Assassin's Creed: Extant is part one of the Assassin's Creed: Odyssey two part series. This part takes place primarily in the 1850s when the Crimean War was brought to life by the Templars who were in search of more Pieces of Eden.
Part one's story follows Arnold Reiniger von Frankfurt, a German Nineteenth Century assassin who had many struggles in his life. After a horrific situation involving his brother, Gerulf, Arnold leaves the Assassin Order. He tries to find a more tranquil life along with his wife Diana and their adopted son, Haytham. But a few years later, Arnold is once again called back after a tragedy in his life occurs.
It was January 12th of the year 1853, the beginning of the life of the season of Winter. A frozen radiance fell down upon the faces of the world. The lantern of the sky gazed down with bliss upon each and every individual who rose from their beds just to greet the day. The temperature was a bit above average, the sky was crystal clear with nothing to hinder it. It was a far reaching ocean of blue that spanned miles before the human eyes.
Just below the immortal god of light, many countries of people lived out their lives. Down into the city of Berlin which sat inside the country of Germany, such an example of people existed. Across the streets, many people worked in their shops and lived their day. Inside the heart of the city was a street jammed with many buildings of different shapes.
The streets were teeming with life, they buzzed around doing their routine things. People hurried to their destinations and onwards to the next place in their lives. In the heart of a busy forest of people, a man walked forward. He surfed through the sea of bodies, he headed towards a building just in front of him. It was a small building that seemed to be selling clothing.
The man was about six-feet-tall and weighed slightly less than the average, he appeared to be in his late thirties. His hair was dark brown and cut short with it gelled mostly to his right. He had a fully grown beard on his face, it was trimmed nicely and kept under control. His eyes were hazel and his skin was a bit tanner than the rest of the people.
He wore a fine black double breasted vest on top of a white dress shirt with a high-standing collar. Around his neck he wore a black silk puff tie. On top of both, he wore a dark gray frock coat which reached down to about his knees. For pants, he wore black brushed cotton pants and black laced up boots.
As he walked forward, a gelid breeze from the west rushed by him. The wind sounded like a light yaff. In front of his face was a warm cloud of mist that came from his bellows. The cold barely fazed the man, he carried on without hesitation. As he came closer and closer to that building his foot strolled to, his mind goes into a state of thought. He was Arnold Reiniger, an assassin under a cover.
As he put one foot forward, his ears caught a ball of sound that came from a man reading the daily newspaper. This man, wearing a standard outfit for the era, stood next to another man. One man was showing the newspaper to the other as they were discussing the headline which read "Hütet euch vor dem Assassinen" ("Beware of the Assassin.")
A haunting sound resonated from Arnold's heart, a chill unlike the frigid air kissed him right between the eyes. He closed his eyes, walking without his vision. His ears couldn't help but to gaze into the conversation no matter how much the man just wanted it to end.
"Germany," thought the assassin as the pace of the world around him dissolved into slow motion. "The country that is changing with every moment. It is a wide and beautiful land full of interesting people and places. Since the day that I was born, my life has been kept under a cloak of silence and secrecy. I, along with my younger brother Gerulf studied Tag und Nacht (day and night) in the ancient art of the kill, trying to master it's deadly technique. Our mentor, our father was a harsh, hardhearted old man without care. Our mother died in 1832 due to illness. So father pushed us to our breaking point, readying us for our inevitable battles with our brotherhood's nemesis: the Knights Templar."
Flashes of the days of his past brushed by his mind like a train passing through a train station. An image of his father's anger glaring sharply down with disappointment upon a much younger version of Arnold and his brother came to be. His ears then heard the shouting of a short-tempered man, shouting with ire at the top of his lungs.
Words like "worthless" and "pathetic" cut deep into the children repeatedly. But steadily, the sounds and images faded out. But another image surface, an image of a fifteen year old gazing out of a window. What reflected off of his frightened hazel irises was the appearance of his brother running away from home. "My father was especially brutal on Gerulf," continued Arnold as he continued to walk forward. "Strange things corrupted my brother's mind. He was born into this order...and yet, he choose to agree more with the Templar's ideals rather than his own family's. And when my brother had enough, lief er weg. (he ran away.) It left a great void in my heart, I was constantly alone. But I continued on, ascending through my training."
His left hand dangled loosely to his side. He then pulled it up towards his face, his palm facing him. On his ring finger was a golden ring that had sparkles waltzing in the sunlight. But hidden behind that ring was a burn that marked him forever. Arnold's eyes gazed upon that burn but people just saw him gazing upon his ring. "Eventually, I was initiated into the brotherhood around the age of twenty-three," the man stated. "My first task was to head to the city of Paris in France to assassinate Charles Lallemand which I did accomplish. But while I was at Paris, I found a woman by the name of Diana Haward. She was a woman who had traveled from London on business for her father. But she had ran into some trouble with some of the men there and she was being treated unfairly. So, I helped her."
A smile of glee and remembrance lit up softly like the light of the moon on his tan skinned face. "I loved her the minute I laid eyes on her," he mentioned with a joy-filled voice. "She had to come to Germany as well. So, I took her with me. Eventually, she would stay in Germany with me. A year went by since I went to France and I had to head to the Middle East and to the country of Syria. There had been much unrest there for quite a while. A Syrian Assassin by the name of Ayman Hakim informed me of the events that occurred as we strolled the streets of Aleppo."
Arnold was now just in front of the wooden door into the shop that he had been walking towards. He stood face to face with the tall wooden square as his mind still reflected. An image of an alleyway between two beige stone buildings conquered the kingdom of his mind. At the end of the alleyway, he saw a weak, frail child in ragged clothing.
The boy had to be about nine-years-old, he looked like a toothpick. He had black-as-coal, long hair and tan skin. His eyes were brown and they bled with terror. "That is when I met a weak, forsaken child named Haytham," said the man to himself. "I walked into the alleyway and offered the boy a loaf of beard. He accepted it without any hesitation. But then his eyes turned towards Ayman. While within this alleyway, we were completely cut off from view. And with it, Ayman tried to make his move. Haytham alerted me to it. He whispered: "That man isn't good." I quickly turned around and saw that Ayman had drawn his sword. I defended myself and killed Ayman."
The day dragged on for the man, the time ticking by faster than he could blink. He was a shop salesman, selling clothing to anyone willing to buy them. He stood there waiting for anyone. But steadily his mind drifted away back into the space of thought. The image of Arnold's face holding his hand out to Haytham was born in his head. "It was the most amazing thing," he thought with a twist of astonishment still in his voice. "It is still something that eludes me today. How did he know? But I owe my life to that child. I wrote Diana the entire story and told her that I could not in my good conscience leave that child behind. And so, we took Haytham in as our own. Diana came down to visit us every now and then when she wasn't busy. And after seven years in Syria, some stability was restored and so I returned to Germany."
Time quickly passed by without relent. The day had quickly faded away, dissipating like sand in an hourglass. The silver light of the sky stood above the heads of the people, the tenebrous shadow that consumed a land had to back away to the corners of the world. Arnold put on his frock coat and began walking away from his workplace.
He had his hands in his coat's pockets, his footsteps were like a soft drum solo. There were very few people outside that night, the city streets were hollow. The frigid cold of the nocturnal atmosphere bit at the man's bare skin. But still he was not bothered. "Three years went by and still this war with the Templars grew. And my brother was in the center of it all. That was the start of the worst day of my life..." thought the assassin as his mind drifted off into a memory.
He returned to that day, three years ago. The city of Frankfurt was the home of the Assassins in Germany. Saint Bartholomew's Cathedral stood tall and towered among the many people who walked by it everyday. The cathedral was crafted from many stones and it had shimmering glass at the front. The tower reached up to the heavens as if it was man's attempt to touch a numen.
At the back of the cathedral, the young assassin approached. He had a five o'clock shadow on his face. He wore a snow white hood over his head, the top portion of his hood was in the shape of a beak of an eagle. His hood came from his long tailcoat which was the same color. The edges of his tailcoat were trimmed in a crimson red cloth. His tailcoat exposed the front of his legs but not the back. It reached down to about his calves. The sleeves were long and it's end was trimmed by frills.
