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|I originally wrote this story in the modern time but adapted it for Elfwood. Iím not overly impressed with the adapted story but since the original wasn't accepted I will stick with this one. Can you see the original? Of course you can. Just follow the link. Comments and constructive criticism are always welcome. www.fictionpress.com/read.php?storyid=1505165||
Eyes straining from constantly being open, Deamonoth concentrated all his efforts on his objective. He had spent three days sitting atop an adjacent building overlooking the dwelling of his newest target. A crooked merchant in the local guild had made enemies with his illegal smuggling operations.
Deamonoth stared with his keen elven eyes and waited. His own reconnaissance work had told him that the merchant, a Mr. Gregory Helmsman, worked like a machine. Probably the reason his business was so successful. Mr. Helmsman always woke just before the sun and drank coffee, two cubes of sugar, in his kitchen.
Today was no different.
Deamonoth looked out at the horizon and could see the gentle glow of orange light begin to creep into the world. Usually, around this time the merchant would take a last sip of coffee and depart from his kitchen, leaving his servants to clean up, and get properly dressed for the day.
Today was no different.
Still, Deamonoth waited. Time seemed to slip by Deamonoth with the greatest of ease, which was why he was in this business, the business of a contract killer. To Deamonoth patience was a virtue. Again, Deamonoth checked the horizon though he already knew by the warmth on his cheek that the sun had fully risen. The merchant always left right after sunrise.
Today was no different.
Deamonoth kneeled down in a comfortable position making sure to relax his shoulders and keep his mind clear. Taking his black ash-wood bow with his left hand Deamonoth plucked an arrow from his quiver that was strapped to his back. The arrow had a sharp steel head and was also made of black ash-wood. The feathers were dyed dark forest green for that was a color Deamonoth connected too. He closed his eyes and kept them closed for several heartbeats before reopening them.
Deamonoth could fully feel the suns rays upon his cheek and back now. Dew had formed on the flat roof of the building he had placed himself making it slippery. Sweat started to slowly slide itís way down his face and into his eyes, which Deamonoth brushed away.
For the merchant, these would be his last moments alive, but life would also change for his wife and two children.† As the doors opened, Deamonoth pushed back from his mind the memory of the merchantís wife kissing him as he arrived home the night before.† He fitted the arrow to the bowstring and closed his left eye bringing the bow into a shooting position.† Deamonoth waited until the unaware merchant was facing him to aim his shot at his soon-toĖbe-victimís chest.
The merchant was an aged man in his mid-fifties with balding grey hair and mustache.† Wrinkles stretched across his worn face along with scars from some war long in the past.† He had high cheekbones that made his face look thin and his body frail.† His freshly pressed clothing fit him perfectly as he walked with the stride of a confident man, long and strong.
Deamonothís shot was not a difficult one, measuring at a little over 100 yards from the point of his position down and across the street to the merchantís front gate.† There was little to no wind to affect the arrow as it sailed through the air, for which Deamonoth was grateful. The merchant began walking to a carriage, which was stopped on the street in front of his dwelling place, as Deamonoth pulled back the string of his bow and took a deep breath in.
An owl hooted and circled in the sky directly above the assassinís position.† The air was calm and still, as was Deamonoth.† For some unknown reason the merchant, who had only walked half way to the carriage, stopped and stared in Deamonothís direction.† Whether it was the snow-white owl drifting upon the currents as the sun glinted off its pearl feathers, or some human instinct that alerted him of his own fate, his uneasiness was apparent.† At that moment Deamonoth let out a deep breath and released the arrow.
Deamonoth rocked back with the bow as his powerful shot sailed through the air. Birds that were close to him took flight as the sound of Deamonothís bowstring vibrated loudly around him.† Deamonoth watched the greedy merchant as he dropped to his knees and vainly gripped at the arrow that had pierced his body. Deamonothís shot had hit the merchant in his chest, right below the throat angling down into his body. The arrow had buried itself deep inside of its target, the steel arrowhead lodged into the heart. The merchant continued to claw at his wound, wrapping his hands around the black wood of the arrow, as blood soaked through his clothing and into his hands.† The merchant, with a look of horror and shock on his face, fell to the ground without moving or making a sound.
Deamonoth, although certain that his mission was complete, kept his eyesight focused on his fresh victim.† The merchantís green grass was slowly turning red with his own blood.†† Senior guardsmen immediately started screaming orders to the others as they scanned to see were the shot had come from, but before he was spotted or family and friends could rush out to see the traumatizing truth, Deamonoth was on the move. He had already strapped his bow in its designated position next to his quiver on his back. He had specifically designed his quiver for such occasions such as this. It was made to endure and protect both bow and arrow. Without a backwards glance, he set off to his safe house within the city.
Fifteen minutes and many close calls with the local guards found Deamonoth sneaking into an abandoned warehouse in the middle of what was called ĎThe Slumí. The grey, bare-walled, warehouse wasnít very large but it was large enough for one to be comfortable. Creeping through a broken window, rats dashed in a hundred different directions fleeing the booted elven feet that walked across the floor. Crates were stacked to the ceiling everywhere that one looked. Almost all crates, including the floor, were riddled with holes from the rats and termites that also dwelled in the warehouse. Dust as thick as snow in the wintertime was everywhere. Deamonoth looked around and dismissed the rats, dust and holes. He wouldnít have to stay here much longer. Just till night took the city and he could get his reward money for his Ďservicesí. He had to think about what to do after he collected his money. He obviously had to get out of the city, but after that he wasnít sure.
Deamonoth walked to the far corner of the warehouse were he had set up a straw mattress for himself. Upon seeing the mattress he immediately felt the weariness of three days crash throughout his body. His muscles ached and even his disciplined mind nearly gave in to the thought of sleep. Deamonoth looked around the shabby warehouse and smiled as only a tired man can. Stripping off his cloak and weapons but not his hardened leather armor, he placed his sword at the side of the bed and laid down on the mattress. The straws that poked into his back felt like fine satin and velvet but before sleep overtook him Deamonoth smiled again. Everything had gone as planned.
For Deamonoth, Today was no different.
|Rogue Warriors||A Minotaur's First Battle|