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The Man walked into the decrepit town. It was morning, the sun was barely visible above the trees. The light was just bright enough to his dark eyes to see the rotting brown buildings and the dirt road that he walked on. Gulls wheeled and called from the nearby cliffs. A salty breeze blew his cloak away from his body, revealing a thin, muscular frame and the stump of his left arm. A collection of daggers adorned his belt, along with a well-worn rapier.
The guard at the small gatehouse was asleep in his chair, his feet were propped up on a small box. ‘Pathetic man,’ the Man thought as he passed the sleeping form. ‘It’s lucky for you that I already have a job, collateral damage isn’t allowed.’ He continued up the street, there were no people to be seen, the shops were closed. Items were displayed in the windows and the dark interiors were just visible in the dim light.
He had no interest in them, he was on the hunt. On the hunt for a traitor, or so he had been told. He couldn’t care less the motivations behind this bounty, but the amount of gold offered was staggering. His last ten hunts hadn’t even equaled to half of this one.
He walked deeper into the town, and found the door he was looking for, a freshly painted “G” on a sign above it was all the hint he needed. The door was unlocked, the front room was empty. ‘He is here.’ he thought, ‘finally I can be done with you and get paid.’ He walked into the back room, his target lay asleep on the desk near the one window. His breath rustled the papers he had laid his head on.
“Too easy,” he said aloud. With no hesitation, he pulled out his dagger and plunged it into the target’s back. The target awoke with a gasp. The gasp turned into a gurgle then to a dry crackle. The target began to crumble into small rocks and sand. The man looked at it with disdain.
“A decoy, such cowardice”. He glanced at the chair just as the spell-scroll burst into flame. ‘Definitely him then, only he is so precise’. He would have to report yet another failure to the Council, he wasn’t sure if they would let him live after failing so many times. He had been extremely fortunate to have lived even this long. ‘Such is my life.’ he thought bitterly. He stepped into the street, and began to walk. ‘I have been to all of the leads I have gathered so far, I’ll have to start again.’ This meant returning to the road and listening to the whispers in taverns and streets. As he passed the gatehouse, his stump began to ache with a fresh wave of pain. “So, you are displeased with me”.