. If you win I will agree to any kind of terms you might have, If I win you will give me a chance to show you that I am not your enemy and to teach you until I feel that your ready for the true enemy out there. I ask of you one simple thing; Face me!" Theron shouted the last two words as he pulled up two large rocks from the ground that he threw at Evin with such a incredible force and speed. If it's a duel he wants, then it's a duel he shall have.

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Ali walked away from the training area immediately, not liking the sound of that not one bit. Once they were further away from the clearing she felt the ground move slightly beneath her feet, and she stopped. Jake walked past her and then stopped also. "What is it Ali?"

She forced a smile and nodded. "Nothing. I hope." She made a turn from the path she was taking towards her home and went to the lake. Jake followed her, she could hear him. She sat at her usual spot, and looked up at him. "What is it Jake?"

He smiled at her, scratching the back of his head nervously. "Nothing, just... Interesting session, wasn't it it?"
She frowned at him for a second, then laughed. "Crys is at the memorial. Go talk to her and don't bother me."
Jake responded with a nervous laugh. "What do you mean? I..."
Ali sighed. "Stupid. If I know how you feel, what makes you think she doesn't?"
He sighed. "This isn't the time to be thinking about this."
Ali shrugged. "Maybe. What I can tell you is that I've known Crys for years, and I think I know her pretty well. She will ignore this forever if you don't speak up."
Jake nodded. "How can I? I mean... It's Crys."

Ali stretched and laughed. "That's your problem right there. You want her to see you differently, but you still look at her the same."
Jake looked at her with an amused look in his eyes. She laughed. "What? I'm sixteen, but I'm not dumb. Now, seriously... Leave me alone."

Jake chuckled, and walked away back to camp. Ali sighed, and turned to face the water. She knew what was going on in that training field, and she really didn't like it.

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When the wall of solid rock blocked his path, Evin quickly looked over his shoulders. He could tell that this was going to get worse in the next few seconds. "I'm going to love to see Dani's face when she hears about this." he muttered as he slowly walked backwards and turned around. The dagger he still had hidden in his hand began to feel Evin's firm grip. Nothing would let him lose his grip. His other hand was hidden under the side cape he had on. Underneath, he unhitched his rope dart. Unlike his simple little throwing knives with the wire attached to it, the rope dart was used as a more effective and stronger weapon. It had a side hook that made it a little more difficult for opponents to handle. The best part about it though was the shear range of the weapon.
Theron dismissed the students and Evin got into a stance that looked casual, but poised. It was a good thing he did, because seconds later, Theron had thrown the first punch... or rock. Evin jumped over the rocks and landed on them. knowing he couldn't stay on them forever, he whipped out his rope dart and threw it towards a tree. It hooked over the tree which gave Evin the chance to swing from off of the rocks without hurting himself.
"That sounds like a deal, but don't expect to be called sir either way!"
He left the rope dart attached to the tree. The rain began to pour down hard and made visibility less clear. He would take advantage of that soon enough. For now though, he threw two throwing knives on opposite sides of him, and made a over the top smile that Theron could see past the rain. The moment the next bolt of lighting flashed, he rushed Theron revealing his dagger swiping furiously. This was to no avail as Theron simply evaded the initial attack, by simply side stepping. This left Evin uncomfortably, prone to any attack which became even more clear as he saw Theron draw his sword. With the awkward position Evin was in he had only one choice that became a huge risk. Evin preformed a front flip and blocked Theron's first swipe and a few after that, but he was slowly losing control, and Evin had to become increasingly defensive.
Soon enough the attacked became too intense and Evin was forced to jump away into a role. Evin got up into a crouch and noticed that Theron was ready for another attack. Evin blocked the attack with his dagger, but then pulled out his second dagger to cut Theron's exposed arm. The cut was clean and it boosted Evin's confidence as he fought. He didn't let it get to him though; that would be the death of him. He used his new confidence to attack with even more intensity. He could tell that Theron was barely effected by the cut and knew that he was probably used to pain by now, but it was obvious that he wasn't ready for the attacks that followed. Theron moved back to try to give himself some fighting space as did Evin.
Evin didn't stop moving back though. He moved right out of Theron's sight. The rain had gotten even worse and had become a white opaque wall in front of them. Evin then grabbed onto the hanging rope of the rope dart and swung around, staying out of Theron's slight. He swung to right behind where he thought Theron was, he thought wrong though and by the time Evin got a good look at Theron, it was to late. Theron swung his sword at the swinging man and left a huge gash in Evin's leg.
Evin dismissed the gash for a second, until he landed back onto the ground. He could tell, that this battle would not go on much longer with his injury. He had to start to use his hidden ability.
Things around Evin started to slow down significantly. With this power he could watch individual rain drops as they fell around him. They'd slowed to the point, too, where the problem of visibility became less of an issue for him. When the rain came down fast, it became a blur, but with each drop clear, he could see a little farther. It was rather remarkable. He could see Theron slowly moving towards him. At that speed, he could see every little individual flaw of the mans use of the weapon. Although at normal speed, it didn't really matter, when you had an opponent that could do what Evin was doing right now, it could prove to be fatal. In fact many times, it had been. Evin moved out of the way of the swords path and managed to swipe at Theron's shoulder. In a real fight, he probably would have aimed a little higher and finished him with a cut to the neck. He didn't want to kill the man though. Not yet at least.
Evin saw the surprise come to Theron's face at the fact that Evin had become so fast. That is when the pain started to kick in. Evin needed to finish the battle soon before he couldn't handle the pain anymore. Evin was about to put Theron into a lock that would most likely end the fight when something unexpected happened. He was unable to move. It didn't make any sense seeing that he had slowed down time to his advantage. Then he realized what had happened, the man had used his own powers and encased Evin from the neck down in solid rock. Evin stopped using his powers and everything began to go at full speed.
Theron turned towards Evin. Theron was now holding his new wound. Evin was ready to listen to Theron gloat about his victory.

*********************

The Shadow sat motionless waiting for her to arrive. He had been waiting since dawn and he knew from past visits he had made that she always came to this exact place. It didn't take more than an hour or two to finally arrive, but to his disappointment a man had come with her. If he had to kill the man too then so be it. He was going to have to do this one way or another. Lucky for him, the man left not to long after he arrived. As he got ready to pouch out from his hiding spot, the girl began to look out in the lake.
The Shadow took his opportunity, lunging out and taking a punch directed towards the girl's face.

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Ali sighed to hear Vilen's words, and turned to look at him. "I'm not worried about them. I just can't help the feeling that someone else will get killed soon, while we run around in circles. It's simply frustrating."

She smiled though at the comment. "Superior physically how? You're heavier, slower, and have much less resistance to pain." She smiled as to reinforce the fact that she was joking... Partially. Ali had just called Jake stupid a couple of times for one simple reason... She hated to see people complicate simple things. Looking at Vilen, she couldn't help but to think of Gloria, simply because she was doing the same thing. She nodded, it's none of her business. Jake is her friend, so is Crys, but this would be crossing a line. She sighed. "I do want to be alone now, if you don't mind."

She turned back towards the lake, listening to Vilen's steps as he walked away from the lake. Hadn't she been paying so much attention to the man leaving she would have heard something coming at her a second sooner, and maybe dodged. However when she realized anything it was too late.

Even though Ali hadn't heard him in time, Ali heard something coming at her fast. Her first impulse being to draw one of her hidden knives instead of blocking the hit. Pain wouldn't affect her as much as the outcome of this. She took the hit and slashed her attacker blindly at the same time. Not really knowing if she had hit. Still, in that split second she knew who this person was, and a feeling of uncontrollable rage took over her senses.
In the back of her mind she could think of only one thing Crys had told her during training: Sometimes, sacrifices must be made.

Ali took a breath, her eyes lit up and suddenly, she could feel nothing. She wouldn't block one single hit. She would take everything if that meant she could hurt the bastard in the process. This guy chose to attack the one person in that camp that had no regard for her own safety. Surely he would pay the price for that.

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The Shadow was successful at making the first hit. It wasn't enough to slow this girl down though. She had taken out a blade and cut him through the abdomen. Although it hurt, he didn't much as flinch. He had felt the pain of dying men and women a little cut was nothing. The only thing that was on his mind was the thing that was making the girls eyes light up. He would take nothing less than a victory and ultimately her power. With this in mind, he went for his next string of attacks. They mostly consisted of punches to multiple area that he had found exposed. He hadn't managed to make contact yet.
The Shadow threw dirt in the air with his feet as he drew his sword. It would make things go by quicker. He then lunged forward, trying to keep as much distance from him and her. The sword he had was perfect for it too.

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Close combat was Ali's worse side. When the man drew a sword she knew she wouldn't get out of this easy. Not that she expected that at all. There were few advantages she had to use. No pain and no fear were two of them. Shutting off the pain was quickly taking its toll on her, her ears were ringing and the dirt in the air had gotten to her eyes. Things were not good at all.

She pulled one of her daggers from her waist. They were longer blades and better for this. She threw the blood stained throwing knife she still held in her hand at him. And pulling her second dagger, she advanced, not giving the least of thought about where his sword would hit her. She wasn't really fighting for survival, she simply wanted to hurt him at any cost.

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#, as written by Sibrand
One step, unbalanced. Another step, still unbalanced. Last step and the balance returns to the dark figure. The heavy rain pours down upon him and his surrounding. He can barely see anything through it but his eyes is still fixed on one spot in front of him. A man trapped in stones up to his neck, unable to move. Blood is slowly running down the figures shoulder even though he is grasping it with his hand, trying to maintain the blood flow. It's not much, but it's not like he needs that hand for other things at this point. His sight is finally back and through the hard rain he can make out Evin trapped in his stone trap. Moving up to him, the figure known as Theron begins to speak.

"I have to admit that you are skilled Evin, far skilled than I initially thought, but you still have much to learn." Theron said and saw Evin moving his mouth. Before he knew it there was two small darts flying towards him, but they were easily evaded. "That's good. You don't give up easily and for that you have my respects."

Theron pulled down the rocks surrounding Evin and felt how is powers were beginning to fade. As long as he didn't do anything too quickly or too hard he would surely make it to his cottage where he could get some rest. Looking at Evin, he finished the duel once and for all.

"You knew the bets, try to at least listen to what I have to say in the next session and follow my teachings with interest. I can admit that forcing you to show me respect was the wrong way to do it and for that I am sorry. Now go tend those wounds and get some rest. I'll gather you all later to continue what we stated this morning." He said and with that he left Evin by the training grounds. He could talk more to him later but for now he barely had enough strength to get back to his beloved bed.

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The Shadow gave a sinister smiles as he saw the throwing knife fly right past him. He could tell that this girl was in no shape to be fighting right now. She was fighting purly on anger and not thinking entirly clear. The fact that she had dirt in her face was helping his situation as well. When she ran at him with her dagger, The Shadow had failed to see the other dagger. He managed to deflect the first attack, but when the second one came, he just barly dodged the other one leaving him open to an another attack. That is is when he got cut in the arm. THis was not a big. It was barly even a scratch. He Threw a kick towards her chest hoping that he would make contact.

((lol, this is turning out to be a real fail encounter sorry))

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Ali had managed to cut the man again, but it was far from being enough. When he aimed a kick at her chest she took the hit, and stabbed at his leg at the same time.
She heard a snap and figured it was a cracked rib, but didn't feel a thing. The rain was hitting harder and harder and lightning began to strike trees at a distance, the contrast of, already loud, sounds amplified numbers of times, began to make her dizzy. She started to feel faint, but refused to stand down.

Her sight was beginning to recover though, and a second before she advanced one more time she caught a glimpse of a familiar object. Her eyes widened in shock as she muttered. "You miserable traitor! I won't let you leave here alive even if it's the last thing I do!"

She advanced one more times with both dagger at hand this time she aimed to stab the man in any way she could.

