"It's not you I am worried about. The mage hunters will stop at nothing to get back their weapon." Sera smiled. "I want you to kill a woman called Scarlett Verneer. Scarlett Verneer is one of the best assassins in the Red Stain, some would have you believe that she is nothing more than mere fiction but believe me she is real, and very dangerous. Know that what I offer in return for Scarlett Verneer's life is more Kiel than you will ever see in your lifetime. You can name your price."
"Trust me, I've seen alot of Kiel in my life, and I plan to see alot more. As for my price, given the circumstances, 20,000."
"You can have 60,000 Kiel." Sera remarked. "Paid upon completion of your contract. Does that sound agreeable?"
"Definitely agreeable, I take it that you'll have the money with you, now then, what is the plan of action?" Vergil replied with, thinking to himself 'She's falling for it, better keep the act up... for a little while longer'.
"Good. Then this is how it will work. Tonight at the Nehelem manor a party will take place. Here's your invitation, invent what ever identity to you wish, after the stroke of midnight the target will enter the master bedroom and I will engage her in talk. You will use this opportunity to strike, I will use magic to mask your movement noise and you will strike the heart with whatever weapon you see fit. Understand?"
"I understand perfectly, with all the other guests, any security that happens to be there will be preoccupied to notice a few guests that happen to vacate the room. As for weaponry I'll use a combination of my dagger and these... smoke bombs." Vergil replied with as he pulled a small clay sphere with a short fuse from a leather belt around his waist.
What is this, amateur hour?
Sera looked down at the small clay sphere and raised an eyebrow. "If you... wish. You will only get one chance to strike. Don't waste it." Sera raised her hand before Vergil and smiled. "I must go."
"Hey, don't judge what you haven't tried, plus you can't be too careful, you never know when the plan shall suddenly change." Vergil replied with in a raised tone of anger. "What time shall I/we arrive?" He asked.
Sera snorted unimpressed. "Quick to anger aren't we? I don't need to try it boy. I will be there all night, you can come when you wish as long you are in the room or outside by 11:30."
"I'm only quick to anger when someone thinks there better than everyone else, and don't worry I'll be there, in the room at that time." Vergil replied, now speaking more calmly he said.
"I'll let you out." He walked over to the wall section, and repeated the same process that he used to let them into his room.
Lorel Ion - Middle District
The next morning Velen got Lorel up and they left the inn and began to make their way down. Lorel's wounds still hurt but they were better than the night previous. As they walked through the dusty and thick aired streets Velen kept his hands always hovering above his hilts in case of any unsuspected attack upon them. But personally he didn't believe they would be attack due to how many they killed yesterday. It would scare them off. For now.
While the rain had stopped, Velen suspected that it would start back soon again as some
clouds were gathering. Everything was drenched, but people were still out and about doing their daily needs. As they walked Lorel saw things he didn't see in Upper District, stabbings in the street, prostitution, drugs, and anything nasty you could imagine. Upper District wasn't totally clean, but they at least had standards or where subtle with it.
Middle District was nothing like Upper and it showed. It was going to be difficult getting used to things, although strangely already used to the killing...
Velen had told him the truth but Lorel couldn't exactly trust him, what proof did he have that he wasn't one of the ones who had helped to kill his parents? Until he showed him some undeniable proof that he was on his side, he would have to stay on his toes. His stomach growled and Velen looked at him with a gentile face, "Want something to eat?"
Lorel nodded his head, and they stopped at a nearby Tavern called, the Fried Chicken, to get something to eat. Obviously the name was a dead giveaway of what they served. When they sat down at an open table a server came over and took their orders and after a short bit. Their food had come to the table and Lorel eat it up like if his life depended on it while Velen eat it slow and savored the flavor.
He could see it in Lorel's eyes that he didn't trust him, something he learned with working with many people over the past 10 or so years. Lorel attempted to make small talk. "So, who taught you how to use Dual Blades like earlier?"
Velen put down his fork and placed it on his plate. "Sosia spade style, I learned it from a man named Mar, who works with Nu've."
Lorel swallowed the piece of food that was in his mouth. "Nu've, that's the secret Upper District group that works for the Nobles correct?"
"Not exactly a secret group if even you know about it."
"Well I am not exactly an average Upper civilian." Lorel said as he began to chew another piece of the chicken.
