The Bounty Hunter
didn’t think I’d catch up with your sorry ass, did
sneaking up behind her prized bounty catch.
goliath of a burly man dropped his bottle of rum and
groaned. He recognized the familiar voice of the she
devil herself from over his shoulder... It’s
, one of the kings favorite royal bounty hunters sent
. I, I, I...”
want to know something Maxtor, I always get that speech.
Why is that?”
wasn’t me! I swear it! The king has me mixed up with
let’s take a look at the wanted poster shall we?”
held up the
poster next to his face so they both could see it.
like you to me. What do you think?”
my twin brother.”
brother, are kidding me? Your mother didn’t have
twins. Thank god there is only one of you.”
now, leave my mother out of this
, you have no right to talk ill of her.”
are the one that has no rights. You see the last line
here?” she said pointing at the words with the tip of
her gleaming knife. “It say’s... Dead or Alive. You
really pissed off the King this time. So, how do you
want to come with me, dead or alive? I’ll let you
I won’t give you any trouble. I swear it.”
let’s see how long that will last. Now put your hands
behind your back so I can hog tie your sorry ass and get
on with my day. You’re not the only one on my list you
slowly reached his trembling hands behind his back one
at a time. Just as Syria put away her knife and started
tying the thick rope around his left wrist, Maxtor
reached for an empty bottle with his other hand on the
bar and swung around hoping to catch Syria off guard,
but he misses her head by inches.
you changed your mind and decided on dead? That’s too
bad, I thought you knew me better than that.” she said
ducking then quickly pulling back out her side knife
slashing and cutting off his hand that held the bottle.
She smiled as it fell to the floor.
cried out in pain.
fucking bitch, you cut off my hand! I’m gonna kill
I’m gonna kill you. Hell, dead works for me. Makes me
hauling your sorry as in to collect easier.”
twirls around whipping the sharp blade across his chest,
then straight into his gut. Blood began flowing over her
hand as she held it up against him. She moved in closer
to look into his eyes.
know something Maxtor; this is the best part of my job,
watching scum like you die. What’s that? Are you
trying to tell me something? Speak up.”
you, fucking bitch...” murmured Maxtor trying to focus
on her gaze.
you’re so sweet. Thank you for the compliment. I would
pass it on to my boyfriend, but guess what? I don’t
in the pub watched in amazement at
’s skills. She’s well known for her temper and pure
enjoyment of being the king’s favorite bounty hunter.
Her parents were murdered five years ago by a rogue
serial killer in the village.
The king grew impatient with his guards not
capturing the killer, so he had wanted posters posted
throughout the kingdom with a one hundred gold piece
bounty to be given to anyone that found the killer and
brought to him, dead or alive.
about the gold. She wanted revenge, no matter the cost.
It was seven months later that she caught up with him in
a near by village. She killed him without mercy, and
then returned with his head and hands in a wooden box
and presented it to the king, refusing his payment. The
king was pleased. He gave her the reward anyway and then
knighted her with the title of Royal Bounty Hunter.
Royal Bounty Hunters are distinguished by the special
fashioned cape that only they are allowed to ware, a
custom made gold and silver embossed sword along with
two matching short knives. The cape is solid blue with
the king’s royal crest embroidered in gold and silver
in the center. She only wears it when she is on a bounty
2 – You have a special assignment for me?
sent for me my lord?”
yes Draparticus, please come in and have a seat, I
something very important to discuss with you. Some
a small amount my lord.”
Pyrus poured each of them a challis of wine, and then
know you are my most trusted assassin.”
my lord, your word is my command without question.”
see, that is what I like about you Draparticus, you are
without doubt the most obedient of my assassins. Don’t
get me wrong, the others do as they are told, but they
are not as skilled and clever as you. They are messy
when I send them out on assignments. As always I have to
cover up their sloppy work with some excuses or lies.”
you my lord. I enjoy my work and more importantly, your
work. If you don’t mine me asking, what is my
Pyrus smiles as he stood at the window looking out over
at the kingdom watching the villagers go about their
day. He takes a couple more sips of his wine, turns
around, and continues.
is a little matter I want you to take care of. It will
require stealth this time. He must not know you are
coming for him as usual, so take all the necessary
want you to use the poison you got from that healer last
mixture of scorpion and hasps venom?”
yes, that one. It
was very effective. It sent a very clear message to
those other sniveling rodent councilman that dare
questioned me at our last meeting with the king.”
my lord. Do you want it to be public or in his
It must be in public. He will be giving a speech in the
town square at noon, the day after tomorrow. He will
have a few guards around him but nothing I’m sure you
can’t get pass with one of your clever disguises.
I’ll be in attendance as well.
I want to watch that fool suffer out in the
my lord. Is there anything else?”
no, that is all. You may go now.”
my lord, and may peace be with you.”
with you Draparticus.”
opens the door quickly to leave nearly stepping on the
hand of a timid man that is scrubbing the floor outside
the chamber. He pulls his dark hood over his head and
face before he could look up at him, then steps over him
avoiding any eye contact.