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Even though he was only in the rock wall prison for a few minutes, it was enough time to put Evin through complete agony. If having to use his powers wasn’t enough, the rock itself was forcing his rib cage right into his organs. It was one of the most painful things he had experienced, but he still didn’t show it. Even controlling the darts with his mouth gave him pain. Because of this pain, he listened to Theron very intently. He had a new respect for Theron and could finally understand where he was coming from.
Before Theron left Evin said, “Thank you.” That was all he could say. He could say nothing more than that because that is all that had to be said.
He realised that he was pretty badly injured once Theron had finally gone. He had to go to get this fixed up. As the rain still fell, he walked over towards the healers house. It was a nice little place that always seemed clean. As a healer, they better have a clean place though. He didn’t want to be afraid of going there because he might get infected.
When he entered, a lady he didn’t recognise all to well had greeted him. He didn’t know her name, but he had seen her once or twice around the town. She was in her late fifties and kind of short. She quickly looked at the wound and gave him a pouch full of cream.
“Rub a dab of this over the wound every three hours. If you are lucky, the would will heal completely within a week or two. There will probably be a scar.”
Evin smiled. It was so nice of her and he didn’t have to sit and wait forever like he usually had to. Usually the healers examine the wound then discuss the best treatment. They then do a check on the person to see if they have any other problems. Then they finally helped the person. It was rather pointless.
Evin took off to his house to rest for a while. He put the cream on his would then went to sleep.

********************

When The Shadow kicked the girl in the chest, he herd at least a rib crack, but a split second later, he could feel a pain in his leg. It was a very deep cut that probably hit some important veins. I'll have to fix that soon or I'll be dead even if I manage to kill her. Then she yelled traitor to him. She knew exactly what it meant. He still had the ring of the assassin's on. It was an important part of his past that he just couldn't let go of. That is when she rushed at him, with even more intensity than before.
When she approached him with the daggers, he dropped his sword and managed to grab both of her arms by the wrist. He managed to stop one of the daggers from making contact with his previous cut in the abdomen. He wasn't so lucky with the other dagger though. That dagger had slightly pierced his left eye and was slowly getting deeper as the anger the girl was feeling got even more intense. Why wasn't she feeling any pain? All he could feel was the pain he felt and nothing of her. He could feel some slight discomfort as well, like someone near by was being constricted by something. It was odd, but definitely not the most extreme pain he was feeling at the moment. If he didn't stop her soon, the injury in his eye would become irreversible. He did the only thing he thought he could. He spit right in her face giving him a split second to get out of there. He grabbed his sword and stabbed her clear through the girl's abdomen. He was about to take out his dagger to finish it when he herd someone coming. Evin dived into the lake and swam quickly through the water. He wouldn't resurface any time soon either. He knew of a little underwater cave that had an air pocket down there. He would treat his wounds down there and then resurface in a couple of days. It would be a lot safer then.

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Crys had been sitting in the mud for a while now in silence. Jake had been watching her from a fair distance from quite sometime too. Jake staring at her was never a bother. Thinking about it, she had actually missed it. She eventually decided to walk up to him and ask him why he was there, but seconds before standing up she felt a horrible sensation, similar to the one she felt the night Bastian died. All of a sudden Crys stood up and walked towards Jake, and passed him, and started to move towards the lake as if she was hypnotized. After a few steps she yelled out. "Follow me Jake!"

Crys arrived at the lake with that feeling growing at each step.
When Jake stopped beside her she felt him panic. "Holy shit, Allison!"
Crys felt herself panic also. "How bad is it?"
She felt him move past her. Soon after that he spoke. "She's bleeding out. We have to take her to the healers now."

-----------------

The last thing Ali heard was the sound of steps walking towards her. She remembered thinking that she would be dead really soon. Well, at least she wouldn't die a coward... She could hear voices around her. She seemed to be slipping in and out of consciousness now. When she recognized Annie's voice though, she realized she might not die after all. The girl's voice didn't seem as cheerful as usual, bad sign. "What I'm about to do here does not leave this room... Are we clear?"

---------

Crys and Jake took Ali to the healers cabin. Jake called Lena, and along with her came Dani and Annie. Lena told the other healers to leave, and they did as she said. She looked at Crys with the corner of her eyes while examining the stab wound. Crys had been doing her best to stop the bleeding, but she didn't know if it had been enough. Lena finally spoke. "This is bad. Really bad..."
Dani sighed, she knew Lena all too well. "Sure it is, the kid is almost dead. Can you save her life or not?"
Lena nodded simply. "No, I can't. However... Maybe my daughter can."
Annie took a deep breath. "I sure can."

As the girl stood next to her mother, it was visible to all (except Crys) how much they looked alike. Except that unlike Lena, Annie had dark brown eyes. Lena looked seriously at her daughter. "Only the stab wound, don't push yourself."
Annie nodded and looked around. "What I'm about to do here does not leave this room... Are we clear?"
Everyone immediately agreed. The only two people not confused were Dani and Lena.

Jake kept his eyes fixed on the young girl as she put both her hands on the wound and took a deep breath. All of the sudden the dark brown in her eyes sparkled a golden light, the same golden light seemed to emanate from her hands. Looking past the brightness Jake could immediately tell this was extremely painful for her.
After a few minutes the golden light went out and Annie collapsed on her knees. Ali's wound was gone.

Crys helped Annie up and smiled at her. "Thank you Annie. Are you alright?"
Annie yawned. "I will be once I get some sleep." She smiled and nodded towards Ali, even if Crys couldn't see her. "So will she. She should wake up in a few hours. She will be useless for physical training for a week or two, other than that, she should be on her feet in no time."
Annie left the room, still yawning, probably off to get some sleep. Lena smiled, and explained. "Annie's ability would become a curse to her if people were to find out. Specially since she can't heal very often, or major wounds. It drains her, literally. Not to mention it's painful."

Dani smiled at her friend. "Don't worry, no one here will say a word."
Lena smiled. "Good. That would be... Unpleasant."
Then, all of sudden, Dani turned to Crys with a serious look in her eyes. "How the hell did you let this happen in camp grounds? Have you learned nothing at all?"

Dani walked out and Jake imagined she was going to inquire the guards. Crys sighed. "Looks like she's a little better... I have to go tell everyone what happened here, and have a couple of guards scout the area around camp. Jake, stay here. Call me when she wakes up."
"Will do." Jake pulled a chair and sat by the bed. As Crys walked out, Jake stared at Ali serious, and whispered to himself. "One second later..."
He shivered a t the thought. This was a close one, still... The fact that it had happen in the only place they thought was safe, was simply terrifying. And he knew people would react badly to it also.

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"Easy! Take it easy! Ali!" It took Ali a few minutes to realize someone was holding her down. It took her a while to understand what was happening exactly. Still, while Jake was unsuccessful, the shooting pain in her ribs was more than enough to get her to drop down on the bed again, breathing heavily. Jake sighed. "Calm down. Lena said you shouldn't move around like that."

Ali laid back on the bed an turned her eyes to the ceiling. The whole fight was now a blur, and she tried to remember what exactly happened. She had done everything she was taught not to do in that fight, but then... If that man had killed Bastian so easily, what real chance did she have? Then, the memories came rushing back at her, and she managed to look down and see the blood on her clothes. She examined the area where the stab wound should be, there was nothing there... That's not right.

She turned to ask Jake, but he had left the room. Seconds after that Crys walked in, and sat in the chair he had left. "Hey. How are you feeling?"
Ali sighed. "Confused. I'm pretty sure I was stabbed."
Crys chuckled. "Well, yes, you were. Annie... Has a very effective method, so to speak."
Ali smiled. "Oh... That... That's a really painful thing for her. I should thank her later."
Crys sat back in her chair and yawned. "You knew about that?"
Ali nodded. "She showed me when I was there... You don't look like you slept at all."
Crys sighed. "That's because I haven't. You were attacked in camp Allison. Few people slept las night after knowing that."

Ali tried again, and managed to sit up, and then stand. "You told everyone what happened?"
Crys nodded. "Almost everyone. Some people were already asleep, but they'll hear the gossip as soon as they wake up probably. So... What happened?"

Ali leaned against the bed and sighed. "I talked to Jake, talked to Vilen, then I was left alone. A split second later the guy jumped at me. I have no idea where he came from. I heard him coming at me, and I managed to cut him, but not badly. He puled a sword, and then..."
Crys interrupted. "At what moment did you decide to use use your ability?"

Ali took a breath trying to remember, shivering from the pain in her ribs as she did so. "I guess, as soon as I recognized him. I figured the only way I'd have a chance was if I didn't react to the pain. That way I could find openings more easily. Crys, there's something... This man, whoever he is, at some point he was a member of the Pack."

Crys leaned forward and stared at her seriously. "What makes you say that?"

Ali sighed. "He had a graduation ring."
Crys smiled. "I'm impressed. You managed to notice his ring?"
Ali looked through the window, it was sunrise. "Yes... Do I have to stay here?"

Crys simply nodded a 'no'. Ali managed to leave the cabin and walk home, ignoring all the stares. She managed to painfully change her clothes, and walk to the dining area, to have breakfast. She sat further away from everyone, ignoring the stares and the whispering. To everyone, she would seem upset, but she really wasn't. She was simply going over everything in her mind again. She was sure of one thing now... Whoever this was, she could now pick him out of a crowd easily.

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Evin was a little aanoyed when he herd people talking outside of his house. They were just so loud and he couldn't get any more sleep. He didn't care what they were talking about, he just wanted them to shut up and let him sleep. It wouldn't happen though, not unless he walked out there and gave them a piece of his mind. And that is what he did. He walked out to his front door where a group of people stood there talking about something.
"Did she die?" One of them said while another one said in a separate conversation, "You know I herd Ali didn't have a chance."
Wheels in Evin's head started turning. Why were people asking questions about Ali dying? It just didn't make sense since he had only just saw her a few hours earlier. He needed to find Crystal to see if it was true. If anyone knew the truth it would be her.
"Does anyone know where Crystal is?" He asked with concern all over his voice.
"I don't know. Why don't you go look for her." The man said it to Evin in a tone that just sounded to be bred by evil. Evin understood why this man had never accomplished becoming an assassin.
"Thanks, next time pay someone more respect." He said as he began to walk away from the crowd. The man laughing at the comment that Evin had made to him. The blood under Evin's skin boiled over when he heard this and threw his rope dart towards the man, hitting the door behind him. The small cut on the man's cheek was now visible. Evin tugged the rope back to retract in back into his hand. A he heard the man yell when the dart had made another cut, but this time on the man's hand that had been covering the man's cheek.
Evin then thought about who else might not know about this. Theron who was probably also sleeping was on his mind. He just hoped that he didn't mind being woken up. He went over to where Theron had been sleeping and knocked on the door. He hoped that he would answer.

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#, as written by Sibrand
In front of his eyes a large forest rose up and between it's treetops the sunlight broke through, shining down upon the path that was leading into the darkness ahead of him. It was both a bewildering yet frightening sight and for some unknown reason the man named Theron felt a wave of sorrow hit his mind with such a great force that he began to cry quietly. He was now walking towards the dark forest with the sunlight fixed on his every move. But after a little moment of walking he could see that there was no sun, there was a white gauntlet with black coloured markings on it that threw the light on him from the sky above. More than that he could not remember for after seeing that very object he awoke from his sleep to find someone knocking on the door.
Darkness consumed him, but at least the windows threw small beams of light into the room which helped him to gain his sight back. He quickly got up on his feet, put on his cloths and his equipments before opening the door. Before him stood Evin with a concerned face.


"Good morning Evin." Theron began and moved out from the cottage, still looking at his student. "What thoughts troubles your mind?" He asked with a friendly, yet tired tone.

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Unable to sleep, Vilen thought he might warm up for actual training with a bit of physical activity before sunrise. However, with the rate at which outrageous things were happening around here, he decided that he didn't want to be too far away, so he decided to forego the usual run he would have taken. Instead, he decided that he would so some free funning, about thirty feet above the ground.

Vilen was hanging by his hands from a tree limb near the healers' cabin when he saw Ali walking out. He pulled himself up and leaned against the strong trunk as he watched her walk away. She looked slightly pained as she did so. Of course, Vilen had heard about what had happened to her, so that made sense.

Deciding that he would follow her, he laboriously made his way through the trees, cautiously picking out limbs that would be strong enough to support his weight. When she walked into the mess hall, he was slightly disappointed. He had been hoping for something more exciting.