Velen laughed. "You're right about that. Though I doubt you would be considered an Upper civilian now, huh."
The last part made Lorel frown, while it was supposed to be in good nature, he didn't exactly take it well. "Sorry."
Sera - Grim
"...Think? Vergil, I am better than everyone else." Sera smiled a polite smile and stepped out of the room. She turned her head to the right and opened her mouth. "Then I shall see you later. Boy. Oh, and if you choose to arrive early look for the woman with long, straight purple hair hanging down across her right shoulder. Tear doesn't speak. But she will keep you company for a while."
Vergil Crawford - Grim
"You'd be careful of that optimism you place in yourself, it might just end you. Anyway, enjoy the evening". Vergil remarked with a smile as he saw Sera head down the stairs, and the wall section close behind her. After she left he thought to himself; 'Cazzo! I'm starting to wonder if a contract like this is worth it, considering the employer, I almost feel like, no, definitely feel like killing her instead. Regardless, it would give me a perfect opportunity to try out the new blade I discovered in the Assassin's Journal'.
He then went over to a desk on the left hand side of the room, moved some books out of the way, and pulled forward a wooden box with a simple metal catch. He lifted the catch and inside what looked like an ornate bracer made of a combination from leather and metal. He turned it over, and there lied a thin metal blade not an inch in width encased within a series of gears and leather straps.
"Perfect." Vergil muttered quite as he made a few small modifications to the release mechanism.
"This will be the proper tool in which to carry out the plan, but still, something is missing from this bracer to make it fully functional. I know, if I attach a length of thread to the release catch, and then tie the thread to a ring, I can operate by simply opening the hand." He continued to mutter as he made these delicate modifications.
After half an hour of modifying and testing, he held the bracer up to the light coming through the skylight above him. He simply remarked; "Beautiful."
"Now that I have the tool prepared, it is time to think of attire, something smart, but first, I think that these are no longer needed." He said as he removed the belt that carried his bombs. "She thinks me a child, and worse still, an amateur." Vergil smirked as he tossed the belt onto his bed. Afterwards, he walked over to a another table at the opposite end of the room, on it lay a metal cannister, which he picked up, it too also had a fuse, but of a different design.
"This will do nicely for the escape, Scarlett and mines that is." Vergil said as he returned the cannister to the table.
That was strange, and to be honest he was probably right about her having pissed people off.
She'd best be off then. Getting out was just a question of creating another explosion (this one was planned at least); the cloud this time was not as thick but more opaque allowing her to make her exit.
She was on the street again, back where she started; that the cart had already been picked clean was both impressive and disconcerting.
Wait, another note, her family insignia a black bull's head with a golden bird perched on it. Look like some sort of invitation, cordially was she well you know what that means (actually she didn't).
"Hello mistress." Oh great, Sara one of the more annoying of her families servants.
The Vessel cut her short.
"It's vessel now, I don't go by... that anymore."
"Of course miss. Will you be attending?"
"I can't imagine you letting me say no."
Sara forced a laugh. "Very good miss." Notice her complete ignorance of the question.
Telnor- Middle District
As the world began to blacken Telnor reached into one of his pouches and grasped a light crystal and brought it up to his opponents eyes. A bright light burst forth, blinding Jegme. Letting go of Telnor, Jegme clutched at his eyes trying to readjust to the normal levels of light.
Taking advantage of his opponents disorientation, Telnor grasped one of the daggers from around his ankle and rushed Jegme. Jegme however, quickly regained his senses and garbed Telnor and threw him out of the alley and into the street. Telnor flew past a few passerby's before hitting the wall on the other side. Groaning as he struggled to his feet he saw Jegme exit the alley, with the war harmer back in his hands.
"You keep underestimating me. That is never a wise thing!" Jegme yelled as he charged Telnor. Telnor quickly garbed his other ankle and threw it as hard as he could at Jegme. The dagger flew threw the air flipping over and hit Jegme square in the eye, embedding itself all the way through to his brain. The giant's momentum kept him going until he fell down just before Telnor's feet.
"You underestimated me. Last time you do that." Telnor said to the corpse as he removed the dagger from the dead body. "Best throw I ever made though."
The maid screamed.
"Oh please that sort of thing happens around here all the time." The vessel wasn't impressed with her reaction.
"Good throw, looks like you've got a story to tell."
"Do you know who this is?" The maid was still freaking out.
