A Shadow – O. Lutzov

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When did this become so routine? Garlan pondered to himself. Every once in a ten day someone would slip a note to the guild, who would slip a note under his door. His mark. It was always some noble that pissed someone off. Now he sat cloaked in the shadows, outside some hidden whore-house patiently lingering, a cat waiting for his prey.

“How long is this fat bastard going to make me wait in this shit hole?” Garlan whispered to himself as he pulled his cloak over his face, covering the stench from the sludge in the sewers. As if on cue a loud commotion pulled him out of his thoughts.

“HOW DARE YOU? I paid for this girl and I will do with her as I please. Do you know who I am?” yelled Vharez. He was burning red with rage as he was shoved backwards out of the door.

“I don give no shits who you are. You wanna smash around the girls then we’ll let Burkhard here smash you around some.” The owner said as he shoved Vharez into the street and onto his ass. Burkhard casually walked into view, barely fitting through the door, his arms corded with muscle, his face set as if made of stone. He stared down at the pathetic looking merchant. Vharez, sensing that it was time to leave, got up and sprinted into the alleyway. It was time.

As all of this was taking place, Garlan was preparing. He slid a dagger out of its sheath that rested coldly on his lower back. He stood and crept further into the shadows, nobody aware of his presence.

Vharez was as fast as a fat man could be, wanting nothing to do with that Burkard man. He was some sort of beast, or half-orc maybe, he thought to himself. If he wasn’t so lost in thought maybe he would have seen the grin of death as he ran past him, but not this time. Vharez tripped, his foot caught on something, and he came lumbering down, crushing his nose as his face smashed into the pavement. Blood sprayed all over his face, mixed in with the rotten waste that littered the alleyway. “Whuu whatttt,” he stammered  as he looked towards his foot. He saw the line stretched across the alley, now coated in his blood from where it sliced his ankle open. As he tried to process what was happening a figure leaped out of the shadows, its cloak floating through the air. A hard crack reverberated through his body as Garlan landed on his chest, cracking bone and puncturing a lung. Garlan knelt down on him and whispered, “Someone must really not like you. Normally the people I hunt are dead before they ever see my face.” Vharez’s eyes went wide as the blade descended, Garlan’s eyes the last thing he saw before there was nothing.

Garlan wiped his blade and stood looking back to make sure nobody heard what happened. He knew nobody did, but caution in this line of work meant staying alive. As he walked towards the street, vendors were starting to come out to prep their shops for the day.  He thought to himself again, when did this become so routine?

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