Author: Rayne Auster PM
Sequel to Gatekeeper. Arian is soon to be coronated but even though balance between Careil and Duiem has been restored, Careil still has a long way to go in order to find peace. MMRated: Fiction M - English - Fantasy/Romance - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,303 - Reviews: 39 - Favs: 24 - Follows: 30 - Updated: 04-08-09 - Published: 07-26-07 - id: 2395289
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
IMPORTANT NOTE: This is the first chapter of Assassin's Silver which is the Sequel to Gatekeeper. I am not actively working on this right now as I want to first finish Wild Life and Secrets hidden in silence but finally had the idea for what I actually want in the sequel and decided to post it before I forget it to see what everyone thinks… Depending on the feedback I get, I may decide to occasionally update this while still working on the other stories but for now it is not one of my main projects.
The usual disappearance
"Where by Careil's moon is he?" Pale blue hair whips around a rather small figure's face as the girl runs around, frantically, her face filled with panic. "Where is Arian?! The coronation is in one hour and he needs to get ready!" She halts at the door to Arian's rooms looking out into the corridor, questioning everyone who walked past.
"Not again?" A familiar voice questions her dryly. A familiar voice she is grateful to hear. She has found a solution to her problem. This person will help her find Arian, will know where to look. Pale green eyes turn to gaze up into deep chocolate brown gaze framed by sandy brown hair. "Arian has run off again, hasn't he?" He asks her dryly.
She drops her head in shame, angry at herself for not having seen this coming, for allowing Arian to trick her into leaving the room only half an hour earlier, claiming he wished to bathe himself in private. "Yes milord. It would appear that he is once again gone. I'm sorry milord. He told me he wished to bathe in private and in my foolishness I left him alone."
Rogue sighed, running a hand through his sandy hair resigned to the fact that he would once again be searching for Arian. Since his arrival in Careil this was an all too common occurrence. Especially since he had somehow been designated Arian's official babysitter. Upon meeting him and finding out who he was Mathié had ordered him to take care of Arian and gone off to help Aniol establish the order of Gatekeepers claiming it was the least he could do to atone for what his neglect and foolishness had done to Aniol. Just like that. Not even so much as bothering to find out if Rogue was trustworthy or not. Not caring that in actual fact, as a Warden, it was Rogue's duty to protect Aniol. Fortunately that issue had been dealt with the realisation that in order to keep the balance between Careil and Duiem, each land required an anchor for the energy and seeing that Aniol had anchored the power to him and Kaji, it was either he or Kaji that had to remain in Careil while the other remained in Duiem. The energy flow took care of the rest. Seeing that Kaji was required to rule Duiem as its king, the choice had been rather simple. And so began Rogue's three years of chasing the silver-blue haired demon around on the boy's random escapades into obscurity and oblivion.
At least it had given him an excuse to mingle with Careil's less than savoury crowd in his efforts at information gathering so he guessed he shouldn't complain too much. Only problem was Arian was amazingly 'good' at vanishing. He was nothing like his brother. He was brash, impulsive, head-strong and damned sneaky when he wanted to be. If his personality were to be taken into account he reminded Rogue more of Kaji than Aniol. Maybe it had something to do with the authority both boys wielded. Rogue sometimes wondered about Arian's amazing skill to disappear. It wasn't normal that even he, trained as one of the best assassin's and information gatherers in Duiem, was struggling to find the brat. Yes, Arian was a brat, a spoiled one at that. There was no other word he could use to describe the impulsive, rather foolish teenager he had to keep alive and Arian was doing 'nothing' to assist him in that regard. In fact, the boy was working 'against' him, always running off and getting himself into some tight fix or another. Which made Rogue wonder what Arian had gotten himself involved with 'this' time? "I'll find him." He reassures her before turning and going back the way he had come.
- - - - -
This was Rogue's last resort. None of his information sources recalled seeing the silver-blue haired brat that he was trying to find, though a few had chuckled at the realisation that he was once 'again' looking for Arian. It was so common that it had become something of a joke among his informants. Some even went so far as to tease him about it. This truly aggravated Rogue, because it was ruining his calm, in control, devil may care persona. A persona he had used as a tool of intimidation for years. Now he was known as Arian's watch dog, and a 'puppy' at that. Fortunately, his skill with the blades was still more than enough to replace his cold persona when it came to intimidating information out of his informants.
He was now in the territory controlled by Careil's thieves' guild… a thieves' guild he had made certain to befriend in his first weeks here. One did not wish to be enemies with the thieves' guild and befriending them brought with it certain 'benefits'. Mienia was the leader of the thieves' guild and even though female was every bit as formidable as Anei. Rogue had learnt long ago that thieves' guilds and the information they hold were never to be underestimated and so, failing to find Arian through his other information sources, was now headed towards the centre of the thieves territory intending to request some assistance from Mienia. Fortunately for him, Mienia owed him a few favours.
