Saturday, March 23, 2019

Night Dagger Chapter One

The Kingdom of Cyr can be a magical place, both literally and figuratively. It can also be hell and a lot of that depends on where you live here.

The outer cities are typically poorer communities, feeding goods and services to the capital city and barely getting by with what remains. A cynic might call the citizens here slaves, but such thoughts are best left unspoken. Crime rates tend to be high, as a result of the situation. It comes with the territory.

Still, I was arrogant. I never thought it'd catch up to me. I guess that's what all victims think.

Two days ago, coming home from work at the pub, I noticed the door of my home was slightly open. The light flicker of the main room's lamp glimmering softly through the crack to highlight the fact. And then, a single scream cried out.

My fiance.

Fight or flight. Fight or flight. These are the moments that either adrenaline hits or reality does. But you see, I have a habit of overthinking everything. I paused. My brain raced with thoughts. Thoughts like how many are inside? Can I even do anything to help? Do I find someone from the Night Watch?

Perhaps if I had ran in, I could have saved her. But that's not the truth. That's what heroes do, and I am not a hero.

Within a few moments I saw torchlight appear beside me, a man in armor painted navy standing beside me asking if I am ok. I couldn't speak, simply pointing in fear toward the door.

I was ashamed of myself.

The look on his face when he appeared back in the door way minutes later told me exactly what I needed to know. She was gone. I had failed her.

I spent the next two days being questioned. The guard found no one alive inside, thus leaving me as the sole suspect. My employer at the Red Cup gave a good enough alibi to save me, but the law enforcement system in a place like this doesn't operate as morally as it should.

In the darkest place I've been in my entire life, I was also beaten, starved, and constantly blamed for her death. Perhaps they were right to blame me, though, but the truth is they just wanted to be able to close the case quickly.

The only guard who showed any support for me was a female elf named Eliza. I appreciated her kindness, even if I didn't deserve it.

When I was let out of my holding cell, she warned me that they don't handle clean up. It was up to me to take care of Andora's remains.

"I'll warn you sir, your fiance has been in the house for two days now. I encourage you to buy the help of a cleaning guild or seek the assistance of close friends."

The softness in which she explained this sadly did little to aid in the horror of the statement.

I had little in the way of gold, and even fewer that I could call friends in this life. The only grace gifted to me was that the whole event had killed a small part of me. Not enough that it was easy to see her like that. Nor was it enough to lessen the difficulty of attempting to clean the stained wooden floors.

No, but the one good thing that came of this was the demand that this put on me. The small part of me that died put a weight on my shoulders that required vengeance. The investigation wasn't going to find who did this. That'd be too much work for the guards here. No, there was a murderer loose in Blackhorn, and I had to make this right.

His life, for hers.

Her body was burned down to ash. I carry a bit of it stored in the locket I gave her for our anniversary last year. She will guide me. She will be avenged.

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