PART 1 – The Beginning of a Rivalry
The guard began coughing; trying to reject the green mist entering his nose and mouth, but there was nothing he could do about it. Eventually unconsciousness claimed him. One of the thieves caught his body so it wouldn’t make any noise to alert any of the other guards nearby. “Nice job Luna. Just don’t use too many toxins, they can smell after a while.” The thief leader whispered. “Okay, everyone knows what they are supposed to do, correct?” The five thieves all bowed in front of their leader. “Yes, Ma’am.” The leader balanced her rifle on her shoulder. “Okay then, this is going to be our meeting point. Good luck everyone.”
The freelance Vegeran thieves crouched in the shadows of Acriale palace, they had brought an assassin with them that knew his way around the castle. However the assassin did not intend to kill anyone this night. Sola, was their leader, she was a very tall and well-built Vegeran Saraph, a person who kills Elementalists. This group of thieves had banded together to steal a select few things of value to further smite the Acriale royal family. After the Vegeran Empire was disbanded, all the remaining soldiers who were on fighting for Vegeran had to “Disappear”. Most of them found work as assassins, thieves, saraphs, bodyguards, and mercenaries. “I don’t want to see a single one of you come back with less than a hundred bowls worth of loot, okay? Now I told you to leave. Go!” Sola said slightly louder waving her rifle. All the thieves dashed off quietly. Sola surveyed the area and then began to walk down the wall they had set as their rally point. Someone grabbed her arm. “Sis, you never told me what I was supposed to do…” The voice asked. Sola looked over her shoulder down to her 20-year-old sister. “Oh, Luna… I forgot about you, can you hide the bodies you poisoned? Someone might see them.” Luna’s excited face expression vanished quickly. “Are you kidding me? I’m the only elementalist in the whole group and your making me move bodies. I want to steal something too. I’m ready for this Sola!” Luna raised her voice to high; she pulled off her hood revealing her face to show the severity of what she was saying. Luna looked a lot like Sola, except for the 6-year age gap. They both had black hair, but Luna’s was a lot shorter than Sola’s. They both had sharp green eyes hidden under perfect eyelashes. They had flawless bone structure that was evident under their tan skin. The two sisters were beautiful, but known to be deadly, or at least Sola was.
“Luna, after mom and dad died, they told me to make sure I never let you get into trouble, and if you were in trouble I was supposed to help you out of it.” Sola said grabbing Luna’s collar. “Stop bringing them into everything, it’s been seven years now! I’m older, I’m in charge of myself!” Luna broke Sola’s grab and took a step back while she pulled her hood back over her face. “I’m going to prove this to you! I can make them as proud as you always made them.” Luna pulled out her dagger and ran off into the palace. “Luna, wait!” Sola tried to grab Luna but she was too far ahead. “Damnit, now I have to babysit.” Sola grunted. She fastened her rifle to her back and dove off the wall and grabbed the tree across the way and decided to camp out at the top of it.
Luna crouched behind a suit of armor on display and glanced around the room. “The princess should be in the dining hall with the King, so there shouldn’t be a lot of guards. I’ll just take her jewelry box and that’ll be that.” Luna poked the tip of her dagger around the corner and saw three guards; one of them was wearing captain status armor. “Huh, interesting. I’ll wait for a bit. They’re too far away for me to surprise; I’ve never been able to sneak up on a captain.”
“Okay, listen up you two, Anri is going to be back in an hour or so, don’t let anyone in this room besides maids. Do what your supposed to do; afterwards we’ll go out for drinks. See you around guys.” The captain bowed to the two guards. “Have a goodnight Captain Donny.” Both the guards said in unison bowing. Donny slightly bowed in respect and then walked away from the two. Luna crouched behind her cover, waiting for Donny to be out of sight and for the two guards to begin talking about something to distract them. Fortunately they began talking about the latest jousting match the moment Donny had turned the corner. Luna sheathed her dagger, remembering that Sola had ordered the lowest possible casualties on this heist, if they killed more than one guard, it could be seen as a declaration of war. Luna hopped out of cover and went into a silent sprint. “What the? Who’s…” The guards saw her but she tossed her wrist forward and a slick of black ooze flew through the guards visor and into his eyes. While he was immobilized the other guard turned around. Luna closed the distance between them very quickly and she welcomed his attention by high kicking him in the jaw. While his head craned back she kneed him in the stomach and knocked him out with an elbow to the temple. As the other guard scrambled to open his eyes Luna blasted him with some more of her green elemental mist into his face. He was a resilient guard, so Luna reassured his unconsciousness with a roundhouse kick to the side of the head. “Sola really underestimates me.” Luna looked down at the two guards she easily knocked out, no lethal blows, all in eight seconds. Luna had been counting. “Alright, now for the princess’ jewelry box.” Luna tried the door expecting it to be locked but was surprised to find it open. “My lucky night.” She whispered with a smile.
