“Okay Rey, try that again.“ his mentor Eric called out, before he went back into his starting position, standing across from him. Eric aimed and then swung his sword at him, but Rey made way to the left, using the momentum of the turn to disarm his mentor, striking the sword from his hand. His master merely grinned and said: “You surprise me time and time again.”
Rey smiled and took a bow: “I have the best possible mentor.” Eric dismissed that as he put away his sword with a grin. “Yeah yeah, whatever. We’re done for today. Do whatever you want the the rest of your day. Just be back for training tomorrow”
Rey bowed again and sheathed his sword. Then he left the training room and exited the building onto the street. Citizens and merchants filled it, even sailors who had probably just arrived. Rey tugged his hood down, veiling his eyes, then he walked along the street and watched his surroundings. Nothing that happened on this street evaded him. Which was good, since that was, what he was trained to do.
He walked by a small booth, where the saleswoman was just having a fight with a young, pretty woman. Rey stopped and leaned against the sales stand, speaking without looking at them: “Is there a problem?”
They both looked at him. The vendor exclaimed: “Messere, this woman has lain with my husband and is denying it!”
Rey nodded to himself and said: “Is it true, miss?”
The woman shook her head: “No, it is not! I have no idea what she is talking about! I was just going to buy fish, as always, when she suddenly pointed at me and started yelling!”
Rey nodded, then he turned and looked the saleswoman straight in the eye: “The way I see it…” he said, looking back and froth between the women, “Her husband divorced her and now she is looking for a scapegoat to blame it all on. And since you,” he glanced at the young woman standing next to him, “where the next best solution, she picked you as her scapegoat.”
He looked back at the other woman and said: “Aren’t I right?”
The vendor stared at him, dumbfounded and speechless. Rey pulled out his purse and put some money on the table, then he helped himself to an apple and left them, walking towards the docks.
“M-messere!” Rey recognized that voice and stopped walking, turning around half way. It was the pretty woman he had helped earlier. She approached him. Rey looked her over from under his hood and finally said: “Is there something can do for you, madonna?”
The woman was out of breath from running so it took her a moment before she could speak again: “I never thanked you.”
Rey raised an eyebrow and walked on slowly. She quickly caught up to him and walked by his side. “Is that so?” he mused. She nodded: “Yes. Thank you for your help. I don’t know what I would have done without you. I probably would have ended up in prison!”
He smiled: “I am glad I could help. It would be a pity to lock away such a beauty such as you.”
The woman looked at him, allowing him to spot a slight blush on her cheeks.
“What is your name?” he asked after a moment.
“My name is Crystal. And yours?”
He replied with a smile: “Rey.”
“Rey?” she looked at him in surprise, “Rey… that is an uncommon name for an Italian man.”
Rey shrugged: “It’s my name, nothing I could change.”
They reached the boundary wall of the city. He looked out into the sea as she stood next to him, touching his hood. “May I?” she asked, asking for permission with her expression as well as her words. Rey did not answer but gave a nod. Crystal pulled back his hood, exposing his face. His long, brown hair fell into his eyes so that he had to push them back. He had smart, brown eyes, though the left one was scarred down his face.
“You are a very attractive man, Rey. I would not be surprised if-“ she never finished the sentence. Somebody called his name from far away, interrupting her. When they turned around they saw Devrim running towards them, one of the most experienced assassins of the country.
“Rey!” he stopped before them, “There is a bank robbery in the northern part of the city, not far from here. We must help!”
Rey nodded and said quickly: “We will meet again, Crystal!” Before she could say anything, he started running with Devrim, into the city.
v“What exactly happened?” Rey asked swiftly as he darted up a house façade and held onto a wall gap as he waited for Devrim. He followed his example, taking Rey’s hand when he offered it and using the extra momentum to get onto the roof.
“I don’t know any details.” he said briefly, “Just that there is an attack on the bank.” Rey nodded, satisfied with the information at hand for the moment while they jumped from roof to roof. He could see smoke in the distance. Devrim and he exchanged glances then started running faster towards the center of the city.
Before they reached the house Rey exclaimed: “I’ll go inside, you check the surroundings!” Devrim nodded and jumped off the rooftop to the street. Rey charged at the house, jumping off the side fo a neighboring house and crashed through a window. There was a fire inside, but right before him there was a gang of people busy taking the money for their own. Rey rolled off to the side and activated his hidden blades, killing two of the robbers in one swift motion before they even had a chance to put up a fight. The other men drew their swords and attacked him, but he could see how two more figures running away. He parried the first attack, deflecting it so that it hit another opponent, who collapsed, gasping.
Rey used the element of surprise and killed him quickly. The last three circled around him, so he closed his eyes. The moment he heard the swoosh of a blade, he jumped up, barely evading the blade and making the bandit stagger. The assassin landed on top of him and thrust his sword through his back.
The other two thieves where pale as death by now and tried attacking him from left and right simultaneously. Rey found himself grinning as he dropped to the floor, so they wound up stabbing each other to death.
He did a backward roll and looked around. The house was still burning. Rey ran down the stairs to catch up to the two runaways. When he left the building he spotted them, battling Devrim.
Rey approached them extra slowly. He could just tell that one of the two would try to make a break for it from exasperation. And he was right. The shorter of the two lost his nerve, dropped the moneybox he was carrying and tried to escape into the crowd.
Devrim and Rey exchanged a short glance, then Rey ran after the man. Devirm would manage this on his own.
The short man tore through the crowd, shoving everyone out of his way. Rey, who was skilled at not bumping into anyone, was on his heels. The thief reached a ladder and climbed up quickly then he pushed it over before attempting to escape over the rooftops. Rey followed him from the streets, keeping his eye on him as he also searched for a way up. He jumped on a lone barrel and from there to a window, climbing up quickly.
Just as he reached the top, a foot came at him and he had to roll out of the way. The thief tried to kick him again, but this time Rey snatched his foot and shoved him, making the robber tumble. He almost fell down from the gable but he managed to stay on. Rey, who had gotten back to his feet in the meantime, charged at him and kicked him in the stomach. The thief gasped and trashed around, desperately trying to escape Rey’s clutch. He snatched his collar and whirled him against the chimney. The short man pulled a hidden knife, panting, and pulled Rey down with him.
They slid down to the edge of the roof as the thief tried to stab Rey with his weapon. He just managed to catch his hand, trying to hold the man off of him. When he glanced to his side he noticed how close to the ledge they lay. Rey tensed up and kicked the man upwards with both feet, making him fly over his head and down the wall. The assassin could hear barrels bursting down below before he scrambled to his feet to check. The thief had landed amidst barrels. Moments later soldiers reached him and dragged the thief away. Rey found himself grinning before he walked away, returning to the bank.
Devrim was already waiting for him, sitting on the roof of the opposite house, watching as the people below cleared the rest of the fire. Rey stood next to him and they glanced at each other briefly before looking back at the bank.
“Did you take care of that thief?”
Rey grinned slightly: “I sure did.” Devrim nodded.
“Oh before I forget…” he looked up at Rey, “Who was that woman you were with earlier?”
Rey’s grin broadened: “A friend.”
“A friend?” Devrim looked at him, puzzled, “What is her name?”
Rey looked up at the ocean, where the sun was just setting behind the horizon: “Her name is Crystal.”