Underneath his tailcoat was a crimson red single-breasted vest with a white dress shirt underneath it. Tied around his neck was a crimson red silk puff tie. On his left hand, he wore a black leather glove that had the insignia of the Assassins on the back of his palm. His right hand was bare and he wore his wedding ring on his ring finger.
His hidden blades were hiding underneath his sleeves, just anticipating the next victim. Tied around his waist was a crimson red silk sash that's knot was to his left side. Hanging from this sash was a handgun and his sword all hidden inside two leather cases. He wore black dress pants and black leather brogans.
He walked closer towards the back of the cathedral. And just behind the building and in center of it's back, there was a manhole on the ground. Faintly engraved on the manhole was the insignia of the Assassins. Arnold knelt down just beside of the manhole. He placed both of his hands on the handles of the cover. He shuffled his head left and right, making sure no one was around.
The street was quiet enough, not a single soul was walking. Arnold then hoisted the metal cover, pulling it up with all of his strength. The cover cried a screech, fighting the assassin from lifting it. Eventually, Arnold won the fight. He slung his body into the manhole, his hands grabbing into two stones that stuck out of the narrow, circular tunnel heading down.
Arnold grabbed the cover of the manhole and hurled it back in it's original spot as if he was never there. The manhole is closed tightly, he got inside just in time. A group of people then began walking down the street that he was on. Now for the challenge ahead, climbing down a long and dangerous tunnel blindfolded.
A bare and soft light pointed down, it was the only eyes that could see through the tyrant known as darkness. He then began climbing down, one stuck-out stone at a time. Small pebbles fell down to an assured death with each motion that Arnold made. The air was humid and sticky, making the stones quite hard to keep ahold on.
After ten minutes of descended climbing, Arnold finally placed a foot down upon solid ground. His hands let go of the stone handles and he turned to face the entrance into the Assassin's base in Germany. The room was about the length of a school bus and about fifty feet wide. The ceiling was about ten feet tall. The walls were a light gray and the stone was in fantastic shape despite how old they are. Banners of the Assassins hung twice of each wall.
On each corner of the room was a candlestick which sat on top of a wooden table. The wooden table was covered by a white sheet. The floor underneath Arnold was made of gray stone while the center of the room had a long, red carpet that stretched from the rocks that Arnold climbed down from to a stone wall in front of him.
The stone wall had the symbol of the Assassins craved into it. In the center of the blank stone wall was a visage of a skull that gazed stolidly upon the face of the young assassin. Arnold approached the door, his footsteps made a soft thud against the red, long carpet underneath him. He was about three inches from the surface of the stone wall, he came face to face with the skull.
He reached his right hand out in front of him, he flipped his hand backwards so that his palm was facing up towards the ceiling. He inserted his right middle and ring fingers into the eye sockets of the skull. He then pushed up, the wall rattled a bit after he does. He then swiftly removed his fingers from the skull and it began to change.
Pieces of the metal skull are pulled out of place by the hands of a mechanism. It was removing the pieces of a finely put together puzzle and making it's own picture. The pieces twirled and twisted until they hung upside down and then they were finally put back in their new position. The newly finished puzzle was the very same skull but it hung upside down.
The wall once again buckled, dirt was spat out from the upper and lower parts of the wall. The wall was now moveable, it would spin around in complete circles. Arnold then began to push the wall forward, the wall began to turn. Arnold followed the wall until he saw what it was hiding from sight. He walked passed the wall once he entered an entirely different room.
Even though Arnold had stopped pushing the wall, it still continued to turn. It stopped once it had spun around in a complete circle. Once the wall went back into place, a loud sound that went "bah-bum" snapped into the air. An exact clone of the very same skull that Arnold used to open the door was on this side was well, it appeared on both sides of the wall.
Once the noise echoed throughout the room, the skull then began to recoil it's decision to turn it's self upside down. The hands of a machine then began quickly healing the skull back to it's original place, it literally played surgery on it. Once about five seconds passed, the skull was once again made whole. It sat back in an upright position.
The room that Arnold now found himself was about the size of a football field. The floor underneath him was still had the long stretching crimson red carpet that divided the room like the border between North America to Mexico. The carpet was about three feet wide. The section of the room, the area that sat beside the door into and out of the base, that Arnold found himself in was a library.
On each side, there were about three wooden bookcases that stretched from the side of the carpet to right up against the wall. They stood at about seven feet tall and they were stuffed with books of all different shapes and sizes. They contained the history of the Assassins and of the Templars, as well as books that came in different languages and the history of many different countries.
Arnold then began walking forward, at the corner of his eyes he saw a few fellow assassins looking through the long list of books. They didn't acknowledge his presence. But what Arnold did notice was an older man standing before him. The man's dark hazel irises clung onto Arnold. His hands were folded behind his back as if he were under arrest with his hands grabbing onto each other.
The man stood at about five-feet-and-eight-inches tall, he was skinny and quite frail looking. He was at least in his sixties and his skin was pale. His hair was gray with some spots being completely white. He also had a fully grown beard that was a bit bushy. His hair was slightly long, it reached down to about the end of his neck. He had several bangs covering his face.
The older man wore a black ulster coat with a hood attached to the cape. The man was wearing the hood up, the shape of a beak of an eagle was visible on the top of the hood. The ulster coat reached down to about his mid-shins. Underneath his coat, he wore a white dress shirt with a high collar. Around his neck, he wore a crimson red silk puff tie.
He then wore long black dress pants and black leather brogans. The man stared at Arnold with a heavyheart, it seemed like he was holding something back from escaping his lips. The young assassin sensed this, earning him a badge of concern. "Father," Arnold called with worry. "Was ist los?" (What is wrong?)
His father closed his eyes. Oxygen passed through his nostrils, spilling into his lungs. He then let it go back into the atmosphere just a moment later, he tried to purge the worry and regret that had infected him. "Son," the grand master replied. "I know I've done many things to you and your brother, all of which are unspeakable. But I hope that you know that I was only thinking of you and your brother's future at that moment."
With each word that his father spoke, Arnold's heart sank further and further into his stomach. Something dreadful hid behind his father's lips, something that he needed to know. "What is all of this for?" Arnold questioned, trying to secure the answer that he seeks. "Has something happened?"
The father opened his eyes to meet the young assassin. "It's your brother," he answered Arnold. "One of our spies found Gerulf holding a strange orb that was glowing. Arnold, do you know what that means?"
Arnold shook his head. "Nein," (No,) he honestly answered his father. "What does it mean?"
Arnold's father turned around, his back now facing Arnold's front. The old man then began walking away from his son. "This means that Gerulf...is carrying a Piece of Eden," replied the old man. "Our brotherhood has seen these strange objects before. Most notably, the Italian Assassins' former grand master, Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Pieces of Eden are extremely powerful objects that makes the one carrying it look like a god among mortals."
A sharp thought sliced through Arnold's mind. This left him with a horrible feeling, crushing him with apprehension. His face was a puppet to his feelings, an explosion of fear coursed through his body. "Where are you going with this, father?" swiftly asked Arnold with tension tugging at his voice.
His father's head began to lower, his face gazing down upon the red carpet. "Arnold," his father named, his voice was choking with sorrow. His eyes then began to close. "I need you to go eliminate the threat."
This left Arnold in a unfathomable state. The words that his father spoke to him was something he just couldn't absorb. This feeling reflected onto his face, he wore a mask that was mimicking a thousand emotions. "Was?" (What?) questioned Arnold, unable to believe what his father had told him.
"Your brother is too great a threat to be left alone," continued to explain his father. "He and the Knights Templar have led Russland (Russia) to attacking North Caucasus. This is where I'm sure they must have retrieved the Piece of Eden."
"...You wish for me to go assassinate Gerulf?" asked Arnold, trying to get together the pieces of him that are screaming rejection of this task.
"You are the only one that I can trust with this task," expressed the father. "I need you to assassinate him and retrieve the Piece of Eden. You are my very best, Arnold, so I know you have the ability to do this."
Arnold's head hung low, his eyes were tightly closed shut. His hands became tightly knitted fists full of ire and sorrow. His mind rushed with many thoughts, he still couldn't believe the idea of killing his own brother. He thought about it for a few minutes, he questioned if he could actually commit the action.
