I was never the one to sing my younger siblings to sleep–for that there was my mother, who sang the same melody over and over again no matter how tiresome it was for her. Nor was I ever the one to mourn my father when he passed–my older brother did so on behalf of me, whether he knew so or not. I had no time for such mundane thing, no matter how much I longed for it.

The sweet melodies I listened to were those induced by the tip of my sword when it pierced the sweet, delicate skin of another. The song at first was a piercing screech in my head, leaving me with a pulsating headache. But night after the night you get used to the screams. You get used to the songs they played. And soon you'll get used to it. Maybe you'll even end up liking it.

Blades plunging in deeper, melodies getting louder. Once I had gotten used to it, I would be disappointed if the song only lasted a short while, sad even. But alas, songs are meant to be finished, for only then will others hear the tune.

My weapon would come out fully drenched in red, dripping over the ground until I sheathed it. Their body would lay, limp, mouth hanging agape. Surprised at the sounds that came out of their own bodies, or maybe a cry for help. It didn't matter; the world would still go around without an answer.

As an initiate, I couldn't stand to see the bodies after I was finished, and I would let one of the older Society members clean it up. But with all thing as you get older, I was able to face the lifeless corpse. Sometime along the way I even started placing flowers by the body, because everyone deserves a flower when they die; even the worst of people.

When flowers weren't enough the assuage my guilt, and my teenage angst great, the corpses become my mediums; their death beds my canvas.

Some hours later there would be a poor soul unfortunate enough to see the remains of their friend, loved one, enemy, and would scream their lungs out until they've figured they've used all the air in the universe right up before someone else would see to the commotion only to do the same.

By then I would be in the comfort of my home, ready to wake up to my younger siblings bouncing on my bed while my mother would be outside, tending to her garden. She'd wonder where her favourite flowers have gone; the same mystery each week. But she wouldn't pause for long to think of an answer as she pushed more dirt on top of the seeds she placed and wipe the sweat on her brow.

Little does she know that her light flowers turn red, each tainted with the life of someone different every week. She does not know that her eldest daughter steals them, nor why she does so. Her pride and joy, the prettiest of the bunch, she would call them. But when you're in a garden, what flowers do you pick?

The most beautiful ones, I'm sure.

I hope she can forgive, someday. And I hope that someday she'll understand why I stole her flowers. Why I stole the one thing that she was still proud of.

But even if her flowers could provide comfort to my target's witnesses, the scar I leave on them is deeper than any doctor can patch up; that any flower can soothe. Do I regret it? When you weigh the pros and the cons, then no; no, I don't regret it.

In short, I was not known to be kind. Despite what others might tell you.

Those who have worked with me have said what I do is unfair; a violation of their code of honour. An eye for an eye, they say. That I should give up something of myself as they have had to in order to lead a life like mine. Instead, here I am, finally finding a way to thrive in this fucked up world. But little do they know I have nothing more to give of myself, I had already given it all away to the Society.

Not like they have any right to talk about honour. They know that they are no better than me. Perhaps pushing the blame on to me helps them feel better about themselves; absolve the guilt. For that I don't mind; I don't mind bearing their blame. My body count is not a number you can count on your fingers, or on the fingers of a hundred men. A few more won't make much of a dent.

When I had left the Societies, they cursed me. Yelling "traitor" and wonderful expletives at me as I walked through the heavy black vault doors for the last time. That was last year. I'm on my own now.

One of my old comrades even sent me a replica painting of the Last Supper. I hung it somewhere in my bedroom, where it still hangs today. Accessorized with a few daggers now, but I think it complements the painting. The next time I can spear a second for him to cross my mind, I'll be sure to send a painting of my choosing. I'm sure he'll hate that a lot.

There were many reasons I associated myself with those people. When you're 14 and scared and on the streets, their dark clothes seem to scream security and their dungeons painted over with the guise of being a home. They provided cover, food, clothes, and most importantly, they had provided me with a purpose. That was the only thing I took with me when I left.

My mother now thinks I hang out with drug lords, but she does nothing to stop me every time I walk out the door. Part of me says she's given up. Another part of me thinks she's just doesn't care and never has. Either way, I'm afraid that the people I hang out with nowadays are much, much, worse than she thinks.

There's safety in being alone in this industry. If you keep following the power in order to gain it, you'll forever be a follower scavenging for scraps of control. On your own, nothing limits how much power you can get except yourself. I wish I hadn't learnt it the hard way, but if I hadn't, I doubt my stories will be of much amusement.

Nowadays, groups are much of a liability. The more people you have. The more chances for you to die. Alone means the only one who can kill you is you, lest you get caught vulnerable. In that case, you better practice at begging for mercy.

Why I am telling you this, I don't know. But I hope you see some reason here that makes you understand why I do what I do, why I kill whoever I have to, why I kill whenever I have to. I'm not asking for pity, I suppose. I don't really know what I want at this point. I just hope that one day, people will see me past my blood-stained hands. Past all the black clothing, the armour, the blades. I hope people will see me as the human I am, not the monster I hide behind.

But I'm scared, sometimes, that one day I won't be able to tell the difference between the two.

Author's Note: Hi! Thanks for reading. I'm not exactly well-versed in writing full-length stories, and this is my longest attempt thus far. There might be a lot of mistakes and such but there's only so much my eyes and Grammarly can do. I'm always looking for ways to improve my writing so constructive criticism is greatly appreciated! The first few chapters of A Blade of Dawn might be a bit slow, but I promise it will pick up soon! Again, thank you for reading and I hope you stick around:)