Mike was preparing to go out. He had been doing it since he met the inn keeper. He enjoyed this, however, not immensely. He needed the money, and a place to stay. He also liked it because he knew he was doing good in this world of cruelty. However, not all figured it like he did. There were those who were pacifist, who absolutely hated him. But, he could not let it get to him. Someday, perhaps they will change their minds. Until then, he had to deal with the bandits.
"So, Mike, you leaving so soon, eh?" the inn keeper asked. "Yeah, you know how it is," Mike then replied, casually. He then realized that inn keeper, George, was going to ask him those annoying questions about himself, so Mike hurried. He grabbed for the Vulnerary, however, it wasn't there. "looking for this?" George asked Mike, in a mocking tone. Mike then sighed in frustration. George knew he had to leave, and he was using this against him. Yet, Mike had a plan. "Alright, Mikey, so here's how it's gonna work. I ask you the questions, you answer, and you get the Vulneray, until I have more questions, got it?" Mike knew this question was retorical, so he didn't answer. A person then walked into the inn. Mike's plan was set in motion. George, being this his job, faced the entering person. Mike then snatched a tiny piece of rock from the ground. He then threw it at a row of bottles. The tiny rock thing made a few clanking noises, just enough to disctract George. Mike speedily grabbed the vulnerary from the inn keepers hands, and made a break for the door. He just exited when the inn keeper shouted, "Hey, what the-!" But it was too late. Mike was out of hearing range in a split second.
Mike, once he got away from the inn, actually realized it was a bit early for him to go out. However, he didn't care. Yet, he had to care, in order to live. So, he went down an ally way, and waited for a thug to pass by. He would usually do this every night and late evening. He always thought, while doing this, if he would ever get caught. He never was, mostly because he concealed himself with his dark cloak. After waiting for a good thirty minutes, he saw a brigand pass by. Mike chuckled, noticing he had tattoos around his arm. That meant one good thing for business: gangs. the more he killed, the more money he got. However, some gangs he knew better to take on. There was a reported one from Cealin, but that was to far away. He kept his business in town. He stalked the guy for a while, thinking of a way to fully assassinate the thug without revealing he even existed. So, he came up with the easiest and most full proof plan for idiots such as this one: throw a rock at him. So, Mike did that. When the rock hit the guy, the guy cursed under his breath and looked behind him. Mike knew how to seem like he was just going into the ally right on time, and did that. The thud followed, ever so stupidly. Mike could only chuckle for how many mistakes he was making. For one, he didn't look around the alley, just kept on stomping down. The thug then shouted, "Hey, you scardy-cat, where'd ya go'ta?" Mike then zipped right past him, making sure to shove him, to make him mad. Mike then shouted to the thug, "Hey, come and get me, mush brains!" The thug ran to get Mike, but Mike would not let him. He would fake it sometimes, to make the thug think he was about to get him, but then speed up, so the birgand got mad. "Grr... I'll kill yer, yu f*ck'en little scardy-cat!" When the birgand started getting tired, Mike made his move. He abruptly stopped, watching the thug try to stop as well. The birgand then tripped and fell on his face. He then cursed aloud, then said, "Heh, gotcha now, you scaredy-cat..." Mike always loved how they thought that. However, he wanted the job done. So, he waited for the thug to attack.
The birgand then jumped in the air, with his axe above him. He was planning to crush Mike with the attack. Mike then sped right under the birgand. When the bandits struck the ground, he thrusted his dagger to wards the birgand. It cut the bandit, but did not take him down. Mike obviously knew this would happen, and, once again, waited for the birgand's attack. The bandit then lunged to ward Mike, axe in front. Mike was getting excited, and the redness in his eyes started to glint to life. The bandit saw this, and was not prepared for this. He then tripped in confusion, but not without Mike's speedy attack. It cut his chest this time, and the bandit was getting nervous. He had never come across any kind of challenge, so he started backing away. Mike saw this, then thrusted the dagger into the bandit once more. The wound cut the bandit deeply, making the thug wobble while trying to run. Mike began to jog right behind him. Now. here's my chance. Mike then made a leap for the birgands back, cutting him form the hip, up to the shoulder blade. He then jumped off the birgand, forcing him to clash, face first, into the dark, cold pavement of the alley. It took at least thirty seconds for the birgand to get up. He then hoarsely whispered, "I swear, you're the devil-" He was cut short form a swipe from Mike's dagger, to his throat. The birgand fell, dead. "Well, that took care of you. Not only did I kill another one, but this time, I don't have to set up his body where his gang can see him. Because, gangs pass through here all the time," he said, chuckling to himself. It wasn't that Mike was heartless, it was just that he did something good for the world. Now, there was one less bad person to do bad to others.