He dropped to the ground and walked in as well, but when he saw her sitting in the corner, curled into herself, he decided that she was better left alone for the time being. Suddenly he felt guilty. If he hadn't left her alone, he might have been able to help her. He could have at least drawn the attacker away so that she could have a few easier shots at him. After all, it's hard to fight when compelled to do something else entirely.

Vilen quickly shook that thought from his head. Wasn't his fault. There was nothing he could do about it now, anyway. He caught her eye, nodded in acknowledgment, and then exited the building, heading for training. Perhaps today would be more successful.

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Ali sat on the dining hall, keeping to herself and ignoring the stares and whispers. A couple of broken ribs caused even breathing to be an extremely painful activity. Eating, was whole new level of torture. Even so, the pain was not disturbing Ali. Like she so often explained... Dead people feel no pain, and she was very much alive. Looking around the room, she expected to see at least one of her friends there, but then... She imagined Theron and Evin might still be sleeping. Crys would be busy... Jake could show up maybe? Ali sighed. She noticed Vilen, but he left soon after that. Probably he headed for training.

Then Ali heard a yawn, and when she looked back to her own table Annie was sitting across from her. "Hey there! How's the pain?"
Ali laughed, which caused the pain to spike. "Ow... It's delicious, thank you."
Annie suddenly grabbed her hand and examined the scar on the palm, she threw Ali a severe look. "You didn't change those bandages like I showed you, did you? If you had it wouldn't have left a scar."
Ali smiled pulling her hand back. "That's the least of my problems. I should thank you I suppose, are you still tired?"
Annie nodded with a smile. "Yes. You got lucky I decided to accompany my mother here. She told Dani there was no way she could have saved you."
Ali nodded, a serious look crossing her face. "I wasn't exactly expecting to get out of this either. I guess... I was lucky, huh?"
Annie widened her smile. "You did hurt the guy bad, I mean... There was a lot of blood on your knives. Probably why he ran, he knew couldn't handle another fight in his condition."
Ali smirked. "Any chance the bastard bled out and dropped dead somewhere?"
Annie nodded. "My mother said that, based on what Dani told her of the murders, this guy has some good knowledge of anatomy. She thinks he might have some training as a healer too."

Ali passed her fingers through her hair in a nervous gesture. "Who the hell is this guy? He has assassin training, he's a healer, he has influence in Newhaven... I wouldn't think it's the same person if I hadn't seen him myself."
Annie shrugged, yawning again. "I can't help you there I'm afraid. I'm simply giving some professional input. Plus I have to sleep some more, I just came here to ask you a favor since I saved your life."
Ali looked at her curious. "What?"
Annie smiled. "When this is over... Come visit us."
Ali sighed. "Annie...
Annie nodded, standing up. "Your past is your friend Ali, you simply have to remember correctly. Think about it."

Annie left to sleep more, and Ali went to the training area, feeling strange since she had left her bow at home. Then... She couldn't draw it quite yet.

----------------------

Crys had gone to her father's grave again. This time, simply because she wouldn't be bothered there. She had just spoke with her mother, and during such conversation some very harsh words have been spoken. By both of them. She stared at her fathers memorial seriously. "Really dad, how did you deal with her? She's impossible."
Suddenly she heard a laugh and turned towards Jake, who was standing a little further away. "What?"
He chuckled in response. "Nothing, it's just... I'm sorry, but... You're exactly like her."
Crys stood up and walked towards him until they were only a few inches away from each other. She smiled. "So says my stalker... Seriously, how blind do you think I am?"
Jake froze in face of that question. She nodded, laughing, and passed him by. "Come on. I still expect we do some training today. I'm pretty sure Evin and Theron worked things out yesterday."
Jake followed her from a distance. "Can Allison train?"
Crys nodded. "Nothing physical for at least a week, but I'm sure she'll be there all the same. She wouldn't let a little thing such as almost dying get in the way of training."

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Theron seemed rather chipper. It definitely wasn't like the Theron he had been speaking to a couple of hours ago. As for things on his mind, there were a lot of them, but that was normal. If Evin wasn't thinking through every last detail of his life, he wasn't himself. Although, there were only a few things on his mind that, at the moment, were trumping all the other thoughts.
"I have reason to believe that Allison might be dead. Although my sources are basically the village idiots." Evin chuckled a little at that comment. He was sure that most well known assassins in the camp would consider him the village idiot. It was funny to think that some people would consider him the village idiot and yet Evin was calling this guy an idiot. What did it mean when an idiot called another guy an idiot? "Those sources might not be the greatest and I do take it with a grain of salt, but it is always a possibility. I thought maybe Crystal would know the truth which brings me to another point. That other point is that you should probably be at the training grounds to continue training. I'm assuming that Crystal would already be there."
With that, he started towards the training ground, ready to find the truth. Whatever that truth may be.

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"Dead?! Allison!? What the...?" Theron thought as he watched Evin run off towards the training grounds. What was this for some kind of rumours? Were they true, false or just slightly over reacted ones? Crystal would know more about it and at this early hour, Theron would surely find her in the training area with the others. With that, the instructor made his way over to the training grounds to meet up with his students.

With swift footsteps, the honest man walked up to his group of students and greeted them good morning with a slight nod. They all sat down and to his relief he found Allison to be there as well. He had planned on giving the others their task and pull Crystal aside to ask about Allison but he guessed it would be stupid to do that now. He cleared his throat to gain everyone's attention if someone had missed his arrival before speaking.

"Alright, first we shall meditate for five minutes just as yesterday before we start with the actual task for today's training. Try not to think at all, just stay focused on your goal and stimulate your senses and abilities as much as possible for there is much to be done today." He said and sat down on a rock behind him. He began to meditate just as everyone else.

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Ali had arrived at the training area and taken a seat, on the floor. It hurt a little to do that, but it didn't matter. She knew that she could have stayed home or in the healer's cabin if she wanted to. She was sure no one would have demand her presence after what happened, but... Ali hated to be trapped inside four walls for too long. Plus, if that fight had taught her anything, is that she definitely needed to be stronger than this. After having met the killer face to face... She was determined to do anything, no matter how painful, or uncomfortable, to make herself stronger.

Not long after her came Crys an Jake. Jake snickered when seeing her there, it seemed they had talked about her. She didn't mind that at all. After them came Evin and not long after him came Theron. Ali greeted them both with a simple nod, and no words. She was really glad to see everyone, though she found it strange they seemed relieved to see her. She wondered what people had been saying around camp. She dismissed it though, when Theron told then to meditate for five minutes and said there was much for them to do. She immediately closed her eyes, and began to take deep breaths, although that was slightly painful. She was starting to get used to the pain by now, it barely bothered her.

She made an effort to empty her mind of all the things that had been spinning around there for the past hours, and focused on the sounds around her, and the smell of wet dirt, that was already faint since the rain had stop hours ago. She did love that smell though. She would have thoroughly enjoyed the heavy rain, had she not been knocked out. Oh, well... There would be other storms eventually.

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Evin arrived at the training grounds in a matter of minutes from leaving Theron. He instantly found Ali in his peripherals just before he was going to ask Crystal about what had happened to her. Not to long after, Theron arrived and at the same time, the both of them showed their own forms of relief at the sight of her being alive. She didn't look all to great though; Although, she wasn't dead and that was good. It was even more relieving when she had acknowledged the two of them with a simple, wordless greeting.
Theron got strait to the lesson with what he had promised they would do every morning. He wasn't sure how everyone would do with the meditation today with the new round of events, but it didn't matter. Meditation for Evin would come easy now that he knew Allison was alive, but before he went into the meditation, he took a second to think about how he would go about asking Allison what happened. Of course he didn't take too long to think and began to mediate.

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Vilen closed his eyes and attempted to clear his mind. He found it slightly easier today, seeing as he had made the decision to actually take it seriously. Just about anything could be accomplished with the correct attitude, and it had helped that he had gotten some physical training in earlier. It was much easier to make his brain do what he wanted to do when he felt so much control over his body.

Once he drifted into that odd state of half-consciousness, he felt that his senses had been shifted into overdrive. Every sensation seemed like it had been magnified tenfold. As a whole, Vilen decided that he didn't like the feeling too well. That much feeling could be good, but for the most part it seemed that it would only cause a problem. Heightened senses meant heightened pain, and Vilen had never really been the type to embrace pain. Avoidance was the preferred solution to that problem.

Shying away from that, he brought himself back to reality. He decided there was no harm in just pretending that he was doing the exercise correctly. Instead he decided to just mentally prepare himself for whatever tasks Theron was going to give and hope that they would be more physical in nature. That was where Vilen actually knew what he was doing. Maybe there would be sparring, or ... well ... he didn't know, but he was pretty sure that they would have be different. Vilen was able to put pieces together, and he could gather that Ali had most likely been attacked by the man that had killed Bastian, which meant he had been able to make his way to the camp, gain access to it, and then disappear.

It seemed impossible, but there it was. The only thing they could do was prepare themselves to fight him, which apparently would acquire skill sets that weren't commonly taught. And now he had come full circle. There had to be some point to all of this, so he went back to his meditative state, deciding that he wouldn't let the possibility of pain scare him away this time.

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Crys was intrigued to notice that both Evin and Theron seemed relieved to see Ali. She figured it was best to go around camp later and see what the rumors were exactly. At the moment, first priority was to follow training though. And so she did, snickering when noticing Jake was making sure to sit at a distance. Then, after a while, she dismissed that thought along with everything else.

Crys didn't bother to close her eyes. It wouldn't really make any difference. She simply sat leaning against a tree and crossed her arms. She was finally taking a few breaths since the night before. She hadn't really noticed just how exhausted she actually was. She cared for Ali as if she was a little sister. A split second of thinking she was dead had scared the hell out of her. Gladly, that was over now.
Still... Crys still didn't understand how that man managed to get inside their camp unnoticed, and simply vanish like that. There was no way... They searched all night and found no way through where he could have entered, it was just not right.

Crys sighed, a little angry at herself for thinking so much, but then... If she didn't think, she might fall asleep right there. She didn't want that. Five minutes wasn't that long to stay focused.

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#, as written by Sibrand
The soft wind touched the trees, the stones, the very earth below this group of meditating assassins. Theron, their instructor, felt the wind softly wrap itself around his entire body and face. He could almost it's essence as it flew pass him and he drew energy and strength from that very feeling. There was only a minute left of the five they had spent on meditating and preparing their minds for this session. Theron was just happy that they were finally all gathered here and they all seemed very eager to learn. He knew that the threat of this so called enlightened assassin was great but they couldn't go out in the field and hunt this hunter before they had discovered the very essence within themselves. They had to use the very thing the killer wanted to take from them to defeat him; their enlightened abilities.

The soft wind left the training grounds and Theron reopened his eyes, looking at his willing students. He would have to start with one of them and then move on once this person was finished. The others had to help the person he choose to gain the control of their enlightened abilities. For three years of hiding and travelling, Theron had learned how to push the limits of his powers to the most deadliest edges without dying or falling. Yet this was not what he wanted of them because that would indeed take more than a year to learn. No, he wanted them to learn to take control of the very thing that held their powers back all the time. He looked at each and every one of them. Gloria was the only one with no powers so she would be teached how to use all kinds of weapons ranging from close combat to range combat. Allison would learn how to use her other senses in a way that might seem impossible for her and how to resist the dangers of fire as much as possible, Evin would have to learn how to take the pain his abilities causes and at the end, even embrace them. Theron had no idea what or if Crystal or Vilen had any abilities but he bet his left arm on the fact that they did. He had to know.

"Now, I want you all to tell me if you have an enlightened ability and if so, what it is and what it's downside is. Take your sweet time." Theron ordered as he rose from his sitting position.

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Ali was feeling really peaceful by the time Theron spoke. She opened her eyes at the sound of his question. She shrugged, and then stood slowly to her feet. Her pain spiked as she did so, but she ignored it. She looked at the instructor and smiled cheerfully at him. That was unlikely of her, but... For some reason now she was in a cheerful mood. "Well..." She hesitated a little, thinking on how to explain her ability. "I can enhance my senses, one at a time."

