Angel of Death
Part 1 - Paying a visit to the Temir
"So we take the no mercy approach and go for blood?"
"Heavens no, I'll remind the current head of the Temir family were his place is, after that, we are going straight for the council"
"The council? But I thought from the way Abra said the slave traders are subordinates of the Temir right?" Asks the grim riper curiously.
"No your right on that, but something just doesn't sit right with me on this. I was very colorful and grim, to say the least in my explanation to the current head - head of the Temir family - as to what's going to happen to him if he crosses us like his predecessor"
"So you're saying that someone must be supporting them, someone, powerful enough that they think they can mess with the Fallen and get away with it. Right?"
"I'm not saying anything, I know for a fact that just what's going on"
"If you say so. That leaves us with the question of how to go about them, the Temir is an easy matter but the council is another thing entirely she won't let you kill them just because of that alone you know that"
"That's fine the dead would be useless to Dalmatia and lucky for them Ragusa as a whole still has its usefulness for our Queen"
"So the good old terror tactic it is. Honestly, it's this side of you that truly puts me at ease"
"Well yes, shows we definitely have the same blood and family lineage"
Chuckles. "I'll take that as a compliment coming from you. Now then I'll go get my weapons and we can leave, by any chance do you have a spirit stone?"
"?... Yes I do"
"Good use it to send a message to Kage, he is currently in Yamato tell him to meet up with us in Ragusa"
Soon afterward the two of them left the Lionheart estate at such speed that one would have trouble to even follow them with their eyes they traverse the mountain range and by nightfall, they arrive at a nearby mountain overlooking all of Ragusa.
Part 2 - Temir's betrayal
Having arrived too Ragusa they stop to take a break, after some time a light appears and quickly disappears on a nearby mountain south of their position.
"He's here." Said Grey after noticing the source of light.
"Well quick as always, I got a give it to him, then again how you managed to get a guy like him to join us I'll never know"
"Heh, what's that supposed mean?"
"I'm just saying to think you have a Kage serving under you is quite something. But then again considering who is your personal blacksmith that much isn't strange"
"For your information, Ezi head nothing to do with this I took him in on his father's request. Coincidently so resulting in our clan getting another hard worker like Emi was just a happy accident"
"Hard worker like Emi, huh? ... you mean the only ones that don't cause problems for our clan. Right?" Even behind his mask, Grey could sens the smug face on him as he said so.
"Enough of that considering you part of Shadow and he is a member of Kage your not just fellow clansmen but also fellow nightwalkers"
At that moment a nearby three branch rustled as if someone jumped off it, the two of them turn to the source of the noise all of a sudden a person appeared descending from the tree branch and landing on the ground still hidden by the cover of the night.
"Greetings master Grey," Said the person as he kneels to the ground, noticing the other person next to Grey he looks at him and nods his head as to greet him. "...Kirito"
"Kage you got here quick, good"
The person who arrived before Grey now was Kage Nakasane he is the Fallen clan member Grey and Kirito were talking about this whole time - Kirito is the name of the grim reaper - his appearance is best described as that of a ninja. The only part of his body that's uncovered is his head and neck reviling a young man with brown eyes and short hair but the more eye-catching part of him is the tattoo on his neck black and white angel wings - the symbol of the Fallen clan that all clan members have -
"I got here as quick as possible master, shall I call the Shadow members stationed in Ragusa to assist us with the clean up"
"Hum, quick as always, but no they will help with something else. I believe Kirito broth you up to speed with the current events"
"Yes, thank you, master."
"...!? What for?"
"For receiving the opportunity to assist in punishing our clans' enemies. I know that Abra is not dead (luckily) but to think something like that happened while I was away if things escalated... and," The way Kage spoke one can clearly tell he blamed himself for not preventing the mess that happened.
"Relax Kage I know your the serious type, but there is no need to fell responsible both you and Emi for that matter don't have to feel responsible, I know full well what your duties are and I know my orders to you were clear, but... what I'm trying to say is don't blame your self"
"Y-yes... if you say so but"
"Well I don't know about you but, I think you and Emi are not to blame for what happened" Unexpectedly Kirito cut in.