Rogue, never reached Mienia, distracted by a figure, cloaked in black slipping through the shadows with what could only be assassin's grace. He would not have noticed the figure at all if he himself had not been using the shadows for his own purposes and seeking out the best route to take, accidentally spotting a shimmer of movement coming from the direction he was heading in. What caught his attention about this particular figure was not so much the fact that he was slipping gracefully through shadows but more the fact that his movement seemed to have a strange familiarity about it, a strange familiarity that nagged at the back of his mind and caused him to immediately change course to follow the figure.
Rogue took care to distance himself from the figure he was now tailing, frowning as he tried to place the familiarity that kept nagging at his senses. Familiarity of movement that was obscured by the heavy dark cloak that the figure wore…a heavy dark cloak that was strange in and of itself. Careil was no longer the cold place it used to be and seeing that it was now the middle of summer, that dark cloak could only mean only one thing. The person wearing it was trying to hide his identity and not only from ordinary folk, for with the assassin's grace so obviously possessed by the figure such would be easy without having to resort to the cloak, but also from those of his trade. That posed an interesting question as to what the figure could possibly have to hide.
The cloaked figure moved carefully and gracefully, slipping through shadows like a professional seemingly unhindered by a bundle that was clutched with both arms and cradled close to the figure's chest with care that was solely reserved for that which was most treasured. Strange… The figure paused at the exit to the dark alleyway, taking a moment to survey the surroundings and obviously planning the next action. A stray beam of light reflected off of the edge of the stranger's cloak, revealing a flash of silver-blue, a very 'familiar' flash of silver-blue.
All of a sudden the familiarity of the figures movement made sense. Rolling his eyes in aggravation, Rogue fingered one of his blades, a caress as familiar as a lover's touch before drawing it and throwing it with his usual grace and accuracy. The figure turned, reached up and caught the blade in midair, heated grey-blue eyes glaring at him, displeasure more than apparent due to the fact that the cold blue was the dominant colour in them. "Must you always try to kill me when you find me?" Arian hissed, the blade disappearing from his hand into one of the sheaths Rogue had learnt he had secreted in all of his clothing.
Arian was almost as paranoid about his blades as Rogue himself was which really made Rogue wonder. Rogue was almost convinced that Arian had assassin's training of some sorts but the records made no mention of it. Even Rogue's informants knew nothing of it, Mienia included among them. No one knew anything about it which was strange, for surely if it were so 'someone' would know 'something'. For all intents and purposes Arian had never been trained as an assassin but the boy's obvious skill with the blades, his skill at vanishing without a trace and now his skill at shifting gracefully through shadows all told another story. Rogue could not understand it. Was his skill with information failing him? Rogue didn't want to believe that because it would be dangerous both to him and Arian if it was. There is always someone out to kill the ruling monarch and Rogue himself had his fair share of enemies. Information, always being one step ahead was what was keeping them both alive. "Must you insist on vanishing without a trace when you are meant to be fulfilling your responsibilities?" Rogue retorted.
Arian narrowed his eyes at Rogue. "How did you find me?" He demanded, obviously changing the subject. "I didn't think I was that careless."
"You forget who you are dealing with." Rogue snapped. "Don't underestimate me. Ever." His voice was cold and hard giving Arian no quarter. If there was one thing that Rogue had learnt in the last three years it was that Arian was stubborn, incredibly so and needed a strong hand. Very much like Kaji in that regard. Stubbornness seemed to be a trait particular to monarchs, stubbornness which dealt strength to the refusal to see reason. "What are you doing here?"
"I don't see how it is any of your concern." Arian raised an eyebrow in challenge, instinctively shifting the bundle protectively, drawing Rogue's attention to it with his movement.
"As your protector, your idiocy is my concern." Rogue retorted, gaze as hard and cold as his tone. Arian took risks no heir to a throne should and Rogue was not about to stand back and quietly let him do so.
"Today I am of age and should no longer be your responsibility." Arian hissed.
"Until the day you learn to take care of yourself, you will 'always' be my responsibility and with your track record it will be a lifetime." Rogue responded coldly, unsheathing a blade and playing with it in his agitation, a habit that most interpreted as him being threatening but which Arian had unfortunately picked up on and knew the true reason for.
Arian's eyes flashed with heat, a fair warning of the heated argument that was sure to come, a heated argument that was abruptly interrupted by the strangest sound, leaving Arian speechless in horror and Rogue suspicious and disbelieving. "Arian?" Rogue asked carefully, not really wanting to voice his suspicions but knowing he was going to anyway. Arian raised a questioning eyebrow at him, shifting awkwardly and doing his best to try and look innocent. It was a look Rogue knew all too well. A look that told him that Arian had once more gotten himself into trouble. Rogue swallowed, mind racing at the possibilities, loathe to even consider them, loathe to voice the words that may confirm them. "Is that…" He licked his lips, struggling to find the words… "Is that a 'baby'?!" He finally managed to voice his utter incredulity and disbelief, all but chocking on his words.
Arian shifted, suddenly looking guilty, the silent admission sending Rogue's mind into turmoil. This wasn't happening. This could not be happening. Arian 'couldn't' have! Arian was not 'that' irresponsible! That was when he noticed the blood, dripping down onto the ground, the source of it hidden by the dark cloak that Arian wore.