She leaned against a tree and sighed heavily while doing so. "The downside of it... Well, there are several. Mostly when I enhance one sense I lose another. I can, also, shut off my pain but... I don't do that often. It's very unwise, and I learned that the hard way. When I do that my hearing gets really sensitive and that sometimes can make me disoriented, and eventually I'll black out because of it."
She frowned slightly and added. "Thinking about it... Yesterday was the longest I managed to do that and stay conscious."

With that said she crossed her arms and went silent. Maybe it was the anger she felt by the sight of the killer's ring that made her keep going, she was about to faint moments before... At least, that is what she remembered. She simply shook her head to dismiss the thought and waited quietly for someone else to speak.

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"Hmmm ..." Vilen began without bothering to stand up. "Well, I can lure people to me with my voice." He shrugged noncommittally. "It's how I got my nickname. Hook. I wouldn't say there is much of a downside to it, but it is definitely imperfect." He pretended to inspect his fingernails, embarrassed. "I don't have very good accuracy. And then once they get to me I then have to actually deal with them. It's not very good for combat, but it's good for creating diversions." He smiled absently, as if remembering something. "If there are a bunch of people in the area where I direct my ... voice to, they'll all come to me. I'm getting better with the accuracy part, it just takes a lot of concentration, which I don't usually have in the heat of battle."

Vilen shrugged once more. He usually wished that he had a more useful ability, but then again it certainly had its advantages. "But besides the ability to attract people, I can't alter their wills any further. And if they figure out what's going on, if they can keep themselves from hearing me it won't work."

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Evin stayed in his meditative state even after Theron started talking. He was in to much of a tranquil spot to stop this soon, but he still managed to understand what Theron had asked of him. Maybe it was just the tranquility, but Evin was fine with telling everyone his talent. He had used his talent in front of people one time or another anyways, but the very nature of his ability did make it a little bit harder to detect than other more obviouse abilities. Evin was intrigued when he herd Allison speak though, It made him wonder if maybe she had been attacked by the killer. He hadn't thought of the possibility until she told them this.
The power itself was very interesting. The ability to heighten any one of you're senses at the cost of another sense. He could only imagine how much damage he could do as an assassin with that ability as she continued to explain how she could even stop pain. The possibilities of this power were almost endless, even if the costs of using the power limited her in some way.
It was Vilen's turn next. He began to explain the ability he had with his voice. It was very interesting, but like Vilen had said, not very good for combat. his however could create the perfect distraction for someone in a partner mission. It could be used to endless avail of getting into heavily guarded areas undetected. Accuracy could be a problem in a large group of people though, but he assumed that the ability would rarely be used in a situation where there would be a large group.
After Vilen, nobody spoke. Evin waited for either Jake or Crystal to spit it out, but that didn't happen. Evin decided that the silence had gone on long enough and decided to brake that silence. While still in his meditative state he began talking. It was very hard to keep meditating while talking though, but he managed to stay in one train of mind as he spoke.
"My ability is to slow down my perception of time while at the same time being able to maintain a speed that, while it feels normal to me, makes anyone who may see me while doing this ability think I am moving at considerably faster speeds. This delicate balance makes sure I can increase my speed, but at the same time be able to process things and react to them slightly faster than usual. The downside to it is that when I use it, I feel pain that will eventually kill me if I take it too far. There is only one situation where I don't feel pain and that is when I'm staying considerably still while using my ability. That means I can sleep and make it feel like it has been a whole day of sleep and feel little to no pain." He finally got out of his meditative state. "I have something else I need to say. I had promissed Crystal i would do it yesterday, but things got a little insane. So I would just like to let you know, that my real biggest fear is friendship. Sounds weird, but it's true."
That seemed like enough so Evin waited to see what everyone else had to say.

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Jake found everything very interesting when hearing about it, he only knew about Ali, and Crys. When Evin finished talking he looked at Crys and she was staring right at him, he took the hint and stood up, as Ali did. He smiled lightly and sighed. "Well... I could simply show you."
With that said he disappeared, and a few seconds later reappeared. "So that's pretty much it. The downside is mostly the fact that if I get wet while invisible the illusion will fade and I'll be seen. I can also extend invisibility to anything or anyone I touch. As long as physical contact is maintained."
He sat back down, and now Crys was the only one left to speak. Jake knew she didn't like to talk about it. He looked at Ali and she seemed concerned.

---------

Crys kept seated and facing the trees above as everyone spoke. She knew about Ali's ability and Jake's, and Theron's of course. The rest of them... Well... She suspected, but wasn't sure. She kept to herself as the others spoke. The most interesting thing to her was actually Evin's fear. Not only it explained a lot, but it was actually a very rational fear when she thought about it. Silence came once again and she sighed and stared at the spot where she knew Jake was sitting. She heard him stand up and he talked about what he could do. Suddenly she was the only one left, she sighed once again.

She stood up, and spoke not being able to help the annoyed tone in her voice as she did so. "I'm an empath. For those who don't know what that means, most people don't... I can sense people's emotions and most times experience them as if they were my own. I don't really need to explain the downside of this, now do I? Even so, it have proved to be useful sometimes. I can always tell when people are lying and I can always know where everyone is by sensing them. It's just not much fun to be around pretty much anyone most times because of it."

She finished talking and sat back down against the tree. She was calm even though she found it uncomfortable to talk about it. She figured it would have to be done eventually.

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"How fascinating..." Theron thought, almost out loud after listening to what the others had told him, especially when it came to Crystals powers. Imagine the possibilities with that kind of powers. With the right training and exercises she could use this ability to her advantage instead of fearing it or calling it a 'curse'. Vilen's powers were a bit useless in their current situation but by training him he could become of use when it came to big distractions. Allison was going to be trained mentally until she was able to move swiftly once more or maybe he should ignore her pain and go right on it? Hmm, maybe. Evin was a clear case though; He was going to be heavily trained day and perhaps even nights to endure all the pain in the world, even the one that could kill him. Theron was going to put him through as much pain as possible so that in the end he will be absolutely immune to the terms 'hurt, damaged and pain'. Jake, Crystals friend had powers that Theron was not going to be able to make stronger but he would be in need of him in the future and in training the others.
Theron made the sign for everyone to follow and began to make his way towards a more open field, a bit away from the training grounds. He stopped and turned to face his group of students.


"Do you all know what I told you when I first arrived here to train you the very first day? I told you that if you were going to train under me you had to follow my every order without hesitation and know that they are only there to learn you, not harm you. Your first lesson starts here; Attack Crystal!" Theron screamed the last part and with that he stomped in the ground and forced a medium large stone at the blind girl. Let's see if he could teach her to use her ability to her advantage and predict her foes next moves by feeling the same as they do. You always generate a feeling before a thought and then comes the action of that thought.

---

Gloria had been sitting all quietly for awhile now, meditating and resting. She followed Theron's every order, even though she had this great urge to open her eyes and glance at Vilen from time to time, but she stopped herself every time. She felt at peace with herself in this position as she breathed in through her nose and out from her mouth. It was a weird feeling but t the same time it was a incredible one as well. She had never felt so... so alive before!

After the meditation session was over and Gloria had regained her senses she listened quietly and interested on the others words. She was a bit ashamed that she had no powers but Theron had assured her that he would make sure she would become just as strong as they would be. The word went over to Vilen and as he spoke, Gloria only stared at him with greater interest than the one she had for the others. He was so strong, so charming and soooo nice! Oh no! She hadn't heard a word he had said and now it was too late...

Theron told them to follow him and after that everything happened so fast. Theron said that they were not to hesitate at any of his orders and then he ordered them to attack Crystal, the blind girl who could feel others feelings. Gloria, being the girl that she was, followed her instructors orders without any hesitation at all and threw herself backwards as she launched three arrows at Crystal. It was a start, but Gloria had a feeling that this fight was just the beginning.

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Crys was very much calm from the meditation still. The silence was in the air for a moment, and she could hear every heartbeat and every breath around her. She was also very aware that everyone was in that same relaxed state. Still... When Theron began to speak, she felt something different, and very discretely unsheathed her Sai holding them behind her back.
Then he yelled out for everyone to attack her and she felt the ground vibrate beneath her feet. "Crap." She whispered the word as she ran and slid behind a nearby tree letting Gloria's arrows hit the wood. She took a deep breath and her eyes glowed a more vivid tone as she lifted the mental barrier between her own feelings and everyone else's. It was very uncomfortable to do that, but she didn't have much of a choice. She was pretty sure that fighting one on one she could take anyone there, except maybe Theron and Evin if he used his ability, but like this she didn't stand much of a chance. The only person other than Ali, who really shouldn't, that hadn't yet moved was Jake.
She leaned against the tree holding her blades very tightly and breathing slowly in order to keep her heartbeat to a normal rate. She needed to stay calm to sense others feelings without being affected. And that was something she hadn't yet succeeded on doing when in a fight. Well, now she would have to learn it the hard way.

Or else.

-------------------------

Ali had to pull herself together at Theron's order. Her first instinct would be to help Crys, but then... The involuntary step she took forward reminded her that she shouldn't really do this in any way. She kept her eyes on Crys as she dodged the first two attacks. Ali hoped she would get out of it, but had her doubts. After all... They were all trained assassins, not mere recruits. Still, alone... Crys could take Ali out in a heartbeat, she knew that.

Then, she noticed Jake hadn't moved a finger. She sighed and went to stand next to him. "Follow your orders Jacob." She said that in the exact tone Crys would have used. After all, Ali knew what his problem was in doing this. She also knew Crys would be furious if Jake didn't follow Theron's orders after they were warned that they shouldn't question. Ali simply sighed, regretting having promised not to push herself for at least a few days. She really wanted in on this.

Jake looked at Ali and let out a long sigh as he drew his Katana. He was pretty sure that when Bastian gave him that sword he didn't imagine it to be used on his daughter. Then... This should serve the purpose of teaching Crys something, even if Jake couldn't understand what. Jake drew his blade and simply waited. Of course he would follow the orders, however... Crys knew him extremely well. So well he will possibly not even be considered a challenge if this was meant for her to be able foresee the opponents moves. So he decided to wait for Vilen and Evin to attack before he made his move.

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Evin was quite intrigued when he herd Theron tell them all to attack Crystal. A half smile ran up his face as he sat back for a few seconds to contemplate his first move. He wasn't sure how to approach it yet. There were medium and long range attacks already being fired at her and if he went in for a short ranged one he would surely get hit by something. He decided to get into the ranged fight as well. He threw his rope dart directly above him where a rather large tree was standing. It had hooked onto one of the top branches right where he wanted it to go.
He then quickly climbed the rope and made his way to the top of the tree. From there he took out his last few throwing knives on him "Man, I need to get some more of these." He threw two of the five he had on him. He threw them just a few feat away from her hoping that that was the direction she was going to take to avoid the other oncoming attacks.

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Crys would have gone a little deeper in the woods, but she found herself hitting a wall she was sure wasn't there before. Surely that would've hurt, but the adrenaline didn't really let her feel anything right now. She got on her feet smiling. No matter... This was far enough. She was calm in spite of running and the sudden adrenaline rush. She managed to jump over the rock that was thrown at her, but barely. One split second later and she would have been seriously hurt.

She didn't respond to Theron's words however. She was more focused on other things. The instructor was making it harder for her to sense him. Harder, not impossible. There are things you simply can't control no matter how hard you try, and those things Crys could sense as well. If she could afford to focus on him, this wouldn't really be a problem at all, but he wasn't the only one there. She simply sighed, as she heard the approaching footsteps. She took a very deep breath and her eyes began to shine a very bright green. She didn't really want to dig any deeper, but... So be it. She began to whistle a song, for no reason, simply to keep herself calm. That was very important.

----------

Jake looked at Ali. "Aren't you going to follow? You can at least watch..."
Ali nodded. "No."
Jake nodded and followed after Theron, walking slowly with his sword drawn. It didn't take him long to spot Crys and Theron. He didn't see Evin although he would have probably followed. He watched as Crys managed to evade another attack... Barely.
He hadn't brought anything other than the sword, and attacking Crys this way was something he would rather not do. However, he would have to sooner or later, better do it now. So he advanced in a much faster move than any other he had made so far, aiming the blade of his sword at her neck.

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Vilen, after watching the first few attack and then being accosted by Gloria for his idleness, decided that it was time to join in the fun. He was a little surprised by the order, but he had resolved to follow his orders. He shook himself out of Gloria's grip before he started to run after her as well.