"You know that because of my... responsibility I spent months if not sometimes years away from the clan, something like this is just one of the many life-threatening dangers that put our clan at risk... It was completely by accident that I came back when I did. So I'm grateful for this moment, I mean I get to deal with those bastards my self for what they did usually all of this could have happened while I was far away and I would not be the wiser about it" After that somewhat sincere moment of weakness, Kage realizes what Kirito meant by what he said and quickly apologized.
"I apologize Krito it seems that in my self-loading I caused you harm it was not my intention. But your right there are many of our clan members that are away even the clan Lord as well at least I get to avenge and defend our clan but the same might not be possible for the others"
"... look at you two when was the last time I saw both of you talk so much. Truly puts a smile on my face" As he shows a bright smile of satisfaction.
"Oy, see what you did Kage because of you Grey got all creepy - nice - "
"...My apologies!? I guess"
"Well thou I'm glad to hear how you guys feel about this, willing to go so far for the clan and your fellow clan members, but you have to understand what happened to Abra could have happened to any of us such dangers come with this line of work, double so for our clan in particular. What I'm trying to say is we are dealing with this because that bastard took advantage of my kindness and broke our promise... truth be told whenever I dealt with any of them - treaders, merchants - from Ragusa I used comen sense and logic yet it seems this time my goodwill was taken advantage. That cannot be forgiven"
As such Kirito and Kage seeing just how angered by this violation Grey truly is they stopped with their discussion. Because despite the smile and good mod Grey showed they felt, in particular, Kirito that behind it cold blood killing intent lied. They both know that tonight blood will flow in Ragusa.
After listening to Grey's plan of action they quickly prepared for the night raid that would happen soon. As they descended the mountain and split up, Grey and Kirito headed for the Temir family estate in the inner resident district and Kage headed for the guild district.
Entering the inner resides district was as easy as breathing for the two of them. Under the cover of night, they approach the Temir estate undetected by the bodyguards of the Temir family patrolling the estate they quickly arrive at the rooftop.
"Hmm, 20, 25, no 27 currently in the estate. 6 inside and the rest are scattered around the estate." Said Kirito as he grips his scythe. "Should I kill the ones outside first or?"
"No. not yet at least, first things first we find sir Edmund and have him explain himself... that is before I kill him that is" There was no hesitation in him or mercy for that in some way no matter how small there is a chance that this might not result in Grey killing him.
Sir Edmund Temir the current head of the Temir family and the Temir trade company, husband to a wife and father to three children. He ascended to the position of the family head 7 years ago when his uncle died, since then he also took over the Temir company making him one of Ragusa's wealthiest citizens with close ties to the Ragusa council and the guilds.
Currently Grey and Kirito are on the rooftop - of the Temir estate - directly above his personal study a floor below were sir Edmund Temir is currently working.
As Grey lookt bellow he waved to Kirito and with a grin on his face he whispered.
"Still working late into the night like always, truly a shame... if only you stayed content with what I gave you then you might have been able to achieve great things, but... alas it's not meant to be"
"I take it the guy directly below us is him, right?" Kirito asks as he followed Grey's eyes as they curiously lookt towards bellow.
The reason these two are able to find their way and sens people over great distances even in the middle of the night like that simply speaks of their abilities.
Kirito alas a mysterious entity even in his one clan not many know him or have even seen him for that matter he earned the nickname Blue Shadow from his fellow clan members. That nickname actually fits him more than the real name he goes by, they call him that because he moves like a shadow and the rear few times some of them - lucky ones - got to see him they only saw a deep blue light followed by a crisp sound of flames.
What they didn't know is that he is a member of Shadow more accurately part of the Night Shadows.
Night Shadow is an elite division even among the highly trained Shadow, they abide by a higher standard of power and ability as they perform their duty. Thou all of Sadow answers to the Primum umbra they answer directly to the Queen herself showing just how strong they are even by the standards of Shadow.
Kirito is a member of Shadow well over four decades now he similarly to Grey works directly under the Queen thou even fewer people know just what or how exactly is Grey's and what his position and title rely is that's a hot topic among Night Shadow who see him regularly interacting with the Queen and visiting the capital even being allowed in to the Queen's personal study located on the top central tower of the Dragoniya fortress - the capitals stronghold were the royal family lives and were form the Queen rules all of Dalmatia from - in the capital a place so secure and important that Night Sadow nor the 1st Royal cannot enter.