But he was aware that he had a duty to uphold, being a member of the Assassins. And if his brother was harming people to gain power, he would need to be stopped. It was a very heavy and hard pill to swallow but Arnold knew he had to do it. He pulled his head back up, his hazel irises gazed upon the back of his father. "Ich verstehe," (I understand,) he acknowledged, taking up the task. "Tell me where to go."
"Russia," stated his father. "He'll be at Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow on Sunday. Blend with the crowd there and strike him during the middle of church."
Arnold shook his head, taking in the information that was given to him. He turned around, he faced the wall with the face of a skull. He then began walking towards it, a million thoughts ran through his mind. It was like rush hour traffic in his head. A grief controlled him, masking his face with an overwhelming amount of fear and apprehension.
"It was the worst thing I had ever thought of in my whole life," said Arnold as he looked back on this memory. "Diana couldn't believe it when I told her. She had feared for many years that eventually it would lead up to this. It too was something I was dreading. But to be actually facing it was a completely different reality."
The End of the Prologue
Chapter 1: A Sacrifice to Save Many
As the night dragged on, the assassin Arnold Reiniger walked forward. He strolled at a slow pace, his footsteps echoed through the shadow of the night. His head hung low, his face gazed down at his feet. His hands still kept in the mouth of his pockets. The frozen air stood at about 29 degrees Fahrenheit, it dug it's self beneath his skin.
The warmth of the vitality that left his lungs touched the gelid air, the two collided in a lonesome cloud of mist. Even after almost an entire day laid between him and the event that occurred, the words that the world should be wary of the Assassin was still ensnared like a fly stuck on a flytrap in the man's mind.
His mind circled around many things, his past and his present. "As an Assassin, we are taught that sacrifice is necessary in order to keep peace," stated Arnold as he walked home. "That is what I told myself when that day approached. I still do even to today. It was and still is the only way I can keep myself from falling into the throes of madness."
The memory of what had occurred three years ago played inside his head, the day that he could never forget. The year was 1850 and in the middle of the transition from Winter to Spring, exactly five days after Arnold's ears caught the thing he had never wanted to hear. The reality was now put out in front of him. He was in the city of Moscow, a busy city that was the very being of Russia.
The Red Square was like a carpet to the many people walking forward. Men, women, and children of all classes and statures walked towards Saint Basil's Cathedral on this wonderful Sunday morning. But the day was cold, so those who came to the cathedral wore coats and scarves of all colors. People seemed happy, the trade of words between people came into the air.
The cathedral's shape looked like a flame of a bonfire reaching into the air. There were nine domes in total, they were in the shape like a flame on a candle. The domes were many colors, some being green and gold or green and red while others were blue and white. The spire in the center of the building stood above all, it wore a flame-shaped crown of gold on it's head.
The cathedral itself was made of red brinks, many greens and whites colored the building and made it into a most wonderful area to place an eye on. All along the Red Square were many buildings and stalls, they lined the square with stone and wood. The motion of people and horses animated the square with life.
To the right of the people walking into Saint Basil's Cathedral was a tall, long wall made of red brinks. In the heart of the wall was a round-top entrance into the body of the stone wall. Towering over the wall and the people was a high-reaching clocktower that was about the height of 71 m. This tower was known as The Spasskaya Tower. The tower had many stripes of white etching the ends of the walls that changed size.
The clockface was mostly black, but the numbers and it's edging were golden. A green pointed roof of the tower looked like a tip of a dagger, it thinned until it became a sharp point. Sitting on the very tip of the roof was a two-headed eagle staring up into the sky with it's wings wide open. The start of the roof was a white stone ring that stretched all around the building like a belt and at the front of the ring was a wooden beam sticking out of it.
The wooden beam overlooked the Red Square, it was about four-feet long and one and a half feet wide. A wooden arm underneath the beam grabbed onto it as a support. Down below the wooden beam was a cart of hay that was put beside horses at a stable. Creeping up from behind the clocktower was the young assassin, Arnold.
His heart pounded softly in his chest, he was unafraid and unfazed by the dazzling heights from down below. He knew without question that one mistake could warrant a visit from death. He kept his mind as sharp as an arrow, pushing away any thoughts that he might've had. He remained calm and collected even when his eyes would peer down onto the far away square.
His hands were grabbing tightly onto the white stone ring that laid at the bottom of the pointed forest green roof. His hands then began to move, expanding then shrinking in length between each other to move Arnold's body towards the wooden beam. His body hung, dangling down like an icicle. His eyes never let go of the white stone ring that his hands stuck themselves onto.
His body then turned the corner, his back now faced the Red Square. He continued to slowly inch himself closer and closer to the wooden beam. Finally, his left hand reached towards the wooden surface of the beam. His hand latched onto it tightly, inching his left hand a bit to leave a space open for his right hand.
His right hand then grabbed onto the wooden beam, firmly holding onto it. He then mustered up his strength to pull himself on top of the wooden beam, his arms bent into sideways L's as his upper body is pulled upwards. Finally, he managed to pull up his entire body onto the wooden beam. It managed to support his weight without a problem.
He sat on the wooden beam, his knees folded up and both pointed towards their respective sides. His arms rested, his right forearm crossed over his left forearm as they covered the front of his waist. He then began to slowly rise onto his feet, easily able to maintain his balance as his body bloomed.
He stood tall and strong on his feet, his eyes stared off into the morning sky. There was a slight breeze up where Arnold was, it rattled his coat and any of the loose clothing that he wore. It blew to his right. Just above him was the symbol of Russia, the two-headed eagle. His hazel eyes then fell back down onto the earth like a falling angel.
His vision gazed upon each and every single human being. He had the appearance of his brother in his mind, profiling him as a man with light brown hair and skin as tan as his own. Perhaps he might be wearing a Templar cross on his outfit. Finally, Arnold's predator eyes gazed upon a man that matched his remembrance of the face and hair of his younger brother.
He stood at about six-feet-and-two-inches tall, he appeared about be average weight and his skin was tan much like Arnold's. His bronze brown hair was short and gelled back while his face was clean shaved. He wore a beige overcoat made of wool and nylon. Underneath his coat, he wore a white dress shirt underneath a navy blue double breasted vest and a red satin puff tie.
As for his pants, he wore dark brown dress pants and black laced up boots made of leather. It wasn't his tony outfit that fished for Arnold's attention, it was the insignia that was sewn on his right sleeve. The cross of the Knights Templar, which appeared in a light gray fabric. As the air whipped across Arnold's body, his watchful gaze was glued onto the man that he had to kill.
Arnold closed his eyes, readying himself for what was to come. His nostrils then pulled in cool, crystal clear air. The smell of dew after a night of cold rain passed into his lungs. The hands that held onto this balloon of air then let it go. It rose up further and further into the bright blue above the world's head.
Just then, a caw echoed throughout the Red Square. It came from an eagle that flew over Arnold's head. It circled around the clocktower like a halo for the dead. This was an indication, a sign that it was time. The intrepid assassin then rushed forward, sprinting off of the wooden board that held him up. Once his legs took him to the edge, his arms sprouted out like wings and his body was gracefully hurled into the air.
His front pointed down towards the ground, his eyes gazed down at the Red Square. Regardless of the situation that he found himself in, the assassin was still calm and collected. He showed no fear, not on his face nor in his thought. His body then twirled down, the crown of his head now pointed towards the ground.
His body then began to fall, he pointed his face down towards the ground. His hazel eyes stared down at the cart of hay that his body was heading towards. The rush of the wind flailing at his skin was sharp, the sound brushing by his ears was the sound of a loud whistle that just wouldn't silence. His clothing rattled, waving like a flag.
Falling down, he was an arrow shot from the bow of an angel to descend to the mortal world. He came closer and closer to the cart of hay, it's aroma passing into his nose. His body then swirled once again, now his back faced the Red Square. In a splash of hay, Arnold landed safely inside the small pool of yellow straws.
The caw of the eagle once again echoed into the air. The man that Arnold spotted and suspected of being Gerulf froze just before the entrance into the cathedral. He then turned his head to his right, the reflection of the clocktower and the wooden beam appeared on his dark brown irises. A bullet of sweat rolled down the left side of his head, a sickening feeling dropped down into the pit of his stomach.