Crys was retreating into the woods, and everyone was starting to follow. On the ground, of course. The trees around here were thick and sturdy, with strong limbs. And, as she was running away from the clearing, they were close together. He picked a tree with a relatively low hanging branch and jumped to it, getting a firm grip and pulling himself up. Then, he continued to go higher until the branches were too thin to support his weight. Once he was in the canopy, he had no problem following. Using his hands, feet, and balance to move. Given his delayed start, he was a little behind, but seeing as he didn't have to run around the trees, but straight through them, he caught up rather quickly. After all, quickly was the only way to move through something like trees. Too heavy or slow and you were sailing towards the ground. They weren't very forgiving.

If this were anyone but Crystal, he would be confident in his ability to remain undetected, but he was wary that she would be able to sense his emotions, and his mind starting turning, thinking about how he could possibly use that to his advantage. Naturally, his mind was always geared towards distraction. But nothing was sticking out to him, if he had been closer he might have been able to stop her running, but not without distracting everyone else either.

It didn't seem to matter, though, because Theron had blocked her retreat and now had commenced an attack. With the stone wall at her back, Crys didn't have many escape options, as the rest of the group was not starting to close in on her, ready to strike. One more angle couldn't hurt. He drew his sword and judged the distance to the ground. If he wasn't careful he would break his body, and if Crys wasn't ready, she was going to get a sword right through the top of her shoulder. He just went on assuming that she had a plan before launching himself through the air, bracing himself on one tree and pushing off with his foot to redirect himself so that he was coming at her from almost directly above her head.

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Crys stopped whistling and blocked Jake's attack with one of her daggers, he put his weight on the blade and began to push her against the stone wall. Jake was physically stronger than Crys and she was blocking his attack with only one arm, obviously she started to back away slowly. Then, she felt another attack coming, after a little bit of uncertainty. With one swift and fluid move she took one step to the side and lowered her arm, causing Jake to lose his balance and fall in the exact same spot where Vilen was aiming for, one split second before he attacked. She smiled at the sound of their blades colliding as Jake lifted his sword to protect himself, the smile only lasted a second though. She was slightly disappointed at the two, in the time they collided with each other she could have stabbed them both, if that was her intention. She knew for a fact they could do better than this.

She was seriously concerned with Theron and Evin's attacks though. It was much more difficult for her to sense ranged attacks than to sense a person coming her way. Still, her original idea for coming this way had partially worked. She needed to force them to come at her instead of throwing things, she'd have a better chance of survival that way.

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Evin followed right behind Theron when Crystal took off. He could see in the eyes of Theron that he was attempting to emotionally detach himself from the fight. It would make things a little harder for her to sense his moves. It was brilliant, but not perfect. Evin had a trick up his own sleeve that would make the situation for thee group easier to cope with. This wasn't something Evin particularly wanted to do, but sometimes he had to make sacrifices for the team in order to make the battle go by easier for the rest.
When Theron stopped Crystal with the rock wall, Evin jumped into trees and got himself over the wall. This gave him a protective barrier between him and Crystal while he put himself into the vulnerable state he was about to go into. He landed safely on the hard ground bellow him and began to get into a meditative state. Now usually, Evin would meditate in order to calm himself and think clearly, but this time he had another reason to meditate. Instead of clearing his mind, he began to overwhelm his mind with all the little things that made him mad, happy and sad. Hopefully she would pick up on all these emotions and it would override her system.
With that, Evin began to cry. All the memories of the things that had happened in his life were too much for him to take as well, he could only imagine how Crystal would feel having to manage not only Evin's emotions, but everyone else's. He hoped that it would work...

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Crys was a little apprehensive with the silence. It wasn't right. All of a sudden she understood what was happening, and she didn't like it one bit.
Suddenly a overwhelming painful feeling took her over and she immediately recognized where it was coming from. "Clever son of a bitch." she whispered to herself as she tried to keep her mind in the right place, but failed. Her heart rate started to accelerate, and that was it. It was that easy for her to just lose control, reason why she hated to do this in the first place.

She took a deep breath after another in a desperate attempt to shake the feelings away. She reminded herself to get Evin for this once training was over... Wait, maybe that was just the anger talking. She noticed her hands had started to shiver slightly. All she could do at this point was resist the impulse to scream, punch something, or curl into a ball. Still, she didn't doubt she would end up doing just that pretty soon. And yes... By now she was aware that getting through this was exactly the point, but it didn't matter to her in the slightest anymore. She simply wanted it to stop. Death couldn't possibly be worst than this.

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Vilen was conflicted as he watched his instructor start to tremble. He knew that there was definitely something going on with her internally. Probably it was Evin that was doing it. Now was the perfect time to strike and end this exercise, but he was hesitating. It just didn't seem right to attack her when she was like this.

He shook the thought from his head. Now was not the time for compassion. Crys, for now, was his target, and it was his job to end her. Now that she was vulnerable, he couldn't just sit back and let the opportunity pass him by. If he waited too long, she might gain control of herself, and he knew that Theron would be completely insufferable if he failed now. He tried to erase the feeling of apprehension from his mind as he made another direct attack at Crys.

This time, he didn't have the help of his bit of surprise and new angle. He was coming at her from her level, and he knew that he was going to have to be quick. He poised his sword like he was about to run her through, but she seemed barely aware of his presence, let alone able to react to his attack. In a split second he changed his mind, instead opting to try and hit her with his own body instead, and try to overpower her physically. He was confident that, if he could actually get one of his arms her, his strength would be enough to keep her still, and then he, or one of his teammates, could hold her at sword --or dagger-- point.

If he could do that, perhaps then she would surrender.

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Describing this as a struggle would be an understatement. Crys was going through a great deal of emotional pain, and it wasn't even her own. The harder she tried to resist the worse it got. Her first instinct was always to fight it, still... She was so tired this time, maybe for the lack of sleep, that she simply didn't bother to fight the pain for long... She let it take her over completely. She was in absolute misery and it was very much noticeable. She was trembling, and non-responsive. She didn't seem aware of absolutely anything anymore. However, although she was unable to listen, it wasn't exactly like that.

In spite of the unbearable pain she was actually more aware of the people around her. For the purpose of fighting it was perfect, even if she was hating every second of it. She sensed Vilen was going to attack and the moment he moved towards her she reacted immediately.She dodged his attack and slashed him in the arm with one of her daggers while doing so. Normally she would hesitate to cut one of her former recruits, but... Apparently being overwhelmed with other people's feelings made it harder for her to feel her own. Even so, after defending against the attack she didn't make another move, she simply stood where she was.

-----------

Jake watched Vilen attack Crys pretty convinced that he would overpower her easily. He was slightly surprised when she managed to fend him off. She didn't move after doing so, she simply stood, and Jake knew he should be attacking her and all, but he couldn't help but stand there and watch her. This was extremely unusual of her, she still seemed to be in pain, but the way it was affecting her was something he had never seen before. "This is odd..." He whispered the words to himself and gave up the idea of simply striking her again. He held still and followed Theron's example trying to rid himself of emotion before trying again.

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Something had happened. Crystal was losing her concentration and it didn't look good for her. All the emotions around her was starting to make her insane and she relied much more on her guts then what her mind told her to do. A fools choice, a move of desperation, but could Theron really judge her? He had never been blind himself and to add up on that; he had never felt the same things as Crystal felt right now. But it was a necessarily thing to go through for without pain, there is no will. Training means nothing, will is everything. The will to act. The will to move on. The will to break the chains of limitation.
Crystal slashed at Vilen and hit him by the arm. Lucky hit. She was beginning to lose her focus as well.


"Focus, Crystal. Try to look beyond the feelings of flesh and bone. See through the feelings of pain, sorrow, happiness and hatred. If you don't your abilities will betray you and in the end even cost your own life. Ignore my earthly feelings and focus straightly on my soul and it's few parts. Do this and you will soon find yourself controlling your ability instead of it controlling you. Do it!" Theron screamed the last once more as he pulled out his sword. The time for range attacks was over. The true meaning of this lesson began here and now. With that he charged up at Crystal, ready to see if she had taken his advice to heart or dismissed them as a distraction.

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Crys was barely present. She was sinking, and sinking fast. In a desperate attempt to hold together she took a deep breath and tried to bring her focus back to her own senses, even if that made her vulnerable. She was afraid that keeping this up any longer would make her drop unconscious. The moment she tried though, a memory jumped to her mind as she recalled a conversation with her father, and a rather important one.

"You don't lose control Crystal, simply because you have no control. What you have is fear. How do you expect to control something you are afraid of, something you refuse to accept? That's simply not possible."
"It hurts."
"Sure it hurts. Sure all the bad feelings always overcome everything. But they are not yours to fear, child. It's simply a worse kind of pain, nothing more. It shouldn't frighten you."
"It's not that simple."
"The only simple thing in this world is death. There's nothing simple about life, and if it seems that way, then it's an illusion. You will never truly have control of yourself unless you allow yourself to feel, Crys. And I suggest you do it now."


The last words came at the same time as Theron's and she felt her mind snap back to reality with a violent blow. She managed to, more on instinct than anything else, put both her Sai between her and the blade in the last minute. But the impact took away her balance and she hit the ground painfully.

She was afraid. She was afraid the pain would be enough to kill her. She was afraid of letting herself go and not being able to find a way back. She was afraid of a huge number of things, a huge number of things she hadn't even considered before, because she had never bothered to push herself this far. The memory of Bastian reminded her of what she was doing here in the first place. She had no time to make this easier. Whatever she had to suffer in order to get this done... It would have to be now.

She needed to take in the pain and keep control of her senses, she needed to find a real way to control this, or it would eventually kill her. She needed to do it now.

Crys got on her feet. When she did so, she took another breath and her eyes began to glow in a brighter and slightly golden tone. The pain was striking her completely, but she did her absolute best to set it aside without shutting it off. She held a tight grip on her daggers, and no longer shivered. She forced herself not to think of what would come of this, she simply focused on her breathing, and more importantly... On not letting her mind slip away again. This was the start of a very painful and necessary journey.
She waited to see what would come next. This time actually trying to feel the people around her, no matter what it took her to do it.

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With all of the dark emotions flowing through Evin's train of thought, he couldn't think strait. His mind was too clouded by the culmination of all the little time he had ever been angry or sad to really think of anything else. It wouldn't be enough though and Evin had enough thought processing to know that before it got too bad. Crystal had been living with the emotions of everyone around her for her entire life and he could only imagine how bad it would get when Dani would get emotional. She had probably built up some sort of barrier to this sort of emotional trauma the same way someone who walks bare feet for their entire life would build up calluses. If he was to do any sort of damage to her, he would have to bring out the bigger experiences in his life. It wasn't going to pretty, but he knew that if he had any chance of making her more vulnerable this way, it would be for the better when it came to the ultimate result.
That is when he tapped into the terrible and horrid things he had done in his life. Guilt and shame along with sadness and anger all came down on him at once. After that, he started tapping into the saddest moments of his life and finally the moments when he was most angry. Evin was a mess after he combined all of those emotions. He just wanted to bury himself into a hole where he could just drown his sorrows. He was shaking uncontrollably as he sobbed. He was sure that everyone could hear it from beyond the rocks, which made him feel embarrassed. He was in the worst shape he could ever remember. It was about to get worse.
Evin began to remember the day when he had lost his friend, Perry. They were walking through the wood when they had found it. Theron was just sleeping there, unaware of the two of them. Perry insisted that they had to kill him. He was explaining the great reward they would get if they brought the dead man's head to the camp. After a bit of persuading, Evin had agreed and snuck in to try to kill the man. He was not at all prepared to get into a fight though. Theron had obviously been aware of what was going on and was prepared with his sword. Evin had backed off and let Perry go in for the close quarter fighting. Evin was supposed to cover. Perry kept insisting Evin to take a position under a tree, but Evin didn't see the opportunity in that position, so he had moved to a better spot when he had a clearer shot of the man. He saw his opportunity and threw up a smoke bomb then launched his rope dart towards the fight. He used the smoke bomb as cover and jumped into a tree to see what had happened. The rope dart had hit! But it didn't hit the right person. Unaware to Theron who had just stabbed Perry, the rope dart had plugged right through Perry's back. With his friend presumed dead and no other choices, he ran. He ran back home and cried for hours until he began being questioned by the town.
It didn't matter whether Perry was alive or dead now, he couldn't help but feel responsible for his death even if he wasn't dead. He never knew if the rope dart or the sword had made contact first, but it didn't matter. Abandoning his friend like that was not the right thing to do.
Evin's shivers got more intense and his breathing more erratic. He was plunged into the deepest part of hell where his demons had laid, awaiting the day when he had to face his punishment. He didn't care at the time if he were even dead or alive, he knew that no matter what, he would be punished by the Twins in one way or another. There was no turning back now to what had been done.
With those thoughts in mind, he passed out. The emotion was way to hard for him to take and he was just drained of energy. He lay on the cold ground as his thoughts continued to punish him in his rest...

