Special. Today was my 19th birthday. Maybe I should have bought a present for myself, or something of the like. I had on my 18th birthday. The gift I have given myself then was a new name. I officially changed my name to Kryst. Soon after that I established my reputation as an underground fighter for hire.
But what would I get myself this year? It's not like I had friends to give me gifts. Not that I minded. I'd had a few relationships after I changed my name. If they weren't strictly business, they were mainly physical relationships. If you catch my drift. If you don't . . . Then you are an absolute dumbass.
I couldn't do much . . . I'd already used almost all of my money from my last job. I used some of it to get my hair cut. The "rugged good looks" weren't working for me, so I decided to go for the "rabid good looks" . . . Without the frothing of the mouth.
I'd bought new clothes ages ago. My old clothes were a bit bloody . . . And I had grown out of them anyways. No . . . I haven't stopped growing yet.
I looked up at the setting sun. It was half way gone, and it was casting gold and blood red streaks across the horizon. This was a weird city . . . Half of it was in a forest that stayed green al year, and the other half was in a barren wasteland.
Maybe I'd just go back to the room I had rented out in an old inn. I'd decide what to do for my birthday after that.
I was alone in my room only for a little while before a knock sounded from outside.
I smiled as I saw who was at the door. It was one of those cute girls that worked at the inn.
She smiled up at me and began, "Excuse me . . . But a man just stopped by and dropped this letter of for you." She held out a small envelope made of thick parchment.
I looked at the letter for a moment before taking it from her. "Did he leave a name?" I asked, turning the letter in my hands.
She shook her head. "No . . . He just asked that it be delivered to Kryst . . ." She frowned. "That is you, isn't it?"
I smiled at her. "Yes, that's me." After a short pause, I pocketed the letter. "Well . . . I don't have a tip for you now, darling . . . But if you check back later, I might have something for you."
She shook her head. "That's really not necessary."
"Of course it's not," I replied. "But I'll do it anyways." Without waiting for her to reply, I finished, "See you later, darling."
She nodded and turned to leave, "All right then . . ."
I leaned against the door frame and checked out her ass as she left. "Eh . . . Nice . . . But not my type."
She turned back to me with a puzzled look. "Did you say something?"
I looked away innocently and replied, "It's nothing, darling."
She shrugged and walked off as I turned back to my room and shut the door behind me.
After a moment of studying the letter, I ripped open the envelope and pulled out a slip of paper. As I scanned the letter, a smile broke across my face.
"So . . . It looks like I might have the tip for that girl after all . . ."
The next day found me in the forested part of the city, letter in hand. The letter had been a job offer, and it had instructed me to meet up with a prospective employer at his current residence.
I scratched the back of my neck with the hilt of my sword, looking up from the letter to check the address.
"This must be where the mother fucker is staying . . ." I muttered, walking into the inn. I went up to the middle-aged man sitting behind the desk. "Yes . . . I'm looking for a Mr.--"
"Ah, yes." The man interrupted, looking up at me from his chair. "He was expecting you. Are you Kryst?"
I nodded, frowning slightly. I didn't like how everyone seemed to know who I was.
"Room 213," the man said, pointing to the stairs.
"Thanks," I replied shortly before going up the stairs he had indicated. After walking down the hallway, I was glad that I had decided to stay at the other inn. The light that came through the windows had to be filtered through the leaves of the trees, and was therefore tinted an eerie green. I had to walk quite a bit before I came to room 213.
I knocked like the polite person I am, but when nobody answered, I opened the door anyways.
A man stood at the window with his back to me. "Kryst, is it?" he asked.
"No," I replied flatly with a roll of my eyes. "I'm the cleaning maid."
The man chuckled and something glittered in his hand. Realization as to what it was came to me not a moment too soon.
The knife passed right in front of me . . . Where seconds ago I had been standing. I raised an eyebrow at the man who was now facing me.
"Pardon me for asking," I began. "But . . . What the hell?"
The man chuckled again. "I was just trying to see if what they say about you is true."
I shrugged. "It depends. What do they say about me?"
"A lot of things that I'm not sure are true."
"Probably. But I'm assuming that they were right about my knife-dodging skills."
The man laughed softly and sat down in an armchair. As he moved away from the light that had silhouetted him, I saw that he wasn't much older than me.
"Have a seat, Kryst."
I did so . . . Reluctantly.
"Obviously I didn't call you here just to make slight attempts at your life," he began. "I have been tracking a person for a while now . . . And I believe that he will arrive either today or tomorrow. I want him dead. I don't care how you do it. Just do."
"I can do that," I replied, examining the sheath of my sword.
"What's your price?"
"Depends . . . Tell me more about this person."
"He is a convicted criminal, wanted for multiple murders."
"Ah . . . So he's had fighting experience?"
"9 years of it."
I frowned. This was a bit odd . . . "How do you know him?"
He was silent for a moment before replying, "He was a classmate of mine."
"And his name?"
The man smiled and folded his hands in his lap.
I headed back to the room in the dark. Those damn trees blocked out the light of the setting sun and the light of the early stars.
The one he was asking me to kill was, in fact, myself. Guess he didn't know about the name change.
So he was the one who murdered my friend. He was the one who caused everyone to turn away from me. He was the one who had ruined my entire life. And now he wanted to finish me off, too.
Hmm . . . A bit of a suicide mission, there . . .
I had debated on whether or not to kill him right then and there . . . But I decided against it. No . . . I would wait until tomorrow. It'd be fun to give him a bit of a shock.
Huh . . . Suicide mission . . . Yea right.
As planned, I went back to room 213 the next day. Nobody was there as I opened the door. Yes, I went through the door. How else do you expect me to get in? Climbing through the window would have taken too much energy. Besides, I've got the balls to go right in the front door.
So, I settled down to wait for someone to show up.
I don't know how long it was that I waited. It felt like hours . . . But, I have a really bad perception of time.
I was sitting in one of the arm chairs when he came back in. He was surprised to see me at first and had pulled a dagger on me. But, as he recognized who it was, the dagger disappeared back up his sleeve.
"No, really . . . Just let yourself in . . ." he muttered to himself
"Why, thank you for the invitation," I replied. "I met up with your target today."
"It seems that he has a hit on you . . . Ironic, isn't it?"
He frowned. "But, you killed him, didn't you?"
Instead of answering, I asked, "You knew him. Why didn't you kill him? I mean, you killed his friend and framed him for it. Why didn't you just kill him instead? Seems a lot easier to me."
"That would have been foolish," he replied bitterly.
"He was more than my match in swordsmanship."
"This is why you hated him?"
"Perhaps . . . Tell me . . . Have you ever hated someone . . . But you couldn't say why?"
"No. Couldn't say that I have."
"Then you wouldn't understand."
I turned my sword in my hands, and after a moment of thought, I asked, "Why did you wait this long to finally finish him off?"
He scowled. "When that son of a bitch left the town, he left one hell of a mess . . . People dead, animals gone, supplies ruined . . . Took about a year to clean it all up.
"I had to find out where he had gone and predict his future route. Then I had to wait until I cold leave the town without any suspicion.
"It was also prudent to wait until he was so far away that news of his death would never reach the town.
"It took a while to plan this all out, too. Especially since I wasn't expecting him to escape and kill everyone like he had."
I nodded, deep in thought. "So, he has no idea that it was you?"
He shook his head. "Not that I--" he stopped abruptly. "Wait . . . How could he not know it was me . . . You said he has a hit on me."
I grinned. Now the idiot was putting it together. "Oh . . . My dear friend . . . I was the one who put that hit out for you . . . A few years ago, in fact."
His frown deepened. "What do you--"
I laughed. This was very amusing. "Think, now. Figure it out."
I could see the gears turning in his head, and I laughed again as he finally figured it out.
"It's . . . You?" he asked, his expression a mix of surprise, anger, and fear.
"Why, yes it certainly is," I replied.
The dagger was in his hand again, and I rolled over the arm of the chair as he threw it at me. I shifted so my back was to him, and the chair was the only thing between me and him.
"I should have expected you to turn out to be some kind of bounty hunting scum," he said from behind me. No doubt he was trying to lure me out to fight him.
I shrugged, beginning to pull my sword out of its sheath. "Hey . . . At least I get paid to murder people."
He flipped over the back of the armchair to land in front of me. I met him with the flat of my blade, one hand on the hilt, and the other one on the metal.
Why was he doing this? He had said himself that he was not my match in swordsmanship . . . Unless . . . And then I remembered. He had taken a class in knife fighting just as I had. I would have to be . . .
With a smirk, he slid his knife blade so it was up against the hilt of my sword. With a wrench of his blade, he disarmed me.
. . . . Shit.
I dropped and rolled, coming up behind him. He whirled around, and his blade met with the thick leather wristband I wore underneath my clothes. He pulled away and lunged at me, and I was forced back again.
Well . . . At least I knew what to get for myself as a late birthday present . . . A dagger. It was a bit late now . . . But we learn from out mistakes. The only dagger I had was—
Shit! He had me backed into the wall. I grabbed his wrist as he made to stab me. With a snarl, he pulled another dagger from his pocket and sliced at my side. He missed, for the most part, and I didn't notice the small wound until after we were done fighting. As I was distracted by his new knife, he managed to sink his other blade into my shoulder.
With a snarl, I pushed him away from me with all of my body weight, hitting him with my shoulder in the middle of his back, and he was sent right into the wall. I took advantage of this moment to hit the hidden button in my boot with my left foot. A small dagger protruded from the heel of my right boot as I did so.
He turned to face me, an I readied myself in a stance. After a pause, he came at me, both daggers in hand.
This was my chance. I swung my right foot around in a roundhouse kick, and the dagger in my heel hit him in the side of the neck.
He fell to the ground as I stepped back. I looked at him for a while, blood slowly oozing from the deep wound in my shoulder and the shallow cut in my side.
After a long moment of silence, I reached forward and took his purse off of his belt.
"Lovely doing business with you," I said, pocketing the small pouch. "Don't hesitate to call again."
I made my way back to the inn I was staying at, pressing a black handkerchief to my sluggishly bleeding shoulder. I smiled as I found that the girl behind the front desk was the same one that brought me the letter.
She gasped and moved away from me as I came in.
I reached into my pocket and pulled out a coin. "Here's that tip I promised you," I said, placing it on the desk.
The girl made no move to take it. She merely continued to stare at me, eyes wide.
"A lot of blood, isn't it?" I said, answering her unasked question. "Well," I began, grinning broadly. "That's what happens when you go on a suicide mission."
A/N: Yay! Wasn't that exciting? The voice of the person telling the story is different than usual. Of course, it's a bit more immature. I mean, this did take place 2 years before Greava. Yesh . . . He's 21 in Greava . . . I decided. So . . . What'd you think? Did I artfully avoid the usage of all other names other than Kryst? Let me know in a review!