Luna entered the room and dragged the two guards into the room with her. Once the guards were in the corner and the door was closed she doused all the lights in the room, she was ready to do her job now. Luna began looking around the small crowded room. “This place is a mess. But there is jewels and gold littering the place. It looks like someone beat me to robbing them.” Luna flipped open the pouch on the small of her back and began placing any attractive looking treasures in it. She guessed that the value of everything she took was about 750 bowls; she had enough for everyone on the team to have a hundred bowls and then some. “Ha, I’ll be leader of the group in no time. Theres probably 2000 more bowls of stuff in here.” Luna placed a tiara into her pouch when someone opened the door and took a step into the room, a maid perhaps? Luna froze in place and lowered her hands so they rested on the pommels of her twin knives. Amazingly the maid who entered the room did not notice her at all. The way she entered the room with her back turned gave Luna a second to think. But a second wasn’t enough. Luna wrapped her arm around the maid’s neck and gently kicked the door closed. The moment her prey tried to struggle Luna performed a suplex launching the maid onto the king sized bed. Luna got back on her feet and pounced onto the dazed maid. Luna had control over the situation.
Luna dug her knee into the maid’s back and had one of her knives placed along the back of her neck while the other was at the ready for anything. “What the hell is this?!” The girl said. Luna could tell by how the girl spoke that she had made a mistake. Perfect pronunciation, gorgeous voice, and the slight accent. This wasn’t a maid. “Princess Anri?” Luna whispered under her breath. “Katt? Is that you again?” The girl said. Luna got angry, her reaction to being scared. “Shut up! You’re supposed to be at the dinner with your father!” Luna threateningly grunted. “Wait! Who the hell are you!?” Anri said loudly. Luna pressed the knife against Anri’s neck making her squeak. “Don’t raise your voice again.” Luna commanded. “Do you know who you are threatening? I’m the daughter of King Juto Thayden, Anri Thayden.” That confirmed it for Luna she was in trouble now, she had to find a way out of this room without letting Anri alert the guards. There was a bay window behind her, but she didn’t know how far the fall was. It could be deadly. Luna looked over her shoulder; she was making a poor attempt at guessing the distance of the fall. Anri took Luna’s half-second distraction to her advantage. She buried her head into her bed, putting an inch or two between her neck and Luna’s knife. Before Luna could properly react Anri had pulled both of her feet in and then brutally kicked Luna in the chest, like a horse attacks someone approaching his or her flank. Luna was tossed roughly against the headboard of the bed. Anri used the two seconds she had gained to jump to her feet. Luna exited the bed shortly after. The two stood facing each other in the moonlight. Luna held her knives as if she were ready to throw them. This was the first time Luna got a good look at Anri. She had short brown hair that started to slightly curve out at its tips, dark green eyes hid behind fallen hair, and her tight light blue dress followed every curve of her super model shaped body. Upsettingly for Luna was jealous of how Anri looked. “Don’t do anything stupid Anri.”
“Who are you, what is your name? You can’t be any ordinary assassin. You appear to be my age and you got passed all the palaces security alone. So tell me what do they call you?” Luna was surprised by Anri’s respectfulness. “I am Luna, from the Unclaimed Territory. I have no last name and I’m no assassin. If I were you’d be dead already.” Luna answered. “Well Luna, I’m sorry but your actions cannot go unexcused, you will die tonight.” Anri began to call out to someone but Luna reflexed and sprayed black ooze onto Anri’s mouth and it solidified instantly gagging her. Anri chocked and pulled at the hardened crust. Luna charged forward to attack Anri; she’d make an attempt to knock her out so she could escape easier. Before Luna could get close Anri pulled a rapier out of a display on the wall and swung sluggishly at Luna keeping her away. To Luna’s misfortune it seemed like Anri was a very skilled fencer. Luna deflected two more swings before Anri managed to rip the ooze off of her hand with much effort. “Oh no…” Luna murmured as Anri’s extremely loud voice filled the room. “DONNY!!” She boomed.
