Shadows of the Enlightened

Newhaven

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a part of Shadows of the Enlightened, by Blackbird26.

City of Newhaven

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Setting

The city is divided into three areas: The Living Area, The Castle Grounds, and The Market. The living area is made mostly by pretty houses made of stone, although some of them are made of wood. The Market is made of many little shops, that sell just about anything from clothes to weapons and armor. There are also many street performers who make a living of entertaining the shoppers. The Castle Grounds are where the ruler and most of the guards and officers live. In all areas of the city there are always guards posted after dark. And the city is also protected by a tall stone wall.

Newhaven

City of Newhaven

Minimap

Newhaven is a part of Valcrest.

1 Characters Here

Vilen Gallows [0] I am never bored anywhere; being bored is an insult to oneself.

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#, as written by Sibrand
Moving through the dark city of Newhaven that was covered in lights here and there. He was still mourning the innocent dead ones and felt sorrow for old memories that ripped open wounds that had been left uncared for. Walking back towards his usual secret exit he suddenly noticed the lights thrown at him from the closest Inn. He felt the urge of drinking away his sorrow until the morning but that wouldn't be good idea and he knew it. Even thought he knew it was a bad idea he suddenly found himself walking into the Inn, up to the bar and ordered a drink:

"I'd like one of the strongest drinks you got." He said and his voice was filled with sorrow as he tossed ten gold coins to the bartender, a most generous amount of gold coins for a single drink but at this point he just didn't care anymore. The drink was served to him and he kept his eyes hidden under his black hat while he drank of his drink, slowly. He didn't bother looking around for he had no one to talk to, no one to hunt for and no goal to achieve. He was broken.

"Shit. I might as well rent myself a bed and make my way to the packs camp in the morning to face justice once and for all." He thought and kept on drinking.

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Justin looked at Allison intrigued, but, before she could explain herself, the entire Inn fell silent as a stranger walked in. Ali looked at the man with the corner of her blue eyes and thought to herself he looked as if he had been defeated in every possible way. She smiled to herself... She knew that feeling well, although she had been able to survive it. Dani had told her once that... Most people rarely ever do. In spite the sudden wave of silence she didn't really pay any attention to him.

Justin served the man, looking a bit nervous when noticing his tone, and the absurd amount of gold he had paid for one simple drink. A depressed man spending money like that was one step away from suicide, that's what Ali thought at least. She didn't know why, but she felt a little sorry for him.

Justin sat in front of her across the counter, and pulled her attention away. "I thought you said you'd never step foot in this city, what happened?"
Ali looked at him with a frown. "I was assigned here. That is all."
He laughed "I don't see your problem. It's a peaceful town."
Ali looked at the boy with a furious look in her eyes, in spite of her permanently calm tone. "This peaceful town, was built on my family's corpses. I would honestly love to watch it burn."
Justin took a step back noticing the look in her eyes. "You're from Blackpond?"
She nodded. "Blackhurst. In that area anyway. And, I'd rather not talk about this anymore."
He smiled kindly. "Sure thing. I have to go handle the costumers. Will you and Evin be staying the night?"
Allison stopped to think about it... She had no idea. She had no idea how they were supposed to find the Shadow Hunter, or how long that would take. Finally, she merely shrugged her shoulders. "Ask him."

Justin wandered off. Allison stuck around in silence. Now thinking she would rather be anywhere else other than Newhaven.

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Evin tried to keep to himself, but the way that Justin and Allison were looking at each other had him more interested than anything else. That is until the man entered the bar. The thing that caught his attention was how the entire bar had gone silent at the exact moment he entered the bar. Although, Evin didn't get a glimpse of his face, he knew that this man would know something about where to find the Shadow Hunter. The way he walked showed Evin that he was in a vulnerable state and was prone to answer any question that he asked. The catch 22 of this was that anyone in such a vulnerable state will be very defencive too. He let the man sit and have his drink. In the meantime, he listened to Allison and Justin's conversation. He knew it was an invasion of privacy, but it is always good to know ones partner a little better so he listened.
About thirty minutes had passed and the man was just about done his drink. It was time to put his plan in action. He leaned over to Allison and whispered, "The man over there probably has some idea of where he is. We are going to confront him now. Watch my back..." Evin got up out of his seat and moved to the middle of the bar where he yelled towards the man, "Hey there mystery man, I know you know something about the Shadow Hunter! So you can tell me what you know about him, or you can make life a little more difficult for yourself. So what will be?"

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#, as written by Sibrand
His drink was almost gone. Theron had been drinking before and so this one drink didn't do much to his mind and senses. It just gave him a moment of thinking. What path would he take to the Pack's camp? Would Dani order her assassins to attack him on sight? Would she hold a trial for his crimes or would she simple arrest him and then execute him in front of the entire clan to mark their victory and freedom in Valcrest? He didn't know nor did he have time to think about it. Suddenly a man by the looks of it had confronted him in the bar screaming in a drunk way that he knew that Theron knew something about the Shadow Hunter. The man was obviously not drunk since he tried too hard to make it look like he was drunk and this was interesting.

"You don't want to have anything to do with that man, kid. Drop it and go home." Theron said and rose from his seat. He didn't have any real interest of finding out why this guy wanted to know about the Shadow Hunter, hell he had not even looked at the man. Theron threw some gold coins to the bartender and spoke once more:

"I'd like a room for the night."

The bartender didn't move, he only looked at the man behind Theron. The hunter was growing tired of this whole mess. If he would have to teach the kid a lesson then so be it, but so far he had not done Theron anything other than disturbing him.

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Allison had been distracted by her own thoughts. Until she heard Evin's voice that is. She didn't reach for her bow, since that would draw too much attention. Instead she made one swift move and a throwing knife she kept hidden under her sleeve slid to her hand. Other than that, she simply waited.

When she heard the man's reply to Evin she also recognized that tone in his voice. "You don't want to have anything to do with that man, kid. Drop it and go home." Something in her mind seemed to connect somehow. He spoke as if he was speaking of someone else, but self loathing was a feeling she knew all too well, and that was what she heard in his voice.

She kept the throwing knife at hand, always better to be safe than sorry. Then she stood on her feet, and called out loudly. "Theron!"

No matter how careful you are, when someone calls your name you turn around, so maybe this was the best way to know for sure.

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#, as written by Sibrand
Theron was growing tired of this. The bartender was a coward, this guy was too curious for his own good and what was the deal with other bunch of patrons in this Inn? Didn't they have anything else to do then listening to a conversation such as this? He guessed not. Times like these made people bored. The war was starting to grow old and it was just a useless fight they continued to fight instead of ending it and start the the quest of rebuilding Valcrest to it's former glory. It was just a matter of time and this Theron kept telling himself. If he would die at the Wolfpack's camp then he knew that the assassins would eventually help the Valcrest onto it's feet once more, with or without his help.

Suddenly a girl yelled his name out loud. He didn't turn around yet he flinched at it. He didn't know if he was caught or not but he'd rather not cause any trouble in a pleasant Inn such as this one. Slowly turning around he said out loud to the Guy and the Girl:


"Tell me the real reason to why you want to meet the Shadow Hunter so bad? I know him and I also know where he is, but first I want to know why you care and what you want with him?"

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If the flinch wasn't enough to give himself away, his face did and it wasn't the expression he had either. It was the features that made him distinct from anyone else. Although age had taken it's toll on what Evin assumed was a very stressed man, he could recognize the face. He let Allison take charge of the situation a bit, until she mentioned Evin again at which point, he proceeded to take charge.
"So Theron, lets just make this easy. You've already had a drink and I'm sure that you're reaction time is no longer as good as it was before you had that drink." At which point, from out of no where, he took out one of his throwing knives and threw it about a foot away from Theron's face. He wanted to know how much of an advantage he had gotten from waiting for Theron to finish his drink. To the untrained eye, it would seem he was fine, but Evin knew otherwise. "I don't intend to kill you, or even capture you. I just want to ask you a few questions." He smiled, "Lets begin. A long time ago, an assassin named Perry and I attempted to ambush you at you're camp. You had ambushed us instead. I fled and have no idea what happened after that. Did you kill Perry, and if not, do you know where I might find him. If you help us out, you wont go unrewarded even if you are an enemy to the Wolfpack?"
Then the room fell silent. Evin had wanted to know just as much as anyone else in the Wolfpack what happened on that day. He hoped that this interaction would go down smoothly. It had so far, but he had something planted in case he did try to attack. He hoped it wouldn't come down to that though.

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#, as written by Sibrand
The girl spoke quickly and to her, this whole mess didn't seem like anything important. She was young and maybe too naive to see the importance of this meeting. Maybe the man who had called out for the Shadow Hunter before had more reason in his body, but Theron doubted it. Then he spoke up and Therons question was answered.

"So Theron, lets just make this easy. You've already had a drink and I'm sure that you're reaction time is no longer as good as it was before you had that drink." He said and threw a knife quite close to his face. Theron didn't bother to move since so far the man didn't seem like he was going to try and kill the infamous hunter. It seemed like the man wanted answers and those Theron had many of. The man began to speak again, this time showing how foolish he was.

"I don't intend to kill you, or even capture you. I just want to ask you a few questions." to which both of them smiled. The man asked about a guy named Perry. He explained that Theron had ambushed them a long time ago. The Hunter had no idea at first because he had to confess; The man before him didn't really have a face you'd remember easily. But then it struck him like a lightning. That man! Theron was of course going to help them but he was first going to teach this guy that he was named Shadow Hunter for a reason.

"I will answer your question with another one." Theron started and his smile grew larger. "Have you ever heard of the saying 'Never judge a book by it's cover'?"

Moving closer to the man and the girl he continued.

"Let's make a deal. I challenge you to a duel, your choice of place. I will use all my skills, weapons and equipments and you will do the same. If you win then I will answer every single question you might have." He said and turned his back to the assassins. He walked over to the mans throwing knife and pulled it out. "But if I win, I will kill both you and the girl and don't you think I don't have the guts nor the skills to do it. I've killed far experienced assassins than you two, beg your pardon."

Then Theron walked over to the man named Evin and gave him the knife he had thrown.

"So what's it going to be?"

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Allison smiled quietly. This would be interesting to watch. Still, she wasn't going down without a fight, if Evin should lose. She wasn't one to care much for living, or to fear pain. There was one thing she still wanted to do before her day would come. She wouldn't allow anything to take it away from her. She was very much aware that she appeared absolutely harmless, and was rather inexperienced, still... She felt slightly insulted on how he assumed it would be easy to kill her.

Her smile widened a bit, her eyes were shining in a bright threatening tone. "Excuse me. I may be a kid, but I am standing right here. Don't speak as if I wasn't in the room. It's not polite." She shut down her smile, and added. "Not all little girls are harmless, you know. Or is it just your cover that cannot be judged?"

She swiftly pulled her knife again, but simply began to swirl it around between her fingers, it would keep her mind busy, so she wouldn't do anything too stupid. It wasn't her intention to intrude in this at all, it was Evin who needed answers, she was simply making a point. Other than that, being stuck in Newhaven, made her slightly frustrated.

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Evin didn't reply at first. He was distracted by Allison's comment which made him smirk a bit. He also needed to assess his situation right now. What if he refused? Would he be able to get the answers out of him another way? What if he did go through with the deal? It probably wouldn't go over well, but if he was to die, he would have to find a way to take Theron with him. He just wasn't sure how he would do this if it did come down to it. The time it took him to run these thoughts through his mind was way too long. It was obvious that Evin was having trouble coming up with an answer and it probably hurt the whole mood that Evin wanted to keep.
"Two days from now at twilight in ten minutes east of the main entrance of Newhaven. There's a clearing there. It's the perfect place for a fair duel."
Then Evin suddenly, but subtly moved his fingers causing an invisible wire to jerk the throwing knife that the wire was attacked to out of Theron's hand. For a little added flair, he moved it around the back of Theron's head in an almost artistic style that made it look almost as if it were floating. He then jerked his hand back and the knife flew back into his hand.
Then smiled and said, "The girl's right You might not want to judge this book by it's cover."

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#, as written by Sibrand
Theron choose to ignore the girl completely. His deal was with the guy and not the girl. She could whine all day long for all he cared. The guy spoke once more, telling Theron where they were going to have the duel and then he tried to intimidate the Hunter by showing off with his little knife to which Theron only smiled.

"You might not want to judge this book by it's cover also. If I didn't think I had a chance of winning, I wouldn't have accepted the offer of a duel." The man spoke. Theron kept on smiling and nodded. After that he turned around and made his way over to the stairs where his room for the next couple of nights lied. Stopping at the stairs he faced the man one last time.

"Let the most experienced Hunter win. The one who hunts targets that doesn't have any experience about staying stealthy or the Hunter who hunts targets that has a massive amount of experience about stealth." And with that Theron left the two of them. He wasn't much for insulting people but this brat and his young companion was just too much for him. He had to teach them a lesson, at any cost.

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Allison frowned slightly at being ignored, but didn't mind it too much. She didn't bother to say another word, she mainly kept her attention on the knife at her hand. She wasn't bothered by Theron at all. Well, not until he insulted Evin, which she wouldn't mind wasn't for the words he used.

"Let the most experienced Hunter win. The one who hunts targets that doesn't have any experience about staying stealthy or the Hunter who hunts targets that has a massive amount of experience about stealth."

This sentence alone spiked her anger in a way no one else in that room would understand. Crys had told her things. She had told Allison stories of recruits being killed in their beds, ten to twelve years old, what did they know about anything?
Allison stopped swirling the knife around, she clenched her fist around it, the anger building. When Theron was leaving, she had to control herself not to attack him right there. She closed her eyes and focused on breathing to calm herself, she opened them again to the sound of Justin's voice. "Ali, you're bleeding."

She had her hand shut tight around the blade of the knife, blood was dripping from her hand onto the counter. Even after realizing that, it took her a few minutes to let go. When she finally did, Justin had already gotten her a clean rag, soaked in alcohol, and looked at her with an apologetic smile. "This is going to hurt, a lot."

Allison simply smiled and took the rag of his hands, and wrapped it around her wounded hand without a flinch. "Dead people feel no pain, Justin."
She looked at Evin with a smile. "Once he answers your questions, can I shoot him?"

There were many things Allison didn't care about at all, but she honestly believed that the Wolfpack had saved her life. No matter how much she wanted to live and take revenge on the death of her family... She would gladly give it up to protect the clan.

If all the commotion wasn't enough, Justin spoke again, and Ali didn't like what she heard at all. "I've sent a message back to camp, telling what just happened here."

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Evin didn't take the words that Theron said as an insult, he actually took it as a challenge. Evin thought that it was harder to assassinate someone than it was to hunt someone. It was even easier to hunt someone when the people he is hunting stay quite stationary in a camp like Theron did with the Wolfpack. He thought about the one time that he had to assassinate someone during an event that was going on in a crowded ballroom. It took the people ten minutes to figure out that the man lying down on a bench was not drunk but in fact dead. By this time, Evin had made it out of the city and no one would ever suspect him or the Wolfpack of the murder. It didn't matter though, because he could also win fights just as well as he could assassinate a person. They were basically two sides of the same coin.
"Once he answers your questions, can I shoot him?" Evin saw blood trickling from Allisons hand, but he ignored it.
"When I get the answer, you could kill him for all I care. The Wolfpack would be better without him running around."
Then an idea came into his head. With this idea, he could win the fight in a matter of minutes. It wouldn't even be that hard.
"Now lets get some sleep, we'll be getting up early tomorrow morning. There are a few people in town I need to talk to." Evin said as he left the room to go get some sleep, "I'll be at you're room tomorrow to wake you up. I'm not sure when it will be so get some sleep while you still can."