Now, these two men have come to take the life of Sir Edmund Temir, Kirito one of Dalmatia's elite Shadow member and one of the kingdoms top assassins and Grey how stands even above him in terms of abilities and power. Truthfully for any task, they are to accomplish sending them together is overkill yet here they are, it's like death himself came to claim Sir Edmund's life.
Its late into the night the room is only illuminated by a candle lit on the work desk and the moonlight entering true the open windows, the near-dead stillness is only interrupted by the scribbling of a pen and rustling of papers along with the occasional dripping of ink.
Thou simple in design and humble in appearance this is the personal study of Sir Edmund Temir, aside from the exquisite looking wooden work table and leather chair the only other furniture in the room are bookshelves that adorn the walls.
Sitting behind the desk is a man short hair and stubble grey beard in appearance he looks to be in his late thirties or early forties small eyes and a somewhat wrinkled face he reviles a serious expression as he is currently reviewing papers and checking documents.
Being fully emerged in his work he barely notices the two light taps coming from the open window, all of a sudden the silence of the room is interrupted by something other than his pen.
"Huh, as diligent as ever. Right, Edmund my good friend" As if out of nowhere a voice emerges from the cover of darkness right in front of him.
The sudden voice calling out to him startled him, Edmund, quickly grabs the candle to see who was it that stood before him but before he could get a good look the moonlight entering from the window reflected something he realized immediately what it was and without daring to do anything else he placed the candle back to were it originally was and sunk back in to his chair.
What he saw was the reflection of a long blade pointed at him, in a sense that helpt him realize who stood before him remembering just who that voice belong too and who that blade pointed at him belonged to.
But that was not the reason he calmed down and did not even bother to call the guards the person before him was surely that monster from the Fallen clan, the one they call master and boss. At that moment a lot of things whet true Edmund head;
How much does he know?
Coud the reason for him being here be that?
Is... is this related to... will I die now?
Jet he was oddly calm not knowing just what is going to happen next to him, but he realized that one wrong move one wrong word and he would be killed, the reason he was so sure of that was the thing next to the silhouette who slightly emerged from the shadow holding a sword.
Two small lights emerge from the shadows further in from the height and the distance they were apart from one another Edmund concluded those lights were eyes, two small deep blue lights... no calling them lights would be slightly wrong they were two small flames burning as they watch him.
Edmund instincts told him to stay away from them the merchant and negotiator in him screamed at him.
You can reason with the Fallen master he might be a monster but he is no different than those underground crime bosses that rule the black market, you can make a deal with him.
But that thing next to him whether it was a person or a monster, run just run away that thing emits pure bloodlust it will kill me.
And he was not wrong the years he spent as a merchant and trader thought him a lot about reading others even from the smallest pieces or hits he coud correctly deduce what he needed to know those were the skills of a veteran merchant.
Do not call the guards, he will kill me.
Do not make any sudden moves, he will kill me.
Do not talk first, do not attempt to take control of the conversation, he will kill me.
"Now then, how about you start talking now Edmund" Grey words cut the silent short and Edmund's panicking mind even if he hid it well the terror and panic in his eyes did not escape Grey's notice.
"Arg... s-so it really is you guild master Lionheart, to what do I owe the honor to..." To the best of his ability, Edmund tries to hide his trembling as he stutters.
"O, I'm sure you know. "Shakes head. " You broke your promise to me didn't you?"
"!?" As if the recent events weren't enough Edmund though, now it seems Grey's anger and the reason for appearing here stem from the promise they made 7 years ago.
Now there is no doubt in his mind if Grey mentioned the promise from all those years ago this in itself confirms it.
"(He knows it was me that was directing the smugglers true his territory, but how much does he know. No how much did he learn it is only a matter of time before he learns about "him" and the "main family" I have to deal with this if he turns his anger towards "them" it cud lead to war)"
"He asked you a question, answer when you are spoken to. Understand" A voice unfamiliar to Edmund angerly with a stern tone whisper at him.
Those words did not sound like a suggestion but more like a command, what made him realize that all to well was the scythe that foud ti self around his neck.
It happened so quickly that he didn't even notice just how stood behind him it was not Grey as he still stood in front of him so he realized that "thing" those eyes it must have been that.
