episode 2 of the Amandariet story block
"Alright everyone, Training time!" I shout. I'm met with a chorus of groans and rebellious noises.
"I know, I know, I hate it too. But we need to train the skills that will keep s alive on a job. Today we will be working for a reward. Whoever does best today doesn't have chores all week. Worst person gets latrine duty. Now, gear up" I say. I put on my tight fitting assassins garb, mottled greys and blacks and dark browns. I sling my bow and quiver on my back, and strap my throwing knives to my back, shoulders, thighs and arms. Kalien is slung reverse on my back , with the hilt near my hip. As I walk back into the main room I see everyone is dressed similarly, with the exception of weapons. Tera has her bag of tricks along her lower back and her cat claws on. Lis has her 2 small daggers on her hips, and to my surprise, what looks like 2 small halberds on her back.
"What the hell is that Lis?" I ask.
She smiles and she pulls them off her back and fits the ends together in one smooth motion to form a featherstaff about her height.
"Where did you get that?!" I say.
"Made it, "she says with a shrug.
"Very nice!" I say, visibly impressed. I turn my attention to Dom. He has his steel rod that he can swing like it weighs nothing, and to my surprise, (again) gloves. He never wears gloves, because he has the toughest hands I've ever seen. "Umm, Dom? What's with the gloves?"
With a smile he clenches his fist and a punch dagger the size of a small sword slides out.
"Holy Shit!! Where did you get THOSE!!??" I yell.
"Won them wrestling" he says in his deep gravelly voice.
"Alright then, those are cool." I say exuberantly. "Alright. First skill, being able to disappear at a moment's notice. Like this." As I speak I step backwards into the shadows, lightly step off the table and land on a rafter over their heads, completely invisible due to my camouflage. All of this takes about 2 seconds.
"Very nice Ly," Tera says with a hint of sarcasm, "but you have been doing that for years. We aren't that good yet."
I drop down behind them and say "I know". As they whirl around with startled exclamations, I laugh and say " but that is why we practice. I'm going to close my eyes and count to 5. When I open them, I start looking. First person I find goes against me in Knives. Other two spar each other. "I close my eyes. " 1....2.....3....4.....5." I open my eyes to find myself alone. I walk to the table and look under it briefly, then sit down and begin to read a book. I read for about an hour or so until Tera slips and falls off the rafter, barely catching herself. "Found you" I chortle, closing my book. '"you get to play me in Knives. Lis, Dom, you can come out now." I gape openly as Lis comes out from under the table!! "Very impressive," I say, surprised, "you braced yourself at the top for nearly an hour!" Dom comes out of his bedroom, which surprises me even more, since his bedroom was behind me and the door was shut before I started counting. "Wow," I say, dumbfounded, " you ran past me, opened and shut the door, in less than 5 seconds, silently. Very Impressive. You did well too Ter, but your patience needs work," I say with a laugh.
"Yeah, yeah, I know, now let's go so I can kick your ass at Knives." She leads the way into a back room. It's full of boxes stacked here and there. I pull out a small box full of small wooden rods. These rods are about the size and weight of a throwing knife, but with a small bag of paint attached to the end. This bag will pop if it hits a target, signaling that the knife hit "Blade" first. I take 7 and put them in various sheaths on my body. She takes 2.
"Someone is feeling cocky," I say with a questioning look.
"I'm only throwing if I know I can hit you." She says defiantly.
"Excellent. You should do that with any target. Now, play till someone is "Killed"?," I ask.
"Yep. GO!" she dives behind some boxes as I do the same. I leap off of my stack and land with my back to the front of her stack. As she stands to throw, I stand and stab towards her head. As her knife hits my chest and the paint splatters, my knife makes contact and the paint breaks on her forehead.
"Tie" I say calmly.
"No fair, you didn't throw yours" she said, indignant.
"Remember, a throwing knife is still a knife. You can stab and slash with it as well." I admonish. "Now I want to show you a skill I have been working on for many years. 2 skills actually. Go to the end and throw a knife at me."
She walks to the other end and throws a wooden knife at me. With a flick of my wrist I catch the knife by its "handle".
"Now throw another." I tell her.
She throws her other wooden knife and I throw the one I caught, knocking her knife out of the air.
"I always try to knock them away, but if you are out of knives, catching one is a good way to get one."
"Wow. That's insane," she exclaims "wish I could do that"
"You'll learn. Now let's go see how Lis fared against Dom."
As we walk into the room I look up just in time to see Lis knock Dom to the ground by sweeping out his feet with her staff.
"Yeah girl, way to go!" Tera shouts, giving Lis a high five. (There is a furious, guys vs. girls competition during training.)
As I see someone walking towards the door, I shout "weapons hide!", and they all scatter and vanish, just like I taught them. However, when I hear the knock "Knock, Knock-knock, tap", I realize we have just been given a job. As the letter falls into the box, I grab it and begin to read, face growing paler with every line.
"What is it Ly?," Tera asks. " who is the mark?"
"we are to kill the king. And kidnap the queen."
"WHAT?!?!" Dom yells. This startles me more than anything, because Dom never yells. " I don't want to kidnap the queen. When I was one of her serving guys she was nice to me. She even let me call her by her name when in private. I still had to call her "Queen" of course, but I liked her, and her name was pretty."
"Wait," Tera says, " you mean to tell me that you are one of maybe 4 people in the entire kingdom that knows her name?"
"I've always wondered what her name was," I say, " what is it?"