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It was about four o'clock in the morning. It would be another two and a half hours before the sun would begin to show. It was the perfect time of day to get started. He had a lot to do before this duel started and it would have to be done quickly. He intended to get a good nights rest so he would be ready for the fight the next day and the only way he could do so is if he managed to set everything up before. The guards were going to change shifts in the next ten to twenty minutes. It was the time that Evin needed to get going. He got out of bed feeling rather refreshed for only getting around five hours of sleep.
The walk from Evin's room to Allison's wasn't that long at all. He quietly knocked on the door and said rather bluntly, "I don't care if you look like a tramp and need to get all pretty before you get up, I need us out of here in the next ten to twenty minutes while the guards are changing shifts. There is a person we need to go talk to." He waited outside of the room while she got ready.

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Allison managed to sleep a little. It was rather unpleasant sleep, but it was sleep. When Evin knocked and shouted outside, she simply opened her eyes, and muttered to herself. "Shit!"

She smirked at his words, nodding. Evin didn't know her at all. She simply sat up and put on her boots. She had changed into her other set of the same type of clothes she had on the previous night, before going to bed, and slept on them.
After strapping on her belt, daggers and quiver included. She strung her bow, drawing it a few times to make sure it was alright, and stepped outside holding it right-handed, smiling. She did all that in less than five minutes. "Wonder why Crys finds you so annoying... You're such a pleasant guy."
She put the sarcasm aside and nodded, quoting Crys in a rather accurate impression. "If you can't kill in your sleep, you die in your sleep." She checked her knifes one more time, and added casually. "In my first week of training Crys would wake me in the most unpleasant ways. Not that I usually sleep much anyway. Where are we going then?"

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Valcrest

Crys had led Takei through a known path in the direction of the city of Newhaven. They had walked quietly for quite some time. Crys hadn't mentioned anything about the assignments or the fact that the girl had been placed back under training. She was somewhat disappointed that no questions have been asked so far. She stopped in a safe spot, and leaned against a tree. "The city is right ahead. We will be there in a couple of hours. Before that, maybe it's time we have a little talk."

Crys crossed her arms, and smiled lightly. "In case you haven't realized this already. You have been placed back under training, which means... You don't get to be called an active again unless I say so. And I rarely ever do. In case you are wondering why, which you shouldn't have to, I'll tell you..."

She stared at Takei, with a rather intimidating look, even if a blank one. "The Wolfpack doesn't function the way most clans do. Reason why we survive. To be accepted as active you should have qualities other than pure talent, which I must admit... You do have. Above everything... You must be reliable. Which, at the moment you are not. Loyal, maybe... But not reliable. Your previous instructor failed remarkably in graduating you. You have not grown as a member of the clan, and so my mother wants me to... Make up for that mistake."

She sighed, and added. "The most important things you must remember while we have to work together: First, never lie to me. Second, always do exactly as I say, specially if that means doing nothing. Third, I will never feel sorry for you, so do not dare whine... Ever. Any questions?"

Crys waited patiently for the girl to reply. She actually expected her to complain, or at least feel offended... She wouldn't respect her otherwise.

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The sun shone brightly through the window of the Hunters room. He had been sleeping for quite a while now and he didn't have any problems with the thought of staying in bed. But he knew that he had to go out and fill up on his stock of food and other supplies but that could wait until tonight. As for now he was going to take it slow and let his opponent do whatever he wants to do for the duel tomorrow. Theron didn't underestimate the man and his skills nor did he think less about the girl with the man, but they had both thought it would be easy to just confront the very being that has slayed so many of their kinsmen that you can't count the number with your fingers and toes. They had underestimated him and his years of experience and now he was going to try and teach them a lesson. Well he had no other choice, but he would most certainly avoid to kill them. He would try to neutralize the man first and then the Girl would likely attack him out of fear of dying and then he would have to quickly neutralize her too before proceeding to tell them the truth. But that was tomorrow. Right now he was going to go back to sleep for another couple of hours before he would go out and fill up on supplies and await the next day.

"I have to confess that sleeping in a bed beats sleeping out in the wild, even though I feel safer out there then in here." Theron thought before falling asleep once more.

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Allison came out of her room. She definitely didn't care if she looked like a tramp. She didn't look too bad, but one could definitely tell that she had just gotten out of bed. Her hair was a little messy and her eyes still had some sleep in them. It was better then Evin had expected though. It was good that she looked presentable too, because Evin was sure that the person that they were going to see would prefer to talk to someone who looked good, especially at this time of day. Evin hoped that she would understand.
"Where are we going then?" Allison asked.
Evin started to walk. "We are going to see a person I know. It is very early in the morning, I know, but she wont mind in this situation. Her name is Lorin and I met her a few years back when I was on mission in the around that clearing where the fight is taking place. That isn't the reason why we are going to meet her though. She has the ability to create illusions and she also knows about some of the area really well. I think that she could be really good for our fight. She owes me a few favors anyways." He stopped for a second and smirked and then said to himself, "Who said breaking rules never helped? Anyways, she will be a valuable weapon in our arsenal. Well here we are!"
The distance from the inn to her house wasn't that far and they were already there. The guards that they did see were too distracted by other things to see them. It was a good thing too, because during the entire time, Evin had kept a dagger in his hand in case anything happened. Of course nothing did happen.
He opened the door to the house. He knew that she wouldn't mind if he just walked in, even at this time of day. What he saw when he walked in was definitely not what he expected. He was expecting to see the typical boring white paint and dull white love seat that welcomed anyone coming in, but it wasn't white. It was covered in blood and very fresh blood at that. He gripped his dagger a little bit tighter as he walked in a little more.
"Wait outside. If you can get onto the roof, see if you can see anyone who might have done the attack." He whispered so quietly, that only a person within a meter of him would be able to hear. Now understanding was another thing.
Evin started to walk closer to the couch. Behind the couch was a man. He couldn't see who it was under the cloak, but he was stabbing Lorin who was already clearly dead. It didn't make any sense, but he knew that he had just found the murderer that the King wanted. Evin jumped over the couch and lunged at the man. The man was prepared though and threw a smoke bomb in Evin's face. Evin didn't flinch though, he was to concentrated on finding out where the man was. He tried to use some of his other senses to figure out what he had done since he threw the bomb, but he gave nothing away. It wasn't natural, it was almost like the man was an assassin himself. When Evin had gotten out of the smoke, the man was already at the door and taking off. How didn't Evin even hear the man run away?
Evin ran after the man. Hopefully Allison had seen the man take off.

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Allison followed Evin close and listened carefully, with little reaction. His idea seemed pretty good though. Not even with all the experience in the world, Theron couldn't see past an illusion. She kept herself quiet and tried to look around as little as possible. She didn't look up until she heard the words "here we are".

when she finally looked around, Evin was already making his way in. By the time she took her first step to follow him, she knew something was very wrong. She couldn't see anything since she was standing behind Evin, but she could definitely smell the blood, and it seemed to be a lot of it.
When Evin whispered to her, she moved without hesitation and managed to get on the roof of the house, rather easily. She took a breath, and kept her eyes open for anyone that could have done this.

Minutes later, she saw a cloaked man leaving the house, rather calmly. Fast, but calm. He walked straight to a couple of soldiers, before Allison could consider following him. All of a sudden the soldiers the man had spoken to started to move towards the house. Luckily they were at a good distance from them. Ali dropped from the roof, stepped inside, and spoke in calm tone, but obviously in a hurry. "Evin, we have to leave now."

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Crys nodded, smiling. She resumed walking towards Newhaven, she listened carefully to make sure Takei was following, and then added. "For obvious reasons, no one else is supposed to know you're on observation. That would be uncomfortable for you."

They got to a distance from the city gates, where one could probably get a glimpse of it, but Crys led Takei around the city walls towards a hidden entrance. Not long after that they were arriving at the Inn. Crys felt silence spread across the few Pack member that were in there, she sat in front of the counter and spoke to the boy that was working there. "Justin... Where are Evin and Ali?"
"They left earlier, haven't got back yet."
She sighed. "And the man by the name of Theron, is he still here?"
Justin hesitated, but then answered. "Yes. Still asleep in his room."

Crys nodded staring at the boy seriously. "Give me the spare key to his room."
Justin sounded terrified as he answered dropping the key on the counter. "What are you going to do?"
Crys smiled. A smile very similar to her mother's. "I'll deliver a message, nothing more. Which room?"
The boy sighed, sensing trouble. "The one your father always uses. I made sure to put him as far from Ali as possible. She seemed to want to jump at his throat last night."

She picked up the key, and began to walk towards the rooms. She didn't turn, when giving Takei an order. "Wait right here. I'll be back soon."

She reached the Hunters room, opened the door and entered closing it. She waited to see if she had woke him up or not, before doing anything else. After all, she was only there to talk... She hoped thing wouldn't go any further than that.

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Evin Knew not to ask questions when Allison came in. He just knew that it was no longer safe to stay in the house. Evin assumed that the trouble was coming from the front so the only way out would be through the back. Evin ran back past the dead body of Lorin and took a mental note of the stab wound. It didn't seem natural. There was some sort of dark energies working at that wound, but he couldn't note what was exactly wrong with it. The only way through the back was through a window. Evin picked up a little sculpture of a bird and threw it through the window. The glass shattered every which direction creating a deadly array of colorful shards around Evin's face. He flew through the window avoiding the larger shards in air and on ground when he landed. He ran through the alleyway and then threw some firecrackers he kept with him over the house to create a distraction to anyone who was coming.
It only took about ten minutes to walk through the back ways to get back to the inn.
"That man had skills that only an assassin could know. It might have been Theron even, but how would he know that we were going to her house? This doesn't make sense." He paused for a few seconds, his plan was ruined, but then he accepted his only option. "Don't let him kill me. If you have to, shoot me with an arrow, but I don't want that scum Theron to kill me." It might have been a sign of weakness, but it was what had to be done. "And that's an order!"

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Ali nodded as they made their way inside the Inn. She sat on the same spot she had sat the night before, not minding the other people inside. "It wasn't Theron. I might not have been able to do much, but I did see him. Not his face, but... Still, definitely not Theron. He is taller then Theron, and I suppose he lives here since he spoke to the city guards so easily... And I am sorry about your friend." She added that last sentence in a lower tone of voice, and went silent.

She chose not to comment on the order she just had been given. She was somehow expecting it not to go that far. When she brought herself to look at Justin, who had been watching them, she noticed he looked rather uneasy, and frowned. "Is something wrong?"
Justin looked at her, he seemed absolutely terrified now. "Crys is here. She asked for the two of you, then she asked for the Shadow Hunter. Then she took the key to his room and went to see him..."
Allison's eyes widened in shock. "She did what? That's just insane!"
Justin nodded. "She said she had a message for him. I didn't question her much, she'd kill me if I tried."
Ali nodded in agreement to that statement. "Did she say she'd be right back?"
"Well, yes, but..."
Allison interrupted, in a calmer tone. "Then we wait right here. She'll be back."

Then Justin pointed at a point behind Ali and said, lowering his voice. "That girl came in with her. Do you know her?"
Ali didn't turn immediately, she simply gave the boy a cold stare. "Do not point at people, it's impolite."

Allison turned to look where Justin had pointed. She didn't know the girl, but she had seen her before.

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Drifting in the abyss of dreams and hopes, Theron wandered without doubt and fear through the endless realms of lost dreams, banished hopes and He was heading towards the end of the tunnel, so to speak. There he would see his future and what Valtara, the goddess of Fate and her guardians had in store for him. Stars flew next to him and at some points even straight through his chest as if he was a timeless being walking in a realm filled with souls who had dreams and hopes for the future. He didn't have any of those things, not anymore. He knew that death awaited him on the other side and it was just a matter of time before he would cross the border into the world of Death, but before he could reach the end he woke up to the growing sound outside his door. His hand quickly found it's way to one of his medium long blades as a figure stepped into his room and closed the door behind her.

It was the blind assassin that Theron had been watching from time to time. He had in his deepest dreams wanted to kill her before just to be able to repay what Dani had done to him by killing his father. Now he didn't have any of those urges, he was calm and serenity flew through his scarred body. He put the blade aside and took a step towards the blind girl.


"Please do take a seat, young girl. There's a chair two meters to your left." Theron said and sat down on the bed once more. "What can a simple, yet humble man such as myself do for a skilled assassin as yourself?" He asked with a friendly voice. He had no hostile feelings towards her anymore and if she wanted to speak with him then he would be glad to listen. He had, after all seen the light.

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Crys smiled at the man's words, and she took a seat as soon as she found the chair. Although she physically resembled Dani the most... In her mannerisms, Crys was a lot like her father when she was calm. So her tone was a calm and casual one, as it rarely was when she was in camp since she was constantly dealing with recruits and problematic actives. "Well, we received notification of what happened here last night. Although, my mother didn't give any details other than the fact that you have a duel arranged with one of our actives. So, my mother sent me here to take care of this."

She sighed and nodded. "Knowing Evin he probably acted like an immature brat, and... Allison is an immature brat. So, my only problem here is if you plan on killing them. In that case we will have a problem. Otherwise... I won't intervene. These two definitely need to learn a lesson or two..." She added in a severe, yet amused, tone. "Specially Evin."

She took a quiet moment to try and figure out what Theron's intentions were at the moment. She immediately wondered what her mother had told him when they met... She recognized him as someone she had sensed before, although she didn't remember ever meeting with him, still... Something was very much different.

She finally broke out of her silence, when remembering something important. "My father's brother, Kyle. Do you remember him?"

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Theron was relived that the blind girl didn't act hostile towards him or immature in any way at all. This would hopefully be a nice and calm conversation. Theron listened closely on the girl and he didn't bother to speak his mind in the middle of her speech. That would just be rude on his side. For a moment he realized what he was thinking and a smile grew on his face. He couldn't believe that he was acting like this and that he was having a civilized conversation with an assassin without any thoughts of hurting nor killing her once they were done talking. The girl finished with a question and Theron took his sweet time before answering.

"I can assure you that I do not intend to kill either of them. I will simple teach the man named Evin that his actions and behaviour against strangers won't come without consequences. As for the girl you call Allison, no I won't hurt her. I will leave the teaching part to you. I'm sure you know what to do with that one." Theron said and his smile faded slowly.

"Yes, I remember Kyle. A strong, yet a bit naive man at some points. Let me guess: He's dead isn't he?" The Hunter asked with a low and deep voice.

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Crystal laughed at the man's response. "That is cruel actually... I'm pretty sure Ali would much rather deal with you."