"Yes!? Yes, I understand pleas I ... ( just how did he get behind me, for a moment as he spoke I felt him behind me but now its like there is no one there. No that is wrong he is still there this blade that is pressed around my neck proves it)"
"Now, now that's enough. Give him some space he can't very well answer with a blade pointed at his neck now, can he?" As Grey nods his head, the blade moves away from Edmund's neck.
"Now as you can see I'm not the only one you need to answer to, so start from the very beginning and do not leave even the most insignificant of things out. Do you understand!?"
"Sir Lionheart I do, I do but you have to understand it's not how it looks I did not mean-"
As Grey approached Edmund the anger visibly showing on his face.
"I don't understand!? Not how it looks like!? Did not mean, mean what!? WHAT DID YOU NOT MEAN!!!" Without concern that someone might hear him, Grey raises his voice yelling and shouting.
"Of course, the thing is... I had no choice, I" Worriedly he answered back immediately, wanting to end this quickly because he was worried that someone might have heard Grey shout. If they did and came to check on him Grey would not be in trouble the one in trouble would be them.
Having his family only a floor below currently sleeping he knew they would be the first to suffer if the worst happens.
"..." After a brief moment of silence, Grey responds. " The thing is if you don't answer my question and give me the answer that I want to hear instead of giving me excuses next time I'm going to kill everyone in this house immediately"
As the frightened Edmund quietly listen to Grey a thought crosses his mind"(Next time? What does he mean by! Coud it be, he already has done something)"
While unnoticed and unknowingly to Edmund at the same moment, Grey said that mear moments ago, outside something happened.
The guards patrolling the outside estate all fell silent, in mear moments 21 lives stopped to exist they were killed in silence, they fell in silence, their lives extinguished in silence, the best way to explain what happened would be to say they were swallowed up by the darkness that they were taken by the shadows under the cover of night.
"It seems they have arrived Grey," As he looks behind him he nods his head and asks. "They ask if there is any need for further assistance?" Askt Kirito.
The ones that just arrived at the Temir estate are the members of Shadow currently stationed in Ragusa, it comes to no surprise that they are helping Grey even thou he did not call for them or given any orders prior to arriving in Ragusa.
"They can come in, I do have some need for their help with our next target after all"
It seems that Shadow contacted Kirito to ask for further orders after clearing the estate of any possible threats. Reason for that being that Kirito is a member of Night Shadow they have a way of contacting each other without anyone noticing - while out on assignment members of Shadow carry a small short raged spirit stone used for communication between one another -
Not wanting to directly appear in person in front of Grey fearing they might interrupt him they opted to contact the other person who was next to him sensing and recognizing him as a fellow member of Shadow they decided it would be better and safer to do just that.
"If you say so" A few moments later two figures appear entering through the windows, they hurridly jupe in and land next to Grey's side.
Two figures covered in black robes with capes and full face masks kneel in front of Grey. As one of them looks up.
"We dealt with the outside and have the entire area under control currently another two groups are to arrive shortly at our location, as per her majesty's orders we are here to assist," He said, as the other one takes a look at the Temir family head he also asks. " Are we to assume the Temir as enemies of the kingdom? Guild master Lionheart"
"Hm?... O him, no need thou you can consider them as such, they will be dealt with by me and my clan"
"Understand" The two of them responded in unison.
"(Shadow!? They made their move as well seeing them hear the council was right Dalmatia did send their secret order as well not just the 7th Hunter's.)
"Good since your hear send one group to the council hall in the guild district one of my men is currently there have them assist him"
"Understand, as per your orders Shadow will begin operations to assist the Fallen clan"
"(He already did send someone to the council!? This isn't good the 7th Hunter's might be one thing but Shadow poses a greater danger "he" will not realize their presence in time. Not good I have to think of something once he realizes the truth behind our activities it coud lead to the worst outcome"
During all that, one can see the young head of Temir remaining a calm composer but that was only on the surface, on the inside he was losing his mind. But at the same time, he did not notice what the person behind him was doing.
"Did you find something out?"
"Hmp, it's as you suspected he head a clear reaction the moment you mentioned the council. And he's been keeping an eye on the bookshelf behind you constantly watching it"
During Grey's interaction with the Shadow members, Kirito has been watching and observing Edmund, his body movement and heartbeat as well as his irregular breeding effectively and immediately noticing any changes or reactions he might have hade.