As Mike was heading back to the inn, considering his job done, he headed to one of the back windows. He did this, because some enemies might attack him. As he was looking into the window, there was a soldier. He was weilding a lance. Mike knew this to be one of his weaknesses, so he slipped throught the back. As he was, he passed a crack in teh wal, where he could hear the conversation. It was between George and the the soldier. "... What do you mean I might know something? "I mean to ask, do you have any information on the matter?" "Well, there was a fellow, who came in. He was talking about St. Elimine, and how she was back, but seriously, he was as drunk as could be..." "We need all the information we can get. And remember, tell no one about this conversation." At that, the soldier then left the inn. Mike was as confused as ever. St. Elimine...? What could that mean?
At the moment, he had to force back the thoughts about what he just heard, because he heard a few shouts outside. He heard kinds of metal clashing against each other. Mike then rushed back outside. He was there in a matter of seconds. He saw a birgand fighting the soldier, whom he was just eavesdropping on. Mike could see that the soldier was losing, and reinforcements were not coming. Mike then decided to help. Even though he wanted to stay unknown, he had to risk it. Mike then charged out of the shadows of the alley way. He bolted right for the birgand. Mike then said to the soldier, "Just regain your strength. I think this'll give you some time." As the soldier regained his strength, Mike swiped twice at the birgand. The first hit was on the right shoulder, the second, on is right hand. As the birgand screamed in pain, Mike went right back into the shadows. No one saw his face, mostly because of his stealth and speed. However, the soldier took the opportunity to strike, and killed the bandit. Mike was happy for the soldier. He was also proud of himself. Perhaps the person would be thankful for the assistance.
As Mike slipped in the back of the inn, he noticed people were courageously trying to follow him. They wanted to know who the person was. However, they would never know. Mike then cautiously went through the kitchen, not being seen by anyone. He then went through the door, making sure he was not seen. He ducked down behind the bar, then, he made it upstairs, quickly and quietly. Now, he was safe. He could rest up for the night. At that, he undressed himself, putting away his clothes, making sure there were clean ones for tomorrow. Sometimes, George would stoop down so low, he stole Mike's clean clothes. Mike saw that they were there, so he got into bed, and went to sleep.
Mike woke up, refreshed as always. He was also cheerful, and optimistic. So, he got out of bed, and went to the dresser. As always, his clothes were there. The only reason George didn't steal them in the middle of the night, is because Mike could always hear him. George only attempted to steal his clothes once, and regretted it till this day. Mike got dresses, then headed down stairs. He then noticed that there was only one guy eating breakfast. Good, not to many people. Mike then looked to the bar, seeing George. "So, how was your night?" George asked, sleepily. Mike replied, "I had a good night sleep. Oh, yeah, I'd like what I usually have in the morn'." As Mike was waiting for his usual breakfast, he noticed a paper on the bulletin. The newsletter was explaining how an "unknown friend" form Eastern parts of Ostia helped a soldier in his "Time of Need". Mike chuckled at the letter, hoping it wouldn't effect his business. Yet, at the same time, he was proud of himself. He was doing the work that most soldiers of their country should, and he was recognized for it, partially.