It only took Donny half a second to kick down the door. He stood there wearing his glorious uniform and holding his extra wide rapier before him. In his other hand a cloud of white specks buzzed around, weaving through his fingers. “Stop her! Kill her!” Anri commanded. “Yes milady” Donny through his clouded hand forward and with it a shower of white sand blew Luna off of her feet. She landed uncomfortably but was able to regain her footing easily. “What is this stuff? Salt? Are you an elementalist?” Luna asked her new foe. “My name is Captain Donny FellCloon, leader of the Princess’ personal guard. Elementalist of salt.” Donny gripped his rapier with both hands and prepared for a fight. “Salt? That’s it, I’m toxin, and I’m going to kill you.” Luna laughed. “I wouldn’t underestimate him. He’s never failed me.” Anri said sheltering herself behind Donny’s massive armored mass. Luna swung her knife in front of her and another puff of green mist flew in Donny’s direction, but he didn’t flinch. The mist dispersed before it even reached him. “Nice try, but I have a very thin cloud of salt orbiting around my body that can stop any incoming masses to a certain point, you’ll need a much heavier toxin.” Donny’s smirked showed in the one opening of his helmet. Luna ground her teeth and shot a slick of ooze at him, which like the mist, dissolved before it reached him. That was all she had, those two tricks. A large collections gathered around Donny’s rapier and began compressing, making a gross chaffing sound as all the particles ground together turning his sword into a bulbous spiked club. Donny took a few threatening steps forward twirling his rock salt mace around his head. Luna was back up against a wall with two short assassin’s knives, she couldn’t get in close enough to attack, and if she could, his armor was too thick. A loud crash deafened everyone in the room, the bay window shattered into fragments and Donny was sent tumbling into the corner of the room. Luna couldn’t see anything there was too much smoke and dust in the air after the explosion. There was only one explanation for something that explosive, Sola.
Sola walked across the shattered glass holding her smoldering rifle in her hand. “Luna lets go.” She commanded sternly dropping the pin of the grenade she just used. Luna walked over to Sola as Donny and Anri stood on the other side of the room opposing them. Donny had been shot in the head, but it had only destroyed his helmet, and it left a nasty cut somewhere in his hairline. The four stared at each other for a while. “You’re Sola, The Scar-Maker, aren’t you? I recognize that rifle.” Anri accused. Sola smiled. “I’m glad my handiwork is making its mark in Acriale.” Donny pointed his rapier at Sola and Luna. “You killed a lot of my Kings Elementalists. Most of them were my good friends.” Sola angrily looked at Donny, a new face to add to the list of people she wanted to kill. “I apologize, but we must go, we’ll finish this talk another time.” Sola put her hand on Luna’s shoulder and they both leaned backwards out of the window and fell.
Donny ran up to the edge and looked over the threshold, he saw nothing. “Milady, they’re gone. Do you want me to alert the guards?” Anri glanced around her destroyed room. “No, you and I are leaving now, grab a new helmet.” Donny was completely surprised by Anri’s response. “You were just attacked! We need to alert the guards! We need to catch those two!” Donny was confused. “No! My father is already dealing with enough trouble these days, if the two of us wait until day we can track them down and arrest them. Now don’t disobey my orders or I’ll make sure you never work in a palace again.” Anri was very serious in what she was saying. “I understand milady, whatever you say, I must do.” Donny bowed and sheathed his sword before leaving the room.
Anri walked up to the broken window and let the breeze travel over her smooth skin. “Luna and Sola… Where could you be? Now that I’ve met you in person, there’s something about you two that I recognized. Who are you two, really?” the wind answered Anri with a simple wisp that flew by her. There was something unique about the two sisters, but not something she knew.