In doing so he discovered some useful information, Edmund may be an excellent merchant and negotiator having a gift to strike even the hardest deals with ease. But compared to Kirito who is an elite spy and assassin, to say the least, with decades of experience he can tell easily if someone is laying or is hiding something reading people infiltrating places stealing even the best-kept secrets killing high profile targets all that puts him on another level.
Edmund may be a professional at the art of deceit and a cunning trickster with a silver tung but that is merely all he is a the end of the day compared to Kirito whose very life depends on reading and deceiving the people close to him being capable to read anyone and use anything to his advantage from the very beginning Edmund was but a mear apprentice facing a true master.
That in itself resulted in Grey having no need to question him or threaten him because he just had to say the keywords and leave the rest to Kirito for he would have read him like an open book from the beginning to the end.
"Wha- but, how did..." The surprise and disbelief shown by Edmund slightly in his voice just further confirmed Kiritos words.
"Hmm, well took you long enough. Now then" As Grey turns his attention on said bookshelf he sees a certain book slightly out of place sticking a tiny bit out, there is no dust around the wood near it unlike the rest of the shelf indicating it is often used and touched.
As he reaches to grab the book Grey puls it out thou being careful at it a bunch of small papers fall out of the pages of the book.
"O? whats this,"
"The notes! It's those small pieces of paper, not the book" Grey quickly grabs the small piece of paper he discards the book as per Kirito's instructions having felt the cold sweat and scared look in Edmund's eyes Kirito easily concluded wich item was of more importance to him.
"Let us see shall we, just what... do we have here" As Grey looks over them carefully from the content and the way they are written they must have been reports from spies and informants.
"Wait a moment" It did not take Grey much time to realize that this only connects to internal matters of Ragusa and were not reports from spies stationed in Dalmatia. But one particular report or more accurately one name being mentioned put a furious expression on his face.
The coin for the council seat was secured by the end of the year Councilor Borsityani will retire having chosen four possible successors two of which have already agreed to support sir Axen Ironheart...
The order for forthy new heavy warships from Venedi has been confirmed...
The transfer of the main branch of the Ironheart company from Sol-Lunas to Ragusa has begun currently sir Ironhear is residing in the...
"Now... if this is a joke its one done in very pore taste. Want to explain yourself?"
"I, I did not take part in it you have to believe me. By the time I learned of it, it was already in motion" It was not easy to even answer Grey's question as Edmund saw the look in Grey's eyes and from the tone of his voice he was ready to smash his head into the wall any moment now, he has to choose his words even more carefully now.
"O!? So from the looks of it, you do realize what this means and just what you all did"
"Of course I do, I was forced to support him if I did not help my company and family would fall to ruin"
"What is it, Grey? What is in those notes?" Asks Kirito after seeing how angry Grey got even showing a worried expression slightly. That worried look was what scared Kirito the most.
"What is it... WHAT IS IT!? Go on tell him or shud I tell him Edmund" As he turns towards Kirito he throws the book in which he put the notes into towards him. Kirito goes through them now even curious as to what has gotten Grey so railed up.
"I always took you merchants for the rational, logical type one that uses his head to make a decision not his emotions... yet you, go and do something like this. Do you want Hell and Dalmatia to become your enemy because that is what's going to happen in the worst case"
"!!?... I don't understand, yes this is wrong but something like that only affects the council system and Ragusa's upper echelon, not Dalmatia"
"The Dragon-Demon deal of the great families that were made while signing the peace treaty over 100 years ago. Right, Grey, that's what has you worried?"
"Correct and that's what I don't understand you, idiot. There is no way in hell or heaven that you did not know that, I... I just don't understand and of all people, you shud have understood the moment this went public I would have come for your head along with every other clan in Dalmatia"
"Wait just what are you getting at master Lionheart?" The last few moments just confused him not understanding, not realizing just how big the consequences are for what was currently happening in Ragusa.
"Axen Ironheart, hm? Isn't he that guy. You know" Curiously said Kirito.
"Sure I do, that idiot that claims to be the next coming of Ezi, the young master of the Ironheart family. Honestly, I don't know if that makes things wors or not"
"Because he is an idiot?"
"No, because he is a wealthy idiot who has a lot of friends and tends not to piss the wrong people of"
"In other words somewhat of a dangerous opponent..."