She crossed her arms and nodded confirming Theron's statement. "Yes. He was killed in his home last night. I'll be heading for Blackpond next, to find out what exactly happened. It might have something to do with the fact he had been giving us information on the enlightened deaths. His wife was one of the victims." She shrugged. "My dad is very upset about this. Personally... I never met the man. This killer is what worries me most, I wonder what he could be after."

Crys lost herself in her thoughts for a moment. Well, if this person was after the abilities, hers was one he surely wouldn't want. Three years of killing people while experiencing their fear and pain had been complete torture for her. No one would choose to go through such a thing. Still, her father was an enlightened, so was Ali, maybe other in the Pack... There were more than just a few reasons to worry. If that was it, then how was it possible...? Crys frowned while thinking it over. "This person knows a lot about the Wolfpack, and I don't like it at all."

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Theron laughed with her. He wasn't quit sure why he laughed but he didn't want to seem rude. Yet hearing the news of his old friends death wasn't easy. Kyle had not been like the others. He had left the Hunters after they had discovered that Sebastian was still alive. He had not even killed half as many as Theron had. Kyle had been more of a scout than a hunter. The news of his and his wives demise took it's tool on Therons mood, yet he had to stay strong and move on.

"There will be a time to mourn his death, but not today." Theron thought has he kept on listening to the blind girls words. When she was done he spoke his mind.

"It's not a easy task to study the Pack nor acquire information about them either. I for one know. But before we go any further in this conversation I'd like to ask of your name, if I may?"

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"It is a funny thing..." She had started talking, not really responding to anything he had said. "My father hadn't really gotten along with his brother in so long, but he is still very shaken. And there is nothing to do about it either... The pain..." Obviously at this point Crys had been talking more to herself than anything else. She nodded as if to force herself to stop.


"I'm sorry... I'd say I forgot my manners, but I rarely have any actually. My name is Crystal Rivers." Maybe the funny part of that statement was the fact that she wasn't joking at all, Crys was never really very polite, although she was a rather pleasant person... Most of the time. "And, yes... We pride ourselves in being careful, but lately... " She left the sentence unfinished, it was obvious that Theron had an informant, but that was something for him to discuss with her parents, not her. "Even so, this person must have been planning this for quite sometime. And I don't understand why he would be framing us for it."

Other than the Hunter in front of her, Crys knew there weren't any enemies of her clan that were still alive.

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Allison disregarded the question the order that he had given to her. He didn't blame her though, it did seem a little awkward. He didn't care about the death of his friend though. He had had other people just disappear on him like that. It was the consequence of being an assassin, but it was the fact that his whole plan went down the drain. He still had a few little tricks and ideas, but most of his plan had went down the drain and the tricks would probably just stall the whole event. He did have one big idea that could turn things around, but it was very risky.
Then, he saw Jason point towards Takei. Although neither Allison or Jason knew exactly who she was, Evin did. Evin thought of it as his duty to get to know everyone in the camp. Even if he didn't get to know them well, he at least had an idea of their name and some facts about them. He had talked to Takei a few times and rather liked the girl. She was a rule breaker and he was reminded of himself in some ways. The only thing that she didn't have was the manipulation that had helped Evin get out of trouble.
"Her name is Takei. She is a very talented assassin and could go out on missions on her own, but she has always been prevented by Dani and the instructors because of her tendencies to break the rules at times. It's probably why Crystal came along with her." He noted as he waited for Crystal to come back from her talk.

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Ali nodded to Evin's words. She already knew that. She had closed her eyes and was listening carefully to Crys and Theron's conversation. She wasn't exactly used to doing that often, but... She was curious. And she grew more curious at the pleasant tone the conversation had taken. Very strange.

All of a sudden, she heard steps coming from a distance, many steps, coming in their direction at the same time. She opened her eyes quickly only to find she couldn't really see a thing. "Shit! Soldiers are coming!"

Okay, that was a first... It was common knowledge that the Wolfpack owned the Inn, still the soldiers never bothered to intrude in their business before. Could this have anything to do with that man?
She had counted before closing her eyes, as far as actives went there were only the three of them, and Crys. Maybe Theron if he felt like doing something, but he could easily make it out on his own. With all that... Too damn risky to stay and fight, in her opinion. She did her best to hide the fact that she couldn't see a thing, and waited to see if Evin would make a decision. He was the boss after all.

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How did Allison know about the guards coming. There were a few possibilities and they all didn't seem to make any sense. He would figure this out later though because at the moment he had to figure out a way to get out of this one. He started to look through all the windows at every direction of the inn. They had the place surrounded and were carrying torches. It was too late to stop them from setting the place on fire and attacking. Five men were pouring some sort of flammable liquid around the entire inn. It was only a matter of time before the man with the torch would throw it on.
"We need to get the hell out of here! We're surrounded and they're about to torch the place. They are either trying to kill us in the fire or flush us out to fight. Anyone who can fight, start throwing knives or shooting arrows through the windows to slow them down. I'll go break up the little happy time I'm sure the two are having up there." Sarcasm slipped from his tongue when he said the last sentence. He was sure it wasn't too heated, but there was probably for the most part, a fairly civil conversation (or as civil as it could be between enemies).
Evin ran up the stairs. Going back and forth, past all the paintings of past assassin's and people who were important to the Wolfpack. In a matter of minutes all these paintings would be no more though. By the time that he made it to the door, he could smell the flame. He didn't even knock, he just burst through the door and told the two, "We need to get out of here. No time to explain. The guards are burning the place down."

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Ali heard Evin's words and a sudden rush of panic hit her. Fire. They were going to set the whole place on fire. Shit! It's not like she could help it, fire usually made her useless. The thought of it caused her mind to go to a bad place. As the same time as her sight came back, she couldn't seem to see anything anymore, even if she was able to.

She could hear her brother's voice yelling out that they had to leave. She was fighting him as hard as she could, she didn't want to leave the baby. She eventually gave up and let herself be dragged into safety while her baby sister screamed inside. When she was finally at a distance, she could still hear the crying and screaming even if she knew that they were only in her mind. She dropped to the ground, the last tears she ever cried rolling down her face. The last look she gave her brother was one of pure contempt as he had chosen to save her instead of the baby on the crib. She regret it immediately, as seconds later he was stabbed in the back. His eyes darkened before he fell to the ground, in a split second he was gone. The soldier looked at her and laughed...

She was broke out of that thought by Evin's voice. "...Anyone who can fight, start throwing knives or shooting arrows through the windows to slow them down..."

Allison shook her head as hard as she could. The fire hadn't been lit yet, but it would be soon. She turned to face the nearest window and started shooting through it, arrow after arrow, without thinking, but hitting one soldier with each.

Evin had gone up the stairs. She had 20 arrows on her, but her sight was still blurry... So much for a perfect record.

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"Damn," Vilen Gallows spat as he came upon the scene of the inn about to be burned. Automatically his hand went to the sword strapped to his back as his mind started racing. There were options of course, but none of them seemed particularly viable at this juncture.

The inn was surrounded. He could draw the guards to him, but what good would that do once they got to him? They would only kill him and return to the task at hand. There were too many, he was alone, and he wasn't capable of drawing one at a time. Besides, that would take far too long. By then they would already have the place burnt down. He could try killing them off one by one from a distance, but once again, he was only one man. What's more, he had no idea how many allies he would have in the building. There could be one person in there, or the whole pack could be inside.

The only thing Vilen did know for sure was that he was running out of time. So, he focused his attention on the man with the torch, hoping to at least buy a little time for those inside.

"Come here," he said, loudly but softly somehow at the same time as his green eyes glinted. The guard holding the torch, who was literally inches from setting the place on fire, stopped and looked his way, as did a few others, and then they started walking. However, their companions obviously noticed what was going on.

"On your guards, men! One of them must be out here! Using tricks against us!"

"Well done," Vilen murmured sarcastically, staying completely still from his vantage point so as to stay undetected for as long as possible. The soldier with the torch and his few friends were still walking towards Vilen, which was undesirable but necessary.

"There! There he is!" Another of the guards shouted as he pointed straight at Vilen. Now there was nothing for it. Quickly, he removed his bow from its place on his back, knocked an arrow, and loosed it at the soldier with the torch, hitting him straight in the head. The man dropped it, but it was quickly recovered by one of his brethren, who took it up and started running back towards the inn. Vilen, realizing that his lure would be useless in this situation given the amount of guards, he decided that the best thing to do would be to attack. He was sure that by now, any pack members inside would have been alerted to his presence by the cries of the guards, so at least they should know that he was there to help. What they would do with that information, though, he wasn't sure.

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#, as written by Sibrand
The proud and humble hunter named Theron was about to answer the blind assassin named Crystals statements when the man he had challenged yesterday stormed into the room. He looked like he'd seen a ghost and he told them that the Newhaven guards were going to burn the Inn down. Theron moved swiftly over to the window and took a look outside. There was indeed a group of guards stationed around the Inn, pouring some sort of flammable liquid on it's walls.

"So much for the nice hospitality." Theron thought and broke the window with his elbow. A couple of scratches was nothing compared to his life for the moment. He quickly pulled out a smoke bombs and two unknown bombs that he had never tested before. He threw the smoke bomb down at the guards below which caused them to back away from the Inn in disarray before he threw the other two bombs. Suddenly there was several high pitched screams from the ground as the guards clenched at their faces. The bombs had contained an acid liquid that could burn through almost any cloths and skins. One by one they all fell to the ground dead, but they were soon replaced by new ones. But instead of focusing on the Inn, their attention lied on the man who had killed their friends.

Turning around Theron grabbed Evin by his left arm and pulled him closer.

"Jump out from the window to the next rooftop. I will follow you shortly. Do it now!" He almost screamed before Evin could come up with any objections. After that he made his way over to Crystal.

"I'll get Allison out of here. Jump out the window with Evin. It's 3 meter in front of you and the distance between the Inn and the next rooftop is probably around 1 and a half meter. Now go, I'll help Allison!" Theron almost ordered her and before she could say anything he was sprinting towards the stairs leading down to the bar and the common area of the Inn where Allison were.

"Allison!" He screamed through the smoke. The Inn was now on fire and smoke filled the air in the room. Theron coughed but he had to admit; He had been in worse situations. He moved up and grabbed Allison's both arms, lowering her bow while doing so. "Allison! It's too late. We have to get out of here!" He could almost see her surprised face expression through the thick smoke but he ignored it as he pulled her with him up the stairs. The smoke followed them swiftly and soon the entire Inn was filled with smoke.
They moved into the room where the broken window was and Theron pointed at it.


"Jump out there! Evin and Crystal is already out! Let's go!" He screamed and pushed Allison ahead of him. Suddenly a large wood pile fell over Theron. A small part of the roof had crashed in. The hunters left leg was trapped under the pile of broken wood but he had no time to think about his own life.

"Get out Allison! I'll be fine!" Theron shouted and tried to lift the small pile by himself but in vain. He was stuck. He saw some doubt in Allison for a split-second before she departed. And so it was; The man who had snuffed out so many innocent lives, brought fear into the heart of those who helped people and killed more people than what he had ever thought he would be was going to die. His life was now at an end. He, the greatest hunter of assassins would die in a burning Inn, stuck under a pile of wood... No, this was not his fate! Theron suddenly grabbed the strongest points of the pile and with all his strength he tried to lift it. He failed two times and now something had exploded in the bar downstairs. Probably all that booze. Soon the fire would reach the main storage and the entire building would blow up in a glorious light. Theron on the other hand didn't plan on sticking around to experience it. For a third and last time he attempted to lift the pile and he made it!

He quickly got up on his feet once more and ran for the window. He jumped out from it just in time as the Inn exploded, sending pieces of it all over the street nearby. The hunter landed at Crystals feet and swiftly got up on his own feet again. He made the sign for the group to follow him. They had to go into hiding and keep a low-profile wile making their way out from Newhaven.

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Ali had been shooting the soldiers outside as fast as she could, but she would run out of arrows soon, and they would light the fire. She didn't understand why they had been taking so long. Justin had been helping out with a crossbow, but he was lousy with it. There were workers still inside, two of them 12 year old recruits. Allison nodded. "Takei, Justin... Lead the workers out through one of the windows upstairs. I'll hold them off some more, then I'll follow. If we separate... Don't look for us, get out of the city, straight to camp." She was only repeating the instruction she received the first time she had been on assignment there. It ended up badly, but she remembered Crys' words perfectly enough to pass them along.

She simply felt the movement around her, but didn't look. Could she have left already? Sure! But she wanted to kill as many of the bastards as she could, until her last arrow. As soon as she knocked it though, the fire started, and now she was in trouble. As the fire started to spread Ali simply couldn't move a muscle except for involuntary coughing.
All of a sudden though, she heard someone calling her name, the voice seemed strangely distant, but she could recognize it. It was Theron. She didn't really listen, or perceived anything other than the fact that she was being dragged to a window. She was able to pull herself together enough to jump to the roof, but before she did, she heard a noise and turned. Theron had been caught under a pile of wood. Leaving people behind wasn't her favorite thing. Still, she knew the Hunter wouldn't take her help even if she insisted on staying behind. He had already told her to leave, saying he would be fine. He was lying probably, but there wasn't much time to think about it.

She jumped onto the rooftop, and laid down on top of it for a while looking at the amount of soldiers that were left. She saw something odd there, but... She thought it was best not stay there for two long. She blinked a few times to return her sight to normal, her ears were ringing now because of it, but it had been worth it apparently. She dropped onto the ground on a small alley behind the house. Crys and Evin were already there.

She was shivering, but clenched her fists to make it stop... For now. Once they were safe she could break. Now was not the time, though. They moved further away from the Inn. Crys stopped suddenly. "I know a place we can go until things calm a little."
Ali nodded, she knew who she was talking about. "You can't be serious, Crys. He was expelled for a reason."
Crys smiled. "Yes, but you don't know what it is. Also... We don't have much of a choice. We won't be able to leave town until this mess clears. we won't make passed the soldiers to the exits. Jake can help us, and he doesn't live far. Follow me."

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Crys led the group through the alleyways, making sure to be careful for the sound of soldiers. She had completed a lot of assignments in Newhaven, she knew the city perfectly well. She could notice Ali's breath was more and more altered as they walked, damn! She wasn't going to hang on much longer.
Takei hadn't joined them, if something had happened to the girl Crys would never forgive herself for leaving instead of walking downstairs with Theron. They reached the back entrance of a house, on the living are of the town. Crys knocked three times on the door. Shortly after that, a boy answered.

Jacob Turner had been one of Crys' recruits. More than that... He was Bastian's favorite active. Still, he was suspected of committing treason, and since it couldn't have been proved... Dani asked Crys to make a decision. Crys sentenced Jake to an expulsion. Even so, they had kept in touch, even though it was against the rules. Jake smirked as he looked at his former instructor, and the rest of the group. "I thought I heard a commotion... What have you people done?"

Crys simply nodded. She was furious beyond belief, but not at him. So her tone was rather calm. "Just let us in before someone see us, Jake."

The boy stepped aside for them to enter the house. Once everyone was inside he closed and locked the door. "Don't worry. They already looked here first, so i doubt they'll come back... Today."