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Crys felt her breathing getting heavier and heavier. The pain increasing at every second, and she knew who was causing it too. Clear as day she could sense where the feelings were coming from. Clearer than ever, although she could barely take it. Tears started rolling down from her eyes, she hated crying, but holding anything down was not an option right now. Maybe it was a dumb thing, but the first thought that came to her mind was: how long can Evin handle this?
Along with the pain, she was now angry at herself for being worried about him, but it was a less painful feeling at least. "Damn fool." She mumbled the words as she felt the man fall unconscious, noticing that it had absolutely no impact on the pain she was now experiencing.

She was shivering slightly again, but a few deep breaths earned her some control over that. Trying to keep her mind clean and separated from the pain was difficult, not thinking about the pain was difficult. If someone actually attacked her now she thought it would be easier to do it actually. She would have something or someone to focus on instead of trying to handle all those emotions. Still, she didn't really make a move.

The main thing on her mind at the moment... She was having a lot of trouble sensing Theron still. She sighed. She knew she needed to find that little piece of her ability she used to recognize people, and find out what exactly made it tick. The few actual emotions that never changed within a person went deeper than simple memories of bad moments. They were connected to the person's soul in such way they left a unique mark. They would usually come from events so important that would, in a way, become a part of that individual permanently. She needed to get that deep without killing herself, she didn't exactly know how quite yet.

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Spinning around as well as moving like a feather caught in the wind, Theron gracefully found his way behind Crystal. He was going to end this fight once and for all, but something happened that he had not predicted himself. When he got up close to Crystal she shrugged and immediately spun around to face her instructor. With one raged filled hit after another, the blind assassin struck at her instructor, but all in vain. He was too quick for her and she had not yet mastered her abilities and so she failed to cause any damage to him. Theron didn't see much more to it then ending this before he would kill her from exhaustion, blood loss or worse. Moving in, Theron evaded the girls weapons and skillfully placed him and his sword behind her once more. This time the cold steel from his blade pressed itself hard against the blind ones throat; if she moved more than two inches she would slit her own throat.

"This fight is over!" Theron shouted and released Crystal. "You can all take a ten minutes break before I want to see you back at the training grounds once more."

Facing Crystal, the instructor soon walked up to her with a stone hard expression.

"You didn't do good, but you didn't fail either. You fought back and hopefully you learned something from this. Now, if you feel like you need more than a ten minutes break then you can of course leave my session and come back tomorrow."

After that, Theron made the sign for Evin to come along and started to make his way back to the training grounds. Maybe Crystal needed some time alone?

---

Gloria and Vilen had not reached the fight in time and soon enough they heard their instructors cold voice a few clicks away. He told them that the fight was over and Gloria stopped running. She was paralyzed for the time being. She had failed to follow Theron and the others to fight Crystal. She had failed just like all the other times she'd try something and with that she fell to her knees in the dirt and cried softly for herself.

She was no assassin, no freedom-fighter, hell she was not even qualified to become a mercenary. She was nothing but a failure.

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Sorry, double posted. I'll have this post removed.

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Crys was still in a lousy state of mind when she finally moved from where she was standing. The worst about doing this was going back to shut people off. It was a whole different kind of pain. Theron's words had stuck to her mind. "You didn't do good, but you didn't fail either..." Why did it feel like such a failure to her, then?
It was the first time she ever tried this, maybe she was now being too hard on herself, but it felt just like failure. There was nothing Crys hated more in her life than failure.

She walked through the trees in order to reach the center of the camp without passing the others. She walked towards the lake and sat there, hiding her face in her hands, she couldn't stop crying. The worst part was that she didn't seem to be able to shut things off again. Maybe it was for the best though. Maybe if she didn't try so hard to make this go away she would learn some control. She threw a rock in the water with all her strength and muttered. "Focus. See through the pain. Why don't you try it then if it's so damn easy? Jackass!"
Then she broke down in laughter. She hadn't called anyone a 'jackass' since she was ten. She nodded, still laughing. "What the hell am I doing? I'm not a kid anymore, I don't get to whine over this." She took a long deep breath, and realized she felt much better a lot faster than she expected. "I should laugh more often I guess..." She stood up, reminding herself to never repeat that around Evin. Last thing she needed was to tell that guy he was right, even if it was true.

--------------

Ali was, of course, listening to what was happening in the woods. She heard what Theron said to Crys and regretted not having followed. She would be insane to ask Crys what happened there. They had ten minutes off... She figured Crys probably wouldn't be back that day. She figured she could have stayed in bed since she was being useless. Well, she'd be more useless dead, that's for sure. When people started showing up in the clearing again, she wasn't surprised not to see Crys with them. She nodded to Jake, and he responded with a mere shrug. He sat on the ground next to her. "We have ten minutes. Should one of us go check on her?"

Ali nodded. "No. Better leave her alone. Had people been saying I died?"
Jake laughed. "I heard some rumors, yes."
She punched him in the arm. "That's not funny, you idiot!" She sighed. "Well, whatever... The few people who matter now I'm alive."
Jake looked at her a little more serious. "You're insane. You didn't even defend yourself, you just..."
Ali nodded. "I just wanted to hurt him. In any way I could. I thought that if he killed Bastian that easily I wouldn't stand a chance, so why bother?"
Jake looked away at those words. It was a valid point. "You're insane."
Ali simply shrugged. "In a way it works for me."

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Evin was relieved when he was woken up. He was still quite tired, but it was obviouse that Theron wanted them all back at the training grounds for the next session. Evin needed to prepare for anything that was about to come up. He didn't want to be caught off guard like Crystal was. Who would know what Theron would do to him eventually. He was also curious what they were going to do to Allison and Vilen. He was hoping that he could have a little bit of fun with that.
When he made it back to camp, he saw that most everyone was there. The only people who he didn't see there were Theron and Crystal. He was sure Crystal would need some time after whatever she experienced. Evin was sure that managing all those emotions would have been very difficult for her. She was probably crying right now too. Theron would probably be preparing for whatever next he had in mind. It would either been a really difficult challenge or something completely different. He wouldn't know until he arrived with the rest of them and told them though. Hopefully he wasn't next though. He sluggishly said hello to everyone and then waited for whatever would happen next.

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Crys was slowly walking back to the training area when she felt a grab on her shoulder and turned, surprised by the fact she hadn't been touched yet. Her mother's voice came with a slight tone of laughter as she spoke. "Well... Aren't you jumpy today?"
Crys snickered at the comment. "I guess you could say that... What's wrong?"
"Who said something is wrong? I just wanted to ask about the training, how is it going?"
Crys sighed. "It was... " She tried to find a word to the describe the torture, but there was none. "It was very educational, to say the least."
"You are hating it, aren't you?"
"With every fiber of my being, yes. So, what's wrong?" Crys smiled as she spoke.
Dani sighed. "You are like a dog with a bone, kid."
Crys smirked. "Wouldn't that make you a b..."
"Oh, don't finish that sentence if you know what's good for you." Dani's tone was only half severe, the other half seemed quite amused. "There's nothing wrong. Just the same unanswered questions. I swear, I can't figure out how he got to Allison."
Crys frowned as she tried to remember the night before. "Well... I don't know. Ali's memory seems a little blurry, but... I'll bring her over to lake later to see if she can give me more details maybe." She sighed. "I have to go back now."
"Alright, have fun."

Crys shivered slightly, but didn't answer. She simply turned and started walking back to the training area. Sure, she didn't have to go back, and she wasn't being proud and foolish. She did feel a lot better. So if she could handle being around people, she would stay until the end of the session. She entered the clearing and sat by a tree, greeting people with a nod. "Yes, I'm alright." she muttered when she felt Ali was going to ask. Other than that she didn't speak, although she caught herself staring at Evin for a while, and momentarily wishing he would be next.
Trying to shake those thoughts out of her head, she nodded, and pulled her wooden flute from a little leather bag she carried tied to her belt. She began playing it softly, while waiting for training to continue.

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Ali was sitting by the lake. It was funny how that place would never stop feeling safe for her. They would be graduating from training soon... And if that meant anything to her, it meant they had all done things everyone would have considered impossible. Including themselves, not so long ago. The sound of familiar footsteps distracted her from her thoughts and she opened a smile. "So... What did she say?"
Crys sat down next to her and let out a sigh. "She just said she'll think about it, but I think she'll be there."
"You are her daughter after all and this is important... I mean..."
Crys nodded. "I know what you mean. Thank you." She smiled. "I'm way past the point in my life when I need my mom's approval."
Ali smiled. "Sure. I'm just saying... Maybe you should just say that you want her to be there."
"Maybe..." Crys mumbled, a slight frown spreading across her face. "How can you be so sure I didn't say that?"
Ali laughed. "Because you are incapable of speaking your mind in front of your mother. Theron should have trained you for that."

Crys pushed Ali slightly, while she laughed. "Shut up." She sighed. "You do realize what this means, right?"
Ali nodded. "That you're the worst second commander ever..."
Crys laughed. "No. Completing the training. You know what it means."
Ali smiled looking at the water. "Time to hunt down a traitor."
Crys nodded in agreement, a serious look on her face. "About that... My mother wants us to go see the ruler of Newhaven and discuss the possibility of lifting the bounty on our location."
Ali snickered. "Why would he?"
Crys sighed. "Having the cities hunting us down is... Not the best thing, Ali. If we can work something out peacefully, it will be better. You don't have to go though, if it makes you uncomfortable."
"No." Ali sighed, looking at the water. "I want to go. Have you told the others about this yet?"
Crys nodded "Not yet, but I will. I think it's useless, but..." She shrugged "My mother wants us to try, and Newhaven does seem like a good place to start looking."

Ali smiled. "Well... Just as good as any other."
They hadn't had news from the killer ever since Ali fought him. Even though they were sure he was alive somewhere... The trail seemed to have gone cold.

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It had been almost a month of hard work and training and it was all going to come to an end. He could see the changes in him as well as every one around him. Even Theron, whether he realised it or not, had grown from this experience just as much as the rest. Each and every one of them were just as skilled as the other and as time passed on, he realised how much he would need it to take on the killer. He had come to realise that after Sebastian's death, but it hadn't really hit home until this moment. Allison was just a matter of purer luck and maybe because this killer was getting lazy or over confident. That combined with Allison's lack of control during the fight that probably threw the killer off a bit.
It was only another ten or so minutes until they would be graduating and immediately sent off into the battle that lay ahead of them and Evin needed to go clear his mind. Usually, he could just sit down and meditate, but it was almost impossible with all the commotion that was going on outside because of the graduation. It was almost ridiculous how hyped people were getting over something so simple. Because of all of that, he decided that he needed somewhere more remote to do it. Evin had began to take a liking to the lake where Allison always was. He wasn't sure why, he never really found it all that great of a place before, but for the past couple of days he found himself going back to it. He never saw Allison there. He never saw anyone there. It was definitely a little odd since Allison was there almost every day to just relax it seemed.
Today was different though, as he arrived closer to the clearing, he started to hear voices. He couldn't make the voices out, but he instantly recognised them. As he got closer he began to hear words clearer until he was only just behind them.
"My mother wants us to try, and Newhaven does seem like a good place to start looking." He heard Crystal say, clear as a bell.
"Well... Just as good as any other." Allison had said in reply.
"It's probably the best place to look though. He does seem to have some sort of connections with the city guard there. He would probably feel safest there." Evin decided to butt in. He was hoping that they were talking about the same thing, "I thought you guys would be getting ready for the graduation. It is only a few minutes away now."
Evin sat down beside them and took out a small apple from out of one of his pockets and took a big bite out of it and then smiled. It seemed rather nice to be with people instead of alone at the moment. He continued to eat the apple as he stared out onto the lake.