As George was serving him, Mike noticed a pretty waitress, who was serving the other man, his breakfast. Mike had never seen her before, and was curious. "Say, George, who's the new waitress?" he then asked George. He simply replied, "Just hired her, needed a job, bam," he then noticed Mike's interest, then casually went on, "So... Mikey... why the sudden interest...?" Whenever George said 'Mikey', he wanted to know something. "I just noticed her out of the corner of my eye," he lied, then started eating the food that was just brought to him. This didn't throw George off a bit. "Lies. I know you, you're interested in her, aren't you?" He paused for a moment, waiting for Mike's response. None came, so he continued on. "You know," George teased, "that you can't have her because of your original commitment to your job. Face it, she would only get in the way." He then left, laughing to himself. Mike then just sat there, eating his breakfast. He then sighed, knowing George was right. She would only get in the way. After finishing his breakfast, Mike went to the door. As he left, he looked through the window, watching her. Crap, I can't fall in love, not now. If I do, what about my job? Then what...? He then continued on down the alleyway. He knew he had to have a lonely life. It just hurt to realize it.
As Mike was walking down the alleyway, he saw a rogue bandit. This time, it was a fellow thief. He looked weak, but from being a thief, Mike knew this guy had a few plans of his own. Mike was weary about this guy, because he was walking to wards him. "Oi, yew, fella thief. Yeah, I'm talking to yeah," the thief then demanded to Mike. He waved in acknowledgment, but the thief grabbed his shoulder. "Yew showdn't be's walkin in me aria, bub," the thief kept demanding. Mike looked up, knowing the glint of red was in his eyes. He then coolly said, "Perhaps you shouldn't be touching me." The thief backed off a bit, then said, "Heh, looksy loike I getta kill der devil, eh..." Mike then wasted no time. He struck the thief, missing him by centimeters. At that, the enemy thief slashed at him, missing him, but barely. Mike knew this would be a fight for speed, agility, and accuracy. So, the two thieves kept doing this for a good ten minutes, until the one thief hit mike in the shoulder. "Looks loike iom a'winnen!" squealed the enemy thief. The attack did hurt a lot, Mike kept fighting. He then made a mad dash to the thief's left and slashed at the arm. It hit, causing the enemy thief to curse in pain. Mike now knew he had this fight in the bag, because the bandit had horrible accuracy. He also was slower, so it was would be easier to attack. As Mike was about to attack, the thief then begged, "Please, sir, I'om a gud guy, reallae. I knew yew was gonna win, 'onest! Spaire me, soir, spaire mei!" Mike then thought about it. It wasn't like him to let his opponent to win, yet this was what he had to do. Mike replied to the thief, "Sorry, but you have killed many. I cannot forgive you, so my blade shall." At that, Mike made a dash past the thief, knowing that when he slit his throat, the blood would go everywhere. He didn't want to get dirty blood on his clothes.
Mike was heading back to the inn, after the battle. He didn't want to enter, just check up, see if anyone was there. As he was coming to the back, he saw the waitress. Mike then hid in the shadows. As he was watching her, he couldn't help but think, She deserves more... so much more. His thoughts were shattered, when he saw another person in the shadows, going to wards her. The person was big, with an axe in hand, and he was not wearing any good clothing on. This was a sure sign of a bandit. Mike saw as the birgand loomed out of the shadows. That got Mike furious, and bolted with all his strength to the birgand. This caught both the birgand and the waitress, off guard. The force of the tackle slammed the birgand into the wall, making him groan in pain. Mike hurriedly said to the waitress, "Get outa here!" He then looked back, getting ready for a fight.
The bandit was the one who attacked first. He threw his axe at Mike. Mike then dashed down-wards to the left, the axe, missing him. It was obvious to Mike that the birgand lacked the sense of coordination with his weapon, so Mike decided to use this against the bandit. As the weapon was swinging back to the birgand, Mike took two swipes with his dagger at the bandit, and jumped back before the axe even reached the bandit. This appeared to startle and pain the birgand, yet he got closer with a lunge and swiped at Mike with the double-sided axe. Mike dodged the attack, with ease. He then jabbed the dagger into the bandit with deadly accuracy, hitting the bandit in the right shoulder blade. Mike did this again, with the opposite shoulder. It was obvious that the birgand was in excruciating pain, and knew he was going to die. The birgand did, however, try to throw the Hand Axe once more. Mike, to the birgand's dismay, was not there. The bandit looked to his front, and saw Mike's attack. The dagger was producing out of his chest. As Mike was holding the dead weight upward, the Hand Axe whipped back at the birgand, creating a crack of bone, and more blood seeping from his back. No one could have survived that. Not a soul...
