William felt the wind from a sword that was swung just over his head move his hair as it missed the target. He rolled his body backward immediately after, narrowly dodging a dagger that followed in a downward slash flowing with the momentum of the sword. He casually flicked his left wrist towards his adversary, which held a short sword, but the slash was blocked.
Following his return attack, William jumped backward to put some space between himself and his enemy. As he was falling back he deftly caught two throwing knives that flew at him from another person standing behind his original attacker. He threw the two blades at his pursuers, and both were blocked. However, while they did that William moved forward with incredible speed. While the man had his sword up to block the dagger he swung the man’s legs out from under him.
“Dead!” a voice resounding from the small room shouted.
Following this William flashed forward to confront his final adversary. The fight only took a few more moments before he was able to dispatch this one. He caught his enemy’s dagger between two of his own, twisted his wrist hard and fast, and forced the dagger out of the hands of the armored man.
“Dead! Good work William. That’s the fastest time yet. Don’t get cocky.” the same voice said from the darkness in the room.
After speaking out again the new man stepped into the light. He was tall, but not as tall as William. Black leather armor of exquisite quality was covering the man, and a mask hid his face. This was William’s trainer and had been for as long as he could remember. He had been locked in the same fortress in training every day for the last hundred years. This was just yet another test that he had to face through his daily training, fighting multiple adversaries without suffering injury or leaving any sort of trace evidence behind.
“Yes, Master.” William said in his baritone voice with an expressionless face.
He had learned over the years that showing any hint of pride or excitement over accomplishments only lead to either more difficult tasks, or painful punishments. That was not something William wanted to encounter here though.
“It is time William. We have your first mission, from one of our contacts in the Kingdom of Trace, and you will be leaving the fortress. We have trained you for this, and you had better be ready.” The masked man said, “Go back to your room and get a pack set for two days work. Then find me in the armory and we will brief you on the mission further while we outfit you with the proper weaponry.”
William felt excitement bubble inside of his chest, but he killed it immediately and responded, “Yes Master.”
William then left the room and headed down the narrow corridor in the direction he knew his room to be in. After spending such a long amount of time in the same place he knew all of the ins and outs of the fortress. Escape patterns, hidden entrances, and various weak points in the stronghold were all running through William’s head as he traveled the long walk to his room.
The fort was massive, but generally the lighting was kept fairly dim. This did not hinder William in the least, as he reached his destination without tripping over the various steps inside of the castle. He entered the room, and closed the door behind him. After that William walked to his bed and reached underneath it. He grabbed the bag that was there, and pulled it out to begin rifling through it.
Inside was his own set of leather armor designed specifically for him, and an assortment of gleaming silver daggers which were perfectly weighted. He threw some extra clothes that he got out of a drawer inside of the pack, enough to last the specified amount of time by his trainer, and then quickly left the room. Leaving his Master waiting was never pleasant.
William arrived arrived at the armory shortly after leaving his room. This room was well lit, one of the only rooms in the entire fort that was. A silver glow flowed out of the room from the massive amount of swords, axes, great swords, and various other weapons that hung on racks in the middle of the space and covered the walls. All the weapons were made by master blacksmiths, and William had been trained with each and every one. He had even been taught to use some of the stranger weapons, such as the flail and another weapon called a Kusarigama. The Kusarigama was a small one handed scythe attached to a chain, which could be used in both medium and short range attacks. The masked man stood inside of the room facing one of the walls covered in weapons. After he heard William enter the room he turned around and faced his protege.
“The mission is in Stanford, which is only half a days ride from here. You have one day to complete it, and then return the next day. Take him alive, the pay is better.” the man said, handing William a slip of paper.
5’8, Shoulder length Black hair
Always carries a massive greatsword on his back.
Suspected leaders of a rebellion to form a coup against the King of Trace.
Wanted dead or alive. 2000 gold dead, 5000 gold alive.
“Collect as many weapons as you deem necessary for this mission, William. I look forward to your return.”
After issuing William’s orders, the masked man immediately left the room. William watched as his master disappeared, and then turned his attention back to the room filled with weapons. He did not waste any time, as there was a long bit of travelling ahead. He already had a significant amount of throwing weapons that he had sheathed on his person after retrieving his pack, so now William had to grab his main hand weapons.
He grabbed a set of dual wielding swords, one longsword and one shortsword, similar to the weapons he used earlier in the day for training. After grabbing them off the rack he reached down to a few drawers below the assortment, and pulled out the two sheaths for the blades. They were solid black, and could be secured to his back to be out of his way.
