Assassin's Tale: Part 4 By Anwita Vasanth Koodalithazhathuveedu
By Anwita Vasanth Koodalithazhathuveedu
The Sunken City was still. The Great Desert stretching around it for miles was still. The world of Ahoy was sleeping- except for two things; two shadows flitting about the desert. The shadows of a trained professional and an, although perhaps trained, still somewhat unprofessional individual: Asteriva and Ciaan, the latter of which, Asteriva thought, never seemed to stop complaining.
“Are you sure that it’s here? We’ve searched for days and we haven’t found a thing! Plus, our intel isn’t even intel- we got it from a drunken sailor!” Ciaan exclaimed impatiently. “This is just a waste of time- it was more likely to be at the florist! I’m-”
“Leaving so soon?” Asteriva questioned with a satisfied smile. “Such a shame. All that work revealing this for nothing.” She gestured towards the maze-like room that she had discovered a few seconds ago.
Ciaan gaped, slack-jawed. “But how did you-”
“Do what I was hired to do on this job? Yes, miracles may never cease. Now, are you coming or not?”
“All right, this is too hard. I give up!” Ciaan exclaimed unhappily. Asteriva had to mentally restrain herself from using her knives. It’s not worth it. She thought. I shouldn’t jeopardise my mission- it is technically my mission, seeing as Ciaan has done nothing but get in the way.
“Keep going. Don’t you want your payment? Which reminds me- what did you get paid for the job? Am I being conned?” Asteriva demanded.
Ciaan looked oddly nervous. “Well, you see… I… did it for free!”
Asteriva gaped. “And why would you- actually, no, wait, it’s probably some soppy speech about how dark magic and death is actually good for people, and it’s so lonely and misunderstood. Forget it.”
“Um, actually I did it because I have enough money to go around. I don’t need the money, I guess?” Ciaan stammered. “Don’t kill me!”
Asteriva smirked. “Now, why would I kill you? Chances are, you just increased my pay rate.”
The centre of the maze can’t be that far away… where is it? Asteriva knew that there was something more to this infernal maze than met the eye. She looked down at the floor- wait, what was that? A giant circle inlaid in the floor, surrounded by mysterious runes. Asteriva slapped her forehead. Seriously, how cheesy were these ancient civilisations? That entrance had been used a thousand times already. Whatever. Now, to the problem of opening it. Judging by the old-school, cliche entrance, there should be an indentation for her coin (seeing as that was a classic story thing, and this was already too much like one, she might as well give it a shot). There! In the middle of a pillar was a dent roughly the shape and size of her coin. She fished it out of her pocket and pressed it to the circle. The runes began to glow… and the circle rose up, and up- with her (oh, and Ciaan) still on top. They rose above the maze and into a courtyard. A single flower bloomed on the pedestal. It was beautiful. Jet black and midnight blue, speckled with white points of light, like a starry sky. Ciaan reached out and plucked it off the vine. “Well, that’s all done!” She exclaimed in relief. Asteriva stiffened. “What are you doing? With something as valuable as that, you could’ve triggered a trap that could blow this whole place up, including us!”
Ciaan’s jaw dropped. “Oops.”
“Forget it, just run!” Asteriva snarled. And so, with what seemed like the whole of the Sunken City Maze sinking into the desert (creating a sandstorm of fairly massive proportions), the duo were on the run once more.
“Well, I’m glad we got out of that mess.” Ciaan sighed. “John gave us communication devices to alert him when the job was done.”
Asteriva grinned inwardly. “Give me that!” She snapped, snatching the device from Ciaan’s hand. “The job is done”, she said out loud. “However, I demand the payment now. After all, you could double-cross me when I bring it to you. Give me the information, and deposit the money in a place at least a mile from your headquarters and tell me where the location is. Then, I’ll deliver the flower.” There was a long pause, then words bubbled onto the surface of the device:
Very well. You drive a hard bargain.
The one who killed your parents is living somewhere in the Misty Isles- in the northern area, to be specific.
The money has been deposited in a warehouse on the outskirts of Ahoy-
The address is 43 Ridge Crescent.
“Excellent.” Asteriva replied. “The flower will be in your headquarters’ entrance- the library. I’ll give it to the librarian.” Well then. The sandstorm’s still raging. I know what I have to do. She turned to Ciaan. “I’d say I’m sorry about this, but I’m really not. This is actually quite satisfying.” Poor Ciaan didn’t even have time to ask why before Asteriva hit her over the head with the communication device. She snatched the flower from Ciaan’s hands and ran for it. She’d pick up the money soon. John, that gullible fool, wouldn’t suspect what had happened until a few days. The most important thing was that she had the info she needed for revenge.
And once she’d found the bastard who’d killed her parents… She’d get even.
And nobody would be able to stop her.