Allison's breath was uneven, and her heart was beating faster than normal rate... Not good. Then Crys realized it was warm inside, and looked at him serious. "Put out the fire."

"Put out the...?"

Too late. Allison hit the ground unconscious half way through Jake's talking. Crys nodded, her tone was irritated, but she was worried. "Stupid kid!" She sighed. "Well, leave it as is for now. You can put it out later."

She found a chair and sat, then she faced Evin. "How about that explanation now? What was all that?" She really wanted to ask what he did wrong this time. Only because she was angry. She didn't see a way in which Evin could have messed up to cause this. He was many things, but wasn't stupid. Wasn't for the incident with his friend he probably would be instructor by now. She kept track of Jakes footsteps, he sat down not far from her. He laughed. "I could have 500 gold coins right now... Instead in risking my life for someone who failed to trust me. And I'm the traitor?"

Crys nodded. "Are we really getting into this? Do you not recall what happened last time?"

Jake went silent after that reminder, Crys went back to waiting for an explanation. She was angry. She had lost a recruit, the Inn had been burned... She could pretty much feel the earth shaking with the wrath of her mother. Things did not look good.

All of a sudden she heard Ali's voice, rather weak. "I missed three shots..."

Crys frowned. "So?"

"I had 20 arrows.There were more than 20 soldiers killed by arrow shots, some were further away from the Inn, couldn't have been hit through the windows... There was someone outside killing them."

Crys nodded furious. Someone had broken out of camp. Whoever it was, was still out there. This was the last thing she needed! "Shit! Will someone go find the idiot?"

Jake stood and walked towards the door slowly. "I'll go. I'm pretty sure I can still recognize a Pack member when I see one."

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Evin was shocked about what he herd Theron say. That conversation that Crystal had with him must have really worked. That wasn't his main concern though. He waited for the rest of the people to come through the window. There wasn't much time left to get out of there seeing that it was filled with alcohol and would blow any second. First Allison came out. She looked very traumatised for some reason. Evin had no clue why but it didn't matter too much; He was surprisingly more concerned about where Theron was. He knew that he could just ask Allison, but then without any warning Theron flew out of the window followed by an explosion. Evin didn't even flinch though, he had expected it to happen sooner or later.
He remembered Jacob very well. He was nothing more than a little brat. Even before he was labeled a traitor, Evin didn't like him. He couldn't think of a single redeeming quality to the kid. Maybe his talents for hiding, but that was a cowardly trait to have. A traitor was nothing more than a threat to the Wolves and Evin cherished the Wolfpack more than anything else. Jake was no good. But unfortunately, this was the only place he could hide.
As memories of Jacob rushed through Evin's mind, Jacob had them seated in his house.
"How about that explanation now? What was all that?" Crystal sneered at him. She wasn't mad at him for sure, but he wasn't really appreciate it leaking off on him. Before he could speak, the conversation between Jacob and Crystal got off the ground again, but didn't last long. Crystal told Jacob why she was mad and then things broke up from there. Jacob left to go find the kid who had broken out of camp during the lock down. It was time that she knew what had happened, but first...
"You remember what I told you about frowning Crystal?" He had to add that. He knew it was a little immature, but people needed a reason to smile sometimes. "On another note, I believe that Allison and I found the man who is up to all of these murders. We don't have much of a lead, but he is very friendly with the guards as you could see from what had just happened. I am assuming that he is well known around here. I also noted that he has some skills that are very similar to those that are used in the Wolfpack. Either way we need to get out of here. If the person was a former Wolfpack member, then he will know almost all of our secrets in this town. He has the guards on his side too, so our best bet is to get to Blackpond and wait for him to come to us or take his next victim that lives there."

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Takei followed along the trail with Crys, their footsteps light as a feather. Plucking off a branch filled with leaves she covered their tracks as much as possible. It was never to bad to take precautions now that she was an observer. A few more minutes they walked in silence, she mumbled every now and then about little details. It was something about the weather, something about the way the breeze felt familiar on her face, there was just that element in the area that brought nightmares. Her glassy light eyes stared ahead as they soon approached Newhaven, her vision blurred transitioning from the present and into the past.

'Takei! Takei! Let's play with the shurikens!'
Roccu, Takei's younger brother, ran into her bedroom and jumped onto the futon. His kimono were the colors of spring, pink with cherry blossoms growing from the bottom.
It was a Chu Clan tradition for the first male newborn to inherit the techniques and skills, while the daughters would learn herbal remedies. Mother had given birth to a female instead and Father was greatly disappointed. Knowing it would take a longer time to wait for a male her gender was hidden and she was not only trained but treated as a male.
A few years later then Roccu was born, too late for him to learnt he techniques he was brought up as a daughter of the Clan.
Roccu was an energetic child, he was also a fast learner. Every night they would sneak into the forest and Takei would train him little by little. At first it was stances then his progression went into katakana swings. Takei felt fear when teaching him, she always thought of the day when he would rise against her and take her inheritance. She knew that wasn't possible, their fates were written in blood, literally.
Takei Chu smiled yet sadness flashed through her eyes, 'Not now Roccu, I need to train the katakana with Sensei. Next time.'
She ruffled his hair as he pouted shooting complaints, it always ended up like this. He would want to train, and she would turn him down.


A flash of the present brought Takei back. Crys appeared to be introducing her to Evin, and Ali. Numbly she smiled and nodded mutely, still lost in her past.

'Catch her that traitor! Punishment is death!'
Male assassins blurred in and out of the shadows. The pale moonlight illuminated the area, not to bright that they were given away but not to dim either, it was just enough so that their silhouettes were hidden. A few five star shuriken glistened in the light and whizzed past her ears, she barely dodged with an inch of safety.
The assassins wanted her caught, they were ordered by her Father and was told to show mercy. With 5 bodies killed and sun almost rising, for the Chu Clan were well known to move at night and not as well during the day, their patience were drawing near.
Panting she leaned against a tree for a half second then continued on running. Time was crucial in survival, cheating death was not that easy.
Takei remembered that night perfectly, the adrenaline of death awaiting. There was a moment in her running that her body gave up, her pace slowed down and her heart raced. A crazy yet sane thought rang through her head, 'Give Up.'


Screaming. Panic. That familiar sense.
They rang through Takei and she was now forcefully pulled into the present. Her eyes soon faded away from that glassy look and filled in with color, she was standing near Justin and she faced Allison.


Takei's body stiffened at Ali's command, she let out the breath she's been holding in the whole time. A glance to her side and she studied Justin, he was taller than her and she almost felt intimidated.

As Allison left the room Takei turned to Justin and nodded once before she dug her heel and ran forward from the room. She paced steadily with Justin at her side, he would fall behind from the narrow area ahead then catch up with her pace. She almost made a wrong turn if she hadn't glanced behind and notice him run the other way.

She put a hand to stiffle her yawn as she ran back letting him lead. She recalled her Father's words and pondered on it, 'Life is like Go [Japanese board game, similiar to checkers.] Takei. Two choices. That's all you have, only two choices. Get captured and die, or play it out to live.'
"It's easy to capture me in this state....not unless I bend the rules."

(Finally done with my reports. I'll be more active now.)

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Ali followed Crys to where Jake lived. She felt so numb she could barely acknowledge the fact she was moving. Her past kept flashing before her eyes... The next thing she knew she was waking up on the floor of Jake's house. Her head was aching, her whole boding was shivering. She didn't look at anyone, she sat up and curled into a ball in the corner of the room. She told Crys what she saw when looked at the soldiers. Her voice sounded weak. She didn't speak again, instead she listened to the conversations, quietly. Avoiding to look at the fireplace, she rested her head on her knees, hoping the shivering would stop. She was starting to feel ashamed of herself now.

She heard Jake leaving. She really wanted to know what Crys meant by what she said to him. She really wished someone would put out the damn fireplace, but she wasn't going to ask. Evin answered Crys, and Ali couldn't help but smirk at his comment. And notice that Crys chose to completely ignore it, even though she was clearly angry. Crys was silent for some time, when she spoke, she talked to Ali. "You got a look at him?"

Ali nodded, but quickly remembered Crys couldn't see her. "Yes, not his face though."

"You think you could recognize him if you see him walking around?"

Ali considered the question. "Maybe... I don't know. If I had something in particular to focus on... But just by the guy's walk, it's a bit harder."

Crys nodded. "I do agree that we should move soon. And I was heading to Blackpond anyway, after the two of you finished killing each other..." She smiled a bit. "Still, I can't really leave without Takei, she's my responsibility. You know how I am with those."

Ali looked at Crys serious. "I instructed her and Justin to head back to camp if they lost us. They should be heading that way."

Crys was about to answer when the door opened. Ali turned to see if Jake had found someone. She wasn't exactly surprised to discover Vilen was the one helping them earlier.

Crys sighed. "Well, I should have figured..." She nodded. "Never mind. I'll kill you when we get back. Why do I graduate people? They always make me regret it at some point. I should have let you go back to camp and face my mother. She would eat you alive after what Takei pulled last night."
She faced Jake and smiled at him. "Can you find me someone else, by the way?"

Jake put out the fire, winking at Ali while doing so, and laughed. "Have I ever said no to you? Who else?"
Crys ignored the comment, and shrugged. "I brought a girl with me. She'll be with Justin, heading towards camp probably. You remember Justin, I'm sure."

"Sure. It should be a fun little reunion." Jake walked out again.

Crys stared at Evin. "Switch places with me and see if you'll smile much." She nodded at Theron. "Are you two still planning on killing each other? Or can we dismiss that idea for the time being?"

She smiled then, and added. "Although, that might just cheer me up. If you find Evin too easy I let you take on Vilen as well." She was obviously joking, and Ali took it as a good sign that she still could. She didn't want to see Crys furious. She has seen it once before and it was more than enough for a lifetime.

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#, as written by Sibrand
Theron had followed Crystal and the rest of the group in silence. He had not much to say or to do and so he remained neutral as well during the conversation or if you could even call it a conversation between Crystal and the man named Jake. It had been more like a outburst in Therons eyes, but never the less, she had very right to be angry at this point. Then Jake had left to find the other assassin or person who had assisted them in their escape from the Inn. Silence fell over the little house after Jake had left and no one said a thing. Evin stood on the other side of the room, Crystal was sitting in a chair while Allison was lying on the floor. Theron didn't know why they wanted to put out the fire, but he guessed he could do it soon enough. He was going to let the girl suffer a little bit more.

Then Jake returned with a man Crystal immediately seemed to recognize. She didn't say his name out loud but she did express her frustration against him for the time being. Jake left once more and Crystal started to ask people questions.

"Are you two still planning on killing each other? Or can we dismiss that idea for the time being?" She asked, both Evin and Theron at the same time probably. Theron moved from the wall slowly and made his way over to the fireplace. With two swift stomps the fire was out and after that he pulled Allison up on her feet once more and lead her to the closest chair.

"You people can endure a little cold now can't you?" Theron asked with a sly smile before facing Evin. "Our duel can wait, kid. But as soon as we get the chance I will show you some things." He finished and nodded at Evin before turning to Crystal once more.

"If there's nothing else you need help with I'm actually heading back to your camp to see your mother. But if you still need me, then I'd be happy to help." Therons said, offering his help to a former enemy. This was quite a odd moment though.

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Vilen leaned against the a wall and crossed his arms, raising an eyebrow at Crys's offering him up to a fight. Detecting the joking tone in her voice, he visibly relaxed. Absently, he recognized Ali, though she didn't look all that great at the moment. He nodded a greeting to her, for the two of them were familiar with each other, before looking back at Crys.

"Hey, now ..." he murmured. "No harm was done. I mean you didn't even see - I mean sense - me, Crys." Due to Crys's acute awareness of basically everything and propensity to miss nothing, he never really considered her blind. Especially when she could pick him out in a crowd faster than he could pick her out. "No need to go pretending that you want me dead." Vilen smiled and could feel the bad looks as he did so. But he couldn't help it. For now he had escaped some consequences, and it wasn't like Vilen to think very far into the future. Besides, he figured by the time they got back to camp, Crys would have forgotten all about it. To tell the truth, he was positively ecstatic. It was extremely easy to ignore all of the tension in the room when he was feeling thus.

"Do you think we'll have to wait long for him to come back with ... whoever he's gone looking for?" Vilen asked absently as he wiped a speck of ash off of his shirt. His lack of attention to details often made him seem unfeeling, but he truly just hadn't been listening to what Crys had asked of Jacob. He was too preoccupied with the fact that he was momentarily off the hook. "I mean, if they're already heading back towards camp, wouldn't it be counterproductive to wait for him to find them, and then bring them all the way back here? We could just meet up with them at camp. Or perhaps even on the way if they're not moving too quickly." Naturally, Vilen was forgetting the rule about returning with all of the people you left with, but no one was surprised by that. "I'm only asking because we should get out of here. I managed to kill the majority of the soldiers at the inn, but doubtless, there will be more soon, and they will be looking for us. Staying in one place for too long seems ... unwise." Finally he looked up at Crys and remembered where he was and who he was with. "Just a suggestion, of course ..."

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Crys nodded, slightly more worried about Ali's lack of reaction to Theron. In her normal state of mind she wouldn't let herself be moved around so easily. She hear Vilen's suggestions and thought about what to do, trying to think of what would be more practical, ignoring the fact that her mother would kill her if Takei returned to camp without her. "I'm very much tempted to go home, although I might hear it from my mother because of what happened here. I'm worried about my father, and... " She sighed, she hadn't mentioned Kyle's death to anyone other than Theron. "Still, I was ordered to go to Blackpond and that is where I should go."

She turned to Theron. "If you want to head for our camp, then... Take Ali and Vilen along with you. Since he seems to think he might go unpunished, it's better my mother sees him now. And Ali is pretty much useless at the moment..." She turned to Ali before she could protest. "Yes, you are." Then she turned back to Theron and added. "She might make your entrance easier though. The guards are terrified of her for some reason." She was pretty sure Theron could get past the guards easy, still she would rather things went as peacefully as possible.

She turned to Evin then. "I leave it up to you if you want to head for Blackpond with me or go back to camp. I am waiting a few minutes to see if Jake will come back empty handed or not. Since he and Justin know each other... It might take him a few minutes to convince Justin to help. If he finds them, that is." She smiled and added "knowing Jake he won't look for long."

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#, as written by Sibrand
"Then it's settled" Theron said as he faced the exit. He was going to travel to the Packs camp, let Allison rest or train or whatever she wanted to do, let this new kid named Vilen talk to Dani and he himself would face judgement and his ultimate punishment as well. Probably death but that didn't matter anymore. He was nothing. He was no man, no creature, not even a being of any importance at all. His destiny clouded by lies and the blood of innocent creatures and people. He was a nothing but a thing of pure sin and he would be glad to face his moment of truth as the blade of judgement sinks into his already broken chest, into his black heart.
Theron didn't pay Allison any attention for she seemed to have regained enough energy to rise from the chair and follow him out and Vilen would follow him if he knew what was good for him. Stopping at the door, Theron faced Crystal one last time.