But he remained undaunted, unfazed by the frightening signs that he may be under the observant eye of a member of his group's worst enemy. He recoiled his focus back onto the event ahead, he walked forward and entered Saint Basil's Cathedral. Arnold's head popped out of the cart of hay, to his left was a dark brown horse staring at him.
Arnold turned his head towards the horse, his hazel eyes gazing at the young male horse. He was not shaken by Arnold's sudden appearance, the horse was calm just like the assassin. The young assassin then placed his left hand on the horse's muzzle as he then began to rub it. "Keep quiet, junge," (boy,) softly mumbled Arnold to the horse. "Otherwise you won't be the only one who spots me today!"
Once he finished speaking with the horse, the assassin leaped out of the cart of hay. His feet then began walking forward, he stood out in the center of the Red Sqaure. All around him were people living their days with their horses and family. His hazel irises gazed at the cathedral, he seemed in a state of dismay.
He thought that committing murder in a place where people condemn it was immoral. He felt it would be the wrong thing to do regardless of his teachings. He then turned back to the way that he came from and saw a wooden bench sitting along the stone wall that held the clocktower. Arnold then began walking towards it.
A minute after, Arnold stood in front of the bench, it was a ten foot long and one foot wide piece of wood. The assassin turned around and sat down on the bench. His legs were spread apart and his hands were folded into each other. His elbows and forearms were laying on top of his thighs. He sat straight with his head down so nobody could see his face.
He waited for a few hours, a shroud of silence surrounded him. The only sound that whispered from him was the light noise of his breathing. As he waited, the world went on. They shopped for food, took a stroll on the town, or just worked their average days. Once those long hours passed, Arnold's ears then began to hear a sudden outpouring of talk and footsteps.
His head is drawn to this like a moth to a flame. His hazel eyes then gaze upon a large crowd of people walking away from the church. His eyes peered into the crowd, pointing at it with his sharp gaze. There, he then spotted his man. Arnold causally stood up from the bench, his heartbeat then began to pick up in speed.
He then began walking towards the moving herd of people, his footsteps hasteful. Arnold then entered the crowd, getting swallowed whole. He then traveled through the sea of people, gently pushing aside or swerving around anyone that got in his way. He was at the back of the group of people, he continued to waltz his way through the moving jungle of bodies.
His target was in his sights, so close that he could taste it with the tip of his tongue. But with each step that pushed him closer, the reluctance that welled up inside Arnold grew ten times larger. Finally, Arnold was a mere fingernail from his target. Now Arnold was nothing more but a blade in the crowd, just waiting to strike.
Arnold stood just two feet from the back of his target, their footsteps were synchronized. Arnold was walking at the exactly same pace as his target. The secret death rolled out from under Arnold's right frilled sleeve, it's steel shimmered under the sun. Arnold's heart raced, adrenaline coursed all throughout his body.
In his mind, he wondered if this was the right choice. He second guessed himself constantly. But he knew that he took up this life for that reason, to make sacrifice and protect mankind from the Templars. A memory of the days of his childhood flashed through his mind. It was of him staring up at his father as he spoke to him and Gerulf.
"We as Assassins choose this life to fight for the peace of all and the truth of one," spoke Arnold's father to his sons. The words echoed throughout Arnold's head. "The peace of all is so that mankind can live without fear. The truth of one is that the will of eins (one) can shape their own life and history, no matter their disadvantages. And as Assassins, we must commit a necessary evil to commit a necessary good---taking a life but saving a thousand."
The voice of his father faded away. Arnold pulled his hidden blade up, ready to thrust it into his target. "I'm sorry, Gerulf," painfully thought Arnold. The young assassin quickly reached his left hand forward, he quickly grabbed onto the left shoulder of his target. His hand latched tightly, stopping the man in his tracks. This sent alarms ringing all throughout his mind.
The victim's arms flailed backwards. Arnold's heart skipped a beat as his hidden blade sprung to life, it raced forward. He pushed his right arm forward, aiming for just under his target's right armpit. His blade finds it's mark, it dug right through the man's overcoat and pierced into his flesh. The blade goes in between two ribs and pierced right through his right lung and out through his chest.
Blood flew out from his chest, the crimson liquid had now abandoned the young man forever. He stood there while wearing a mask of breathlessness. His eyes were as wide as an owl's. His breath pushed out of his lungs and it didn't come back no matter how much he struggled. Arnold quickly recoiled his right arm back to his side.
His hand released the victim's shoulder, he then began to collapse like a stack of cards. His body flopped on the ground, his blood laying underneath. As people began to realize what had just happened before their very eyes and start panicking, the world around Arnold just seemed to freeze.
The horrified faces of those who watched Arnold kill a man just stood there suspended in time. People ceased breathing, the birds stopped chirping, the clouds up in the heavens stood still and the brightest stars was stuck in place. Arnold's hidden blade slowly slithered back into hiding, it knew that it's venom had been delivered and that it's victim had begun to die.
A cloud of melancholy was pulled over Arnold's head. His eyelids hung low as his eyes gazed at the back of his target. Arnold's feet began to move forward, walking to the left side of the man he just assassinated. Once at his side, the young assassin fell down onto his knees. His ears caught the wheezing and the struggle just to breathe.
The dying man knew what had happened, he had been stabbed by an assassin---the feared killer among men. Arnold placed his left hand onto the left shoulder of the man, he then flipped the man's body over so that he may see his face. Arnold's right hand held his victim's head up while his right hand held onto his victim's right forearm.
The man's front now faced the sky, his face gazed upon the assassin that killed him. But he was shocked, his eyes laid upon the grief-stricken face of his older brother. Arnold confirmed to himself that the one that laid dying in his arms was indeed Gerulf. The young assassin's mind flipped in many directions, he just didn't know what to believe or think.
An intense remorse and guilt flooded Arnold, he felt horrible for what he had done to his brother. Bullets of sweat shot out from the sides of the assassin's face at the speed of an assault rifle. His horrified eyes gazed down upon Gerulf's dying face. Blood poured out of his mouth, his irises steadily faded.
Gerulf bled out in Arnold's arms, he was almost unable to catch a breath. The eyes of Gerulf became a pitcher for his tears of shock and sorrow, they streamed down his face. He still couldn't believe what had just happened. "Warum...Bruder?" (Why...brother?) softly muttered Gerulf as his voice drowns in a sea of weakness. "...Why have you done this?"
Arnold's right hand lifted towards his brother's face, he clenched his pinky and ring fingers and extended his middle and index fingers out. The tips of his fingers began to catch his brother's tears. Arnold's lungs inhaled a large and heavy pocket of air. It expressed a feeling he had never felt before, a guilt unlike anything he had ever faced.
His lips quivered, his teeth chatted inside his mouth. "Often we must do things without choice," Arnold sorrowfully replied, his voice cracked with lament. Arnold laid to rest the almost lifeless body of his brother down upon the ground. As he did, his brother's eyes began to close. His muscles began to loosen, becoming as limp as a doll.
He grew still, slowly his breath followed suit. Gerulf looked as if he had fallen asleep, but his trip to another world was not to the Land of Nod. Arnold then gathered Gerulf's hands, placing them both in the center of his chest so that they would be just above his heart. His eyes began to flood with water as he did this. "Vergeben mich, mein Bruder...denn Ich kann nicht vergeben ich selbst," (Forgive me, my brother...because I can not forgive myself,) he spoke to his brother as a large fissure began to crack in his heart. "Ruhe in Frieden." (Rest in peace.)
Arnold just sat there on his knees, just staring at the lifeless face of his brother. He couldn't believe that Gerulf was dead and that he was the one to commit this action. After a minute of just staring without belief, the memory of the other reason that Arnold came here bounced back to life in his head.
Arnold then began to pat down his brother's body, searching for anything in his pockets or maybe inside of his coat. There was nothing, no trace or evidence of him carrying it. And as he did this, he felt the world around him come to life once again. People stared with a breathtaken mask worn on their face, some trembled in fear and others just couldn't believe what was going on.