"Course I do he's my plus one." The vessel turned to the stranger. "You up for a party?"
Telnor- Middle District
Telnor smiled at the lady who had asked him to the party. "Why that sounds lovely. I do think I will join you. Just let me retrieve my sword and one other thing." Telnor searched Jegme's corpse and pulled out an amulet with a red x on it. He than ran to the alley and picked up his sword and dagger, cleaned them both and put them away. Telnor walked back to where the women were standing and held out his arm. "Name is Telnor. And you are?"
Scarlett Verneer - Grim
It was dark when Scarlett Verneer arrived at her destination. 36 District Rise, Grim. The estate of Harold Nehelem stood illuminated in the warm light cast down from the full moon and the rows of fire lit torches that lined the snaking gravel drive from the open iron gate. Carriages and people dressed in fancy outfits walked through chatting, marvelling at the grandeur of the estate as they headed for the inviting, open large doors of the house. The town house was a grand old building set back in an ornate garden that when completed cost twice as much as the original house. The Nehelem family was rumoured to be one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Grim and looking at the house and garden combined Scarlett could well believe it.
Walking down the drive, her hands buried in the hooded maid jacket Scarlett was using for tonights disguise she watched the array of servants and maids buzzing around the entrance of the house, bathed in the warm yellow light radiating from the open doors. They looked stressed. Working hard to please their master and guests. Scarlett saw only for a fleeting moment her target, Harold, as he walked out to inspect that all was well, and when satisfied returned to entertain his guests inside. He certainly looked the part of dutiful host. Dressed in the finest of hand tailored suits and wearing, with great pride, the bright red sash of his political party. For tonight was a political fundraiser held in his honour. Designed to bolster the egos of his supporters and gain greater financial support. He would achieve it too. Harold's crackdown on the lower classes had proved very popular with the upper class of Grim but it was his reputation for expensive and indulgent parties that would ensure everyone would have a good night.
A tall figure strode out from the shadows, a handsome young man with flowing long chestnut hair. Scarlett would have mistaken him for a guest had he not been carrying a sword sheathed in the belt around his waist. He reached out with his left hand expectantly. Scarlett recognised him as bodyguard, private security hired for such events.
"Excuse me maid, can I see your identification?"
"Of course." remarked Scarlett handing it over.
The man inspected the rectangle of paper stolen not hours before from a maid agency down the road.
"Very good. Thank you. I have been instructed to inform you that our master requires you to assist the arrivals, and to help those staying the night to their respective rooms."
Scarlett nodded. "Very well. Thank you."
The guard joined another who had emerged from a bush after checking the grounds around the house and together they both walked to stand guard at the main gate. Chatting casually but more than aware of their surroundings. As Scarlett approached the house she watched with some amusement as two servants struggled to unload six chests from the roof of a parked carriage. A large round lady in a purple dress was hovering around, screeching at them to be careful. Apparently her collection of hats where in the chest been lowered and she seemed overly concerned for their safety.
Ok Scarlett, time to go to work.
She approached the large lady and interrupted, putting on a polite but naive expression. "Excuse me ma'am, may I show you to your room? I will return and ensure that your belongings see their way into the house safely."
"Oh thank you dear! That would be acceptable. Sometimes you know, I think men just don't understand."
Scarlett smiled warmly extending her hand towards the house. "Quite right ma'am. This way please."
Getting into the house had proved a lot easier than expected.
"Well this mad woman thinks my name is Andria for some reason which is just ridiculous." Someone was clearly enjoying the fact the maid still thinks she might die. "Call me The Vessel. Vessel for short." She took his arm. "Well what are mother and father waiting for? They want me to attend this party and I will."
"Of course miss transport has been arranged."
Another cart goody. At least this one was fancy.
The vessel got in waiting for the stranger. Eventually she'd explain things.
Scarlett Verneer - Grim
"Do you know if the Foel's are present dear?"
Scarlett stopped and turned around to face the large round lady she was escorting inside. "I'm sorry Ma'am I don't, I have only just arrived but once we reach the house I will enquire for you."
"Oh no! It's quite alright. I suppose I shall find out soon enough won't I!"