3 – You work for me now...
must see the king at once.” whispered a small timid
beggar to one of the king’s guards looking out over
back scum or you’ll feel my blade! Now go about your
it’s important. I know of a plot to kill someone,
really I do.”
said get back rodent. Now! Don’t let me have to tell
you again.” shouted the guard as he pushed the beggar
back into the crowd.
He pulled out his sword then pointed it at his
chest. “I said step away.”
king pulled back a small curtain to look outside at what
was going on. He could see the guard with his sword
drawn pointing it at the beggar.
the carriage and have the two of them brought to me at
king waited for the two them to arrive.
looks at the guard then at the beggar. “What is this
about? Why is your sword drawn? He looks harmless to me?
Well, speak up.”
he said he knows of a plot to kill someone. I don’t
believe him. He’s just looking for a hand out.”
decide what to believe or not, come closer beggar, what
is this plot you speak of?”
timid beggar lowers his head and bows to the king, then
looks back up at him.
over heard two people talking about a killing sire when
I was scrubbing the floors this morning.”
killing? What two people? Speak up!”
Pyrus? That’s insane.”
it’s true sire. He spoke of having one of the
councilmen assassinated the day after tomorrow in the
town square when they give their weekly speeches.”
king looked at the guard then back at the beggar.
closer beggar.” demanded the king holding out two
pieces of gold.
are to keep me posted of anything else you hear. You
work for me now. Am I making myself clear?”
to no one else of this or I will have you put in to the
dungeon and tortured.”
one else sire, I will speak of this to no one. I will
report anything else I hear to you.”
well then, we have an understanding. You are to speak to
this guard when you have information for me. He will
arrange for you to speak to me.”
step away from me.”
meet me in my chambers at once.”
sire, at once.”
outside the king’s chambers.
, do come in.” said the king opening the door waving
for her to follow him inside.
sent for me sire.”
I have been informed that there is a plot to assassinate
one of my councilmen in two days time in the town
square. Three of them will be giving speeches.”
you just cancel their speeches until you find out which
one it is sire?”
I could, but I don’t want to raise any suspicion or
let on that I am aware of this plot. I have an informer
keeping me posted of any more details. However, I want
you to seek out this assassin on the day of the
councilmen will be there starting at noon. The last
assassin’s target was killed with a very lethal poison
in his sleep. It was horrible the way he died. None of
his guards saw the assassin come or leave.”
have seen their work too sire. They use many techniques
to assassinate their target. However, using such a
lethal poison requires great skill. Dragon Shifters are
the only ones that I’m aware of that are capable of
handling and dispensing it.”
shifters? They are not known for doing evil deeds, least
of all killing because someone hires them to do so. I
hear they have high moral standards. Besides, no one
knows of their whereabouts or has seen them.”
is precisely why someone would use a dragon shifter for
yes, you are right. But that doesn’t explain the
reason for one wanting to kill a councilman.”
the reason sire, this is no small task. If indeed a
dragon shifter is being used to carry out this
assassination, I’ll have my hands full.”
you not up to the task
ready and willing sire. It’s just been a while since
I’ve had a good challenge on my hands and this one
fits me perfectly.”
I know. Very well then, find this assassin and if it
turns out he’s a dragon shifter, well then, you’ll
finally have the challenge you’ve been looking for.”
4 – Criss Cross
had been in this situation before last month with four
heavy armed guards carrying war hammers and spears
surrounding his target. His disguise got him past the
guards at the main gate and on to the main grounds. His
target is a ruthless chancellor that rules with an iron
fist. His assignment is very clear; it’s to be a very
chose to use a new device that he had fashioned by his
personal blacksmith and this is the perfect assignment
to test it out. All
he has to do is get close enough to the chancellor to
inject him. The device is concealed beneath his right
wrist band loaded with five sharp hollow point needles,
each filled with a very toxic poison designed to release
slowly into its victims blood stream.
hires four “Roof Toppers” to distract the guards so
he could get close to the chancellor.
The Roof Toppers followed Draparticus along the
roof tops as he staggered and stammered his way like a
drunk towards the chancellor and his guards.
* * * * * * *
the same area looking for a rogue warlord named Torlock
that was reported to be visiting a popular brothel near
ladies, you seen this guy come through?” she asked a
group of three girls standing outside a small courtyard.
at the wanted poster together.
he was through here earlier this morning. He’s a big
guy and a big tipper.” they giggled. “Yeah and he
paid for all three of us.” one of them chimed in.
he seem like he was passing through?”
He fell asleep for a while then got up and went to get
something to eat. He asked us to be around later
Here take this and send word when he returns.” said
tossing them a small sack of gold coins.
Do you want us to tie him down? He likes feeling
won’t be necessary. I can handle him.”