Following which William immediately left the room and headed to the outside of the castle. He would need a horse for this kind of travel so William headed directly to the stables. He would need a quick horse for the travel that he was going to be making, so he took one of the Tracian breeds as they were bred to be fast and have significant endurance for longer lasting runs. The stable master watched as William expertly went through all the necessary tasks to tack the horse, and get the saddle set. He tied his packs to the horse as well, which had some gold he took from the armory for any sort of provisions he needed on his mission. After his pack was secure, he lifted himself onto the horse, and set out of the stable to perform his first mission.
Half a day later...
Harold Anderson was currently sitting inside a warehouse inside of Stanford. He stood up to look over the plans that he had placed on the table in front of him. His most trusted aids surrounded the table as well, as they talked about various plans they were working on to further their cause. Little did he know, there was a dark silhouette waiting outside, watching his movements to get a feel of his schedule.
William had been waiting outside for a few hours at this point. Though his Master had said the trip would take half a day he was able to use magic in order to enhance his horse’s ability to continue running to increase his efficiency. When he reached the city of Stanford it was still dark, and his mark was inside of his home sleeping. Initially he wanted to make his move then, but found that the security there was a liability he did not want to cross. Various alarms and guards, William did not want to make it needlessly difficult.
Instead he found himself sitting outside of a warehouse in the middle of the night. Torches flickered in the wind, brushing lightly past his form where he was perched. The building that Harold was set up in was a two story warehouse. It looked similar to a barn in that the second story was displayed to the outside with a massive window. Inside appeared to be some sort of factory, where the every day passerby would be able to see how their company created their products. None of this was important to William since his target was being hidden inside of the secret basement that the building contained, and that was where he needed to be.
William muttered something under his breath, almost as if he was talking to himself, and if someone were paying close enough attention they would notice the massive man that had been standing in the shadows before disappeared in the blink of an eye. He cast a spell on himself that made him completely invisible. It was one of the techniques he was required to master under his training regiment over the years, and he would put it to good use tonight. His footsteps would still be seen and heard if he wasn’t careful though so William didn’t rush himself.
William didn’t waste any more time as someone approached the front door to his target’s building and prepared to enter the door. He slipped behind the apparent employee, and began to scour the first floor for some sort of secret entrance. When he entered he noticed that the first floor was nearly completely empty. The stone walls were lined with torches to light the area. The entry room was small, and there were several different hallways that he could go down.
It took him nearly half an hour to find anything remotely suspicious, until he found several guards in the same hallway. Having security in this area of town wasn’t exactly odd, but having seven guards within the same hallway would be considered major overkill. William pressed himself tightly against the wall in the hallway, and slowly crept past them. He was nearly discovered as the guards switched posts, and one of them put themselves right against the wall to stand next to William.
He held his breath, in order to avoid detection, and slid off the wall to pass directly in front of the guard since he couldn’t just phase through them.
I wonder if there’s a spell that makes you able to do that… William thought off-handedly, as he finally passed all of the guards.
The door behind the guards opened silently, and William slipped inside stealthily. Inside of the door was a ladder, which lead down what looked like a hundred foot drop. William marveled for a moment at the amount of manpower it had to have cost in order to get this dug out. They could have had a made do the digging, but that would have cost an incredible amount, as the necessary mana to clear out a hole this deep would take several earth mages.
William started down the ladder, but he noticed something along the way. A few of the ladder’s rungs had some form of adhesive placed on them. He could only assume this was meant to be a trap. Random intruders wouldn’t know which rungs to skip, but someone who goes up and down the ladder every day would.
After William made it all the way down he started down the pathway that was before him. There was only direction to move, so he just followed the hole as deep as it went. Torches were sparkly placed along the walls, making most of the path hard to traverse since you were unable to see. Loose rocks and the uneven walk would also be something that could trip any sort of robber or assassin that hadn’t been down here before. It was ineffectual in the end against William, but he had trained day in and out over the last several decades for this.
There were several hallways that he could have taken along the way, but William continued down the main pathway toward where he knew his mark to be. He was following footprints that he could tell matched the size and weight of Harold, and that lead him further into the tunnel. Finally after what felt like hours he finally reached the door that Harold’s footsteps led to. William stopped next to the door and listened intently. Inside of the door he could hear voices coming from inside of the room.
“I don’t give a damn what it costs! Get it done, James. We have been working on this for the last five years, and I am not letting any amount of gold stand between us and our goal!” A voice shouted from inside the room, which William identified as Harold.