Scarlett nodded in response but the woman seemed too preoccupied in inspecting everybody else currently making their way to the house, up the grand marble stairs to the large, open doors. Scarlett noted the presence of more well dressed security flanking the doors. A mixture of men and women all wearing military suits and they where watching the guests intently as they passed. At that precise moment a women emerged unlike any other present. She wore a long, tight fitting black gown and looked no older than 19. She was attractive and Scarlett would have guessed at first glance that she might be the daughter of an upper class nobleman had it not been for the thin, twin short swords sheathed behind her back. Hidden to the guests down her dress but they produced a discreet yet visible lump to any one looking with the right experience in life. Bright purple hair hung down across her face and swept behind her neck so that it rested neatly down her right shoulder. Was she with the guard? Her difference in dress suggested not and they paid her no attention as she glided down the stairs so it seemed unlikely she was a superior officer.
Scarlett stopped at the foot of the stairs and turned to let the round lady past, as was customary in Grim, but also took the opportunity to inspect the strange woman as she walked past. Whoever she was she didn't even look in her direction and Scarlett continued to watch as she vanished behind a parked carriage. Using her gift Scarlett hurried in sorting through the noise around her into the usual 360 degree mental map but failed to hear any hushed talk from that direction. The carriage bore the symbol of another political family and Scarlett assumed, at least for now, that she had been that families extra security.
The round lady had ascended the stairs and Scarlett hurried to join her dismissing any thought of the strange girl, now was not the time for distraction. At that an elderly man who could only be described as a Nehelem family butler walked up to them carrying a key on a silver platter.
"Mrs Versmythe! How wonderful to see you again!"
"George! My dear, how are you?"
"I'm in excellent health. Thank you for enquiring ma'am." He paused turning to Scarlett. "Please escort Mrs Versmythe to room eight on the third floor and see that she is comfortable before returning to direct her luggage to the room."
"Yes sir." Scarlett remarked taking the key from the platter. "Right this way."
She was pleased. The third floor was the top floor. The same as her targets bedroom, the venue she had chosen for his death.
The lobby was a sight to behold and as Scarlett stepped inside she allowed herself a moment to be impressed, it was a tall square room with winding staircases on either side, connected in the middle on each floor by a balcony. Enormous paintings of Grim landscapes and Nehelem family members, all neatly hung, covered every inch of the surrounding walls illuminated by crystal chandeliers hanging in a spiral pattern downwards from the roof . There where shelves full of old books, glass cabinets containing decretive weapons, sculptured art but most grand of all, a working fountain in the centre of the ground floor. Mrs Versmythe must a have been a regular visitor as she ignored the splendid slight and set about climbing the stairs on the left hand side. Following, Scarlett noticed the purple haired woman return inside.
Vergil Crawford/Dante Moreau - Grim
It was roughly 8:00 PM by the time Vergil had arrived at the estate of Harold Nehelem. Vergil was wearing a dark blue suit, on top of which he wore a black trench coat which had a elegant white trim pattern along the bottom. For footwear, he had a pair of black leather boots, which could have been mistaken for riding boots. The means as to how he acquired the clothing were simple, he had bought them a few years ago but never found an occasion where they would be useful for a job.
With him he carried his sabre on the left hand side, most of it being covered by the coat, only the tip was exposed. He also carried a dagger, which he concealed in his right boot. The metal canister he placed in a pocket of the coat. The wrist blade, he hid underneath the jacket of his suit, making sure that the ring trigger was on. Thanks to his work he made sure the concealed items were invisible, only a person of enhanced sight like himself could detect them. He made his way to the front door of the house, where a pair of guardsmen, obviously hired to act as security for the event, where checking people's invitations.
"Excuse me, sir?" One of the guards asked.
"Yes." Vergil responded.
"Need to see your invitation." The guard asked.
"Of course." Vergil pulled the invitation that Sera had given him earlier from one of the coat pockets and presented it to the guard. He scanned it briefly, giving back to Vergil when he was done.
"Okay sir, you can go through." The guard told him. He quickly noticed the point of Vergil's sword.
"What is that sir?". The guard asked.
"Why... its my sabre, is it not allowed?" Vergil asked, opening his coat to reveal the sabre.
"It is allowed sir, your host has permitted that male guests are allowed to bring a sword. You may pass, just tell your name, and someone inside will announce you." The guard told him in a dull tone, obviously through repetition of that same phrase.
"Thank you." Vergil replied as he walked past the guards and into the main room of the party, where he would spend some time before meeting Sera, and Scarlett in the master bedroom.