* * * * * * *
signaled the Roof Toppers to go distract the guards.
They quickly climbed down, spread out and
you bloody bastards, what are you doing on our turf!”
shouted the leader as he shoved the lead guard.
away or I’ll put you down!”
try to you chicken shit!”
chancellor was in no mood for distractions.
them. Kill them all and let’s be on our way.”
attack!” ordered the lead guard drawing his sword.
the guards clashed with the Roof Toppers, Draparticus
staggered in closer to his target. He could see the
chancellor standing arrogantly watching the fight as if
it wouldn’t take his guards long to kill the Roof
is so focused on the fight that is not aware of
Draparticus approach and that he is now close enough to
inject him. Draparticus
curled his middle finger towards his palm and pressed a
trigger on the device to load one of the needles then
bumps into the chancellor.
me chancellor; can you spare me some coin?”
away from me you drunken fool or I’ll have you killed
next!” he said reaching out with both hands to shove
is perfect timing. As the chancellor reached out, he
swiftly pierced him in his right side then staggered
away; signaling the Roof Toppers to disband. They broke
off their attack and leaped back up to the roof tops
then disappeared from sight.
could see the
crowd gathering around the chancellor and his guards.
She pushed and shoved her way to the front.
out of my way! Get out of my way!” she shouted as she
soon could see what everyone else is looking at, the
chancellor holding his throat and convulsing wildly.
Blood began seeping from his eyes and ears. She knew it
was an assassin that had done this, and then quickly
began scanning the crowd for anyone leaving quickly. But
no one was moving. Everyone was watching in horror as he
collapsed to the ground vomiting profusely.
tried to speak. “Help me, somebody please help me.”
crowd moved back away from him. Within minutes he was
anyone see who done this?” shouted the lead guard.
“Anyone? Come forward and I’ll pay twenty gold
pieces. Here it is in my hand see.” he demanded while
shaking the small sack of gold coins up in the air, but
no one stepped out from the crowd.
are all cowards! We’ll find out who’s responsible
for this and you’ll pay with your lives. Anyone
believed to be harboring the fugitive will be put to
death on the spot as an example to all!”
enough. She went to report the assassination to the
* * * * * * *
I have seen an assassination.”
have heard. It was that fool of a chancellor Damian on
the eastside. I warned him not to be so harsh with the
villagers, but did he listen? No! In away he brought
this on himself. Did you see him die?”
sire. It was horrible. I’ve seen death many times but
nothing as cold blooded as this. It was a lethal poison.
He had no fatal wounds on his body. His eyes and ears
bled like a river as he spun around uncontrollably while
clutching his throat.”
, this assassin must be found.”
sire, I understand.”
whatever you deem necessary at your disposal and spare
no expense. Am I making myself clear?”
well then, leave immediately and report anything you
5 – I have some unfinished business...
went to his hideout to change out of his disguise. He
pressed the trigger several times after he took off the
injection device. He admired it.
is ingenious. Lord Pyris will be impressed. It will
prove most effective on my next assignment.”
* * *
went back to
the brothel to see if warlord Torlock had returned. She
could see one of the girls she met earlier signaling for
her to come over.
is inside now with the other two girls.” she
Thank you Tira, I’ll takeover from here. Stay outside;
I don’t want you to get hurt.”
has two guards posted by the bedroom door.”
peeps through a
small crack in the front door and sees the two guards
talking among themselves.
you get them to come outside Tira?”
that’s no problem.” she said feeling excited about
. She unbuttoned her top to let her large breast
protrude out more then slowly opened the door. The
guards smiled as she waved for them to come to her. She
pulls up her dress in the front and sticks our one of
her long perfect sculptured legs.
here, I’m already paid for by your warlord.” she
whispered to them.
of them puts his ear to the bedroom door to make sure
Torlock is busy. He smiles and nods to the other guard,
then they went to Tira.
slowly pulls out one of her short knives as she watches
them come closer then steps back into the shadows.
swayed her ample hips as she walked out into the
courtyard. The guards began opening the front of their
pants as they got closer.
held her knife close to her chest preparing to swiftly
take them out.
here boys.” cooed Tira as she stood with her back up
against the wall and her dress pulled up to her waist.
can take both of you at the same time if you want.”
she whispered smiling and parting legs. The guards
dropped their swords to the ground then quickly walked
up to Tira.
she meant was that I can take both you at the same
as she quickly cut the throat of the first guard to her
right, then swung around and plunged it deeply into the
gut of the other one.
you. Here’s five pieces of gold for helping me. Is
there another way inside the room?”
all of our rooms have a secret panel wall for our more
discreet guest that don’t want to use the front
Now you stay out here.”
goes around to
the back of the brothel and sneaks in. She then follows
a narrow hallway that runs behind each room. Torlock is
in the third room on the right. She slowly slips behind
the secret panel and slides open a small peep hole. She
could see Torlock tied down and the other two girls
undressing in front of him. ‘This is going to be the
easiest bounty ever.’ she thinks to herself.
the two girls were on top of him and blocking his view
of the secret panel, she slowly pushed open the panel
door with her short knife drawn.
well, well, Torlock. Why am I not surprised to find you
is shocked when he sees her. He struggles to free
himself while calling for his guards.
guards, get in here you fools! Guards, guards!”
waste your breath calling them. They won’t be coming
to help you.”
bitch. You won’t take me in alive!”
want to know something Torlock, the last guy that said
that to me was right. I didn’t take him in alive.