There was a circle of people all around Arnold and his brother's body. The young assassin closed his eyes, he couldn't accept himself after what he had done. His body rose, he grew to his original height. People covered their children with their arms like a shield once he stood up. They were all speechless, a shocked awe commanded the army of people.
An older man in the crowd, standing at about five-feet-and-six-inches tall, pointed at Arnold with his left index finger. The man had gray gelled back hair and a mustache. He wore a black frock coat and white dress shirt underneath it. On top of his shirt, he wore a yellow single-breasted vest. He wore a yellow silk puff tie around his neck. And he wore black leather gloves. He wore black dress pants and black leather brogans.
He whipped his index finger at Arnold with deadly precision, his hands shook like an earthquake. Arnold's ears caught the man's frightened muttered breaths. The assassin turned towards the man, his eyes staring into the terrified irises of the man. It looked like Arnold was digging into the man's soul. This made the man freeze, becoming as still as a statue. "Убийца!" (Assassin!) screamed the man off the top of his lungs.
From the western side of the crowd, police officers burst through the crowd like a bulldozer. Arnold heard the rush of the law enforcers coming towards him. The officers were wearing a hussars hat that was a dark navy blue. A badge of the two-headed eagle was stitched into the front of their hats. They wore a dark navy blue greatcoat made of wool and a gray dress shirt underneath. Around their necks was a black satin ascot.
For pants, they wore dark gray field trousers and heavy black leather boots that reached up to just below their knees. They all had a dark brown leather base that went diagonally across their torso, from their right shoulder to their left side of their abdomen. And they wore a dark brown leather belt around their waist.
Attached to the left side of their belt was their shashka, a single edged sabre that was guardless. Attached to the right side of their belt was a handgun. Once the guards appeared before cutting through the crowd, Arnold bolted out of the crowd. He headed towards a street with houses lining it. He pushed away anybody that stood in his way, thrashing his way as if he were swimming in invisible water.
The officers saw the assassin rushing away from them. They then began to give chase. "Assassin!" yelled one of the five officers. "Stop now!" Arnold just kept on sprinting away from the officers, running at eleven miles-per-hour. The officers ran at about six miles-per-hour. His footsteps hit the ground heavily as he ran, his breath was calm and kept at a normal pace despite the situation.
Around Arnold were carriages that were carried forward by beautiful horses. People stood around the assassin, he skillfully dodged or pushed anyone in the way. A narrow pathway was coming up to his left, a small alleyway. Without awareness of this, one of the officers quickly pulled out his handgun. He pointed it towards Arnold as he and his comrades were lagging behind the assassin.
Arnold quickly made a sharp left hand turn, his body curved suddenly into the alleyway. Not predicting this, the officer fired his gun. A loud bang was catapulted into the atmosphere, the bullet was then thrown out of the gun's chamber and it headed towards the assassin. It spiraled around as it moved forward, darting towards Arnold at the speed of sound.
But the approaching bullet looked more and more unlikely to actually hitting the assassin. When the projectile that was spewed from the mouth of a gat was at the side of the assassin, it missed him by mere inches. The bullet rocketed by the assassin, whizzing away from him. The people gasped with fear, their ears capturing the sound of the gun going off.
The public around then began to scatter like pieces of glass from a shattered mirror. The officer who shot the gun tightly gritted his teeth together, frustrated by this event. Arnold swiftly entered the alleyway, trying to escape the grasp of the officers. The other officers pulled out their pistols, readying themselves to enter the alleyway. "You have nowhere else to run, Assassin!" taunted one of the officers.
The officers grabbed onto the pistols with both of their hands, running towards the start of the alleyway. They stood in a V-shaped formation. Their fronts faced the alleyway, their eyes stared down at it's end. But what they saw mystified them, they did not gaze upon a white hood. They just gazed upon red brink walls that held nothing between them.
The officer that fired his gun, the one standing in the center of the group looked all around the area. He peered up, down and all over the walls. But the assassin eluded him. His body swirled, his front faced the other officers. His right index finger pointed to each of his officers. "Find him," angrily commanded the officer, demanding for the answer.
The officers ran, two of them ran to the left while the others ran to the right. The commanding officer stood in place, a sea of rancor drank the officer like a bottle of water. He frantically shuffled his head, looking for the man in the white hood. What he did not realize is that the assassin was on top of the flat rooftop above his head.
Arnold was on his knees, his ears eavesdropped on the officer beneath him. He heard the fearful breathing that yo-yoed, it quickly entered and exited his body. Arnold then heard the step of a human just to his left side. The young assassin turned his head to his left at the speed of sound, reacting to the possibility that his life might be in danger.
His hazel irises then gazed to his left, he saw the long tunnel of the barrel of a rifle staring him down. Just before the man could pull the trigger, Arnold threw his left hand up towards the barrel of the gun. His hand grabbed onto the bottom of the rifle and pushed it up towards the sky. He then began to sling his right hand forward.
The silencer known as death was looming over the head of the solider that attempted to take Arnold's life. It revealed it's terrifying face from under the frilled sleeve of the assassin's right arm. It became tempted by the life that the solider wielded, it was drawn to it like an ant to a source of food. The blade hungered for the man's life and so it exited from it's home to come steal it.
The blade found the man, impaling into the right side of the his abdomen. The nine-inch finger from death burrowed into the man's flesh, piercing right through into his liver. Arnold's right hand was planted onto the abdomen of the guard. The guard's face resembled the mask of breathlessness, his eyes were as big as dinner plates.
Blood poured out from the wound, covering Arnold's forearm. He quickly pulled his blade out of the man's abdomen, retracting his blade back into it's hiding place. The dying guard had a loose grip upon his rifle, the young assassin pulled it from his hands and quietly placed it to his right side. He then gently laid the man down onto the rooftop.
The guard had a blank look on his face, his life had almost been completely drained from his mortal shell. He bled out on the rooftop, a pool of his own blood cloaked the area in a fresh coat of paint. The young assassin then began to gather the man's hands, placing them both in the center of his chest so that they would be just above his heart. His right hand was the king, ruling on top of the hill of his left hand.
Arnold placed his right hand upon the man's face, the assassin's right index finger was planted upon his right eyelid while his middle finger was put down upon his left. Arnold placed his left hand on top of the man's right hand. "Ruhe in Frieden," (Rest in peace,) quietly whispered Arnold to the nearly soulless guard. Just after he finished his words, he scrolls his right hand down to close the guard's eyes.
The vitality left lingering in the guard's body had been lost, he was now gone. Arnold stood up onto his feet, his eyes still peering down upon the peaceful face of the man he just killed. "I left Moscow that very day exactly four hours after I had arrived to it," thought Arnold as he looked back upon his past. "I returned back to Frankfurt, my heart was torn. The blood of my only brother was on my hands, I stole his life. My brother and I were best friends when he was still with me. And the sadness in his voice when he realized it was me who took his life...it still haunts me. I could not forgive myself...and I still cannot. I pondered many things on my way back to Germany. I returned to my father in May 4th of 1850, it would be my final day as an Assassin."
The days that silently followed the murder in Moscow, Arnold returned to the Assassin's Headquarter underneath Saint Bartholomew's Cathedral in Frankfurt. He climbed down the manhole and downward through the long, aphotic tunnel that was the esophagus into the belly of the Assassins in Germany.
Inside the stomach of the order, the many men and women of the group were inside the main room that had two pairs of wings that acted as an entrance into certain parts of the headquarters. There were two entrances into different parts of the headquarters on the left and right side of the room. The bottom wings led into the rooms where the members of the order sleep.
The top wings led to more important areas, including the armory and the initiation room. At the end of the hall in the right upper wing was a double door with the insignia of the Assassins craved into it. Inside of this 130x140 inch room, the Grand Master of the Assassins Order sat behind a desk made of oak wood which sat in the center of the room.
The walls were made of gray brinks, the floor beneath the master's feet were hidden underneath red carpet. In the center of each wall hung a white banner of the Assassins. Portraits hung on each wall as well, one was of a beautiful red haired woman dressed in a red silk evening gown with delicate lacing and ribbon trimming.
Her hair was in a braid, it was long and reached down to her shoulders. Her skin was a little pale and her eyes were a pale blue. She wore two rings on her left ring finger, both were gold. The frame that carried this painting was silver. On the other side of this portrait was the portrait of a younger Arnold and Gerulf along with their mother and father.