“Harold, you’re being rash. It’s not just any amount of gold. It’s thirty thousand gold! That’s a fortune that we could use to fund something that is guaranteed instead of this ridiculous plan of yours!” Another voice shouted back at Harold, presumably this James character.
William could hear Harold growl even through the door, and he yelled, “Just get the hell out of my office and get the damn gold!”
Shortly after that last remark the door flew open, slamming into the wall on the opposite side of William. A well dressed man came out in a huff, red faced, and walked down the corridor with purpose. William used that moment to slip into the room before the door shut itself again.
“Bloody fool wouldn’t know a guaranteed plan if it smashed into his huge nose.” Harold muttered under his breath, but William heard with his sensitive ears.
There was another guard standing inside of the room with Harold and William who asked, “Should I get anything for you sir?”
Harold thought for a moment, both hands placed on the table as he stared at some sort of plans, and said, “Yes. Get Dimitri for me. We need to go over this plan to make sure it works. I don’t relish the idea of James having the chance to come back here and say ‘I told you so’ if it doesn’t work.”
The guard immediately left the room, and slammed the door behind him. William listened for a few seconds, ensuring the guard wouldn’t hear anything if the fight got out of hand, before he made his move. He circled around the table that was in the center of the room, the one Harold was currently eyeing like a fat man eyeing cake.
William whispered a short spell under his breath, and felt his power resonate in the room. Just as he suspected, Harold was wearing some form of magic defensive amulet that detects negative magic being used against him. He wouldn’t notice William’s cursory search, as it wasn’t an attack against him, but if William attempted to knock him out with a spell Harold would be informed. Soon enough he was directly behind Harold, and William grabbed Harold from behind in a headlock. Harold struggled of course, and William would expect no less from a former soldier, but he was not nearly strong enough to fight against William. Harold ripped and tore at his assailant’s which forearm that was currently choking him, and tried to stab at the man behind him with a dagger that was in a sheath at his side.
William felt Harold grabbing around at his side before he heard the subtle sound of steel slipping from a sheath. He immediately released the man, and after Harold turned to face his attacker, William landed a solid punch square across his jaw.
One minute. William thought, estimating the amount of time he had until the guard and this Dimitri fellow come into the room.
Following the punch William evaded two separate swipes where Harold attempted to counter. When Harold’s arm was reaching across his body, after he tried to slash at him, William grabbed the mans arm, and after putting a significant amount of force against the arm he heard a snap. Harold began to scream out, and he dropped the knife from his hand directly after William broke his arm. William caught the knife in the air, and muffled the man’s scream by putting a hand over his mouth. Following which, William slammed the hilt of the dagger to the side of Harold’s temple which knocked him out.
All of this was done within a matter of thirty seconds, following which William quickly replaced the invisibility spell over himself and he also extended it so that it would cover Harold as well. Next William lifted his target over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and immediately left the room. The hallway was made to allow only two people to fit through the corridor at a time, so William made sure to keep his mark on the opposite side that the guard was walking on. A few minutes later, if any of the guards looked outside of the gate to the city they would note a man riding a horse, with a large bundle tied to the back of it.
Half a day later…
The trip back to the fort took significantly longer. The horse was unable to run nearly as fast as it had before since it carried not only William, but also Harold. When William tried to push it too far Harold’s straps came untied and he nearly fell off the horse. That was when Harold woke, and began to attempt to get out of the bundle William wrapped him in. This was quickly followed by a sharp yelp in pain, as William did not find it to be necessary to heal the man’s broken arm. Who in their right mind would heal their captive so they have the ability to escape?
Then came the begging. William had covered Harold’s eyes so that if, for whatever reason, the man was able to escape he would not be able to know his immediate location. That would keep him from running to get help, but it also made it so that if any help did come then Harold wouldn’t know where the fort was. He woke up ten hours into the ride, and after two more agonizing hours of Harold begging William to release him and attempting to bribe him, William was glad to finally see the fort in the distance. He sped up the pace, and made it within minutes.
William immediately unloaded the horse to the stablemaster, and informed him to send his packs to his room. After that, he untied Harold and put him over his should to turn him over to the Master. This would be one of many missions to follow…
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Bio: Hey guys! I have been writing the last few years, but decided that I wanted to try and post one of mine on here since I've been reading on RR for the last year. I hope you enjoy my works, and like you'll see on most I would love to hear any and all feedback, so long as it helps better my writing (: