Arnold was dead silent.
He wasn't a good person. He has killed. He has helped others kill. But everyone has a soft spot. To him, his soft spot was his family.
He glanced at his family. They were the kindest people he has ever seen. In fact, they didn't even know what he does for a living. They simply trust him.
They don't deserve to die like this, especially his children. They were just kids. They have a bright future in front of them. They shouldn't be executed for what their father did.
Making up his mind, he turned to Katie, the woman who now decides the life and death of everyone else in the room.
"How do I know you will keep up to your side of the deal?"
Katie tilted her head as if she has just made a solemn decision.
"I swear, in the name of god, that if I hurt your family after you give me the information I want, I will die screaming."
She was dead serious. Arnold nodded slowly. He had no choice but to believe Katie was telling the truth. Plus, a large number of assassins were superstitious. In a lot of cases, their life and death were based on luck. They wouldn't joke on something like this.
"I have a safe house at this address. My bodyguards and I are the only people that know where it is. There are two guards inside. I have two third of my arsenal over there. There is $1,000,000 worth of cash stashed in a safe in the basement. The key is 3321. The key to the house is in my wallet." He wrote down a line of address and handed the paper to Katie, along with his wallet. "Now, do what you're here to do, but remember your promise."
He was being very straightforward. He knew that if he lied and Katie discovered she was mislead, she would return to his wife and children and punish them for his lie.
Katie nodded and shot promptly Arnold in the head. The wife cried out in anguish as her husband fell dead. She turned and glanced at Katie with hatred.
"I swore that if I hurt you, I will die screaming." Katie said to the defenseless woman and children. Just as they relaxed, her tone changed. "Well, I've always wanted to die screaming anyways."
She shot both the wife and the children in the head before kneeling down beside all the bodies and confirming they were dead with kitchen knives to the heart. Blood splattered out. A familiar sight.
She took a couple of pictures of the corpses.
When the slaughter was over, Katie started going across the mansion and cleaning up after herself. She collected all seven Walther PK380 handguns from the guards. They weren't the best weapons, but she would never say no to some extra guns. Dozens of magazines were collected as well.
Finally, Katie went to the kitchen and turned all the gases and stoves on. To make sure things could burn brighter, she wrecked the gas tanks of all the cars in the garage and sent rivers of gasoline across the house. After that, she finally turned and drove away.
What was about to come would be fun for her to be a part of, but she really liked the jacket she was wearing.
Minutes later, an explosion consumed the giant mansion.
The safehouse Arnold had was also located in rural Maryland. It was half an hour of drive from where the explosion took place. As soon as Katie arrived at the address, she knew she has come to the right place. The lonely house was far from any major traffic, just like Arnold's own mansion. It had barbed wire all over. Security cameras covered all the entrances and exits.
Katie parked in front of the door, got off, and rang the doorbell.
"Who is this?" Someone demanded from a radio speaker by the door. Katie rose her eyebrows and answered.
"Arnold sent me. He even gave me the key to this place." Katie waved her key at the security cameras.
The other end of the radio was silent for five seconds before the door beeped and opened. Katie walked in. As soon as she entered, two gun barrels were held to her head.
"Who really are you? Boss would never give his personal key to someone else. If he wants you to come in, he would've called us!"
Katie sighed and looked at the speaking guard with disappointment.
"Why do you have to be so smart? Don't you know? In a lot of times, the smarter dies quicker."
As the guards tried to understand what Katie was saying, she recklessly pulled out a kitchen knife and turned around and slit the throat of one of the guards. The second guard didn't hesitate to pull the trigger, but even as he emptied his magazine inside Katie, the girl was still perfectly fine.
Well, there are quite a few bullet holes across her body, but she's still standing and grinning, so...
The guard was shaking. His handgun was out of bullets. Even if it wasn't, it couldn't protect him, but the man still held onto the weapon. It offered him a tiny bit of comfort.
"What the hell are you?"
What. Not who.
Katie raised her kitchen knife and turned it around her wrist. It was a stupid thing to do as it left a cut on her hand because she almost dropped it, but she quickly caught it again. The incident only made her more excited.
"Wait, what you're asking? Oh, what am I? Truth to be told, I have no idea."
Moments later, wiping the blood off her weapon with her own palm, Katie started examining what Arnold has promised her.
After breaking through the lock to the basement, Katie entered Arnold's treasure room, and even she was amazed by what was inside.
Stacks and stacks of automatic weapon were on a set of shelves. Rifles. Sub-machine guns. Handguns. Some of them Katie recognized, like AK47 and M4A1. Others she didn't, but after doing a little bit of examining, she discovered they were AR15s and M16s. All of them were powerful firearms capable of causing mass death and destruction.