Arnold and Gerulf stood in front of their parents, they were held in the arms of their mother and father. They were all dressed formally for this. At the lower left-hand corner of this picture was the number 1830. Other portraits scattered throughout the room included several former Grand Masters of the Assassins Order all over Europe.
His desk had a red and white cloth with the symbol of the Assassins on top of the table. He sat on a chair made of the same wood as his table. On top of his desk, there was a small bottle of dark ink and in his left hand was a quill with a blackened tip. In front of him was a golden brown sheet of paper on it, this was mostly likely a letter to an Order outside of the country.
There was a knock on the door, catching the ball in the glove of the father's mind. "Hereinkommen," (Come in,) commanded the old man to the one hiding behind the door. The door slowly cracked open, revealing a man who has been shattered. Arnold appeared before his father a broken mess, pieces of himself were missing from him.
The old man's eyes gazed upon his son, his appearance gave him the answer to a question that he had been sitting on for a while. The old man bolted out of his seat, pushing it backwards as he hopped onto his feet. "Son," called his father with a shaking concern. "Have...you done it?"
Arnold slowly closed the door behind him. Heavy breathing blew out of his nose, his nose was all red and his body quivered. His eyes were just as red as his noses and they were bloodshot. The thought of answering his father's question ticked in his head. It was agonizing, it bit at his ankles. "Ja," (Yes,) painfully mumbled the assassin. Arnold then turned around, his front now faced the door.
His right hand grabbed onto the doorknob that was the hand of the door. He grabbed onto it tightly, the thought still twisted inside of him. His father was worried about his son but worried about where he was going. "Where are you going?" asked the Grand Master. "Where is the Piece of Eden? Did you find it?"
Arnold swiftly spun his head back towards his father. His sorrowful face became a mask of ire, he was infuriated by his father's question. This face took the Grand Master by surprise. "No, I couldn't find your worthless Stück von Müll!" (piece of garbage!) furiously raising his voice at his father. "Do you not understand what I have done!? I...I killed my little brother, father---my only brother!"
His father closed his eyes, a grief crashed onto the shores of his conscience. He pulled his hands behind his back, his hands folded into each other. His head lowered, his face looked down upon the red carpet. He seemed to regret his words, his questions in this kind of time. Arnold quickly swirled his head back to match up with his front.
Several minutes passed without a sound. The young assassin's hazel irises gazing onto the wooden facet of the door. Curtains began to fall over his eyes, covering them in a sheet that matched the color of his skin. "We're leaving for Berlin in the morning," stated Arnold, breaking the minutes of silence. "We will not be coming back."
A disturbing feeling engulfed the Grand Master, his ears catching his son's words. His face flipped back up, his eyes staring down the hoodless head of his son. He stared at his son's brown hair. "What?" questioned his father. "What are you saying, son?"
Arnold drew in breath in his bellows, let it release it's self back into the room. He turned his head to gaze upon his father. "I'm leaving the Brotherhood," stated Arnold with a slight bit of hesitation. "I cannot do this anymore, father. I have done too much...and killed too many. And after this mission, I can't continue leading this life anymore. I just...want to stop killing and start living my life with my family."
His father just stood there, a speechless mask controlled his face. He had no clue what to say, he was marooned on an island of voicelessness. Arnold just stared with sadness upon his father's face, he realized that he couldn't fathom what he had just told him. After a minute, Arnold turned around and faced the wooden door.
He twisted the doorknob counter clockwise and pushed against the door. The door popped open, revealing the long hallway that stretched out in front of him. He slipped his body out of the Grand Master's room and into the hallway. He slowly closed the door behind him. "That was the last time I have seen my father, Friedrich," stated the older Arnold who was gazing back on his past. "I do not know whether or not he still remains alive today. We haven't spoken since that day three years ago."
Minutes had passed since that scene of him leaving his workplace in the distant night. Arnold was close to home, it was just on his fingertips. He was still alone on this day, he quietly kept to himself. His footsteps still bounced into the air, he acted like the only pulse left in the city. He was the very last cell that coursed through the veins of Berlin.
Inside the narrow street that was lined with brink buildings, there sat a man on a bench. He wore a black top hat and a dark gray greatcoat. He wore black dress pants and shoes on his feet. He had a handlebar mustache on his face and brown gelled back hair. The green apple of the man's eye kept a close watch on Arnold as he passed by, sticking to the former assassin like glue.
In front of him, he held an opened newspaper with the headline that shook Arnold. The man pretended to be reading the newspaper but in actuality he was closely following Arnold. He did not turn an eye onto the man, he didn't suspect him at all. He just kept walking forward, eager to return to his home. Once he gazed at the back of the former assassin, a smirk that is only worn on the face of a hellion cracked onto his face.
But something strange consumed the former assassin, a darkness shrouded him. It was of apprehension, a sense of alertness and danger loomed overhead. His heart pounded faster than it was just a moment ago. And this only seemed to grow with every single step Arnold took. As he came closer and closer to his home, Arnold sniffed a smell that shocked him.
It smelt like a fire, a fire that had devoured a building. Red flags rose like the flag of a country in the center of a battle in his head. The former assassin then sprinted into action, he began running as soon as he smelt the burning smell. He darted at the speeds of eight miles-per-hour, running as fast as he could.
A million thoughts shuffled in his head, stacking together in one single pile like a deck of cards. He turned to his left and around a corner, he was now on the street that his home was. His eyes then captured the images of embers shooting out of the building he called his own. Smoke invaded the capital of the sky and started a siege.
The orange of the fire reflected off of Arnold's terrified eyes as he stopped and stared. His mouth hung low, he couldn't believe his eyes. "It is a truth that I cannot escape," thought Arnold to himself. "No matter how much I wish it weren't true, no matter how badly I wish it could just disappear---it cannot. I am and shall forever be an Assassin."
The End of Chapter 1
Chapter 2: The Spark that Ignited a Wildfire
A fear took hold of Arnold, smothering him with a grasp that would suffocate a man. A thousand thoughts waltzed in a ball of terror in his head. Without further delay, Arnold charged forward. He sprinted with all of his might, running at twelve-miles-per-hour. From where he stood, he was only a few houses from his own.
Smoke swirled like a long spiraling staircase into the black sky. Embers rained down all across the land. The night was late so no one was awake to see or even acknowledge the existence of the fire. Arnold's heart pounded at the speed of a bullet, he feared the worst. He stood in front of the burning building, the intense heat that emitted from the flames forced bullets of sweat to form all over Arnold's body.
Arnold quickly threw off his dark gray frock coat, revealing his white dress shirt with a high-standing collar and his fine black double breasted vest. The flame was like a torch in the darkness, it's luminous light brightened the world. That light had the eyes of the former assassin on it. Without a sign of fear or any self-preservation, Arnold dauntlessly hurled himself into the mouth of flames.
As Arnold took his first step into the house, he had realized that the door into his house had been busted down. A alert flashed in the former assassin's mind. The incredible heat devoured the man, engulfing his whole body. All around him were tall mountains of flames, they were termites born from fire and they consumed all in their path. In front of Arnold was the kitchen, it too was nothing but flames.
The ceiling above Arnold's head was partially collapsed, it looked like a circle of fire over Arnold's head. Boards of wood dangled loosely from random parts of the ceiling. The floor beneath Arnold's feet was made of tile while the floor two steps away from him was hidden underneath a red carpet. Priceless portraits that hung from the walls became innocent victims of the wrath of the god of pyro.
The sound of sizzling and popping snapped all around Arnold. The smell of fire and smoke entered Arnold's nostrils and filled his lungs. The smell was so strong that the former assassin could taste it on his tongue. It was as if the sun stood in Arnold's presence, the house was incredibly bright. Arnold could barely see anything, the smoke slapped him across his face and rendered his vision compromised.
As he choked and gasped from fresh breath, his ears caught something that wasn't the sound of the flames around him. It was a weak, faint cry that came from the kitchen. And this voice made Arnold's eyes widen. He immediately sprang into action, he began rushing forward. "Liebling!" (Darling!) frantically shouted Arnold off the top of his lungs.
