OoC: All lyrics included in this lovely RP belong to the equally lovely Saosin.
Taking on seven years
the Holy Ghost had left alone…
Test my arms, kick like crazy
And I’ve been trying way too long
Only pushed the way off to fight you
And I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’m not sure
Getting off my chest…
The story ends
Leaves danced to the music of their own journeys across the walkway of the park. On the wind they came, and on the wind they departed. The cool night breeze was just enough to get them were they wished to go, and when a companion found and was overcome by an obstacle in his path, the others carried on. They did not take notice. They did not mourn. No tears for the lost. No goodbyes.
What a life it would be, Aemilia thought, to live a life not human. To never know the pain of a broken heart, to never wonder, never worry, to never mourn loss and find yourself unable to accept it, destined to lament the past.
And oh, to never remember.
It was there on that path, under the slight cover of wide bowed trees and the full cover of the depths of the evening sky that she thought to herself, realized that memories were the root of all internal, emotional suffering.
If we did not remember those we lost, if we could not recall the misfortune, the sadness, the heartbreak of the things we often wish we could not recollect, we would be forever spared of the pain their memories surface.
Would an inhuman life be a life at all? Would it be a life worth living?
And would to forget those that we have lost, whether it to circumstances or flighty hearts, be to cast away and dishonor, invalidate any love we had for them?
Regardless, Aemilia could not forget. For the time being, she simply directed all thoughts of her sister to a warm embrace in the corner of her mind.
And now, the task at hand.
Despite the sympathy she had for the man, and the acceptance and understanding of the reasons for which he had resorted to hiring her, it was one of those assignments that she wasn’t completely comfortable with carrying out. She had been given no name, no appearance to go by. No age, assumed skill level or weapon of choice. Only a time and location.
He’d told her his story with such sincerity and a desperation that Aemilia was sure he tried to hide, but the look in his eyes, the look of worry and distress, gave him away. He had been receiving letters from an anonymous individual, one that gave away no clues as to his or her identity. The letters gradually became more threatening, demanding items of value, namely money, and detailing the events of his day as to suggest that he was being watched. When he refused to give in to the requests, the individual had demanded a meeting with him on this very night, in the very park where Aemilia stood. Should he fail to attend the meeting, “more convincing measures” would be taken.
“Please don’t consider me a coward,” he had said, his words riding on a sigh. His hair was graying, his eyes tired. All in all, his was a sad condition. “I would go myself, I honestly would, but I’ve got a family, three kids, and the wife’s been sick…”
Aemilia had offered a nod that she hoped had not appeared too sympathetic. She’d heard enough of these stories, some lies and others truths, to keep a good deal of the effects that they had on her confined, but she was, at times, caring to a fault. It was a thing she often struggled to hide, for no one would hire an assassin who fell promptly into tears at the mention of a young child kidnapped or an unsolved murder.
By then, her client had seemed somewhat exhausted by the telling of his story, however brief. He spoke only once more, “Wouldn’t want to make ‘em orphans…”
And so there she stood, and the location and the time the stalker had requested. She wasn’t the person that they would be expecting, but, she considered with a small smile, the individual wouldn’t have much time to be disappointed.
Sent without an appearance or even a gender to go by, she was left to suspect anyone and everyone, but so far, the area had been empty. Aemilia arrived at the designated spot-a bench in front of something of an enclosure, a large circular cluster of trees placed right in the center of the park. A few branches hung lazily over the bench, offering the weakest of their offspring to the games played on the wind. The area had a somewhat ominous feel, like the entrance to a forest from a dark fairytale where nothing good could ever be anticipated.
Hand resting, a result of common sense and instinct, on the hilt of her sword, Aemilia guessed that this place, especially at night, as it was currently, would produce the same atmosphere even if it didn’t happen to be the specified meeting spot.
She smiled again even as she turned around full circle, inspecting ever angle, every direction from her position. The phrase suggested a friendly gathering. A picnic. Her smile parted to allow a small scoff of amusement.