I’ll tell you like I told him, dead works for me.”
Torlock after holding his mouth open and pouring a small
dose of a bluish liquid from a vile she pulled from her
satchel. Within minutes he is fast asleep.
keep him knocked out for a few hours. At least long
enough to get him to the dungeon. Girls, I thank you and
here’s a little extra for the help.”
it was nothing
. This was exciting! You can always count on us for
help. We’ll tell the other brothels about you. We
really appreciate you finding the serial killer that was
killing us and many of the villagers. We know very
powerful people and they can’t resist us.”
6 – I’ve never seen you around here before...
drapes his black and red hooded cloak over this head and
shoulders and enters the streets. He has no fear of
anyone recognizing him in the quite small
. It’s far enough away from the main castle and prying
eyes. He walks calmly down to a corner pub not far from
his place. He sees a small table and two chairs in a far
dark corner to his left.
bottle of your finest wine, a block of cheese and a loaf
of bread. I’ll be in the corner over there.” he says
to the bartender tossing him two silver coins.
likes sitting with his back against the wall with a
clear view of the front entrance. If death was ever to
come for him, he wanted to see it coming. He scanned the
bar looking for no one in particular. There are no
threats that he could see. None the less he strapped on
three throwing knives on his left boot and two short
knives under his cape just in case.
you go darlin’, is there anything else you be wantin’”
said a cute redheaded waitress with a lilting Irish
accent trying to flirt with him.
will be all, but if I change my mind you’ll be the
first to know.” he said smiling while looking up at
is a strikingly handsome man. He has a tall well
sculptured lean muscular body, long raven black hair
down to the center of his back that he keeps parted down
the middle and away from his eyes. His dark ice blue
eyes made women melt when he looked at them as he spoke.
His skin is a mellow golden brown with a faint scale
like appearance to it, yet it’s smooth like skin to
as he was about to pour himself another challis of wine,
Syria walks through the front door and stands for a
moment before walking completely in. The men at the bar
stopped drinking to look at her. No man could resist her
potent look. She always looked like an Egyptian Queen
and smelled of sweet perfumes that she has custom made
for her. However, the two long swords on each side of
her swaying hips made it very clear; don’t confuse her
beauty as being weak and in need of any man.
slowly pulls off her leather gloves then pulls back the
hood from over her head as she approaches the bar. Her
long blonde shimmering hair fell from the hood over her
shoulders and down to her lower back. The clicking of
her boots on the hardwood floors made the crowd clear a
path for her. She felt large and in charge as looked
around then back at the bartender.
can I get for ya
?” said the bartender smiling.
is awe of her beauty. Like all the others in the pub, he
couldn’t resist not looking at her. ‘Who is this
goddess?’ he thought to himself. He had never seen her
in here before. He noticed that the bartender seemed to
know who she is. He pushed the chair across from him
with the heel of his boot underneath the table so that
it pointed slightly outward.
bottle of Bohemian Rum please and who’s the guy in the
corner over there?” she whispered.
bartender looked over at the table. “I don’t
particularly know him that well. He comes in from time
to time. He’s quiet and keeps to himself. He never
causes any trouble and tips very well.”
you what, send him over another bottle of whatever
he’s drinking and tell him it’s from me.”
, right away.”
bartender personally took over the bottle of wine to
this is from the lady at the bar. She told me to bring
it to you. I didn’t tell her anything about you, your
name or where you live.” he whispered to him with his
Marcus. I’ll remember to return the favor.”
He whispered back.
straight ahead for a short while before looking at
Draparticus. Their eyes met as she slowly turned her
head to see if he was looking at her. He pushed out the
chair a little more while arching his eyebrows and then
motioned for her to come join him. She slowly got up
from her bar stool, grabbed her bottle of rum and went
over to his table.
you always sit with your back to the wall?” she asked
standing and smiling.
yes I do. Specifically for this reason...” he said
opening the bottle of wine she had sent to him.
what reason is that?”
paused while pouring the wine, looked back up at her to
responded... “To see beauty when it’s walking
towards me of course.”
well, I’m impressed, a man that has a flair for
words.” she said pulling out the chair to sit down.
when they are meant for someone as beautiful as you.”
bet you say that to all the girls you meet.” she says
while slowly pouring herself some rum.
all of them. But you, you are truly divine.”
sorry, I didn’t get your name.” she asked looking
over her the rim of her tilted challis as she takes a
Valitore’ Enzo Dugrassi and yours is?”
to meet you
to meet you as well.”
