The strange and flamboyant man carefully observed Lenia to see if there was any recognition in her eyes concerning his name. He found none since Lenia had no idea who he was. This pleased him and it would make things easier.
“And what is your name m’lady?”
Don Jesef attempted to showcase his charm as he inquired her name.
This Don is really pouring it on thick, isn’t he? Does he think I am just some ignorant maiden who would be fooled by fancy words and flirtatious actions! I want to gut him right here… If only there weren’t so many people around.
Lenia looked around nervously and realized that she had become somewhat of a sideshow to those in the area. Many were watching the excessive and flamboyant actions of Don Jesef while secretly admiring Lenia’s beauty. There were also those who were secretly ridiculing her in their minds and shaking their heads with disdain.
“I must apologize, I do not give my name to strangers on the street. I will be on my way, thank you for your offer of assistance.”
Her words left no room for a response and she quickly left before Don Jesef could say anything further. The Don watched the mysterious woman quickly leave his sight, he was not at all pleased by what had just happened.
“What a shame….Roderan, get out here now!”
Don Jesef called out to a man who had been hiding nearby.
The man named Roderan slinked out of a shadowy corner. He was clothed in mostly black and two sinister looking daggers were attached to a stained and dark leather vest. His face was mostly covered by a shroud but a seemingly rugged appearance lay beneath. He gave off a dangerous vibe which caused many of the onlookers to quickly scuttle away. They wanted nothing to do with this particularly dangerous individual.
“Follow her, and make sure that you aren’t seen” Don Jesef hissed, the false smile no longer on his face.
“And take those two klutzes with you, just in case.”
“What do you want me to do to her?”
Don Jesef hesitated, a lustful gaze crossing his eyes.
“Well… it would be a shame to waste such a beauty.. Wouldn’t it now?” Don Jesef chuckled menacingly.
“But find out who gave her the bracelet first and deal with it. Someone killed my people. No one kills my people and gets away with it. No one.”
“I understand. I’ll get the job done boss.”
Roderan ran off stealthily to follow Lenia.
I don’t see that Don Jesef anymore, looks like I have distanced myself enough from him. Now to get back to my mission.
While Lenia was not lacking in strength and combat prowess, she was somewhat lacking in her ability to detect hidden enemies. Not because she didn’t have the ability to do it, but due to her lack of experience from just being newly created and also the fact that these particular stalkers were specialized in stealth. She was unable to detect the men who were now ably stalking her from the shadows.
Shortly afterwards she had found her way to an area which was heaving with market stalls rather than businesses. She realized that these traders would be more than just willing to relieve her of her loot. A proper merchant would most likely only scoff at her, it wasn’t as if what she was carrying was especially valuable.
It took several attempts but she eventually found the right kinds of traders who were willing to purchase what she had from her and she also obtained the items which her master had written on the list. She had more than one request to purchase her bracelet but she refused all offers even though they were tempting. With the small amount of additional money she had left over, she was able to repair the soles of her shoes. This was not an anticipated expense but she couldn’t bring herself to face her master with damaged shoes.
If only I could have purchased more fitting clothing as well! But there is no way I could do that before adorning my master in proper clothing first. That would be blasphemous! I must hurry back to him to attend to his needs! I hope he will be pleased with my results.
Her feelings of success at completing her mission caused a spring in her step and she was eagerly awaiting the praise she would receive once returning to her master. It was already late afternoon when she had finally completed her objectives and made her way back through the slums and into the sewer where her master waited for her. She had little trouble finding her way back and her excitement from the anticipation of reuniting with her master was apparent to anyone who cared to notice.
Their current home was an abandoned room located somewhere in the sewers. It had once served as a maintenance room, but now had other purposes. Lenia didn’t know how long her master had been living there but it didn’t seem like it had been a significantly long time. There was very little in the way of amenities and her master slept on a simple straw cot. Despite not having spent any real time in it, she already found it quite detestable, but she trusted that her master had a plan of some kind. Lenia opened the door to their temporary home and Aleksandros was in a sitting position waiting for her.
She happily addressed her master, “Aleks I have returned!”
Aleksandros remained still, two daggers resting on his lap. “I see, not alone though.”