Kariette nodded slowly, looking at the man in front of her. He was about in his forties, with shaggy clothes and a young face. He was frowning deeply, obviously thinking about that girl.
He said she was a slaughterer.
"She killed my sister's son! And my brother! And hundreds of other people!"
“That’s what killers do…” Kariette said, her voice trailing off. She herself has done a great amount of killing. Her crystal blue eyes showed innocence, and the sign of a pure spirit.
But her body was mentally bloodstained. At least twenty deaths were ones she created. Wives and children hated her. For she took what they had away, just to please her teacher. She would kill an infant, if she had to. Just for him…
She didn’t care about anyone but Teacher.
“Well,” the man whispered sadly, almost choking on his own dry tongue from holding back so many pain-filled tears. “Will you do it?”
Kariette looked at him. “What do you have?”
He held out a medium-sized velvet pouch. It appeared to be stuffed of what were probably coins. Were they false? No one would give away so much money to an assassin. It was foolhardy. And this man was dressed in rags. Something was up. Kariette reached out to grab the pouch.
He pulled it away just in time, snickering. “You can’t have this until you’re done.” he said, swinging the pouch teasingly.
“Fine,” Kariette hissed. She had no choice. If she didn’t take up the offer, Teacher would get angry. “I’ll do it.”
‘Why does it have to be so far away?’ Kariette thought to herself, cracking her knuckles softly. She had been traveling for about a day now, not crossing paths with any type of city or town. Or even an independent town. Was she going the right way?
She grumbled, her black platform shoes sinking into the soft moist dirt of the ground. The faster she killed this girl the better.
What about that pouch? Kariette asked herself. She still found the money a bit suspicious. But she didn’t need to worry. If the coins were false, Kari could simply kill the man. Or if they were real, she could kill him anyway…
No. Kariette wasn’t sadistic. She didn’t lust for blood. She was not tempted to see or feel or taste the thick heavy dark red liquid. If she did, she could just go to her father.
That’s a cold thought…
She continued walking, even after her legs finally grew tired, and her stomach began to growl. She didn’t have time to stop and rest or search for food. She needed to get this done.
A few hours later, she saw it. The dim entrance to a town. By then the sky was pitch black, with the pale silver moon barely appearing at the top of the sky. The torches of the entrance were half-dead, not flaring as much as they probably did before Kariette arrived. She walked past them, and into the village.
The man said she’d be here…
Kariette paced around the town quietly, searching for signs of a murderer. She breathed in the air softly. As far as she could tell, there wasn’t the smell of blood anywhere. Did the man lie?
She found herself walking into a small park that was glossed over in a dark haze and smeared with hundreds of trees. She squinted, trying to make her eyesight a bit better. But it was no use. Everything was dark.
But her hearing had not failed her. She heard footsteps, soft but firm steps upon the grass. They were quick moving, like they were searching for something. Knowing this was obviously the killer, it was obvious. She was looking for someone to rip a soul out of.
“You’re not killing anyone tonight,” Kariette called to the air. She could hear the woman, but she couldn’t see her. This was going to be a bit of a problem. But Kariette unsheathed her two silver swords, ready to block any surprise attack.
The woman stopped walking, hearing her yell. Kariette gripped her swords, waiting for any noise to hit her ears. But nothing did. The woman had stayed silently still.
Aemilia stopped where she stood. Only the tired sound of the lazy breeze crawling through the branches, rocking their leaves to sleep and veering off course to play with the hem of her dress remained to be perceived, but the woman’s voice had been offered as well, loud and clear, more undeniable than any sound cradled by the night air.
“You’re not killing anyone tonight.”