7 – DRAGON! DRAGON!
chimes in the city hall clock tower rang out over the
town square. It’s midnight, the moon is full and the
night is still. Draparticus is standing high above a
roof top looking down at a specific door. He watched as
the door of his next target leaving the brothel closes
on time.” he murmured to himself as he leaped over to
another roof top with ease while keeping an eye on this
target. “That’s it, get into your carriage. But you
better pray those four chicken shit guards can protect
you tonight. You can bet I’ll be seeing you
carriage with the four guards took off quickly heading
out of the village to take his target back to his
mansion. His target is Baron Von Straussen, a very
wealthy import merchant and one of the many
“cousins” of the king.
Pyris has charged him with the crime of poaching wild
animals he specifically forbidden to be captured in any
form, dead or alive for sale or display. He has been
informed that he captured a dragon to sell to a buyer in
who plans on having it killed and put on display in his
museum. Lord Pyris is furious after hearing of Baron Von
Straussen’s plans. He immediately sent a dispatch for
is thy bidding my lord?” asked Draparticus bowing in
have just been informed that a merchant has disobeyed a
specific order forbidding any capture of dragons!”
stood up immediately with his first curled in tight
balls. His nostrils flared as his breathing grew deep
and heavy. He could feel a ball of fire building in his
diaphragm and could barely wait for the order to leave
Lord Pyris’s lips.
is at a brothel as we speak in the
. Do you know where this is?”
I know exactly where it is. May I depart now? I don’t
want him to get away. Not that he will get far. There is
nowhere he can hide that I can’t find him.”
by all means. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you the
urgency of this matter. Perhaps this might be a relative
or not my lord, he is as good as dead to me.”
good. Now, just so that everyone around here understands
that when I say something I don’t mean for it to be
taken lightly, I want you to burn him on a stake in full
display of the city tonight in full flame!”
pleasure my lord.” smiled Draparticus. “The
reflection of his burning body will be in the eyes of
everyone. I swear it!”
good, now be on your way. And may peace be with you in
with you my lord.”
* * *
carriage carrying Baron Von Straussen is making its way
on a road through the forest outside of Tora. The baron
is napping as the carriage sway’s back and forth. The
carriage has two of his guards in the front and two in
the back. Draparticus is following closely behind them
on his black stallion.
could see the carriage slowing down in front of him,
then coming to a stop. The baron steps out and walks
over to a high bush to relieve himself. His guards stay
with the carriage as they were ordered.
full length dark cape makes him nearly impossible to see
in the night. One by one he takes out the guards then
waits patiently for the baron to return.
in the hell are my guards?” murmured the baron to
himself looking around cautiously in the dark.
worry about them coming to your aid Baron Von Straussen.”
groaned Drapraticus revealing himself holding a hovering
ball of fire over his right hand.
what are you? What do you want? I, I, have gold. It’s
in my carriage; I’ll go get it for you. There’s a
chest full of it from a sale I made to a client in the
hope for you sake that what you sold is still here.”
yes, I demanded full payment up front first before the
delivery of it. I swear.”
exactly where is “it” being held? Tell me now and
I’ll let you live!”
a special chamber below my mansion. It’s the only
place large enough to keep it until delivery. Please
don’t kill me, I beg of you.”
worry about that little detail, as long as you’re not
lying to me, you won’t have to worry about dieing.”
you’ll take the gold and let me go now. I promise I
won’t tell anyone of this meeting.”
kind of full do you take me for baron? I’m not going
to take your word for it! You’re coming with me so I
can see for myself. After that I’ll let go.”
of course, what was I thinking.”
in the carriage; I’ll drive you there personally.”
you know where I live?”
course I do. Now hold out your hands so I can tie them.
I don’t want you to get any ideas like escaping. If I
were you, I’d put that idea out of your head. Trust me
you wouldn’t get very far.”
* * *
road off into the night at full speed. Draparticus dark
blue eyes turn bright red like fire. He gripped the
leather straps tightly in his hands as he steers the
carriage down the twisting road. He could see the
mansion just up ahead. Its pitch black with no signs of
anyone there. Perhaps the baron is telling the truth. He
must have sent everyone away when he had the dragon
brought there. They pulled up to the front of the
better pray you’re not lying to me or I’ll kill you
on the spot when we go below.”
not lying, I, I, swear it.”
opened the huge front doors of the mansion and went in.
Draparticus formed another ball of fire over his hand.
