The Chronicles of the Raider 5

The Perfect Plan

It was another beautifull day in Guildia City. All the homes and stores and guilds were opening up for the day, and the streets got once again filled up. Of course, not all of the guilds opened up. Guilds like the Demon Guild, the Dark Guild, the Thieves Guild (always changing address this one), the Monster Guild, the Sabotage Guild, and a whole bunch of other guilds in the same style. All, except from one, closed down. Only the Assassins Guild stayed open both day and night.
However, today was a very special day for Guildia. Today the population was preparing for the grand opening of the new orphanage wich had been paid for by a noble and rich man known only as Master Red. Most people didn't really bother to come to the cutting of the red bond, and instead proceeded directly to the pubs and shows.
A couple of hours after the bond-cutting and all the big dinners over at the guilds (except the Assassins Guild) things started to go back to normal. Guildia is, after all, a great city, and people never truly relax. At least, everyone that isn't dead doesn't relax. However, over at the Assassins Guild, a couple of black-dressed people with dozens of lives on their conscience was having a meeting in a dark room. All, or most of them, was well armed with knives and poisons, and none of them would have had any scruples towards assassinating each others. Those guys were the leaders of the Assassins Guild.
"Could someone remove some curtains? It's so dark in here I can't see what I have written down."
One of the assassins throws a knife wich cuts loose a thread and makes the curtains fall down on he who had spoken, thus allowing the sunlight in.
"Would you like me to remove another curtain as well?"
"No, thank you, David", the first speaker said, then he clears his throat, "Anyway, I'm not sure if everyone knows why we are all gathered here today."
The youngest leader, Dominic, says, "Just tell us what is so important that you invite absolutely all the leaders of the Assassins Guild to a meeting? Last time someone did that, a third of us were killed in assassinations."
"Okay, I will get to the point as soon George puts down his arms wich contains poison darts."
A guy among the shadows in the back carefully puts his hands down slowly.
"Good. Now the reason for why we are all gathered here today, can be answered with two simple words."
Some silence occurs, and the speacher says the name: "Master Red!"
Everyones eyes starts to concentrate, and several people carefully removes their hands from possible lethal and secret weapons.
"Are you completely crazy, Eric!? No one is allowed to speak that name in a meeting. Should the wrong people hear you, then He would hear it, and thus it could lead to a fatal misunderstanding wich results in our deaths!"
"I have taken all precautions I can, Goliath, to assure that the words of this meeting will only stay in our heads alone. And I can tell you all now that tommorrow Master Red will die."
Eric lets his words sink into their minds. One man suddenly drops dead, but nobody bothers.
"Eric, what you are speaking of will be suicide! All former attempts on assassinating Master Red has resulted in mass-murder! He is the best protected man ever, and rumors has it that the Raider actually works for him! Free!"
"I am well aware of your worries, Edward... But I have worked on a plan for years now, and if we stick to it nothing can go wrong. Only the people in this room will participate. This time we will do it all ourselves."
As Eric waves his hand in the air to get away some flies, four more people drops dead, among them is Goliath and Edward.
"Let me get to the point. Tommorrow there will be a great dinner over at the High University of Wizardry, and most of the guilds, including ours, will be there. But Master Red will not. He intends to leave again for his world travels at around eight o'clock in the evening. His habbit is to tell the orphans of the city a story, and then he sneaks away into a side-alley, thus disappearing. He goes alone, and he always take the same side-alley. And it is there me and two others will strike, while the rest of you acts innocent over at the party. Nothing could possible go wrong, unless one of you gets cold feet."
Dominic, the youngest member, asks, "You do realize that should you fail, you will die. Master Red is a very ethical and moral man, but that never stoped him from killing his enemies slowly. Just ask my fathers corpse."
"This time it won't fail. I have bought some very special equipment from the wizards. If he intends to kill us, he must get close. And if he gets close... then this ring will explode and give you a quick death and him a certain death. But that should never get nesseceary, not if we stick to the plan. All we need is three darts with three different poisons... And two volunteers, of course. When we succed, me and the volunteers can retire from the Assassins Guild with the fifty million goldcoins reward. That means that you will finally get rid of me, both if we succed and if we fail."
All heads looks over to the painting of Master Red in the middle of the main wall. Then more than twenty knives hits it.

