Yllusen

Some of them enjoy the pain we cause. I'm not one of them. They tease me about it, saying that it's because I'm the only girl on the team. I think I'm just the only one with a soul. I haven't been on the team long, but I've done solo jobs for a while now. Assassinating people isn't fun or pretty, but it's a way to live. I can usually blend in pretty well wherever we go. I just wear a cloak and I look like any other person in the crowd. Unfortunately, our next job is in a part of the world where no one wears cloaks, and covering your face is seen as a sign of guilt or fear. I don't want to go, but our contractor chose me. I don't know why he did it, but he seemed to like me for some unfathomable reason.

            That's why I'm packing for a long trip to the south. I pull on my boots. They've been so many places with me. They're scarred just like I would be were it not for my 'majick'. I heal quickly and seamlessly from almost any injury. I know that I'll stand out down there just like I would here if I ever removed my cloak. Few have ever seen my face.

            "Chandra?"     

            "Hmm?"

            "Are you ready to leave?"

            "Yes," I reply smoothing my dress one last time. We leave in the dead of night. Three men will accompany me to the border between King Durian's lands and ours. After that I will be on my own. I'm not worried, though. After all, I'm as close to invincible as a human can be, and my knives are always close at hand. I pull my cloak closer to my face as I walk towards my horse.

            "Syrah, these are you escorts," Jared informs me. Jared seems to have made it his job to make sure that I am all right. He is the one who needs to be looked after, though. The scar along his jaw line is evidence of that. I nod to the men, knowing that no names are going to be given. I will not use my real name until I am away from this place. Most assassins change their names on each job, but my name is part of my majick, so I make sure to keep it with me.

(Good evening, Celeris) I think. I learned about a year ago that I could speak to my horse with my mind when I wanted to. It didn't seem to work on other animals, though. Not even other horses answer me. Celeris must just be special that way.

            (We leaving?) Celeris asked.

            (Yeah. We've got a job.)

            (Oh. Carrot?)

            (Later.)

            The men mount their horses first. Their weapons aren't subtle at all. Their swords are shiny and clear in the moonlight. My weapons are subtle and small compared to theirs, but they cut deeper. I mount my horse and gesture for us to begin riding. They will not see my face on this ride, so they will not be able to betray my identity even if they are tortured.

            We ride for six nights before we reach the border. I am glad to be leaving them now. One of them had been trying to start conversation for the past two days, and it seemed suspicious to me. I replied only with terse answers.

            (We leave men behind?) Celeris asked.

            (Yeah.)

            (Good. They smell bad.)

            (I agree. Would you like a carrot?)

            (Away from men first. Then carrot?)

            (Alright.)

            I stopped at dawn to give Celeris his carrot. I don't understand his affinity for carrots. Aren't horses supposed to like apples or oats? I'm no sure, though, since Celeris is my first horse. I rode until I reached the town of Yllusen, one of the towns closest to the northern border. I was supposed to wait here for more instructions. I should have at least a week to recuperate. At the gate to the town a guard stopped me.

            "Please honor our traditions, fair lady, and remove the hood you hide your face with," he requested. I nodded, having expected this. I carefully pulled the hood down. He stared for a moment before realizing what he was doing.

            "Are you from far, lady?" he asked respectfully.

            "You could say that," I answered.

            "Surely you don't travel alone in such dangerous times," he insisted startled.

            "I didn't. My company left me at the border. They did not fancy a trip to your fair city. May I enter now?"

            "Of course," he said bowing.

            I entered the city of Yllusen in the dead of night when no one could really question me. I found the inn and paid for a room and a stall for Celeris with the money I was given by my employer to cover my expenses. The innkeeper seemed like a decent man. He insisted that he and his daughter go with me to my room just in case any men were lingering in the hall.

            "I'm Caryn," his daughter informed me looking at me with child-like curiosity. Caryn had a tan complexion brown hair and expressive brown eyes that I understood were normal in this region.

            "I'm Chandra," I replied smiling encouragingly. Maybe I could get some information about the town from her later.

            "Pardon me for saying so, but I've never seen anyone quite like you before," she said giggling nervously.

            "Most people haven't," I replied, "but in the North it is easier because most people wear cloaks."

            "You have traveled that far?" the girl asked. I shrugged in answer and smiled as I entered my room. As soon as I shut the door I locked it and began searching the room. Nothing suspicious caught my eye. There was a window I could escape from if I needed to get away quickly, though. That might prove useful later. For now, I locked it, wanting my room secure. I quickly changed out of the dress and into some loose pants and a sleeveless gray shirt.

I look into the mirror by the dresser and pull my hair back. I try to see what everyone else sees when they look at me. I see two hard blue eyes. They remind me of the sky in the cold winter months. I can understand why people might think that they're strange. My skin is also different. It's pale; I think it would be even if I went out in the sun more often. I seem to remember being pale even when I was a child. Maybe it's another manifestation of my majick. Lastly, my hair. It is thick and dark, but not the dark brown that is common. It is as black as midnight. I can see why people think I look strange. I have never met anyone who looked like me in all of my time traveling.

I used to curse the majick, but now I try to live with both its gifts and curses. My looks are a curse in my line of work, but my healing is a gift. Perhaps it will all balance out. Right now I just want to stop thinking and sleep. I lay down on the bed, but sleep doesn't come for a long time.

Note from Shadow: Yes, I have started another one. This one I like. That probably means it's not very good since people seem to like my work that I really hate. Lol. Not always, though. I like the concept for this story. So what do you guys think? Love it? Hate it? I don't really care as long as you review!

-Shadow