It shinned brighter than the first one.
let’s go see if you are lying to me. Lead the way.”
baron nervously walked down a long a narrow hallway
until they got to a large steel incased door.
yes, of course.”
baron reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of
special made keys. With his hands shaking he inserted
the key then turned it three times. They could hear the
locking bolts release.
need help pushing it open, it’s very heavy.”
whimpered the baron.
leaned against the heavy door with his shoulder and
together they pushed it open. Slowly they walked down
the dark stairway leading to another heavy door.
it’s in here. Be careful, it’s very large with huge
mean claws like this?” said Draparticus holding out a
my god, what are you?”
inside now! Don’t make me tell you twice.”
both entered the dark room. There it was a huge majestic
dragon with heavy chains around its neck, legs and huge
claws. Its mouth is sealed shut with steel bands.
here. Make one move and I will personally burn you
won’t move, I swear.”
walked up the dragon and kneeled in respect.
father, I have come for you.”
dragon opened his eyes slowly. He tried to sit up right
but the heavy chains made him too weak.
son, you must not be here. This man and his people are
evil and mean you great harm.”
not father, I will release you. You must promise never
to come near this land again.”
I needed to see you. I have news of your human
she alive? Please tell me she is alive.”
but she has been captured and taken away. They used her
capture to get me.”
is furious with bitter anger. He turns around and points
to the baron.
are going to tell me everything tonight, every detail or
I swear I’ll burn you so slowly you’ll start to pray
baron kneels before both of them in a praying position.
please spare me. I was only doing what I was told.”
of what he is saying is true my son. There was another
man with him. Some sort of royal man. He is tall with
brown hair, green eyes, and walked with a slight limp.
When he grabbed your mother I saw a crest burned into
his skin. It looked like two lions holding a sword.”
snapped an angry gaze at the baron.
know who that is don’t you!”
I, can’t say.”
did you just say to me? Did I just hear you ignore my
please, I cannot say.”
me those keys.”
unlocks all the shackle bindings on his father.
you are to leave this place immediately. I’ll deal
with this fool. Trust me he will tell me what I want to
know. Don’t worry about mother. I’ll meet you at our
secret place. Now go swiftly.”
love my son. Peace be with you.”
with you, now go.”
father spread out his huge wings then broke through the
ceiling, and out through the roof. He watched as he
faded into the dark night. He then turned and looked at
baron, you are going to tell me everything I want to
know starting with where my mother is being held.”
8 – O’ My God! That man, he’s on fire!
are going to set me free right? I’ve told you
everything I know.” pleaded the Baron looking up at
you free? I’m going to set you free from your
do you mean by that?”
go back up stairs and I’ll show what I mean.”
followed the Baron up the dark stairway leading them out
to the front of the mansion.
I’m going to set you free from this place you call
home” said Draparticus tying the Baron’s shackled
hands to the front gate.
took a running leap, then large black wings ejected from
his back as he flew straight up high above the mansion.
He circled it twice as he continued transforming into a
majestic half dragon and half man figure. The Baron
couldn’t believe his eyes as he stared up at him.
hovered over the mansion for a slight moment, inhaled a
deep breath then released a large long continuous flame
through the opening of the roof where his father had
earlier broken through. Within minutes the entire
mansion is engulfed in flames.
The Baron watched in horror.
please, don’t burn me! I swear I will never capture
another living thing as long as I live!” pleaded the
Baron as he watched Draparticus land in front of him.
know you’ll never capture another living thing as long
as you live. You know why?”
tonight you’re going to stop living!”
I told you everything!”
you did and that’s why you have lived long enough to
see your world burned down to the ground. Now, let’s
go to the town square shall we.”
unfurled his huge wings again, grabbed the Baron with
his claws and flew off for the town square. They landed
in the center of town where a huge wooden pole is
already in the ground with piles of wood neatly stacked
around it. This is a common sight for the villagers as
condemned heretics and prisoners are burned regularly.
Draparticus landed then dragged the Baron up to the pole
and began tying him to it.
please, you don’t have to do this.”
I do Baron. You didn’t think twice about taking my
mother away did you? I’m sure she pleaded with you and
asked why you were doing this to her. So, save your
pleading, because I don’t give a damn about you. O’,
and after I get done with you, I’m going to do the
same thing to your friends but much worse, much, much
worse. Now look up into the sky. This won’t take
ran and leaped into the sky just as he did before. He
circled twice, and then hovered over the Baron until he
could see him staring up at him. In one swift deep
breath he released a huge flame down upon him. The super
hot flame engulfed the Baron in seconds. He began
screaming out loud. People began pouring out into the
town square running towards the flame.
my god, that man, he’s on fire!” shouted a woman.