"I owe you much more than my pity and useless apologises for all I've done against your kind but that's all I have to offer you. I will let your mother Judge me before all of your brethren and I pray that the goddess Valtara might forgive me for all the damage and death I've caused to you in the afterlife." Theron said and bowed deeply before the blind woman. "As the Hunters once said 'I'll see you on the other side'." He finished before stepping outside and closed the door after him and his new companions.

They were heading home.

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Evin directed himself towards Crystal who had asked him if he would like to join her going to Blackpond. Of course he would want to go. He wasn't going home until he at least got a little more information about this killer who he had seen. All he really knew about this killer was his height and nothing much more than that. It was important to him to figure out if there was anything that linked this man to the Wolfpack. He was sure that he was somehow linked but he wasn't sure.
"Of course I would like to come with you to Blackpond Crystal, but don't expect me to be following you're orders. I'm going in relevance to my mission and not yours. Although, if you need my help for any reason, I can help you out." He decided to ignore the rest of Crystal's comments. He didn't know exactly where she was going with it and he wasn't sure if he even wanted to know.
That is when Theron started to get up and speak. He seemed very troubled. Probably why he let himself become so vulnerable drinking in territory of the Wolfpack. Theron continued to speak. Then he mentioned facing judgment and he finally realized why he was so troubled. Evin's mind began to race trying to put the pieces of all of this together. It made him question a lot of what had happened since he and Allison had come to Newhaven. It also made him question whether Theron would have killed them if he had won the duel. He didn't have any time to figure anything out though. Theron had left the house already. Evin then realised that he needed an answer of at least one of his questions to Theron. Evin rushed out the house to catch up to the three. Luckily, Theron didn't even leave from the line of sight from the house yet.
"Theron wait!" He yelled. He didn't care if any guards noticed him right now. He waited for Theron to break away from the rest of his group to come back to talk to Evin. "First off, I need to apologize for being so rash at the inn. I felt no respect towards you as my enemy, but now I realize that you are not an enemy of the Wolfpack. Now, in case Dani decides to put you to death, I need to know what happened on that day that Perry and I had tried to make an attempt at you're life."

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#, as written by Sibrand
Theron gazed forward in darkness. The icy winds slapped him several times in his face, but he remained vigilant. He would not go into the Wolfpacks camp with his head directed at the ground. He would walk into their camp with pride and honor, for he knew that he was doing the right thing. Vilen and Allison had been whispering behind him for some time but Theron didn't cared for it too much.

"Kids these days." He thought and a smile grew over his once sad face. His mind raced back to the events in Newhaven once more. How he had killed that vault keeper, stopped to take a drink at the Wolfpack's Inn, being mocked by Evin and challenged him to a duel, the conversation with Crystal, the burning Inn and his close-to-death experience. His thoughts lingered a long time on this matter. What if he had never stopped by that Inn? What if Crystal had never arrived at the point she had? What if the guards had never put the Inn on fire? So many paths unchecked and so little time to explore them further. Well, it didn't matter now did it? Within minutes Daniela and her assassins would surround him, he would be brought to his knees and be judged for all his crimes. All he hoped for was that they could forgive him once he was dead.

He had now reached the centre of the camp, by the camp fire. He faced Allison and Vilen and nodded at them. After a couple of minutes the campfire was surrounded by countless eyes and they all stared at Theron. Who was this man that Allison and Vilen had captured? What crimes had he committed against the world? Where's Dani in all of this? While all these questions ran from one mind to another amongst the actives and the recruits, Theron remained firm and still. He was still thinking back to the events that had happened.

He was suddenly walking on the streets of Newhaven, heading for the assassins secret exit with Allison and Vilen. They had just left the house and the hunters each step was heavy as he walked closer and closer to his ultimate fate. Then he was stopped by someone screaming his name from behind. It was Evin and he apologized for what he had said and how he acted in the Inn to which Theron smiled before answering Evins question.

"In the beginning there was five great ones. But in the end remains now only two of them. In the first one to fall you shall find your friend, unharmed yet changed." Theron said, leaving Evin with a riddle to solve. He personally knew that he had left Perry in the ruins of Blackhurst to die. But a group of healers travelling from a distant land had found him there and nursed him back to health. They now had a small camp in the ruins of Blackhurst where travellers can stop and buy medical supplies as well as medical services for money. Theron had discovered this and decided to watch Perry's progress. He had watched his old enemy turn from a naive assassin to a humble and respected healer. It was just too bad that he couldn't be there and see Evin's face expression when he would discover the truth about his friends non-violence codex. Priceless.

Suddenly Theron's mind went back to reality. He found himself down on his knees and before him stood Dani and behind her Sebastian. His moment of truth was here.

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Ali frowned slightly, they had simply stormed in through the castle gates and that was a little bit careless. Theron had sealed them in, and most of the guards outside, still... This would escalate fast, they needed to move. They were currently in a courtyard of sorts, the main entrance of the castle lied straight ahead, but going through it would be simply suicidal. Her eyes wandered quickly towards Jake and she simply smiled at him. He nodded quickly grasping the thought "No, no, no. That's a lousy idea."
"It is not. You can keep us all invisible right?" She asked him.

Jake sighed. "Well... You would all have to be touching me not to brake the illusion. And we would have to walk around like that and stay quiet. It's not practical to say the least." He nodded again. "No. But I do know a good hidden passage into the castle. The catch is... We have to be quick and quiet about it so... We'd have to silence anyone that gets in our way before they have the chance to utter a word." He looked at Crys apprehensive waiting for her decision. She sighed. "Silence doesn't necessarily mean kill. We are trying to start a conversation here. Although it's pretty much pointless in my opinion." Crys knew she had to follow her orders although she had opposed this. It was useless to try and negotiate with Newhaven, she had said that to her mother and they had argued about it... She pushed Jake towards the path she knew he had been meaning to take. "Lead the way then."

Jake led them through a side passage... Servants entrance. Once they were inside they saw themselves inside a dark passageway, out of sight of the castle population. "Okay, I have to ask..." Ali whispered. "How did you know about this?"
Jake scratched his head in a nervous gesture. "Well... I befriended one of the maids here, and she taught me how to sneak in and out."
"Befriended?" Crys repeated the word with a slightly angry tone in her voice.
Jake shrugged. "That was over a year ago. Anyway... I used these tunnels only to go the maids' chambers, but... The throne room is on the opposite wing for what I've heard. I would often sneak out of her room and wander around the castle invisible."
"Have you ever seen him?' Ali asked.
"No. I never went close to the where the guards were, but... I know where it is. Don't know how we'll go unnoticed once we leave the tunnels, but we'll have to think of something." As he spoke he led them through another passage. "Ali, if you hear steps, let us now." The area where they were was only used by the servants to keep them out of sight of the nobles. It was usually rather empty this time of day, but still... Better safe than sorry.

After a lot of walking around the tunnels Jake stopped, gripping the handle of a heavy wooden door. "Unless my sense of direction has gone bad, this should leave us near the throne room."

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Evin was very surprised when Theron so recklessly broke into the castle. It seemed like something that Evin would do and not Theron who always seemed to be a lot more thoughtful about what he did before he did it. It didn't matter anymore though. The task at hand was very much important, whether it got anywhere or not. This task at the moment was more important than finding any killer that was out there. He could be tracked down eventually to where ever he was hiding, but the king still had a bounty on the camp. They needed to make sure that the king would respect that we are after this person too and possibly lift the bounty.
He stayed silent walking through the corridors and hallways to the throne room. Evin had snuck around the castle of Newhaven a few times himself, but never really could remember his way around. He remembered a few times where he had to steal important documents from people who lived in the castle and had a sort of office area in it. He could never find the places and would ask passersby in the halls for directions. He never really had to sneak around before, but he guessed that it would be a little different this time due to the bounty.
"...this should leave us near the throne room." Jake said. Evin began to recognise the area a bit more now. He remembered it from a specific mission he had gone on where he had to extract important information from the kings guards. It was a rather simple mission to his knowledge. The guards were in the throne room and he could simply listen in while he hid behind one of the shadows on the high ceiling. He remembered that the ceiling was so high that he was certain that he wouldn't be seen in the shadow. He also remembered an alternate way into the room. It was high up in the floor above and only one guard watched it. It lead to a trap door where one could perch themselves over top of the throne. It was designed obviously for hidden protection of the King and was easily capable to hold ten guards. Fifteen at the most.
"If we can get onto the floor above this one, I know a spot that will allow us to enter the throne room undetected. Gloria and Allison could even stay up there while we discuss things in case we need support from a far." With that, he began to lead them to the room that would save them from being surprised. As he opened the wooden door to the room his hand was caught by a rather large sliver. There was surprisingly no guard waiting in this empty room. "Ouch! There's the trap door that leads to the throne room."

**********

"Is this the girl?" The Shadow asked.
"Yes, she is the noble girl who you said has committed treason." One of the many men said. The men were all heavily armed as if ready for war.
"Good, now leave. All of you." The men all followed his order without a word, leaving the girl there. She was only fifteen at the most.
When all the men had left the large room, he stared over at the girl. She was very nervous and it appeared she had been locked away somewhere for a very long time. She was literally just skin and bones. There were bruise marks on her face that indicates she had been beaten or tortured where ever she was locked up. What really made her look terrible was her blond hair. What appeared to be naturally blond was almost a brown from the dirt and grime that had been stuck in it.
"So I guess you should know the truth. I know you haven't committed treason and even if you have, I could care less. All I know is that you hold a special power that I just need to possess. You are able to duplicate yourself for periods of time."
The brittle voice could be heard from the girl, "Go to hell."
"Who are you to speak to the king like that!" The Shadow's voice boomed through the throne room.
"To think that my own king could be such a scumbag. The man who practically raised me when I was younger. How could he do such a thing!" The faint voice began to boom and echo through the room along with The Shadow's.
"That man died years ago! I took his place and almost no one noticed! No one even knows that the real king is dead and you will never be around to tell anyone otherwise!" The Shadow's boom turned into a maddened roar as he whipped out his mystical dagger. Then, without warning one of the guards entered the room.
"The castle walls have been breached, the assassin's are here."
"Shit!" A voice from the roof came echoing down as Evin's rope dart pierced the guards armour leaving him incapacitated. Evin followed close by swinging down the the rope of the rope dart. Before he reached the bottom, he cut the rope so he had a comfortable amount when he had to escape and fight through hoards of guards. The rest of the rope left room for the rest to swing down on.
"We've come here to talk, not to fight."
Evin was wondering what the king was talking about. Most of the words had become muffled by echo by the time they reached the perch where they were at.

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Crys had a slight frown on her face as she heard Evin get to the floor below, their cover was blown, not that it mattered that much since they were already where they wanted. She thought for a second and then sighed. "You two stay here just in case this gets ugly" She nodded towards Gloria and Ali. With that she followed Evin down. Jake looked at Ali before going down himself. "Did you happen to get any of that conversation?" He nodded towards the people below.
"No, sorry." Ali shrugged, and gave him an apologetic look. "I wasn't trying to."
He nodded. "That's alright. Listen, if comes down to shooting... I'll be standing right behind Crys, one her right side. Remember that please."
She laughed. "You just won't let that go, will you?"
"You shot me. No I won't let it go. Just remember it." With that he turned invisible and followed Crys down as well.

Landing his feet on the ground he went to stand behind Crys the like he said he would. He touched her shoulder so she would know he was invisible and she shouldn't react to him. Behind her back Crys signaled him to watch the door behind them. So he did, not before noticing the girl that was also standing in the room. Jake frowned. He couldn't understand what the ruler of Newhaven would want with her.

Ali found a good spot to shoot and nocked an arrow. keeping her eyes wide open. The first thing she noticed was the young girl that was standing in the room. She seemed to be in an awful state. Ali frowned slightly. "Something is definitely off here." she whispered.

Crys stood next to Evin, she crossed her arms in front of her chest, and tried to get the feel of the room. Rage... Rage, fear and pain... She frowned, for a split second, then shut her expression down to pure ice, much like Theron had done on their first training session. Something was off... And she would pretend not to know that until she could have a sense of what the reason was exactly. When she spoke it was in a very calm tone, almost arrogant for someone who didn't know Crys any better. "Greetings..." She bowed respectfully, although she felt no respect for that man, in fact... For some reason she despised him. "As my friend here mentioned..." She nodded towards Evin. "We didn't come here seeking a fight. No one has been actually harmed yet, and I would rather keep it this way... We've come here with a request, and an offer. If you are wiling to listen to what we have to offer, I will gladly tell you what it's all about, but if not... Well..." She opened a smile. "Then we might just have a problem." Crys patiently waited for the king's response, pretending not to have noticed the young girl that was standing there.

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The second that The Shadow realised that Evin was coming down the the rope from the ceiling, he lowered his head. He didn't want anyone from the camp to realise that he was the killer. A few seconds after, a young woman came down after him. After time went on and no one else came, he realised that there had to be other people in the castle. Two assassin's wouldn't have made such a scene in the castle. Evin had already told him that he didn't intend to fight, but how could he trust him? When could he ever trust Evin? It was backed up though when the woman had explained it in a less abrupt manner. He believed her until she had said, "Then we might just have a problem." The Shadow took that exactly how he expected the woman to have taken it.
"Now, I understand that you might have the intentions to negotiate some sort of treaty. In exchange for the killer, you expect that I will lift the bounty. Well there are two problems with that negotiation. You see, I had my own reasons for putting a bounty on the assassin's heads. Now that all seven of you are here, the girl included, I can accomplish my goal of true power."
The Shadow knew that how many were here. He found that in the past, some enlightenment had been very attracted to his dagger. It wouldn't be a surprise if this was the culmination of the powers of attraction to this dagger.
"What in Varlcast is that supposed to mean?" Evin shouted out to the king.
"In due time my friend." The Shadow replied.

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#, as written by Sibrand
Theron had followed the rest of the group with steady footsteps. He was well aware that he had lead the group into a somewhat "foolish" rush into the castle, but if they had tried to search for other entrances it would have taken even longer and the chance of them being caught would have grown bigger with each minute. Jack lead them by a safe passage through the castle until they reached the throne room itself, but instead of going straight into the room they moved up a level and positioned themselves above it. It didn't take long until Evin and Crystal jumped down along with Jake who was invisible. Gloria, Allison and Theron stayed behind, for now.

"Something is definitely off here." Allison whispered, probably to herself. Theron kept his mouth shut but he agreed with her. The king seemed different than the last time he had meet the man. The conversation that followed proved Theron to be right when the "king" began to talk about his goal of gaining true power. Theron decided that this had gone on for far too long. This was not the king, but someone else and he had to make his friends realize this as well. And with that, he slipped down from the ceiling, straight into the shadows of the room. No one noticed him, well except Crystal who had been trained to "see" everything around here.
The conversation led to a end and Theron could already feel a massive source of power close to the man who claimed to be the king of Newhaven. Let this charade begin.


"It's been far too long hasn't it, my lord?" Theron said as he stepped out of the shadows. He was walking towards the man at the throne with slow footsteps. He wasn't going to make any sudden movements in a tense situation like this. "How long has it been? Three, four years?" Theron continued as he kept on walking forward, past Crystal and Evin. He wanted to see the "kings" reaction to his approach and it was a success. The man showed signs of doubt in the way his body moved. His face was shrouded by darkness but these signs was enough to show the rest of the people in this room that he was not familiar with Theron.