Just as Arnold began running forward to find Diana, two men jumped down from the hole in the ceiling. They landed firmly onto the ground, they were just behind and in front of Arnold. One stood at five-feet-and-seven-inches tall while the other stood at six-feet-and-two-inches tall. One had blonde gelled back hair while the other had brown short hair with a mustache.
They both wore gray pork pie hats and wore a gray dress shirt and a dark red silk ascot. As well as black dress pants and black leather boots. They both wielded stilettos made of hardened steel. Arnold froze in place once he saw the men but he was not afraid of them. He readied himself for the fight that was bound to take place.
The man staring onto the face of Arnold grew a grin on his face. "Why, hello there," devilishly greeted the man. "It's so wonderful that you could join us, Assassin."
Arnold's fists clenched tightly, he seemed infuriated by the presence of the man. "What have you done this!?" angrily demanded Arnold.
"We only wish to serve our Father," quickly replied the man. The man behind Arnold seemed to be plotting something. The man's right hand slithered down, reaching down for a small pistol that was strapped onto the right side of his hip. The man reached his right hand out in front of him. "Our master demanded this to be done. Don't blame us!"
The man behind Arnold readied his pistol, pointing it towards the former assassin. Arnold's eyes speared into the man's eyes, digging straight into him. "Then do not blame me for what is about to occur," stated Arnold. He then lunged forward, stepping quickly forward towards the man in front of him.
Arnold latched his hands onto the man's arm, quickly swinging him around so that his back faced Arnold's front. He used the man as a shield, expecting the man's attack with a gun. Without realizing what was going on, the man pulled the trigger repeatedly on his pistol. The bullets were spewed from the cannon, speeding towards his comrade.
The bullets blast into the man's torso, hitting him three times in the chest and three times in his abdomen. Blood flew out from the sights of each target, falling silently drop upon the ground. Once the danger had passed, Arnold threw the man's barely living body forward. The body pushed forward and towards the man that was gunning for Arnold.
The man quickly sidestepped the incoming freight train but he was left distracted for just a moment. Arnold came charging in, readying for the fight. Arnold threw his right fist forward, aiming for the man's nose. His blow pounded heavily against the bridge of his nose, possibly breaking it. The man was flinched for just a moment, he grabbed onto his nose as it pulsed with agony.
Arnold quickly lunged his left foot forward, aiming for the man's abdomen. The man quickly dodged the furious kick, he swung the barrel of his gun at Arnold's face. The metal mace smacked just above Arnold's right eyebrow, opening a cut that bled like a waterfall of crimson. Arnold took a step backwards, he was stunned a bit by the whack of the gat.
The man then went for a lunge with his stiletto. Arnold realized this was coming, he inched slightly to his left. The sharp blade missed him by a mere inch. Arnold then latched his right hand onto the man's left hand and held onto it tightly. With all of his strength, he then smashed his left hand like a blacksmith hammering a piece of metal only Arnold's hand was the hammer.
The attack injured the attacker's wrist, a grimace formed onto his face. He grunted, feeling the pain brought by the former assassin. The attack forced the man to let go of his weapon, dropping it onto the ground. Arnold then quickly launched his right leg, his foot coming in for a speedy kick. The man then dodged the attack, backing up. The two then began to exchange blows, the heat of the flame effecting them tremendously.
The two kept at it for about a minute, punching and kicking until somebody made a mistake. The flames to their left drew in breath, it was not left breathless despite the conflict that transpired in front of it. Just as Arnold was going to make a punch, the man put up his defenses and readied himself to dodge.
But the former assassin faked his attack, quickly he fell down to the ground on his knees. Arnold then quickly grabbed onto the stiletto that the man had been using. Once his right hand had a firm grip upon the blade, he jumped back onto his feet. As he rose back up to the surface, he readied the blade to impale the man.
Once Arnold's eyes gazed upon his targeted area, he sprung into action. He launched the blade forward, attempting to silence the man. The blade pushed in, the blood began to flow out. The stiletto had impale the left side of the man's abdomen, slicing into his large intestine. The man had a dull and stolid look upon his face, he was left numb and speechless.
The gun fell from his hand, crashing down in a heavy thud onto the ground. Arnold then pulled the stiletto out of the torso of the man. The attacker's body then began to collapse, he fell backwards like a tree that had been cut down. His body bounced, he was a breathless fish out of the water. He stared up towards the burning halo that was once over his head. But now as a fallen angel, he laid in the lap of Hell.
He gazed with a stolid facet, his body grew still and motionless. He froze completely, his soul completely discharged from the job of keeping watch over this helpless, empty husk. Arnold stared down upon the inanimate face of the man, his time had come. But a snap lashed out at him, the memory of the real reason he entered this flaming building.
He quickly spun his body around, his front now faced the eastern side of his house. He then began sprinting as fast as he could. But his lungs steadily became factories, a heavy fog of charcoal black smoke filled him. He wheezed and coughed but his own safety was the last subject on his mind. His ears continued to hear the faint cries from the kitchen, pleading for him to find them.
Arnold could barely see in front of him as the horrific smell of the smoke rushed up his nose. Finally, he came across a doorway that led into the kitchen. The entrance was a foggy mask, Arnold bolted through the fog. He popped out from the other side as if he was making an entrance through a smoke effect for a professional event.
What his eyes saw was something that left in an utter state of disbelief. There he saw a helpless woman laying the center of the kitchen floor. Around her was a pool of crimson flowing out from a wound she had sustained. The circular injury pierced through her large intestine and out the other way.
Much like the burning house that he called his home, Arnold's heart began to rip into small, frail pieces. Like sherds of paper, the flaming pieces of his heart slowly withered away by the consumption of the flame. It slowly converted into a pile of cinders, it was unable to find the strength to become a phoenix and rise to life once again.
His eyes gazed upon by her agonized face. She appeared to be five-feet-and-four-inches tall and was about the average weight for her age. She was in her mid-thirties and her skin was slightly pale. Her hair was chocolate brown and hidden mostly inside of a black hair net. Her pale blue irises gazed upon him, they trembled with fright.
For her attire, she wore a white blouse with a black velvet belt that covered most of her abdomen. Around her right ring finger, she wore two rings which were both made of gold with an emerald stone in the center of both. She then wore a white skirt with a light green calico print of roses. On her feet she wore long, brown leather boots that had a heel that was 1 and three quarter inch tall.
Her belt had become red with her own blood, it crawled down all the way to the tile flooring. Arnold stared for a moment, unable to fathom what exactly he was seeing. His jaw dangled loosely, the slightest blow of wind would pick it up. His eyes became bigger than dinner plates and his mind went quiet.
Ten seconds into this, a thought came to his head. It was the only thing he could even begin to say. "Diana..." he sorrowfully muttered under his breath.
Diana's vision flip-flopped, going blurry and normal more times than she could count. Her face became very lethargic, her husband was a blurry phantom to her. But she knew that she could recognize his voice even if it were to be shouted thousands of miles away from her. "Arnold...?" she weakly named, calling his name.
Suddenly, the will to carry on overcame the former assassin. He became animated, stepping forward in a haste. He was at the left side of his wife, he knelt down beside her. "Don't worry, Mein Liebling," (My darling,) replied Arnold, a tsunami of fear hid like a predator ready to attack under the cloak of his voice. He was a frantic mess, working as fast as he could. "I'm going to get you out of here!"
Arnold dug his arms underneath Diana, his right arm sunk underneath the upper portion of her body while his left arm was stuck behind her knees. With all of the strength that was hauled under his wings, he pulled her up. She laid her arms on her abdomen. In the safety of his arms, Diana laid her head against her lover's chest. Her left ear pressed against right side of his chest, she heard the soft pounding of his swiftly beating heart.
Arnold's eyes immediately flew over to the top of the head on his wife. "Hey!" he furiously shouted. "Stay with me!" Arnold turned his body, he faced the geyser of smoke that disguised the doorway. Without a care about himself, he sprinted forward with all of his might. He sped forward faster than he could have ever ran before, he was terrified at the thought of losing her.