Baron Von Straussen!” shouted a man running out
towards him with a bucket of water.
look up there, it’s, it’s, a Dragon!!!” shouted a
little boy pointing towards the sky.
circled several more times, watching the villagers
continue to pour out into the streets. This is exactly
what Lord Pyrus wanted him to do. “Make sure it’s a
very public display.”
is sitting at
her vanity brushing her hair when she looks out the
window and sees the two blazes out in the distance.
the hell is going on?” she gasped as she ran to her
window to get a closer look. “Shit, it’s a dragon
quickly puts on her clothes; runs out to her horse then
speeds away towards the town square. Just as she
approached she could see Draparticus flying away.
doubt about it, that’s a dragon shifter.” she
murmured to herself starring up in the sky then back at
the Baron’s charred body. “But this doesn’t look
like the work of an assassin though. This looks like
revenge... very bitter revenge.” She
says watching the flames consume his entire body, and
then back up at the sky. “Now, not only do I have to
deal with an assassin, now I have to deal with a dragon
9 – “We will use him to our advantage”
is waiting for Lord Pyrus in his chambers. He used the
secret entrance behind the fireplace to get in. Lord
Pyrus could see the small timid worker sweeping near his
front door when he got to the top of the stairway.
somewhere else.” he scowled at the worker.
my lord.” he answered in a quivering voice looking
door at the floor.
Pyrus waited at the door until he could see the worker
move down the hall then entered.
is so urgent my lord?” asked Draparticus bowing in
have been informed that we have a spy among us that is
reporting anything he sees or hears to the king.”
give me the word and I will make him disappear before
idea has crossed my mind, but I have a better idea. I
have no doubt that they are aware of the assassination,
but they don’t know who.”
is true. I retrieved the name by carrier pigeon this
is why I chose that method instead of speaking the name
here. However, I’m sure the little spy will be working
his way back to my door shortly. I will speak of a
different name clear enough for him to hear.”
smiled a wicked smile. “This is perfect my lord and as
usual you are most wise.”
both could hear the sound of the workers swishing broom
coming closer to the door. Lord Pyrus nodded his head to
Draparticus signaling that he will say the name now.
Meganhird of the third district, he will be in the front
of city hall at noon.”
my lord, councilman Meganhird. Consider him dead.”
well, be on your way. Peace be with you in your work.”
with you my lord.” smiled Draparticus as they both
heard the worker walk quietly from the door.
he heard everything perfectly. Now leave the same way
* * *
small worker hurried to the guard’s quarters pushing
and shoving people in his way occasionally looking over
his shoulder to make sure he wasn’t being followed.
“Out of my way, out of my way, I have important
business to attend to!”
ran up to two guards standing at attention in front of
the main entrance.
must peak with Commander Hacon now. It’s urgent.”
What business do you have here?”
can only speak to Commander Hacon and him only.”
away before I behead you!”
was sent by the king!”
guard laughed out loud... “By order of the king, what
fool do you take me for beggar?” He stepped closer to
the timid worker with his hand on his sword. “I said
step away or you will feel my blade.”
front door opened quickly. It’s Commander Hacon. He
looks intently at the timid worker then at the guard.
“Let him in now then step away from the door. I do not
want to be disturbed.”
timid worker walked slowly past the guards closely
there. Here, have some wine and bread.”
you, thank you sir.”
what news do you have for the king? Speak up!”
timid worker swallows quickly then wiped his mouth
heard the name Councilman Meganhird of the third
district. He will be at city hall at noon. He, he is the
one to be killed.”
good... Were you followed?”
no one was following me. I made sure. I got here as
quickly as I could.”
to your post and keep me informed of any further news.
Here’s two pieces of gold.”
you, thank you, and may peace be with you.”
with you, now leave my sight. No! Not the front
entrance, go out the back door.”
is perched high on a roof top across from the guards
quarters hiding in the shadow of a tall chimney peering
down at the entrance. He smiles a wicked smile then
quickly jumps down to his waiting horse on the other
side of the building then speeds away with his black
cape flapping behind him. Hacon went immediately to
speak with the king.
* * *
Hacon, you have news for me?” asked the king pouring
them both a challis of wine.
sire, it is Councilman Meganhird of the third
Meganhird?” The king looks at the registry list on his
desk, then runs a pointing finger down and across to
Councilman Meganhird name. “He is speaking in front of
city hall at noon.”
sire that is what the worker said.”
he his telling us the truth. I want you and your best
guards in attendance and I want a perimeter formed
around the people. We’ll catch the assassin dead in
good, now be on your way, we haven’t much time.”
to his quarters.
* * *
come forward, I’ve been informed that councilman
Meganhird is the target of the assassin. He will be at
the city hall at noon. Commander Hacon and his men will
be on guard, but I want you there to catch the assassin,
dead or live. Hacon and his men are good, but I don’t
believe they will be a match for an assassin.”
well, we only have a couple of hours, so hurry. Peace be
sire, and with you.”
10 – “We’ve been tricked!”
my brother and I are ready.”
you sure you want to do this?”
without hesitation. You have done our family a great
deed by saving our sister’s honor from that heathen
Count Sebastian. He deserved to die before he could lay
a hand on her.”
well, here are your capes. You know what to do. Wait
until half past the hour of noon, that will give me
understand. We will not let you down. Those fools will
be chasing our shadows. They do not call us ghost for
brothers departed as quickly as they appeared heading
for the town square. Draparticus puts on the last of his
disguise, wrapping his left hand with a string of black
beads with a black crucifix like design on the end that
dangled and swayed as he began walking slowly to the
open market square where his next target will be giving
his speech. He easily walks among the villagers. His
disguise is perfect. After all who would be looking for
* * *
Hacon and his men are in position watching the crowd
intensely as they began gathering in the town square.