"But what now? You don't remember me, my lord?" Theron said, teasing the man. "Maybe because you're not actually the king? Yes, think that's it. I think--" He continued but was interrupted by the girl he had seen earlier scream from the stairs below.

"Watch out!" She cried out and at that very moment the man launched himself at Theron. However, the instructor threw himself backwards, down the stairs just in time to avoid the attack. He pulled the unknown and fragile girl with him. The man had made a Hugh mistake. Not only did he attacked Theron but he also revealed his face and identity to both Evin and Allison. Evin would look at him as his old child friend Perry while Allison would see him as the Shadow, their target.

"Told you I was good." Theron whispered to Crystal with a smile as he turned his back to Perry and lead the girl towards the corner of the room. While doing so he motioned for Jack, wherever he might be to keep her safe. He had no idea what went on behind him, but he would soon see it for himself.

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Ali's eyes narrowed as the man spoke. Something about him had made a terrible impression on her. Then Theron slid down the rope and in that exact moment she knew he was an impostor. His body language was all wrong from the start. What kind of king lowers his head to a group of assassins? No... That man was arrogant, he underestimated this group, and there was definitely strength in him, but he was not a ruler or a even a noble. Which in Ali's eyes only made him much more dangerous.

When Theron directly confronted the man and he threw himself at the Instructor, Ali nearly fired at him. She stopped herself when hearing a whisper. "Not yet." That was Crys' command and she was bound to obey her. "What am I waiting for?" Ali whispered as if Crys could hear her. Then she sighed, and waited as ordered. Then, she saw the man's face, and her eyes widened. It was him. It was definitely him. Crys told her to wait, but now she definitely wanted to shoot the bastard dead.

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Jake reacted fast when Theron brought the girl over. He grabbed the girl, and concealed her with him. "Don't make a sound." He whispered to her. His eyes got caught up in Crys for a moment. She had shivered when the man's face came out of the shadows. She hadn't reacted that way to any level of emotions in quite some time. He wondered what that meant exactly. One thing for sure... That was not the king of Newhaven.

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Crys simply stood, leaving Theron to pressure the man... And then at the same time as Theron avoided the man's attack she felt struck with a sudden wave of emotions... And felt herself crushed between absolute shock and undeniable rage. So the reality hit, coming from the two members of her group who knew that man. Although they didn't know him as the same person. She smiled back at Theron, involuntarily, as he passed her. Knowingly or not the Instructor had managed to pull her away from being overwhelmed. Between Evin and Allison's feelings there were also her own... That man, who she had bowed to, had murdered her father.
Her actual reaction was unexpected in the least. She snickered as she put the facts together into one and verbalized them. "I'll be damned... If it isn't the killer we were so eagerly looking for!" She smiled. "Isn't it?"

A black arrow flew towards the man, and passed him. A simple confirmation to her words. Ali had recognized her attacker. The traitor. Her father's killer, and also Evin's long lost and more recently found friend. They were all the same man. She couldn't help but be impressed by that.

She also couldn't help but think that this was right in her face. The moment Ali mentioned the ring... She knew Perry was alive... Why didn't she come to the conclusion then? Could Evin's memories of his friend have clouded her judgment somehow?

Didn't matter anymore. Things were very much clear to her now. She kept where she was, but pulled both her Sai from their sheaths. This would get ugly fast as soon as the information sunk in to everyone. "My orders haven't changed." She said that out loud, for Ali to hear. She didn't want the girl to aimlessly attack in a rage, not that she didn't believe Ali knew better than that by now... It was simply a kind reminder.

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Ali took a breath as Perry spoke. She was waiting, as Crys had told her. Waiting on an opening, on a perfect shot. She could tell even though the man was talking and had his attention on Evin... He was not letting his guard down. And she wasn't going to risk it. The one thing Crys had told her when they were about to leave was that this was not personal... It was an assignment like any other. Looking at Evin's expression now, Ali could say that... That notion had just gone to hell. This was very much personal. She kept her eyes fixed on Perry watching his every move, waiting for an opportunity to shoot.

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Jake didn't move when being spoken to, he didn't make a sound. He knew better than that. He held the grip of his sword in case it came necessary to attack, if not... He would stay where he was.

Crys sighed as Perry spoke to Jake, it was an empty threat. He'd have a long way to go before ever reaching Jake or the girl. She didn't as much as flinch when he moved to attack her. She simply stood where she was, knowing that Evin would block the hit. The blind girl's eyes began to glow a bright green light as she stared at the man. For someone who had been a part of the assassin clan, this man seemed to underestimate them a whole lot. He was outnumbered, still he was so sure of his victory. She nodded... A while ago he would be right to think so, but not anymore. She couldn't help but think that if Theron hadn't let him live everything would have been different, and they probably wouldn't be standing there. It was funny in a way that out of all the Pack members to attack him he would spare this one. Crys took one step aside, so the she was no longer standing behind Evin, but in front of Jake and the girl. And then she nodded, slightly. After which a black arrow came flying towards Perry, aiming right between his eyes.

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Things had just gotten serious. The way that they were acting before would have gotten them all killed within minutes of a big battle breaking out if they had the attitudes they had before. It seemed though that this battle would carry out much longer than he had originally expected. erry still predicted a win despite this. Simultaneously, Perry and Crystal's eye's changed. Perry's was way more obviouse since his eye colour completely changed from a green to a light blue. He could now tell exactly where Jake was. The girl gave that away for him. The pain that the girl was feeling from the constant torture he had undergone was all he needed to know. From what he could tell, the two who were still invisible were right behind Crystal. That was good to know.
"So Evin, I see you still keep you're rope dart in the same place," he said while he quickly passed his hand over Evin who was still blocking the punch, "but I was looking for one of these." Perry revealed that he had grabbed a throwing knife from Evin's inner coat pocket. Shock grew around Evin's face and he tried to land a solid punch on Perry. Perry was quickly able to dodge it and take a swipe at Evin with the knife. Evin was forced to back away to avoid being struck.
Perry threw the knife into the air towards the new black arrow that was flying towards him. He then threw another throwing knife towards the ceiling where one of the old decorative pieces of a hanging sculpture a the old king with wings was.
The arrow was redirected by the arrow towards Crystal who was so obviously guarding the two hidden by invisibility. The second throwing knife had hit the chain that held the sculpture up. It had been so weakened by age that the slightest tap of the knife forced it to give and the sculpture began to fall. Directly towards Crystal.

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Ali didn't understand exactly why Crys had commanded her to shoot. There was no opening that she could see. Ali fired the arrow anyway, and nocked a new one immediately. Hearing Perry's words she could tell he was sure of the outcome of this.

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Jake smiled lightly when Crys moved in front of him. He knew what that was for, so he kept a close watch on her. Back before he was expelled and they worked together, Crys and Jake had come up with signs to communicate. Mostly because she simply couldn't go around talking to an invisible guy. Each sign represented a certain key word, and they were extremely subtle. Suddenly he caught two signs, one meaning "arrow" the other meaning "heart". Without hesitation he pulled out his sword and put the blade on the path of the incoming arrow. A split second later Crys moved and one of Ali's arrows hit the blade of the sword. At the same time as a statue fell down from the ceiling and crashed on the floor where she had been standing.

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Crys sighed while Perry spoke, she wasn't sighing at his words though, but at Evin's reaction to them. She nodded, Perry's calculations of how this would end would very much accurate unless Evin snapped out of it. Before the first throwing knife was in the air, she made a signal to Jake behind her back, and as soon as the statue began to fall she moved. The sound of the arrow hitting metal caused a smirk to cross her face. This had been nothing, merely a provocation to her. Same she had done when making Ali shoot... She was simply testing the man's reactions. She faced him, and now she spoke. "You have been in the Pack long enough to have heard my mother say this at least once: Whenever a plan involves other people it will most likely fail. For someone who has been trained in so many things, you have learned very little." He assumed she was protecting Jake and the girl, and tried to use that. It was an incorrect assumption. She could see ahead of his moves... Jake couldn't. Simple as that.

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Crystal stood and listened to man's speech. He was wrong in his assumptions. Life was nothing like chess and she already knew what he could do. She knew it because she could sense that too, other than lowering her head for a second at the mention of her father she didn't react to the fact that Perry had mentioned him, even if it made her enraged beyond anything she ever felt before. She had long ago separated her feelings from her actions, almost to the point of numbness. It was necessary, but it sometimes made her feel slightly inhuman. Throughout his talking, she was thinking at possibilities... The odds were against them unless they were all in it together, and they weren't. Not quite yet.

When he mentioned the girl, though, Crys simply wanted to open a wide smile right there even though it never reached her lips. It was a cruel thought, but that girl being there was exactly what they needed. There was something Perry failed to consider... Three people in that room had survived his attempts to kill them. One could call that luck, fate, a miscalculation on his part... Didn't matter. If he could play them easily like he thought he could, they would be dead. That was a fact.

When Perry attacked the girl, and dragged her away from Jake, Crys silently ordered him not to move. She felt it in her skin how much following that order made him sick as he stayed concealed where he was. She didn't like it either, but in that moment she knew it was necessary... Hopefully it wouldn't cost the girl's life. Through all of the commotion Crys couldn't help but think she would make a great assassin. That, however, was a completely different matter to be discussed another time. She could pretty much tell what was going through everyone's minds while he took the girl away Jake. She knew for a fact how they felt about it, she knew how she felt as well... They weren't going to let her die.

Crys took a deep breath. Calmed herself as much as possible and, opened a slight grin. She was done talking, and in the moment she caught Evin's signal she gave Ali permission to shoot, and following the arrow aimed precisely at Perry's head, she advanced towards the man with both her Sai.

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It was finally enough playing around. The girl was enough for them to finally make a move on the Shadow. Another arrow came bellowing down towards him. The only reason he had noticed was because of the subtle gestures that Crystal had made just before she ran up to make a move. He knew that he wouldn't have enough time to move out of the way of this arrow, so he moved the girl above him a a shield. He realised that the shield he was using probably wouldn't be enough though and he began to move so as not to get hit in the head. The arrow pierced right through the girls frail skin and came out the other end hitting the Shadow just bellow his chest. This was a spot where he knew from anatomy, would do little to nothing to his abilities and wouldn't kill him. Besides, he loved the feeling of pain.
The Shadow threw the girl to the side and braced himself for the next attack to come. Then he realised that he didn't see Evin anymore. He ducked to dodge the rope dart that flew just above his head. At that point, Crystal was close enough to be able to be hit by the dart, so she slid down the the ground to dodge it. Using this as an opportunity, the Shadow brought his foot into the air fora deadly kick to Crystal. Before he could bring it down though, a hot pain raced up his foot. Evin had managed to recoil his rope dart and throw it back into the Shadow's foot. The Shadow simply smiled at this feeble attack though. He grabbed the rope from out of his foot and yanked it forward pulling Evin towards the Shadow. Before Evin made it close to him though, Crystal had managed to to get up and attempted to strike him in the gut. The Shadow used his years of skillful training to black the few attacks that she managed to get in.
Evin pulled out his dagger and got ready for a fight as the rope quickly dragged himself towards the Shadow. Crystal had managed to use the time the Shadow was distracted with Evin to get up and throw a few attacks. When Evin got in range to attack, he swung his dagger towards the back of the Shadow. The Shadow had managed to get a punch in on Crystal and used the moment that she was stunned to grab her arm and use her sai to black Evin's attack. Crystal then attempted to use her other sai to get him to let go of her arm, but the Shadow used the leverage he had of her arm to move Evin's dagger to deflect the attack from the sai. Evin's dagger flew out if his hand and off just beside the girl.

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Ali let a long sigh escape her and that was the only physical manifestation of her rage she could allow herself without doing something stupid. She nodded when her arrow pierced through the girl and hit the Shadow at a spot she knew very well wouldn't do anything. The two quick motions she made after seeing that were two things she had never done before. She left her bow behind and exposed herself, jumping to the ground below and puling out her two daggers and marching into the fight. The expression on her face showed the most profound level of rage she had ever experience in her life. Beyond anything she might have experienced the night her family died, or while she was being trained in her first years in the Pack. This wasn't a blinding moment of rage, it went beyond that.

Every one of the many times Ali had faced the possibility of death she was indifferent, a few of those times she even welcomed it. Many times she willed death to come and put her out of her misery. Not this time. She was still unafraid, but she had put it in her mind that if she died, she would drag that traitor along with her. And when Allison Blake put something in her mind... There wasn't enough force in the world capable of pulling it out.

It took her some doing, but Crys had managed to loosen her arm. She smiled and escaped the man's reach a second before Allison came marching towards the fight. The seventeen year old girl's voice echoed in a strangely calm tone, yet at the same time filled with contempt. "Seven years ago, a village outside the ruins of Blackhurst was attacked by the army of Newhaven. The small village was burned to the ground. Inside of it... My mother, father, and ten month old sister. My brother, may he rest in peace, pulled me out of the fire to have his life taken before my eyes. Many years later I came to discover that every man, woman and child in that village were enlightened. So, before we end your miserable excuse for a life, answer me this: Had you taken control of the city already back then?" She asked stopping, Crys could sense, a few steps behind her. That question surprised Crys completely, she hadn't considered that possibility.

As Allison stopped a few steps behind Crys, she put away one of her daggers and replaced it with a throwing knife. Her eyes beginning to glow a bright blue color as she glared at the man, he ability to feel pain fading as the glow intensified more and more. Last time she saw that face she almost died. She was sure somehow... Things would end differently this time.

