Silence crept through the palace, smothering almost everything. Long,
shadowy corridors stretched out into the distance. Darkness reigned - it
was night and ornate torches were being lit all over the Grand Master's
dwelling. Women were bathing in luxurious hot water; men were drinking the
finest wine and exchanging news in the kitchens and rolling dice. The halls
were silent, except for a few maids here and there, whispering secrets and
Taigran slipped from the roof beams above and then suddenly, he
flipped over backwards and sprinted upside-down on slippered feet on the
ceiling until he reached the next beam, which he grasped swiftly and then,
hauled himself up onto and hung from, like a bat. Not a sound was made.
Glancing around worriedly, he swung forwards and suddenly
somersaulted through the air, landing softly on the velvet floor. Then
moving forward in a running crouch, he reached a junction and rolled
swiftly across it. Almost there.
Footsteps resounded through the hall as Kaigroth strode confidently
down the narrow passageway, his guard struggling to keep up with him. He
turned a sharp corner and then stopped, outside his wonderfully furnished
room. Fishing around in his pocket for a small while, he muttered something
then brought out his keys. Stepping inside, he turned and then said,
"Alright Yohaan, you are free to go now."
"But sir, I must-"
The guard stopped and nodded gruffly, as a gold coin was pressed into
his rough palm the cold metal cooling his temper quickly. He frowned for a
moment as the door closed, and then nodded softly to himself and turned to
Suddenly, with a whip-like motion, a blade appeared from the shadows and
Yohaan's body toppled over - only to be caught by gloved hands and drawn
back into the darkness. A small figure came into view for a second and then
flickered as it hauled the dead guard onto its back. Then all was invisible
and suddenly it seemed as if the dead body was catapulted onto the ceiling
for it flipped upwards ad upwards until it came to a rest there, hanging,
suspended in the air.
Perfume wafted through the air and Kaigroth breathed in the musky scent
deeply, his pulse starting to race. A slim, female form appeared in the
doorway leading to his bedroom, enveloped in flowing silk. Not a word was
said but Kaigroth understood.
Taigran hung upside-down, suspended in the air as he worked. He moved
swiftly - his nimble fingers twisting and turning and then suddenly, he
slowed down and his fingers held the pressure until a soft click sounded
and then he flipped onto the wall glancing around, his eyes darting,
looking for signs of movement. None.
Oil was poured onto the hinges and gloves tightened. His small figure
melted back into the shadows as he draped himself over an opulent
candleholder that reached out from the wall. Closing his eyes, Taigran
allowed himself to relax for a few minutes, breathing deeply. Then he began
to slip the door open.
Kaigroth let himself loosen up as the smooth fingers worked their way down
his back, tracing delicate images. He loved the feel of her supple legs
gripping his waist as she sat astride him, massaging his back and her long
dark hair draped down, tickling the back of his neck slightly. He tensed
slightly as she bent down and then relaxed as she pressed her moist lips
against his ear, whispering in a sultry voice. Her firm body pressed
against his and then suddenly, it relaxed. Her lips brushed down past his
neck and her head rolled sideways down onto the bed, pulling her partly off
him. Glassy eyes stared blankly at him and then a soft shiver tickled
Rolling over, Kaigroth glimpsed a dart imbed itself into his bed just
where he had been lying moments before. Stumbling off the mattress, he
darted towards his sword and grasped it firmly, swinging around into a
defensive position. Nothing. Then suddenly a small figure appeared to his
right, its right arm flashing outwards.
Kaigroth felt a small pain in his shoulder and he sensed the small
trickle of blood rolling down his arm slowly. He sidestepped and lifted his
sword but it was like a lead weight. Sweat ran down his forehead. He was
feeling exhausted already. Making a mental note to increase the guard on
the outside of the building, he dashed, stumbling, into the centre of the
room, looking wildly around.
Taigran sat, perched, in a shadowy corner of the room, watching Kaigroth as
the man's sword slithered from sweaty fingers. He stumbled around the room
and slipped slowly down to the ground, black blood spilling from his minute
shoulder wound. Taigran loved that poison - maximum affect for minimum
sound. Slipping his blowpipe back into his belt, he flipped upside-down and
lowered himself down to the floor quietly. It would take a few seconds
before the body was ready to be handled and then he would be able to -
The ninja suppressed a grim smile as his wrist flicked forward. Then
he ducked and started counting silently. The assassin would die now.
Only his lightning fast reactions saved him from a certain death as
the dark blade flashed past his throat. Taigran flicked his body around and
then leapt up onto the wall, running horizontally across it before
launching himself and twisting his body like a spring, flying across the
room. Then, bringing himself around so his feet landed on the other wall,
he sprung from there onto the ceiling and, hanging by his toes, Taigran
flicked his own wrist so that the shuriken whizzed into the indiscernible
lump in the curtains. The ninja fell in a crumpled lump on the floor.
His breath coming quickly, Taigran paused for a second, as he caught
sight of the silver pin that bound the dark hair of the enemy assassin - it
was a ninja of the Shining Star! Moving quickly, Taigran put what he knew
of the enemy association into action. They worked bands so he had to escape
now - more would surely be around. Their skills were nearly as finely honed
as his own - and they used lethal poisons.
Outside, the moon was obscured from sight by the heavy clouds and the
trees rustled in the darkness. The massive garden wall stretched into the
darkness, the bodies crouched in its shadows hidden for the moment. An owl
hooted softly into the night.
Taigran moved. Dashing across to the window, he hauled the body of
the assassin in front of him and then, wasting no time, leapt out into the
air. Whistling could be heard as the bolts flew through the air and slammed
into the body of the dead assassin. Judging the angle of the fall and the
distance carefully, Taigran suddenly rolled off the body and leapt into the
tree, bolts gleaming in the night behind him.
Scaling the tree, Taigran crouched suddenly, then twisted and caught
the foot of the attacking ninja deftly before throwing her across him and
slammed her into the garden wall. Her body slipped down it silently. Then
he somersaulted over the edge and rolled down the other side, flicking his
knife into a shape that loomed up before him. Then Taigran swung around and
ran, stooping, and was swallowed by the night.