The sun is hot and glaring down on them without much
cloud cover. They squint their eyes as they peered
through the slots of their helmets trying to focus.
is walking calmly through the crowd with her hand on her
Meganhird approaches the podium with a scroll in his
hand then rolls it out before be begins his speech. The
clock tower bell rang out precisely at noon. As he be
began to speak
moves towards the middle of the crowd. ‘If he’s
going to strike, his best chance would be somewhere near
here’ she thinks to herself.
then a little boy pushes and run past her, causing her
to nearly pull out her sword. “Shit!” she murmured
under her breath. She looks over at Commander Hacon. He
nods his head from side to side. Still no sign of the
as she takes her eyes off of him she sees someone in a
black cape running quickly from the right side of the
crowd straight for the councilman. He’s running so
fast she barely has enough time to react.
him!” she shouts pulling out her sword running toward
the podium. “Quickly commander, head him off!” she
shouts again pointing her sword.
shoves her way through the thick crowd.
of the way, assassin, assassin, out of the way!!!!”
as she is about to catch up to the caped runner, another
one appeared from the other side of the councilman,
pulling out a crossbow, pointing it at him. The
councilman cowards down while holding his hands over his
head. She could hear the caped man shouting.
are a liar and a thief of the people! You must die
the hell?” she shouted then stopped. She looked
towards Commander Hacon’s direction; he and his men
are still trying to make their way through the panicking
is now that everything seemed to start moving in slow
motion as she looks at each of them coming from both
sides towards the councilman. She didn’t know which
one to attack first.
are a liar and a cheat, die pig!” said the second
approaching brother running equally as fast.
* * *
could see his target walking calmly among the crowds
waving and patting children on the head. ‘That’s it
keep coming my way.’ he mummers to himself as he
readies his new poison injector device under his long
heavy sleeved covered hand wrapped with the black beads.
‘Just a few more feet, keep coming towards me.’
keeps walking in his direction. Draparticus smiles as he
you go a small offering for the church.” said
walking up the Draparticus holding out his hand with a
small purse of coins.
you councilman. This token of your gratitude will go far
towards your debt to society.”
debt? What are you speaking of?”
nothing to be alarmed about councilman, for we all are
sinners in his eyes.”
am only the messenger councilman.”
councilman looks at the dangling crucifix then back up
are not a man of the church and that is not a cross of
the church, it’s the symbol of an assassin!”
are right councilman, time to die.”
presses the palm of his hand against the chest of the
councilman. The councilman could feel the piercing
sensation of the needle.
did you just do to me?”
will know soon enough.”
* * *
brothers looked up at the clock at the same time, and
then nodded to each other. They have accomplished their
objective remembering the words of Draparticus. “Let
them think you are the assassin, then leave quickly when
they get close to the podium. This will give me enough
realizes as she
watched both of them look up at the clock that they were
just a decoy.
are not the assassins! Quickly to the town market!”
she shouted pushing her way through the crowd joining
Commander Hacon and his men. “We must hurry before
it’s too late!”
calmly walked away from the councilman then faded into
the crowd with his hands folded under the long sleeves
and the hood pulled over his head looking down.
Councilman Dothan began to stagger towards the podium
trying to speak. The crowd began to move out of his way
as he begins to thrash uncontrollably.
me, help, help me...” he gasped as blood began
dribbling down his chin. He clutched his throat.
Hacon, and his men entered the market area then start
running towards the podium.
you see him?” shouted Hacon looking towards the
yet, keep looking!” said
in a deep concerning tone pushing her way towards the
Dothan went down on one knee holding up one hand.
I, I can’t breathe...”
crowd surrounded him blocking
and Commander Hacon’s view.
here somewhere, keep moving towards the podium!”
looking out over the crowd.
me my child.” said a faint familiar voice to
as she rushed passed Draparticus in his disguise. But
she is too focused on the podium and doesn’t notice
see the councilman, over there.” shouted
pointing to her left “by the fruit stand, hurry up!”
smiled as he watched her and the guards run towards the
fruit stand. He turned around slowly and calmly walked
into a near by dark alley.
they got to Councilman Dothan, he was already dead,
lying on the ground in a pool of blood.
shit, shit!” shouted
in anger. “Did anyone see who did this? Anyone?”
one spoke up.
king will not be pleased Syria.” whispered Commander
Hacon over her shoulder.
rolled her eyes
up at him. “You think Hacon? How long did it take you
to come up with that? We have got to find out who is
doing this and fast. Don’t let anyone out of this
area. Do you hear me? No one leaves until I say so! He
could still be in the area.”
11 – “I have come for my mother!”
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