On another shelf, hundreds of magazines of all caliber were sorted according to the types. Tens of thousands of bullets were stored in another box. There weren't enough magazines to put the bullets in.
"Arnold is really out of luck." Katie whispered as she marveled how wealthy the man she just killed was. He has enough armament to arm a small army. If he was willing to pay the price, he could hire enough firepower to rip Katie to bits dozens of times. But Arnold had no idea she was coming. He didn't have the time and opportunity to regroup his forces before Katie put a bullet into his head. Even the six guards he had were picked off one by one.
It was a sad way to go down.
A closed box was at the other end of the basement. Katie walked over and opened it, revealing dozens of grenades of all types. Fragmentation grenades. High explosive grenades. Smoke grenades. Katie even saw two grenades with fire signs on the casing. They were incendiary grenades.
One of them could burn her down to the bones. Cool stuff.
"What is this? A sniper rifle?" Katie came to a stop in front of a giant rifle with a scope on top. She checked the weapon and discovered a giant bullet round beside it. "Oh. Anti-material rifle."
She has heard of Anti-material rifles. These beauties could blast a hole in the armor of a vehicle or a tank and rip the drivers to pieces. It could be used on human targets as well, but that would be very messy. A single bullet to the chest and half the body would be ripped off.
Of course, it took training and strength to use such a weapon effectively. Otherwise just the recoil could break the shooter's shoulder.
At the modern age, cash was the best way criminals could pay for illegal purchases. Any online transaction would be monitored by the banks and the government. If someone got a large sum of money all of a sudden for no proper reason at all, questions would rise. Even if no one noticed it, tax day could be quite a problem. You think the NYPD is bad? The IRS is terrifying.
Arnold became a very rich man with the money his patrons gave him. He didn't want to be suspicious and spend this money or keep them in the bank, so he stored them all in his basement in cash.
It was a lot of money. As Katie typed the password into the safe and opened it, she noticed stacks of one hundred dollar bills. They were sorted by stacks of twenty. It took Katie a while, but she eventually counted one million dollars. The exact number of money Arnold told her.
Katie smiled. She would never complain having too much money. With these weapons in place, she no longer needed Ben. Still, she killed ten people for him, and she would like some payment. Leaving the basement, she disposed of the bodies of the two guards, locked the door, and drove away from the safe house.
As she drove, the key to the safe house remained safely in her inner pocket. The house, the basement, and everything inside now belongs to her.
"M4A1. It uses .223 NATO Cartridge. Even the NYPD and the United States Military uses this regularly. It should be enough for whatever you want to do. I'm giving you ten magazines for free."
When Katie reached Ben and showed him a picture of Arnold's house up in flames and one with the entire family slaughtered, the man was extremely satisfied. He was so satisfied that he gave Katie what she wanted for free.
Katie took the offer without feeling or saying anything. She might've gotten a rifle and some bullets for free, but Ben has just expanded his business by god knows how much. She has just killed ten people for him. It was worth the reward.
"And the body armor I asked for?"
"Here. Kevlar Vest." Ben pulled out a black vest and gave it to Katie. It was quite heavy. "It can stop small caliber rounds in a short distance and larger caliber rounds from afar. Happy now?"
"Indeed. Thank you." Katie nodded as she silently placed everything she got into her backpack. She glanced out the store window and realized the day was already getting dark. "I should be going. Nice doing business with you!"
"A second." Ben suddenly remembered something. "I have to admit, you're one of the most efficient killers I have seen. I know a lot of shady people, some of whom kill people as a living, but none of them can best six bodyguards before they can move their employer to safety. You're quite a badass."
"Wait, you didn't think I could've taken out Arnold? Then why did you send me anyways?" Katie rose her eyebrows as she realized what the reasoning was. "Oh, I see. You wanted me to try the assassination. If I live, good. If I die, which would have likely been the case, it would just be doing you a favor, right? After all, I threatened you."
"Maybe, but things have changed. You have proven yourself a worthy person to work with. What do you think about doing this for a job?"
"Be a professional killer?" Katie was actually considering this for real. It would really give her some thrill regularly. The curse laid onto her would also mean there wouldn't be any law enforcement agency coming after her. She could really get rich on this.
More importantly, it would be really fun. Her heart accelerated as she imagined seeing people screaming and dying on a daily basis.
"Well, professional…" Ben shrugged again. He was reminded again that despite how powerful Katie was, she was still a noob in this field. "Basically, if I, or a customer of mine, need someone dead, I will call you. After you finish the kill, I pay you money in cash. Most of the time you're not needed. Think of it...think of it as a part time job."
Katie had no reason to say no.