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He heard the girl speak behind him, but seemed almost uninterested in what she had to say. His head was in the fight. He didn't even remember that there was an arrow sticking out of him and that his foot had also been cut. As Evin and Crystal continued to fight him, Allison talked. The one thing that was really on his mind while he fought was where Jake was. He knew that he had to be doing something at the time, but he wasn't sure what exactly he was looking for. Now that the girl was out of Jake's possession, he could no longer detect her pain. Jake couldn't last much longer anyways. The side effect, whatever it was, would get to him soon enough and then he would have to face the Shadow in a fair fight. The only problem was that he knew Jake would try something before his powers wore off. It was just a matter of time. Another thing he had to worry about was Theron. What was he doing just standing there? He knew that it wasn't good knowing his talents personally. He would worry about Theron later, but for now, he decided to satisfy himself with answering the question.
"I've been in power of Newhaven for a few years before I ordered the burning down of your town. That was before I knew what powers you have. I'm glad that your brother died instead of you." Everything coming out of his mouth was a lie. He had only killed the king and took his power a few years ago. He had actually kept the king alive for a while, but after the king had made a move to try to expose the Shadow, he had to kill him and take the King's place.
Evin was now only down to his hands since his dagger had been trusted out of his hand. All his other weapons were useless in close combat. The fight was slowly moving towards the ruble of the fallen statue though as the Shadow was beginning to get backed into a corner. The Shadow took something from out of one of his coat pockets. It was a round ball, a pouch of some sort. He grabbed another ball from his coat and then threw one of them on the ground. A black cloud of dust began to cover the area around them. When he threw the second one, it as well let out a plume of dust that made it almost impossible to breath. The entire room quickly began to fill with this dust. This room was now a bomb. Any spark could set it off and half of the castle would probably go with it. Nowhere in Newhaven would be safe from rubble that would come down. The Shadow continued to break open these deadly smoke bombs until he was entirely out. The only thing that anyone could see was the light from the windows. That is until a dark figure covered up one of the windows. The Shadow had broken through one of them and obviously dived out one of the windows. This wasn't good.
Evin didn't even take time to think of anyone else but the girl. He wasn't sure where any of the other assassin's were, but he knew that if he left the girl in there, she would die instantly. A sudden and familiar pain ripped through Evin's entire body. Time was slower than he had ever made it go before. The pain was almost unbearable for him and made it hard to concentrate. What he saw was most fascinating though. Time had slowed down so much that what was once a cloud of smoke was now millions of separate black and grey particles, suspended in the air. Things around him were more visible now too. He could see the shadow of someone who was also suspended motionless in the air, just about to jump out of the window. That was the last shadow he saw, so he knew everyone had made it out ok, that is except the girl, who was somewhere on the floor. Working on just memory alone, he found his way to the girl at speeds that probably made him nearly invisible to anyone who would have seen. He grabbed her and cradled her in his arms. She was so light from malnutrition. He could tell death was creeping towards this girl at an alarming rate now. Still using his powers, he found his way to the nearest window, and threw himself out of it, cutting his face on the glass and exposing the light.
Time went back to it's regular speed. Only a second after, he saw a flaming throwing knife graze past him. In the seconds it took for the knife to reach the room, thoughts wissed through Evin's mind about the fall. He was about 140 feet from the ground and his target to on the ground was a small mote only about 30 feet from one side to the other at the longest. He had to aim at the exact point and then streamline not only his body, and also the girl's, who was know unconscious and unable to do it by herself. Another problem would be the shock wave from the explosion that was about to come. It was very possible that the explosion could knock him off course and make him miss the mote. The final problem was avoiding falling debris during the rest of the battle.
The debris would be one thing that Crystal wouldn't be able to anticipate coming before it happens. This fight was being taken to a high degree of difficulty.
The next thing Evin felt was a small cracking noise followed by silence. About half a second after that was the bang. Evin's ears could have bled from the noise that was made from the sound of the explosion. He didn't dare look back at what had happened though. He knew that he wouldn't be able to stand looking at the image behind him. He didn't want to know how many lives were taken and the best way to avoid that was to avoid looking at the initial explosion.
Next thing to come, like Evin had predicted, was the brick wall of the shock wave. Evin was right, it did throw him way off course. He directed his body towards the water again, but by then it was too late to streamline his body perfectly before he hit the water. He instead spun himself around so he was falling back first into the water to protect the girl. He then used all the mussel he could to try to straiten his body, but it was too late. His body was strait, but he fell into the water at a slight angle. His back instantly burned as it slapped against the water. The only thing that saved his life was the fact that the angle at which his body fell into the water was close enough that he basically pencil dived into the water. only his shoulder blades really hit the water hard.
Next part of survival was the hardest, they were now fighting a battle while avoiding large parts of the castle that were now falling across the setting red sky of Newhaven.

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Allison didn't really care much for the answer to her question. She knew at the first word that he was lying. She had her reasons for asking it though, and to those purposes it had been helpful. Plus she needed to give enough time for her senses to adjust as she talked. She was stupid not to that before coming down, as she had acted on an impulse once again. If she happen to survive this Crys would most certainly scold her for that.

The moment the first wave of smoke went off, it filled her lungs, making her cough. She knew what that was, she'd seen something like it before, although she couldn't place it. Her first instinct was to go back for her bow, no matter how stupid that might seem. She didn't really get the chance to make that mistake, as she felt someone grab her by the arm and drag her to one of the windows. She heard Jake's voice in her ear as he released her. "Drop down, don't jump." As she dropped down from the window she realized he hadn't followed her. It was too late to think about him though... She was halfway down what would be a very painful drop into the courtyard. Not for her though. She might have hurt herself, but she didn't even mind. She'd deal with the consequences later. Now she had to move.

She didn't make it far from the wall of the castle before the sound of the blast reached her ears, bringing her down to her knees. The enhanced sound of the explosion almost caused her to faint, gladly she managed to pick herself up in time to tackle Crys away from a piece of falling rubble. When they both got back on their feet Ali noticed that Crys had one of her own daggers going straight through her hand. "Damn, Crys..." She mumbled when Crys simply pulled the Sai out of her hand with a groan. "Where is everyone?"

Ali stared at her slightly worried by the fact she couldn't sense the others. Then she realized that the level of commotion the explosion had caused would have affected her. She pulled Crys with her when she heard something else falling their way, she didn't even bother to see what it was. She was looking around for Jake, wondering if he was still invisible, or if he even had made it out.
She was startled when she felt Crys grab her arm, not ever had she seen her this disoriented. "Are you alright Crys?"
Crys sighed slightly. "No. I'm not." She answered, shaking her head, a slightly painful expression crossing her face. "Don't worry, I'll be alright. We have to get this over with, fast. The explosion wiped half of the castle and everyone in it." She winced for a moment, then continued. "Half the army will be wanting our heads in a few minutes, not to mention the Knights. We can't go up against that on our own."

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Dani Rivers stared into the wave of smoke the filled the sky at a distance, coming from the city of Newhaven. Hell had broken loose in that city somehow. Damn... That was not the plan. She let out a heavy sigh, and then spoke to the person standing next to her. "I thought you left already."
Lena let out a small chuckle. "Oh, but I have. Unfortunately I had a not very pleasant encounter with a Knight from Newhaven, who attempted to politely tell me that the roads are blocked until further notice." A slight hint of comtempt crossed her tone of voice as she added. "It is very unsafe to be heading this way, madam. That is what he said, griping the hilt of his sword as if that could intimidate me. Hadn't I taken an oath to do no harm I would have slit the idiot's throat right there."
Dani laughed at that statement. "Oh, how I wish you would say that in front of your clan."
Lena smirked. "Careful with what you wish for Dani... The day may come when that happens."

After a moment of silence Lena looked at Dani half intrigued. "Did you send them any help?"
Dani sighed. "We are oficially raiding the city right now. We will keep the Knights from reaching the castle, and hope that they get this over with before it's too late."
Lena nodded. "The consequences of that would be..."
"They will be" Dani sighed. "However it is inevitable. We'll deal with them as they come."
Lena laughed. "Bastian was right when he said you are insane. You are openly attacking one of the cities... What ever happened to not getting involved?"
Dani nodded, with a half smile. "That ended when they put that bounty on our heads. That if we can honestly say it ever even existed. Hadn't we spend the last decades keeping the two cities alive the winning side would obviously turn on us. I mean... Come on, Lena. You and I both know what this is actually about. There will come a day when this war will reach the ruins. What will you do then?"
Lena sighed softly before answering. "If that day comes there will be nothing left to do."

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"For the last time Crystal: Tell me what actually happened!" Dani's voice was frightenly severe as she questioned her daughter.
"I can't do that. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry." Crys' voice sounded weak and apologetic in a way Jake had never seen before. It shocked him that after all, she was, in that moment, nothing but a child being scolded for some reckless and inconsiderate act. That is what it was after all.

When she came over to his house to tell him of her mother's decision she knew he had already heard it. She pretended not to. They had both been pretending from the moment they got home. She sat in front of him and let out a long heavy sigh before she finally broke the silence. "It's not too late to tell them, Jake."
Jake looked at her an sighed. "What good would that do Crys? Just do what you have to do. Get it over with."
She simply nodded. "This is wrong. It was all my fault... You shouldn't be punished for it."

Jake sighed, running a hand through his hair nervously before he stood up from the spot he had been seated on his bed. "I will walk through that door right now and commit every imaginable type of treason if that makes it any easier on you. Then you won't have to lie... Sounds better? Because you must know that there is no 'doing the right thing' here anymore. That ship has sailed a long time ago."

Crystal got on her feet as well, she nodded quietly for a moment or two before she took a deep breath and sopke. "Jacob Turner. You are, from this moment on, expelled from this clan and therefore forbidden to maintain contact with any of our members or step foot in our territory, including that of the Inn of the city of Newhaven and of the city of Blackpond. You must surrender your ring, gather your belongings and leave within the hour. A guard will posted at your door and he will escort you out."

Jake had been expecting those words... Expecting them didn't make it any less painful. He removed his ring and slipped it into her hand. "Thank you." He said.
Famous last words...


"Jacob, do you understand what I'm saying?" Lena asked in a serious tone.
"I do. I just don't understand what you want me to do with that information." Jake answered in an intrigued tone.
"Think it over, boy. If he needs to stab you people with the dagger alive, and he needs all the powers to access what is contained in there... Then what?" She asked.
"You can't be seriously suggesting that... That one of us... That's crazy." Jake stated.
"Maybe, but... Just imagine what this person is capable of now, then add all that power to him. Tell me if death is not a price you would be willing to pay to stop that. Honestly?"
"There's no guarantee that I'm the only one with these abilities in Valcrest. It could be a useless sacrifice." Jake argued.
Lena nodded, with a slight smiled. "Indeed, it could."



Some people say that when you are moments away from death you are able to see your whole life flash before your eyes. Jacob Turner's life would be ending shortly, and all he could think to himself was that this was better be worth it.

The moment Jake caught a glimpse of the smoke bomb the Shadow pulled out he made sure to help both Ali and Gloria out, as well as retrieve Ali's bow, before he jumped out. Of course, the time he took to do these things took its toll on him, and after barely escaping a piece of the wall that had come down on him... Jake had made a decision. It was a dangerous one, but as once he had been told: Sometimes sacrifices must be made.
Hidden by his own ability and the stone wall that had crumbled to the ground, he pulled something from the inside of his cape: A black pouch. From the inside he pulled a dark needle.

He took it carefully and pressed the tip against the skin of his forearm. After a couple of deep breaths he broke through the skin into a vein, shivering as the poison invaded his body. This particular poison was rare. It was meant to be slow, painless, and almost impossible to cure. There was one, not very known, antidote for it. An antidote Jake didn't have on his person. He wasn't suicidal, there was a small posibility that he could survive, but that would depend on how quickly they could end this fight. It probably wouldn't happen. After a few minutes he got on his feet, still invisible, and located Ali and Crys.

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The blast had left Crys extremely disoriented. She had hurt herself while falling, her ears were ringing, and the ground was shaking beneath her feet, which made it hard for her to pick up on things moving towards her. The debris still dropping from the wrecked castle were causing Ali to push and pull her around constantly, to which she was grateful, but it was completely unpleasant. It didn't really help her situation. Her head was aching and she had no idea how or at what moment she had escaped the inside of the exploding room. Her hand was bleeding, but she could barely feel the pain anymore. Her mind was racing a little and she tried as hard as she could to force herself to calm down and focus in order to get a clear picture in her mind of what their situation really was.

All of a sudden she felt a hand rest on her shoulder. It was Jake. "Hey. I can't see the others anywehere."
She nodded slightly. "Don't count on me anytime soon Jake. I know Evin made it out with the girl. I'm sure Theron's fine. A little explosion wouldn't kill that guy." She sighed. "I really can't sense anyone, so I'm speculating here." She felt something graze the side of her face, an arrow. "What was that?"
Jake answered with a serious tone in his voice. "The castle guard."

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The sun was beginning, but it quickly became darker from the smoke that was now covering the sky. The smoke was so heavy that it blocked out most of the suns light. The situation was just as good as it would have been if the sun had already set. The only thing that kept the place from being completely dark were the signal lights that were being set off to let the guards all across Newhaven know to be on full alert. This raised a whole lot more problems though. No one would be able to get in or out of the city without being killed on the spot. All the guards and soldiers would be out on high alert making sure everything gets solved. What scared Evin more than that though were the White Knights of Newhaven. Only five of them are appointed and they are the leaders of all the armies that followed strict codes of conduct. The Black Knights were even worse. Just as skilled as the White Knights, but they don't exactly have any code to follow. If it weren't for the Leader of the White Knights keeping them in line, they would murder thousands of inocents just to kill one guilty. This fight had to end, and it had to end soon.
Evin had no idea where anyone was, for all he knew, some of them were still in the room when the explosion went off. He hoped this wasn't the truth though he couldn't know for certain. It was dark and cold in the moat and he could barly tell which way was up and which was down. The only thing that guided him was the light from the beacons that were now being set off. He slowly made his way to the surface with the girl. When he made it up, he noticed that a large group of soldiers were running into the courtyard of the castle. Debris was falling all around them. Some guards and soldiers were unfortunate enough to be caught by it. Luckily nothing had fallen around Evin, yet. When all the soldiers ran past, he swam his way to shore. He hid the girl under a piece of debris that had fallen. He couldn't watch over her forever and he was sure that under some fallen debris would probably be the safest place for her. The breeze was very chilly and his muscles began to tighten up from it. Evin had to take off as much of his clothes as possible if he wanted to be able to fight the soldiers let alone the Shadow. When he was down to just his undergarments and his utility belt, he began to run past the moat to the courtyard where he heard a bit of yelling and metal on metal sounds. He was sure that if he found anyone alive, he would find them there. Before he could make it there he herd a voice.
"Where do you think you're going Evin?"
The Shadow jumped down from the castle wall just above Evin. He landed about ten feet in front of him. Before the Shadow could say anything else, to antagonise Evin, Evin ran towards him at top speed. The Shadow pulled out his dagger and just pointed it right towards Evin who was running too fast to avoid running right into it. Evin smiled with with eyes. His mouth didn't move an inch, but his eyes showed the Shadow something that he didn't know. The Shadow reacted to this by running back wards. Evin then jumped into the air and took out one of his throwing knives. It was one of the three that he had left. When he was just above the Shadow, he threw the knife. The Shadow had managed to put his dagger above his head to deflect it, but Evin used that opportunity to grab the Shadow's arm. He got a good grip onto the arm and then used the forward momentum of his jump and the leverage of his arm to flip just behind the Shadow. They were back to back and Evin still had the Shadow's arm. Still using the extra momentum, he threw the Shadow right over his shoulder making him fly seven feet in front of Evin before hitting the ground. Evin, quickly ran up to the Shadow and straddled over him pressing a throwing knife at his throat.
"You will find you're head on a plate if you kill him!" a man's voice said from behind.
Evin didn't bother to look behind him. This man's voice was too far away for him to be any harm. "And why should I listen to you, when I'm so close to finishing my target and saving Valcrest?" He pressed the knife just a little deeper into the skin, any movement could break the skin and very likely kill.
"I know you feel very confidant. You can kill the King and then just disappear like any good assassin would, but if you do so much as move, I will have all of my soldiers fire their arrows at you."
"And if I move before I kill the King? You might kill me, but you will also be responsible for you're King's death. You would be prosecuted for treason. It would be pretty hard to defend yourself if there are the Newhaven army's arrows found killing the King. The people of Newhaven would completely forget about how a group of assassin's tried to kill the King and just look at you're simple blunder. You didn't really think this plan through did you?"
Evin felt the blade of a sword against his neck. He then herd the man's voice again. This time it was right behind him. He said, "I had a plan. It worked too. Now drop the knife and I will think about sparing you're life."
The blade was of the White Knights. He could see the last letters of the slogan of the Knights on his sword. This wasn't good. "Drop it!" he yelled again. Evin did as the man said, but he knew that even if he listened to all of the mans demands, he would still end up dead in the end. Evin pushed his legs back to throw himself into the White Knight. He knocked the man over. He then grabbed a smoke bomb from off of the Shadow's belt and broke it on the ground. He ran as fast as he could to the court yard and waited for the Knight and the Shadow to follow. He was completely unaware of everyone else who were locked in combat with a small army of soldiers.