Mike then set up the body down the alleyway. He waited there a few minutes, knowing the waitress would have told George about the attack. After ten minutes, some people did come down the alleyway, seeing the dead body. They then went to get some assistance removing the corpse. Mike followed them in the shadows. When they past the back entrance of the inn, he slipped inside, stealthily.
Mike then sat against the door, the nervousness now leaving him like a weight being pulled off, little by little. He closed his eyes, imagining what would have happened if he were-.
"So, you are the man who saved me, aren't you...?" a voice suddenly said. Mike held his breath for one moment, keeping his eyes closed. The voice then continued on, "I... I wanted to thank you... and I ask that I get to see the face of... my savior." Crap... I can't show my face... my job... my life... how...? He had to make a decision to make. He could show his face, or bolt. It would be better to bolt, yet... this was his crush. The waitress, he knew for sure. And he was thankful he was in the dark. He then came up with one conclusion. "Listen, miss," he began, "I can't show you my face, because I am an... assassin of sorts. I am a thief, if I should be specific. My job is to kill bandits. If I show my face... and they find out you know who I am... I will be hunted down. Everyone around me will be in danger. Do you understand?" He had to tell her this. It was the only way for her to understand. There was a pause. Then, the waitress said, "I understand... I will just... leave you in peace..." She then hurried to the kitchens of the inn. Mike was happy, yet sad at the same time. Someday, it might not be like this. Until then, Mike could only dream.
As Mike casually walked into the inn, from the back, he noticed something. He saw a flier on the notice board. He then walked up to it, to see what it said. It note's title was: Hero or Villain? Mike continued on reading.
There are mysterious reports of a friend in Eastern Ostia. It appears that a young man is helping the city's law enforcement. Though, disturbing rumors are reported that this is no soldier of the battle fields. Rumor states that this young man is a back alley thief. No reports can be confirmed, yet many believe that if given the right means, anyone can catch this, Noble Thief. Until further news about the whereabouts of this person is, there is a reward up for bounty. If anyone can catch the man dead or alive, and bring the thief to the castle, they will be paid an immense proportion in gold.
Oh... crap... this is not good. Mike had to think on this one a bit. Now, he had a bounty on his head. How could he do his work now? His whole life depended on his secrecy. Now he had a whole bunch of knuckle heads trying to find him, he would have to try harder than ever to not be found. Now, not only did he have innocent lives on the line, he had his life to worry about too.
It was getting late, and Mike was starting to feel the pain of his wounds. So, he got upstairs, and into his room. As he was sitting down, on his bed, he felt someone staring at him. He looked to ward the closet, which he never used. He usually kept it locked, but the lock was removed. He always had the key with him, but the only other person with a key to it was... He then hastily got up, dashed to the door of the closet, to force it shut. At the same time, someone was pushing their way out. There were grunts from both sides of the closet door, each trying to force the door the opposite way. This went on for a minute, then a sigh of defeat come from the person inside the closet. Mike smiled, then muttered, to the person, "George... why are you in there...?" "Looks like ya caught me, Mike..." "Again, why are in the closet?" "Because, I just want to know who you really are. And you know I can turn you in, at any time. Besides, I cold use a bit more gold..." "Where's the lock?" "On the desser... why-" Mike dashed to the dresser, picked up the lock, and jolted right back into position which he was at. George was to slow to even react to the swift movement. As George was about to start trying to push his way out, the lock was already on. Mike then relaxed, and went to his bed. As he was about to lay down, George piped up, "Ya can't keep me in here foreve', Mikey." Mike was silent at this, then replied, "When you wake up, you will be in your bed. Until then, try to sleep standing up." At that, Mike changed into his clothes which he slept in, turned out the light, and went to sleep. During the night, around midnight, Mike had to get himself up. He walked over to where he put his key to the lock. He grabbed it, and went to the closet. Silently, he turned the key in the lock, removed it, and opened the door. There, somehow standing up, slept George, in a most uncomfortable position. Mike grabbed him, and tried to carry him to his room. It took a while, especially trying to be silent. But, he managed to do it, successfully. He then snook back into his room. At that, he went to sleep.