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Neither Crys or Ali found it strange that Evin walked in as if he had been part of the conversation all along. Ali simply sighed in response to his comment. "I was born ready." She mused. "Besides, I hate ceremonies. Crys is just hiding from mommy, I guess." She snickered.
Crys pushed her again, a little bit harder this time. "Shut up!"
"Seriously... Just tell her you want her there. Don't be such a coward."
Crys shrugged. "There's no time for that now... Either she'll be there or she won't. And don't give me that speech or I'll hurt you!"
Ali sighed, she had meant to say that Crys was lucky to have a mother alive... Knowing that she hated to have that pointed out to her. "Fine, but you know I'm right."
Crys shrugged, standing up. "Maybe we should move, huh?" With that said she simply started to make her way back to camp.

Ali simply nodded, smiling. "She's right you know? I wish we could just skip this whole thing, though." She knew it was tradition, and it mattered to have their training acknowledged, but... She was eager to start hunting down the killer. She stood up grabbing her bow, that she always had with her, and followed Crys.

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#, as written by Sibrand
The group of people gathering around the fireplace were not many but at the same time not few either. It was enough to get nervous though. Theron wasn't much for attention and he had never experienced something like talking to a large group of people. They were all going to stare at him, watch his every move and listen to everything he said. He felt silly doing this but somewhere deep inside he felt like he wanted to do this, to try and fit in. Most people had already accepted him, some of them even spoke to him from time to time in the dinning hall, but there were still a few who kept their distance from him. They addressed him when he talked to them but otherwise they didn't spoke with him. This was his chance to show that he was loyal to the clan and that he still had things to learn.

The ceremony had already started and before him stood Vilen, Jake and Gloria. Hopefully the rest would show up soon. It didn't take long before all of his students were standing in front of him. He was positioned on a stone platform just in front of the fireplace and they stood a few meters away. The crowd of assassins and the few instructors surrounded them. Theron caught Dani standing amongst a couple of actives and so a small, yet noticeable smile grew over his face. It was good that she had decided to come.
Theron suddenly cleared his throat and asked for silence. The crowd went quiet after a couple of seconds and so the ceremony could begin.


"Standing before me here today is five students whom have gone through hell and back. They've faced their fears and conquered them, struggled yet succeeded at tasks impossible for simple minded people and their abilities have travelled beyond their former limitations. I'm very proud of them, but I know as much as anyone else, that their journey has yet to begin." Theron almost shouted with a firm voice that echoed through the camp. After that he began to call out his students by their names and they all came up, one by one and received a ring and a blessing.

"Vilen, I present to you this ring of graduation because you of all understood the reasons to why you had to go through with this training more then anyone else."

"Gloria, I present to you this ring of graduation because you started out as a weak and fragile little girl and the results of my training have been promising. You are now a full fledged assassin; A weapon in the dark."

"Jake, I present to you this ring of graduation because you were there to help your friends when they were in need of assistance. You created trust where there had not been any. A most noble cause."

"Allison, I present to you this ring of graduation because you fought on when there was no energy for it, no hope to win and no goal in my training. You continued to fight for what you believed in and this has lead you to where you stand today."

"Evin, I present to you this ring of graduation because you choose to resist injustice and demanded indifference amongst us when there was none to be found. You helped not only me, but your other friends to become the people we are today."

"And for you Crystal, I present to you this ring of graduation because you inspired both me and the other students to fight on, learn more and understand everything about being an assassin. You have the spirit of a leader inside you and through all these training sessions I've seen you develop this skill tremendously well."

After that, Theron was done. There wasn't much more to say, they had passed through his training and now the real test lied ahead of them. A new enemy who's strength might just excel that of Theron. He bowed before his students before making the stone platform slowly fall into the ground once more. Hunting time.
The crowd had now dispersed and the only ones left standing by the fireplace was the five students of his and Dani. Theron moved up to the group of assassins with heavy footsteps.


"I'm no longer your instructor and therefor I am one of you. Where would you like to start your search for the hunter?" He asked and put his hands behind his back. He wasn't going to stick around in camp while they had all the fun. That's not how he was going to play his cards.

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Crys stood quiet while Theron was talking. She had picked her mother out of the small crowd that had been formed there, a smile crossed her, and even though deep down she wished her father could be there, it didn't fade. Her mind wandered through everything she had survived with this training... Everything they all had survived. She knew they still were to survive the killer, but she couldn't help but feel proud nevertheless. Not only she felt proud of herself, but of the whole group. They had all crossed every obstacle. The simple fact that Allison was standing that close to the campfire without even flinching was living proof of the progress they made. It was definitely something to be proud of, even if only for a moment.

Crys merely nodded to Theron's words. She kept silent until everyone else seemed to be going back to their own affairs. She sighed, thinking about what she and Ali had been discussing earlier. "We were actually ordered to start in Newhaven. My mother wants us to try and talk their ruler into removing the offer for our camp's location... She said we should go there and offer him the killer in return. He doesn't have to know we're already hunting him anyway." She smirked. "I said I think she's being a little overconfident, maybe. Still, it won't cost us to give it a try."

Ali nodded, not bothering to pretend she was hearing this for the first time. "It is a good place to start, after all. The way he addressed the soldiers when we saw him there... He's probably a local. Although I wouldn't see how if he was once one of us, and has training as a healer... You have to admit the guy is very well prepared." The tone in her voice carried a little bit of respect, even though she clearly hated the man.
Crys nodded. "He is not to be taken lightly... No. She smiled. "I have one thing to tend to before we leave camp, so... You guys decide if you think it's better to leave at nightfall or in the morning. And let me know." She bowed slightly to Theron before walking away, simply for the habit, and then headed towards her house.

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#, as written by Sibrand
Theron listened closely to what they others had to say. It seemed like Dani had already ordered them to start in Newhaven to try and talk some sense into the city's ruler. Not the best course of action, but who was he to judge her "plans". Now it was the time for action, nothing else. Crystal walked off saying she had something to do before leaving. A waste of time if you asked Theron. They should have all been ready already to head out. The more time they spend here the more time this killer is able to gather his strength for his next attack. Theron turned to the others after Evin had spoken.

"We leave at Nightfall then. Gather whatever equipment you need and let's head out." He said with a neutral tone. It wasn't a order, but more like an advice because once Crystal returned they would leave camp.

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Ali nodded to Theron's words and, although it was clearly not an order, she couldn't help but answer with a "Sir, yes sir!" She was joking, clearly, but nevertheless she walked off... She needed arrows and there was only one person in that camp she trusted to make them. Therefore she would have to go see him and beg the man to hurry. That's right... Beg. Demanding things from a guy like Eldric could get you into serious trouble. The man had been born into the clan, and was rumored to be the first on the list for second command if Bastian had not come to the Wolfpack. If that was true... It didn't stop them from becoming very good friends. Even though Eldric was already retired from his position as an Instructor when Ali arrived in the Wolfpack, it didn't stop the former archer and craftsman of teaching her plenty on how to properly care for her bow.

She walked to a cabin a little bit hidden and knocked. A smiling twelve year old opened the door and let her in. "Allison... In need of equipment already?"
Ali nodded. "Yes. Is the old man at home?"
The girl nodded. "Father isn't home, but he left arrows for you. He said Dani requested them."
"She did? Well that's... Thoughtful, huh?"
The girl laughed. "I guess so. She said she was absolutely sure you would forget to request them in advance. Then father called you a knucklehead. They seemed both very amused by that."
Ali nodded laughing. "I'm sure they were Katelyn. So, were are they?"
The girl walked into a back room and came back with a bag of fifty arrows. "These should be more than enough for now, right? Father said he took some liberties since Dani mentioned the nature of your assignment."
Ali nodded. "Enough? It should be... Wait, what liberties?"
The girl shrugged. "I don't know. Check them out yourself."
Ali pulled one of the arrows out of the bag and opened the most delighted smile. "These look incredibly painful... It's perfect." The arrows looked mostly like the ones she was used to shooting: Black wooden shaft, white feathers... Except the metal tips were broader and seemed to make an extreme amount of damage when pulled out. On the black wooden shaft of the arrows the words Requiescat in pace could be read in silver. Those were not the words Ali would use, but she was sure that somehow Dani had something to do with them. "Rest in peace... Indeed." She whispered, still smiling at the arrow. "I will thoroughly enjoy these. Make sure to thank your father for me, alright?"
"Sure Ali. It was nice seeing you again." The girl, Katelyn, nodded in agreement.
Ali nodded in response as she walked out the door. Now she was more than ready to go.

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Jake had few things to do before leaving. Still he walked to his house and checked his weapons, made sure his poisoned darts were very well hidden, and protected, and then he sat down on his bed. A knock on the door startled him. "Enter."
"Nervous?" Jake recognized the voice and immediately frowned at the woman who had just entered.
"What do you care, auntie?" He lifted his head and faced the woman.
Lena Turner smiled at the boy. "Your father was my brother, but we were never exactly family, Jake. The best I could do for you was exactly what I did. Feel free to hate me for it."
"Should I dare ask what you want then?" He asked with a slightly curious tone.
"Yes. I am leaving. I could not find Crys, and I have a feeling I should leave her by herself at this moment. So... I suppose I need you to tell her that, once you manage to find the killer and defeat him, bring his knife to me."
"What for?" He frowned.
"For safe-keeping. The magic on the weapon will most likely make it indestructible. Dani said she wouldn't want that kind of magic lying around her camp, so..."
"Sure. I understand. I'll make sure to let the group know."
"Good, also..." She threw a vial towards him, which he caught in mid-air. "Never carry poison without having the antidote... Stupid boy." She turned and left after saying that. Jake managed to wait until she was actually gone before breaking down in laughter. "Well, I knew I'd forgotten something."

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Crys had one important thing to do before leaving. She understood how that could come to be seen as a set-back by the others, and if she had told them what it was they would probably think it was stupid and unnecessary... But she simply couldn't leave otherwise. "So, this is it. I take it we leave at nightfall?" She asked Jake as soon as he stepped into the memorial area.
"Yes. Might I ask what was it that you so desperately needed to do before leaving?"
She smirked. "Isn't that what you're actually asking? Anyway... It's stupid, and maybe I shouldn't have, but... I left something for my mom, in case... You know..."
"Ah... Crys... You are not going to die."
She laughed. "Oh, well... If you say so..."
Jake sat next to her and she simply nodded, before he even got to say a word. "No, Jake. I don't think we're going to fail. I'm not at all worried or afraid. I honestly believe that we can get this guy and end his sorry life. That's exactly what I plan to do. I just don't think it'll hurt to consider the fact I might be wrong. It has happened many times before. In case you haven't heard." Her tone was astonishing calm, and she was being completely honest also. She was actually very confident, but she just felt it would help her to know that there was something left of her in case she was being too optimistic. Better safe than sorry... She put one arm around Jake's shoulders and smiled. "So... Is everyone ready?"
He nodded. "I think so. And night is almost falling."

"Alright, then lets go wait up by the gates. She got on her feet and began to walk towards the camp gates. They would finally be heading for Newhaven, and after getting one huge 'no' from their ruler, they could get to the point of finding the man who killed her father. That was the actual matter at hand anyway, at least for her.