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That arrow was a warning shot. It was followed by a demanding voice telling them to drop their weapons and surrender, well... That's one thing they would simply not do. Ali felt a familiar object being slipped into her hand and a wide grin crossed her expression. Jake had gone back for her bow. Once he released it, the bow seemed to appear out of nowhere, and that served the purpose of spooking the guards causing them to flinch. "Crys... Are you alright?"
"Don't worry about it kid." was the response. A rather shaky response, but Ali took it anyway. She couldn't babysit Crys, she would have to pull herself together. Ali hoped she'd do that sooner rather than later.
Ali nodded nocking an arrow. "Eldric, old man... Fifty arrows won't begin to cut it." She mumbled, firing a very accurate shot at a guards throat.

Night was falling down fast. And the smoke that filled the air only made it more dark. Ali knew she'd need to enhance her sight eventually to keep shooting, but she was slightly afraid of what that would cost her. At this moment she was unaware of her own injuries, and able to her the sounds of incoming rubble. Enhancing her sight could make her unaware of her surroundings, not to mention the pain that would come with it. For the moment she wouldn't think of it, she would just keep shooting.

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Crys took a deep breath or two after Jake informed her of the situation. The ground was still trembling from falling rubble. She crouched down, and pressed her palm against the ground. "Crys, what are you doing?"
She didn't answer Jake's question until a moment or two had passed. "There are about 80 guards coming our way. There are probably more heading this way now from the city. We have to get this over with a quickly as possible. Go help Evin." After the last piece of that sentence Crys got on her feet pulling something that was sheathed at he back, underneath her cape... Bastian's sword. "Move Jake. We can hold our own against the guards. Knights are a whole different story."
"Holy shit." The expression let her know that Jake had finally spotted the White Knight.

Crys joined the fight to fend off the guards. Her senses finally beginning to come back to her, she could know the others were alive and well, although she couldn't exactly place them. She didn't have the time to think about it though, another piece of falling debris had just missed her. "Stupid bombs. I freaking hate them!" She muttered, her blade running clean through one of the guards. She grabbed the man's quiver out of him and tossed it in Ali's direction. "Beggars can't be choosers kid!"

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Seconds after being told to move, Jake spotted Evin moving towards them. The Shadow and the White Knight following after him. Jake's eyes locked on the Knight, the man was walking slowly as if he knew Evin and the others had nowhere to run. That was true, but Jake was done running. It was pointless now. He ran past Evin, past the Shadow and collided with the knight, knocking the man down.
The sound of thunder filled the air as it suddenly started to rain. So much for cover... When the water hit Jake he became visible to the fallen knight. The man rose to his feet and pointed his sword straight at him. "You are in way over your head assassin."
Jake nodded, unsheathing his sword, and answered with a snicker. "You have no idea."
The Knight attacked Jake with his sword repeatedly, his blade meeting nothing other than the blade of Jake's Katana. Weren't for the armor the man was wearing Jake would have been able to hit him by now, but there was were little openings that he could explore.

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Ali took the arrows Crys had offered her with a snicker. "Can't be picky, now can I?" She kept shooting at the castle guards until she caught a glimpse of the Shadow and immediately aimed an arrow at him. She had perfectly clear shot.
Before she has a chance to release the arrow though, she saw that Jake had been knocked out by a Knight and was about to have a blade go straight through him. She turned he arrow towards the knight and released an arrow the went through the opening on the man's helm, killing him immediately. She lowered her bow and felt her thought process come to a painful stop when she realized that Jake was still on the floor. "Dammit." She mumbled, and ran a straight line to where he was lying on the floor. She knelt down next to him. "Jake are you hurt?"
Jake sat up. "Not exactly." He smirked, trying to stand but dropping down again. "Don't worry about it." He answered, his eyes glancing over to see if Crys had noticed them.
Ali nodded. "What did you do?"
Jake simply nodded. Two or three deep breaths later, he was back on his feet. "Just a back up plan. Don't worry about it."
Ali didn't know if she could do that. Rain was pouring down hard, there was no place for Jake to hide, and there was obviously something wrong with him. "I don't like this, Jacob."
He chuckled, picking up the sword he had dropped. "I'm not exactly enjoying it either. Thanks for the help though."
Ali simply nodded, a sigh escaping her. She had lost a perfect shot.

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The battle raged on behind him as the Shadow and the White Knight walked through the entrance into the courtyard. The Shadow walked at a furious pace towards Evin. The pure evil in his eyes pierced into Evin's soul. Perry was no longer the man he remembered. The man he remembered was just an act to begin with. This evil was always within him even when Evin believed that he was in a safe. He walked past the two statues of some of the great warriors in Valcrest that greeted passersby. They were life sized and said to be almost duplicates of the warriors and they carried the weapons real weapons that the warriors held. One took Evin's attention. The statue's face looked exactly like the Shadow's was right now. The eyes were definitely the same, the evil expression. The only things that were different was the clothing and the weapon. The statue carried a spear where the Shadow had with him the dagger with the mystical powers that everyone had spent chasing.
As the Shadow drew closer, it began to rain. At the same time, he heard a clamour of armour. The Knight fell backwards, suddenly the rain exposed what had caused the attacker to be exposed. It was Jake and the water had now caused him to become visible again. Something didn't seem right with him though.
Evin then caught a glimpse of Allison out of the corner of his eyes. She had an arrow aiming directly at the Shadow. It would be a definite kill, if only he could distract the Shadow for only a few more seconds.
"So, you always claimed to be greater than me. You always wanted to prove it too." What's taking her so long. He thought. "Are you really greater than me now. You've killed so people to gain power. It almost sickens me."
"It's no better than what you do for a living assass-" Before he could finish, an arrow flew just past him and hit the White Knight instead.
"Shit!" Evin ran once again at the Shadow at full speed, just like last time. Once again, the Shadow put up his dagger in front of him. He threw his last throwing knife towards the Shadow. This battle had gone on for too long. It ended now.
Evin began to slow down time again. After doing this so much, and enduring so much pain during the rest of the battle, Evin didn't know how long he could hold it. He gave it only enough time that it took a rain drop would take to hit the ground in normal time. He used that as a reference, watching the raindrops fall all over him, slowly. He also saw the throwing knife, that was slowly closing in on the Shadow. Evin continued his run at top speed towards the Shadow. The Shadow, had moved his dagger up to deflect the throwing knife. He wouldn't let that happen though. He ran past the throwing knife, still in mid air, and kicked the dagger out of his hand. Time abruptly came back to it's normal pace again and the throwing knife pierced into the Shadow's chest. He was lucky that the knife didn't hit an artery or even the heart, it had only hit him in the lung. It was very possible for him to survive.
Evin, shocked by the sudden change in time had tripped and while trying to find his balance, pushed the Shadow backwards. The Shadow struggled to find his balance too as he tumbled backwards towards the exit of the courtyard. Something managed to catch his fall though, the statue with the face strikingly similar to Perry's was in the right place to stop him. Not only from falling but from ever killing again too. One could say that the spear was really the thing that caught him. The spear impaled the Shadow right through the bastard's skull. It was over.
Evin got up from his place on the ground. Time seemed to stop. He wasn't using his powers, he was just on shock, numb. The man he had spent so many years feeling guilty for. The man he believed he had killed was now truly dead because of him. The thought of sadness came to mind, but that was quickly overpowered by complete and utter joy. He had no reason to feel guilty anymore. The Shadow was just another heartless soul seeking power in a half destroyed world. A wasteland, but home none the less. Evin ran past the soldiers who were all frozen as well. The shock on their face depicted their feeling, completely opposite to what Evin was feeling. He ran strait to Crystal and embraced her. He wasn't sure why he was doing this, she would never let him live it down, but the victory was too sweet to be ruined by thoughts like that. He didn't say a word, and despite the chaos that continued around him, nothing could ruin the feeling he had at that moment. The battle was over....

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Crystal was a little unaware of what was going on around her, but the sudden wave of silence on the opposite side of the battle caused her to stop. The overwhelming sense of grief that came from the guards was telling her their king had died. She couldn't help but pity those men and women. They had no idea that their king had died a long time ago and no one had mourned his death. Now they would all mourn the death of his killer instead.
Crys nodded, quietly. What a messed up world this was. A killer would be mourned and praised for the deeds of another man, and they would be hunted for ridding the land of the curse of his existence. Maybe not tonight, though. The Knights hadn't made it to the castle after all, and the guards seemed way too shocked to attack the assassins at this point. Better this way... No more blood should be spilled on account of that monster.

All those thoughts, and every other possibility that she couldn't quite wrap her mind around, were interrupted by Evin as he came up to her. The sudden embrace caused a long sigh to escape her, as if she had been holding her breath from the moment this whole thing started. If not, then at least since the night her father died. That was over now. A small laugh followed the sigh as she let that single fact overcome all the others. Tomorrow they would have to face the reality of what they had done, but right now... It was over, they won, and it felt good.

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Allison followed the battle with her eyes and she watched as the Shadow met his end. A grin spread slowly across her expression as she realized the man was finally dead. "Check mate." She mumbled, the grin turning into a slightly wicked smile. She turned towards the fallen Knight and got on knee besides the man's body. "Don't touch him." She heard one of the guards protest, but didn't even turn to face the man. "Stop me." she said, casually. Obviously, no one made a move towards her as she pulled the arrow out before removing his helm and closing his eyes in a respectful gesture. It seemed unfair to her that the man had to die because his king was a murderer and a fraud. His death, as well as every other in that castle, were that monster's fault. Ali couldn't help but still feel slightly angry at that. After a moment of silence she stood up. That's went she noticed Jake was back on his knees. Not long after that he dropped down.

She ran straight to him, and knelt down beside him, he was shivering and barely conscious. "Jake what did you do?"
He snickered, although his voice sounded weak as he spoke. "Back up plan, remember?"
"Where's the freaking antidote?" She asked in a half angry, half panicked tone.
Jake was almost unconscious, the only words he could mumble were: "Get Crys."
"Crystal! We have a problem!" She called out.
Didn't take long for Crys to come running. Ali could hear her footsteps, but she didn't take her eyes off Jake, she could feel he had pulse, but it was faint.
"Dammit Jake!" Crys exclaimed, her hand rolling up his sleeves trying to find the spot where he had pushed the needle through. "Did he say where the antidote is?"
"No Crys. He only asked for you." Ali's answer came in almost a whisper. She didn't want Crys to know what she was thinking, even if it was obvious.
Crys sighed. "Damn fool." She muttered. Ali knew she was thinking of something but couldn't know what it was. She was still holding on to Jake's wrist as if his pulse could immediately come to a stop if she was to let go. What the hell was he thinking?

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"He only asked for you." The words sent Crys into a trance as if she tried to brake some sort of code. She knew Ali was thinking that this meant he knew there was no time, but... Crys knew Jake all too well to agree with that notion. So she was desperately searching for something in the back of her mind that would lead her to an antidote, something that he had said or done recently. And then she remembered...
She quickly pulled on the gold chain she now carried around her neck. Hanging from the chain was a golden locket. Jake had given her that an hour before they left. He asked to keep it safe, said it was important. She knew that it had belonged to his sister, so she didn't even try to open it, until just then. She opened the locket and used her index finger to, carefully, search the inside of the jewelry. She found a tiny needle, just a little bigger than a splinter, made of some kind of metal. She quickly felt for a vein and pushed the small needle through it, hoping it wasn't too late.

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"You idiot!" Lena laughed at Jake. It was the third time he was taken to her camp for healing. The second time he had been taken there on account of his impulsiveness. Broken bones and stab wounds had become part of his routine. Just as much as being scolded by his aunt.
"They killed my sister! They must pay for that!" The thirteen year old boy argued.
"Why?" Lena asked in calm, slightly curious, tone.
"Why?" Jake repeated in disbelief. "You don't think they should?"
"It doesn't matter what I think Jacob. Either they'll pay, or they won't, but for what I have seen so far... You won't be the one to make that happen." She shrugged.
"You don't care." The boy stated.
"Who are you to say what I care or don't care about?" She asked, raising a brow. A slightly severe tone in her voice. "Your sister was an amazing girl, and surely I cared for her, but... She's dead. Killing the piece of trash who did it won't change that fact. The only reason why you want to do this is because you feel they have taken her from you." She smirked. "You don't want to do this because they hurt your sister Jake. You want compensation for what they took from you. That... That is not justice."
"What would be justice then?" He mumbled.
"Become a better man than they are. Show them that losing everything doesn't excuse taking from others and then... Then, maybe, you'll be fit to make them pay."


"Why did you bring me here again?" Crys' seemed to be trying to sound bored although Jake knew she was in fact very curious.
"Well... It is a nice place. Quiet. And I need to talk to you about something." Jake stated, with a grin. He was stalling on purpose. What he was in fact saying was not what he wanted to say. That would have to wait until the whole thing was done with. For some reason he hoped it would hurt her less that way, if he went through with his plan. In reality it didn't matter.
She sighed. "Alright, and what about?"
He pulled the golden locked from his bag and placed slowly in her hand. After giving her the time to feel what it was he spoke. "This was my sister's. She always said it protected her. So I'd like it if you wore it for a while."
She frowned slightly, flipping the round locket in her hand. "Didn't she... You know... Die?"
He laughed. "Yes. The day she died I was wearing it." He sighed. "Before I left the house she put it around my neck and said: Humor me."
"Why...?" She started.
Jake laughed and cut her off. "Humor me Crys."


Pain filled Jake's body as he felt himself slip back into consciousness. He opened his eyes to find himself sitting up holding on to Allison's hand as if he hang on to life itself. In a way he did. Jake knew how close he was to death, the last few minutes before blacking out were now a complete blur. His eyes darted everywhere from the fallen knight to the Shadow's dead body to everyone around him... Everyone, but Crys. His eyes lowered to the ground before reaching her face. He didn't have enough courage left to look at her. She was furious for what he had done, and it was clear. His breathing was still erratic and his head and chest were now aching as if they were being smashed by something heavy.
"Deep breaths." Those were the first words that came out of her mouth. Jake simply looked at her, he couldn't really speak at this point. "Try to take deep breaths, Jake. You need to slow your heart rate a bit."
Jake took the advice and took a few deep breaths. "Alright." He finally managed to say. And then his eyes ran through the whole place again. "Did any of you take the dagger out of him?" He asked.

Ali let go of his hand and got on her feet. After letting her eyes run through the whole courtyard, she crouched down next to him, a slightly concerned look on her face. "It's gone." She stated.

That could be a problem one day in the future.