“What do you mean?” Lenia asked with confusion. She was quite shocked to see her master sitting there as if he were expecting something.
“Show yourselves!” Aleksandros shouted as he flung one of the daggers towards Lenia who caught it skillfully, dropping the items she had been holding.
Turning around, Lenia backed towards Aleksandros as three forms suddenly appeared from the shadows. Lenia was surprised to see that she had been unwittingly followed. The shame she felt at having failed was unbearable.
“I don’t understand….. How?”
Those were the only words she could get out of her mouth. This was a huge blow to her confidence. She had allowed some unknown enemies not only to follow her without her knowledge, but she led them straight to her master. This kind of shame was completely unbearable for her.
Aleksandros stood and stared intently at the three intruders while saying, “This is not your fault Lenia. This is all according to my plans. I used you, intending for this to happen. Everything is moving exactly as I wished.”
The foremost intruder who appeared to be the leader of the group stepped forward, “Don Jesef sends his regards. Kill him, slowly. Capture the woman. She belongs to Don Jesef now.”
The assassins launched their attack quickly covering the short distance in between them and revealing their short swords. These weapons were gleaming with a sticky black substance and Lenia could sense the danger that they posed. She deduced that the short swords were most likely coated with poison. The two attackers began striking in concert, both swiftly and precisely.
Looks like they activated a skill that allows them to move rapidly across short distances. I can’t let them get close to master, I must protect him!
Thankfully, the difference in their levels allowed Lenia to quickly parry the two attacks while covering for her master. He remained still and made no moves to aid Lenia. Instead of reacting, he was quietly observing the fight between the three adversaries.
The leader of the assassins was growing impatient. Even though they had the advantage in numbers and were fighting in tight quarters, they were not able to strike the female down.
“Hurry up! The two of you can’t subdue one woman!? Ugh, do I have to do everything myself?”
The assassin’s leader removed two daggers and threw them towards Lenia providing an opportunity for his men to attack. These blades were also coated in poison and even a scratch would be fatal.
“That will be enough!” Aleksandros said firmly as he stretched out his arms and began to concentrate intently.
The air around him began to pulse violently as he drew his hands closer to each other at the center of his body. His arms shook as if he were pulling an enormous weight towards his chest. A sinister glow began to emanate from within his body and the sound of wailing cries echoed throughout the room sending the approaching daggers flying off in random directions.
The assassins who had been engaged in battle with Lenia jumped back towards their leader out of caution. The three interlopers together shrank back in fear and uncertainty of what was happening. They had never seen anything like this and the immense pressure emerging from Aleksandros was suffocating too.
It was as if they were being strangled by unseen tendrils.
“Boss, we need to get out of here, this can’t be good!”
The two would be assassins were on the verge of scattering as Aleksandros suddenly released the power he had been building up between the palms of his hand.
A wave of intense energy hastened towards the Don’s henchmen and as it sped, the wailing of the dead cried out in fury. This ability was known as the ‘Banshee’s Wail’ and it was an ability unique to his class. That of the ‘Soul Eater.’
It required a cost of between 100 and 500 SP per use depending on its scope and power, but it had the function of devouring the souls of those it killed which offset the cost and depending on the souls it devoured, would even bring him great benefits.
Obviously using it on a common person would be a waste, but these particular assassins were clearly high level basic class beings and their leader was a high level intermediate class. Just the two basic class souls would be close enough to offset the cost of the ability’s use.
The assassins were thrown violently against the wall but it was not the impact that killed them. The Banshee’s Wail had killed the assassins immediately, sucking the souls of the two weaker dry and leaving their bodies as nothing but a husk of a corpse. Their leader was also killed, there was no physical damage present on his body, but his consciousness had been completely destroyed. His soul remained within his body, but he was as good as dead. The power of the Banshee’s Wail was immense but the effect it had on the individual it was used against depended on the personal power of the opponent. It wouldn’t fully work on someone who was too powerful. At least not until it became stronger if such a thing were possible. He suspected that it was.
Regardless of whether the being was of too high a level that the ability couldn’t immediately devour their soul, it would still cause disorientation and disrupt spells and abilities from being used. It was an extremely useful ability.
Lenia having seen this for the first time shrunk back in fear and awe of her master’s awesome power.
I always knew you were the best master!