Telnor followed Vessel into the cart.
"Intersteing name you have. Mind if I call you Ves and if you will not take offence I need to close my eyes for a bit. That big guy took a lot out of me."
With great haste, Lucian attended to the final age tinted parchments still hanging loosely from the darkened saddlebags, the buckles ringing in chimes as they clinked against one another while the papers crinkled loudly in the breeze flowing through the dark and dingy street. Still in the corner of Grey's eye was the billowing clouds of darkness that seeped forth from the inn, this was no batched up brewery explosion.
He never stops!?
Lucian thrust himself atop his golden eyed steed, gripped the shadow touched reins firmly in his pale claws and beaconed the colourless destrier to ride. In one last passing glance he could have sworn he noticed someone emerging from the obscurity of the smoke, someone deeply off-putting.
Time flew by with the winds as Lucian raced through those cold cobblestone streets after the black stallion at his front, Vincent had slowed his gallop after putting some distance between himself and the lodging but Grey still had to make up for the head start. The four legged creature of midnight was grey ever larger with each passing stride until finally both beasts were side by side.
"Mind explaining what happened back there? It looked very interesting but I had hardly enough time to query." Lucian asked, his tone adopting a trademark jovial demeanour.
"That women who caused the black smoke was a Mage Lucian. Had it not been for the crowd of people in the Inn, I would have slit her throat then and there. I've told her to meet us in Grim, so we should be able to hunt her down after we finish our current contract." Vincent said, drawing his hood closer around his face so that only his mouth and the bottom of his nose could be seen.
"Aside from that, I figured that the more distance we put between us and The Blood and Guts Inn the better. Anyone following us could easily have found our trail and could be following us now."
"There are worse things I could be called so I'm fine with it, it's not even that bad actually.
So who are you anyway? Not often you see that good a knife thrower, I'm rather impressed. Could I get you to do anything else for a treat?"
Alto walked down the street. Killing the mobs had been too easy, and hadn't proved to be a way to increase his magical capabilites at all. He needed to find something that would truly test himself. He wanted to see just how strong, how far, and how capable his magic was. He then remembered that tonight was the night when he would have to attend the party hosted by that disgusting Nelehem family. If he wasn't born as the firstborn son of the House of D'Escartes, Alto wouldn't have gone, he despised those lecherous people. He would rather kill them, but that went against his beliefs, because as far as he knew, they hadn't attempted to break the law yet. But when they did....that would be a different story. He turned on his heel, and headed back for the D'Escartes estates, in the Upper District where he lived.
Telnor- In Transit
"I'm a Contractor. You probably haven't heard of us. Its just a small faction that I made not too long ago. So far it is just me and one other person who handles the paperwork. What I do as a Contractor is I take on almost any job. From body guard to vegetable picker and almost everything in between. As for the knife throwing it takes look hours of practice," Telnor bragged She doesn't need to know that throw was a lucky and desperate one.
"I take it you'll also do dates as well? I feel like my parents aren't quite worried about me enough. Also they keep trying to introduce me to boring people. I don't carry much money but if you like music..."
She pulled out a harp.
Telnor smiled. "Sounds like fun. Boring people are, well boring. A little ruckus to the night sounds like good payment. Plus that big guy back there was worth quite a lot of kiel but I wouldn't mind some music."
"Then if you uphold your end I'll uphold mine."
She casually toyed with the harp, but even just flicking it occasionally she produced something good, it was inviting but also unearthing, clearly this was someone who knew exactly what every string could do and just how to make them do it.
She only played a cord or two barley even a few seconds of music.
Telnor sat enchanted by the music a single tear sliding down his face.
"That was beautiful, exquisite, enchanting, moving,breath taking and utterly indescribable. It was like the sound of the Gods."
Wow, wonder what he'd say when she actually tried.
"You think so?"
She tried to be casual about it. Not let on she was flattered. Probably got the thing about gods wrong though. They argued too much no way could they harmonise like that.
Telnor smiled. "Yes Do think so." He turned his head away and looked out the window. "So where is this party? Looks like we heading northwards. Would it safe to assume its in Grim?"
"Sounds like the sort of thing my parents would do.
So why did you say yes to this anyway?"
"Spur of the moment kind of thing I suppose. It does help that a beautiful woman asked me."