The next day didn't turn out to be as nice a day as the former one. This day had a very gray weather, sometimes with rain, and the wizards had predicted a full lightning storm with strong winds for the night.
Eric, Dominic and David was standing outside the new orphanage. Dominic had come because he could smell great opportunities for gold on a distance, and because he wanted to revenge his father.
David, on the other hand, was after the fame itself. By assassinating Master Red he would not only become one of the greatest assassins in history, but he would also know for sure just how good he was.
And Erics great motive was basicly just for greed. With Master Reds blood on his hands, no one would ever dare to come for him once he sets out his next step of the plan.
"Has he told the damn story yet? It's feezing out here!", complains Dominic.
The other two ignores him as they look in the window to see the magical effects wich Master Red uses for his story.
"I remember when I was ten years old, once. I sat on his knees listening to this story about some goats, a bridge and a troll. Back then I couldn't even imagine anyone wanting to kill him."
Eric and Dominic looks a David with big eyes.
"But that was then, of course", David says with a voice colder than ice, "Back when I was a naive, little boy. Funny fate, isn't it?"
After more than fifteen minutes Master Red had finished his story. The three assassins quickly hides in the darkness as he exits the house and starts walking down the street towards the expected alley. David runs on ahead as silent as he can be in order to get there before him, while Eric and Dominic follows on a safe distance. Master Red doesn't move very fast, due to his red robe wich covers him completely, not even enabling his face any light for people to see his face.
Finally there they prepare their poisoned throwing darts. As Master Red walks along the side-alley, Eric and Dominic gets into their positions. Then, at the exact same moment, three darts heads for Master Red. Two hits his neck while the last one hits his heart. He didn't try to dodge. He didn't try to scream. He didn't even fall down. He just stood there as Eric, Dominic and David came into the light, armed with their best knives.
"I assume you guys are assassins. Am I correct?", Master Red says calmly.
"Yes, you're correct, Red. And I assume you have a very protective robe. Am I correct?", says David.
"No, you're not correct. And don't call me Red."
"Oh, sorry... Master Red! Happy?", David says with a mocking tone.
"Nope. Wrong again. Master Red left a long while ago."
"Figures. No one could possible make sure it was him who left. After all, all we see is the robe. Well, if you ain't Master red, then who are you? We would like to know, seeing as we need it for the book for Erics Great Mistake."
"My names is secret", the fake Master Red says, "but those who knows who I am, calls me... The Raider."

The next day another meeting was held among the Assassins Guild leaders. But this time it was not for assassination, but for promotions. They had decided to replace the Great Assassin, and this would need several changes in the ranks and rules. The new elected one, hold his great speech. Most of it caused both gasps and yawns, but one part of it had all attentions: "Due to the former Great Assassin, Eric Dreadmouse, sudden death in an alley due to reasons unknown to us, it is clear that an investigation is in order. This will cause a complete reform of the Assassins Guild, wich will decrease our inner assassinations and sudden heart attacks. We have lost too many leaders during the last three days, and unless we keep a steady course, this guild will end up like Dreadmouse. I know that some of us may not like this one bit, but those who can not follow this reform will either be thrown out of the guild, or suffer a sudden heart attack."
After the speach the new Great Assassin entered his new office, making sure there are no traps, then sits down in his chair. He looks over to the report on Dreadmouses death. He picks it up, opens it, and takes out a letter wich had been lying next to the leftovers. On the envelope it says: "To the next Great Assassin, private! The Raider.". He opens it up and takes out the paper. Then he starts to read the following message: "Congratulations on your promotion. I am certain the Assassins Guild will get a wonderfull future with you leading them. And I hope you will be a lot better than Eric Dreadmouse. And what a shame with the sudden disappearence of David Crown. I remember when he once heard Master Reds stories sitting on his knees. Well, you are probably busy with reforms and stuff, so I will keep this letter short. Just make sure that the Assassins Guild gets a little more organized, will you. Oh, and Dominic, may I suggest using some ointment on that scar of yours?"
The new Great Assassin looks over at the mirror to see his tears from his right eye. Then he folds the letter, thinking, "One day, Raider, I will have your head. Yours, and Master Reds."
He makes a note in his papers to buy a glasseye, then he exits the room to get something to ease both his mental and physichal pain.

Agnar Idsøe
19. September 2003


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