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The next night, they arrived back at camp. The past few days, they had almost had nothing to eat and had barely slept. Evin's tired self felt less than welcomed when he saw how the camp chose to welcome them back. He was just expecting that everyone would be sleeping. He was hoping that he could join them. That wouldn't be the case. Everyone in the camp was there waiting for them to return. It was a festival of colours and performers. There was loud music, energized dancing and more. Evin couldn't handle it. How did they even know of their success yet? Even if they heard about the king's death somehow, how do they know that the king was the killer? It must have been Dani's fault, but Evin was sure that even Dani couldn't predict how the crowds would react to it. Evin pushed through the crowds. They seemed to be unfazed by the girl that he was carrying in his arms like a rag doll. They still didn't know the girl's name, or anything about her. The times when she was conscious, she wasn't strong enough to speak. It was amazing that she was still alive. When Evin made it past the nauseatingly large crowd of people, he went straight to the healers, who weren't allowed to go the festival until later in the night. It was too bad that he brought this girl to them. They'd probably never be able to enjoy the festivities.
"Thank you." Evin said.
He left them to their tasks, and went to his cabin to try to get some sleep. With all this noise however, it was doubtful Evin would get any sleep. It was a shame, because there wouldn't be much time to rest in the near future. There would be a lot of work to do to make sure the war didn't come to the camp. All the assassin's would probably be out on simultaneous missions gathering intelligence and taking out targets.
Evin opened his eyes and saw something. There was someone in the room. A recognizable silhouette of a woman was sitting at the desk on the other side of his room
“Hello Dani.” Evin said. He got up to light some candles.
“I knew I’d find you here, you've never been much of a people person.” Dani said.
“Was this you’re idea? You know how I don’t like parties. You remember your birthday party?”
“Yes, how could I forget. You were nowhere to be seen and my daughter was drinking as if it were the end of the world. I had to suspend her for that one.”
“Don’t you think you are a little too hard on her. I mean, she is the least of you’re worries around here.”
“That’s true, I have you to cause the bulk of the trouble around here.” A wide smile drew across her face.
Evin chuckled a little, “But in all honesty, she rarely does anything wrong, yet you still find reasons to punish her.”
“She needs to be prepared for when she takes over my role as leader. A strong leader needs to understand the rules.”
“But you act like she needs to be prepared right away, like she is going to have to take your role tomorrow.”
“She might.”
The room grew silent. For a moment, Evin was unsure of what to say. He ignored her comment, deciding to change the subject.
“The dagger's missing. When we looked for it after the battle, we couldn't find it. We didn't have much time to search for it either. We caused quite the stir at the castle”
“So I heard. So the killer was the king? I never expected that.”
“Well, not exactly. It was Perry.” Dani looked puzzled. “I’ll explain it another time. Now, I hate to be rude, but I came to my cabin to avoid human interaction, not to take part in it.”
“I'll leave, but first, I wanted to ask a favour.”
“A favour? I just killed my best friend and you are asking me for a favour? I'm all ears.”
If Dani caught the sarcasm, she didn't reveal it to him. “Crystal is a smart kid, but she's naive and can be easily clouded by her emotions. She is very susceptible to depression and I'd hate for anything to happen to her. I need someone with a level head to be there for her. Now, I am nowhere near being level headed and since her father is now dead… well what I want to say is that I trust you and I think you can be that level headed person in her life.”
“Me: level headed?”
“You don't always know how to be practical Evin. You never learned the value of inaction and sometimes your actions lack forethought. Despite all that, you know how to complete your jobs. I think I can trust you to complete another one.”
"What about the job of instructor, then?"
"We'll talk"
"Thank you." Evin said.
“No. Thank you.” Dani left the cabin, blowing out a candle on the way out.
When the door shut, Evin went to his bed and grabbed a book from underneath it. When he left the cabin Dani was already gone. He walked around the outskirts of the camp to a place where people rarely went. The graveyard. It was where every member of the Wolfpack, assassin or not, was buried. Some of the people weren't even from the Wolf Pack, but through their actions gained a privileged spot among the rest of the Wolves. He went over to the newest addition to the grave grave. Evin hadn't had a chance visit Sebastian's grave yet. Since his death, there was too much stuff to handle meaning less time to indulge in many personal matters such as this.
The modest grave stood before him. He placed the book on top of it and did his best to speak to his friend one last time.
"So... ummm... never took you for a man to run away before things got too bad. You sure picked a good time to die." He chuckled "Sorry for my sick humor. You remember that humor, don't you? Like the time we went on that mission together and the man managed to kill himself minutes before we arrived with the very kitchen knife that we'd been asked to use. We entered the house and saw him lying there and I remember saying, 'so, do we have to pay him for doing our job for him, now?'. I spent the next ten minutes laughing while you checked around the house to see if we were being set up. How did he even manage to do that? Anyway, I brought you back the book that you left me. I managed to learn how to write--I know, I even surprised myself there--and I added the names of the other people who I know were murdered. I thought you would like it back now that it's all finished. You can't have the medical book, though. Came in handy when fixing my cuts... I guess that is all I have to say."
Evin sat down if front of Sebastian's grave and thought about all of the times that he went on a mission with this man. Every mission with Sebastian was bound to be exciting. Every time, something interesting happened. His thoughts drifted from those of the past to the ones of the future. Things wouldn't be easy. It wasn't long until his thoughts turned into dreams. With his head propped against Sebastian's grave, he fell asleep. Things ahead might be rough, but for now he rested.

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When they approached the camp Ali's mind finally began to rest... They were getting home, at last. When the sounds of a party reached her ears though, she winced. Not long after that she heard Crys' voice. "Aw, mom... No..." She whined. Ali couldn't help but laugh though. "Oh, come on Crys... Let them have one night of thinking this is over." Crys simply sighed and didn't answer. She didn't like crowds, or too much excitement, parties had both. So Ali knew she wasn't at all happy right now, but Ali also knew that it would be a long time before they had the chance to celebrate anything. So, they shouldn't put curses on Dani for wanting to give her clan one night to party.

Ali made it through the crowds of people who wanted to greet them and made it to her cabin. She simply dropped on her bed and laid there for a few minutes alone, she picked up a pillow and pressed it against her face as to stifle a scream. She was sure that with the sounds of the party she wouldn't be heard. Tears rolled out of her blue eyes as she finally let all the pain she hadn't been feeling since the battle started storm right back into her body. She should never shut her pain off for so long and she knew it, but she was afraid that if she didn't the others would have to carry her home, she didn't want that, so she waited until she was home and alone to allow herself to feel. It was a while until her door opened and she heard someone sit at the wooden table where she had laid out Bastian's chess board. She sighed. "Go away Jake."

"Dani came out of Evin's house, pulled me by the arm and... She offered me an assignment that..." He sighed. "It's a big deal. Huge."
Ali sat up, wiping the tears off her eyes and moving to sit across from him at the table. She turned the chess board so the white pieces were on his side. "And?"
Jake sighed, moving a pawn two spaces. "And I'd have to go back to Newhaven to do it. I'm officially still a citizen and... I'm known there as a mercenary."
Ali moved her knight, and nodded. "So you'll be leaving us... Does Crys know about it yet?"
"No. I haven't told her, she's barely speaking to me."
"You have to go talk to her. You know that." Ali let out a long sigh. "Plus, I'll be away for a while too."
"Where are you going?" He asked curiously.
"I have a promise to keep. That if Dani will let me go. I haven't asked her yet."
"Yeah. I don't know Ali, things are going to be though from now on. I don't if she will."
Ali shrugged. "That's alright with me, really. You need to tell her."
Jake frowned. "Tell who what?"
Ali laughed. "You know what I mean Jake. After tonight there won't be a right moment... For anything, anymore. You understand me." Then she smiled. "Check mate."
Jake nodded at the board. "Oh, what the hell?" He sighed. "I know you're right, it's just..."
Ali nodded, laughing. "Jacob, listen to me... You won't be telling her anything she doesn't already know. You idiot. Just say the damn words! Go!"
"What now?"
Ali sighed. "Yes... NOW."
Jake chuckled. "Alright, alright." He got up and left.
Ali nodded, and went back to her bed. She could still hear the party outside, but she didn't feel like taking part in any of it.

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Crys was hiding. She was hiding by the lake, not really wanting to be around that many people anytime soon. The sound of familiar footsteps didn't reassure her in one bit. "Hey mom." She mumbled.
Crys felt her mother sit beside her, she chuckled. "Why aren't you playing with the other children Crystal?"
Crys laughed. "And when have I ever? Really?"
"Exactly."
Crys sighed. "Honestly? We were very close to dying, my whole body aches, I need a bath, and I just... Can't stand being asked for the details over a hundred times."
"Kid, do you know why you're here today?"
"I know where babies come from mom."
"Don't be an idiot, Crystal. You know what I mean."
"I'm here because I worked for it." She stated, in a slightly bored tone. They had that conversation many times.
"No... You're here because you annoyed the hell out of me until I agreed to let you train. Same reason why Allison is still here, because you wouldn't leave me alone until I gave her a chance."
"So... I'm annoying." Crys snickered. "Way to go with the compliments mom."
Dani slapped Crys on the back of the head. "Stop that, I'm trying to say something."
Crys laughed. "Ow, that hurt!" Then she stopped laughing and sighed. "I know mom, don't worry about it. If I couldn't handle it I'd be dead by now, now wouldn't I?"
"That's not funny. Not at all.
Crys laughed. "No, I'm serious. I'll be alright mom."
"Oh, I'm sure you will." Dani said, patting her in the shoulder before standing up.
"Don't stay up too late mom." Crys laughed.
"Someone has to enjoy the party, don't you think?" Dani said before walking out.
Crys nodded, laughing while her mother walked away back to the center of camp.

"What are you laughing at?" Jake's voice caused Crys to shut her smile quickly. She was still angry at him for what he did. She didn't answer him so he sighed, and sat next to her. "Look, I'm sorry. You do understand that it was necessary?"
"It wasn't necessary Jake. He's dead." Crys frowned.
"The dagger is the real threat, not that maniac. And it's missing. Anyone could have taken it."
"No one else would know how to use it."
"We can't count on that Crys. That much power... You know what a person could do with that? It's insane."
She sighed... The agonized tone in his voice made it difficult for her to still be mad at him. She laid a hand over his and felt him slight startle from the sudden gesture.
"I know, it's scary, but can't we just believe we're safe? Just for a little bit?" She rested her head on his shoulder and added. "That's not why I was mad anyway."
"Are you going to tell me why you were mad or let me torture myself trying to figure it out?
"Don't tempt me Jacob." She smirked. "I was mad because you planted that antidote on me. What if I hadn't figured it out in time?"
He laughed. "Oh, it's not because I planted it on you. It's because I did it without you noticing. That's what bothered you, right? I lied and you couldn't tell."
"That's not funny. If you died..."
"I never planned on dying. I planted the antidote on you because you know me better than anyone. It was the safest place I could think of. I'm sorry Crys, I didn't mean to hurt you."
"Who said you did?" She asked, in an angry tone.
Jake laughed. "No one Crys, no one."
She punched his arm all of a sudden. "Of course you hurt me you idiot! I love you. I didn't want to be the one responsible if you died" She punched him again. "You jerk!"
"What did you say to me?
"You're a jerk." She repeated.
"Before that Crys."
She sighed. "I said I love you. Was I not supposed to?"
"Well I love you too."
"I know that Jake. You're really not discrete." She smiled when he went silent. "It's alright." She said, laying her head back on his shoulder.
Jake wrapped his arms around her and nodded quietly. "Until the party is over, at least."

-------------

Ali found herself under Dani's gaze waiting on an answer to her request. She didn't know how that would be seen, and she was a little reluctant to leave herself. She knew things would get rough from now on. Dani sighed. "I can't say no to that. You deserve to know your history."
"I can wait though." Ali was almost regretting her request.
"No... It's better if you go now. You might not get the chance again." Dani stated. "Things aren't exactly looking pretty for us."
"Alright. I'll leave tomorrow then." Ali stated. She was worried, but she didn't want to insist on staying if Dani had told her to go.
"Tomorrow?" Dani looked at her and frowned slightly. "You don't look like you can walk that far."
"I'm visiting healers. Might as well give them some work." She shrugged.
Dani laughed. "Lena will have a lot of fun with you, I'm sure."
Ali laughed. "She probably will, yes."
Dani patted her in the shoulder. "Well, if you are leaving tomorrow I suggest you sleep. We'll all have a lot to think about when the morning comes."
Ali nodded, with a slight frown. "When the Knights finish burying that killer... And Newhaven goes back to normality."
Dani nodded. "Newhaven will never go back to normality. Neither will we."
Ali sighed and nodded in agreement to those words. Those were things to think about in the morning. For now... She would sleep.