It was first threatening, bordering intimidating, but as her midnight instinct surfaced it became a challenge. Still, Aemilia fought the slight urge to call back, to throw down the gauntlet and turn an assignment into a competition. She resisted with the pressing and obvious knowledge that her opponent had been alerted to her presence by merely a few footsteps and was undoubtedly nearby. Any spoken words, even a whisper, were unnecessary and would further confirm her position. Even with her eyes having long since adjusted to the darkness, and to the best of their ability, they could just barely recognize the assassin’s hand as she brought it slowly out, then down again in front of her.
Her eyes turned to the sky, like an all consuming sheet of black velvet, casting it’s darkness not only against the heavens but between ever branch, every building, filling out to the very air that encircled her. The mood had not come out to dance its gentle path across the sky, and if it had, it had been quickly detained on sight, for a small group of clouds, a pale blue against the black, hung bunched together, as if concealing something.
In her reverie, she was barely absentminded. She stood idly, yet listened for the sounds of her opponent. A sigh? A footstep? Another line of taunting? As she stood listening, her only movement the slight, rhythmic rise and fall induced by shallow, cautious breaths, Aemilia recalled the voice and realized what her subconscious had already lain out for her to retrieve. That determined voice, peppered with sarcasm, had belonged to a young woman. Try as she might, Aemy couldn’t erase the notion of familiarity that memories of the girl’s words triggered within her. And yet, she couldn’t quite place it…only an underlying tone in the voice seemed to have first been heard in a dream, or a memory.
“Hiding, are we?"
The voice came more softly in volume, but still without a hint of sympathy. In the seconds that the other girl spoke, Aemilia took a few quick steps backwards, allowing her opponent to mask the telltale sounds of her footsteps.
A shudder shook her being; something brushed against her neck. Like gentle, teasing fingers against her skin-something that scarcely fit the situation. A sudden fear dispersed all reasonable decisions and she gathered them, one by one, considering each but only in the span of a few seconds. To turn around? To draw her sword? To simply reach to feel behind her?
In the excuse for a moment that she felt it again, Aemilia wheeled around, eyes forced wide open, hand gripping Tira’s hilt, her constant savior. But even the darkness, she couldn’t deny the identity of the small bunch of leaves hanging lamely just under her nose.
She released a hushed breath accompanied by a slow, slight yet disappointed shake of her head, but didn’t dare pause to chastise herself any longer. Struggling to see just barely a foot further she made out what she soon recognized to be the dense circle of trees that had caught her attention earlier as she has scanned the park for her assignment. Her assignment, whose footsteps grew closer, seemed to resonate in the darkness, seemed to echo Aemilia’s ears.
Gripping a branch, pulling it gently aside, Aemilia considered the odds. To lead her opponent with her into the mass of trees would put them both at a disadvantage. However, she preferred balanced odds to those that tipped against her.
She forced her way through, finding it quite a bit easier after the initial thatched, tangles gate of branches. A few feet in she stopped, ceasing for a moment even the soft whispers of her breathing as she listened for hints of the other girl giving chase. When none surfaced, the assassin took one more wary step. She was met with a sound, although it floated down around her from somewhere slightly above her head. It was a rustling of leaves, unnatural in the sense that any breeze had since died down or become tangled in the trees.
One hand kept the leather sheath steady as the other began to withdraw the blade hanging at her side. She turned towards the way she had come in, Tira half exposed, but as Aemilia feet came down on something that released a loud snap in protest, and as large wings beat frantically over her head, offering a raining shroud of leaves and feathers, the sword sprang on her master’s instinct, completely free of her former binds.
Listening for the other girl was impossible now, with her heart pounding in her ears, and over that she could hear the faint flapping and cry of an owl in the distance above her. Tira was now held in front of her, and Aemilia turned the sword a few times in her hand, assuring herself that the curve of the blade was facing outwards. The sword completely horizontal in front of her, Aemilia faced the inner curve, and as she turned back around to her desired path she brought the blade out in the prologue of a sweeping arc, if only simply out of caution in her blind state.
And legitimate caution, at that, for before Tira had been extended vertically from her body, before half of the simple arc had been completed, the cry of clashing, scraping metal sliced the velvet silence.