He brushed by the valley of smog without rest, the smoke breaking apart with bits of it still clinging to Arnold as he ran through it. The broken door into the house was just in front of him, it stood beside two torches of tall fire that scorched anything it touched. The light of the blaze brushed across their faces, it's burning hot fingers poking at their skin.
Her blood squirmed down her body, rushing like a fountain of red wine. It felt a trail behind, revealing where she had been. As Arnold ran forward, the ceiling behind him began to unravel. It plunged down onto the ground, crushing anything in it's path. The smoke scattered like a school of fish cut in half by an approaching figure.
Arnold and Diana finally came out into the fresh air and cooler temperature, the bitter cold tugged at them. The two coughed once they escaped the everlasting throes of the broiling heat, the crystal clear air finally claiming back the village under siege. Their coughing tried to purge the smoke left in their lungs.
He ran ten feet from the front of their house. He hectically shuffled his head from left to right. "Don't worry, Diana," he quickly stated. "W-we can fix this! I'm going to find a doctor who can fix this...!"
Diana's eyes slowly pulled open, a sliver of her gorgeous pale blue irises were seen. "Nein, (No,) Arnold," she replied to her husband. Arnold knelt back down, his knees planted against the stone brink roadway. Arnold laid her legs down onto the ground and lifted her head with his right hand. His left hand then took hold of her right hand, he held onto it with all of his love.
Arnold's dress shirt was covered in blood. He rubbed his thumb against the back of her hand. He wasn't going to try to fight it, he wasn't going to deny it at all. It was a hard bullet of bite, a very hard bullet. His eyes began to fill with water, the frantic emotions that rushed all across his body had faded now. If only now such a feeling could return so that it could replaced this.
A sorrow that was double the size of the army that Gerulf's death could muster.
His eyebrows were twisted like backwards L's turned to the left. Arnold gazed down upon her face, his lips were tightly held into his mouth. "I'm sorry, Diana," apologized Arnold. Diana's soft eyes gazed up at Arnold's face. She then slowly shook her head side-to-side. Arnold's breathing became heavy with grief, a feeling he knew all too well.
A teardrop was formed from Arnold's left eye. It barreled down his cheek, leaving behind footprints to mark it's way. Diana's left hand then sluggishly rose up, growing like a flower in fast-forward. She reached her fingers towards the tear that fell from Arnold's face. With her index and middle finger, she wiped it away. A light smile grew on her face. "Don't cry, my love," she said to himself. "No matter where you are, no matter what you do...I'll always be right beside you."
His eyes then closed. He tried extremely hard to fight the tears with the effort of a boxer fighting one thousand soldiers. "What can I do?" he spoke with sadness. "What can I do for you, Diana?"
"Just live, Arnold," she whispered as her vision slowly began to fall into a complete blur. To Arnold's vision, her irises' color began to fade. "I...love...y-" Without the ability to finish her sentence, her vision then became completely covered by a tenebrous cloak. The hand that was held high to catch Arnold's tears fell down like a flower that had died.
Her grip on Arnold loosened, becoming completely non-existent. Her smile fell down like the sun. Her breath ceased, she was as still as a stick. Her entire body became limp, she had passed from this world. Unable to acknowledge it, Arnold looked at Diana's blank mask with question. "Diana?" he quietly called. He waited ten seconds but still no reply. He then began shaking her body. "Diana! Diana!!"
He paused, gazing upon her face. Tears slowly began to stream down his face, the lost ripped into his heart. He realized that his shouts were falling upon deaf ears, he knew that his love was no longer with him. He laid her head down gently onto the ground. His right hand then rubbed the left side of her face.
His bare skinned hand felt the dissipating heat of Diana's face. With each breath he took, his warm breath appeared like a cloud of smoke as if the smoke from the fire was exiting from him through his mouth. His hand trembled, rattling like a tambourine. "Mein Liebling," (My darling,) mumbled Arnold with a broken voice. "I...didn't mean for this to happen. Forgive me..."
The situation he was in, a person laying dead in his arms felt all too familiar to the former assassin. As the tears rolled down his eyes, he stared upon her face just one last time. He continued to gently wipe his right hand across the left side of her face, he felt the continued plunge of the glowing warmth of her face.
But the pain of her passing stabbed at his heart a thousand times. A wave of emotion crashed on the shores of his being, crushing him like an insect. He whisked her body towards his torso, pulling her up so it looked like she was sitting up. He then wrapped his arms around her, embracing her numb and lifeless body with the feeling and vitality of his own.
The teardrops then began to steadily pour, his eyes were the summit of a very long waterfall. "I'm so sorry, my love," he hysterically spoke. "If only I could have stopped them...!"
The night's ears caught the sounds of his agony filled moans, they echoed out to the world. His warm tears quickly submitted to the taxing cold, it's touch froze them. Arnold's mind flashed with all of the memories of him and Diana. The picturebook of his mind opened up with thousands of memories of each time the two were together. The more that came, the more the great tidal wave of affliction consumed.
The tear in his heart had become way too deep, it was something that would seem impossible to live with. It was an agony that was the greatest of all, a emotional scream that beckoned for anyone to try to save what was left. But what was left of Diana's life had disappeared. And perhaps the same could be said for Arnold's.
He sat there in silence, slowly his body rocked back and forth with her in his arms. They looked like they were ballroom dancing to a slow song while sitting down. "Diana was my world and my soul," thought Arnold to himself. "Without her, I had no world and I was a walking husk with nothing inside. So, that was what I became..."
Two hours passed, it was much later into the night. As the blaze that consumed the building that he and his family lived in was in an ultimate struggle, Arnold was walking out of the city of Berlin. In his arms was Diana, she sat with her arms laying on her abdomen. Her head hung down, her face looking down at her chest.
Her limp limbs bounced with each step Arnold took. Arnold's face was red, his eyes were bloodshot and white mixed with red. The tears that streamed down his face were dried, they were frozen onto his cheeks. He was almost alone with the exception of a few horse carriages that passed him by. He didn't care exactly what went through the minds of those that saw him.
He looked like he had been hypnotized, his eyes looked like half moons turned to the right. He walked mindlessly out of the city without a thought or care about anything. To his right was a red brink inn that was laying on top a hill of grass. It was two stories tall with a wooden stable that housed the horses of those staying at the inn to it's left.
In front of Arnold was a long, straight stone brink pathway reaching out as far as the eye could see. The darkness blinded the faraway pathway, making it look endless. Walking into the shady unknown, Arnold steps forward without a thought or care. His breath soft, slowly pushing out of his lungs.
Suddenly from behind a rush of footsteps came from behind him. He stopped in place just five feet from where Arnold was, he stood hunched over and out of breath. He panted heavily, his mouth was like an endless steam machine. "Father!" shouted a young man's voice from behind him as he tried to catch his breath. "I've been looking all over for..." His voice paused once he noticed that Arnold was carrying something.
The young man stood at about six-feet tall and weighed about one-hundred and fifty pounds. His skin was dark and tan and he had short black hair. His hair was unkempt and a bit messy considering his situation. His eyes were brown and had a fierce kindness to them. He didn't appear very old, only about twenty-two years of age.
For an attire, he wore a white dress shirt with a high standing collar. Around his neck he wore a black string tie. He wore a burgundy colored vest on top of his shirt. On top of both, he wore a charcoal black frock coat made of wool. Black velvet covered the buttons and the cuff. His coat was buttoned up.
He wore black cotton brushed trousers and black leather laced up boots. He saw the legs that dangled from the left, the skirt that he knew was worn by Diana. His eyes widened, he was saddened to realize exactly who it was. His jaw dropped, his face mimicked a look of absolute disbelief. "W-what...?" he gasped, breathless by what he had found under the wool sheets.
Arnold froze in place, stopping dead in his tracks. "Haytham," named Arnold with a fury quaking under his tongue. "Who killed her?"
Such a sudden question was impossible to answer for the young man. He blinked faster than a flash of lightning multiple times. He shook off his feelings for just this moment. "I-I don't know," he answered with a sadness erupting from his voice. "I was visiting mother after I got off of work. She was preparing dinner when these men glowing red busted down the door. And—"
Arnold raised his eyebrow. "They glowed red?" he curiously asked.
Haytham shook his head. "Ja," (Yes,) he quickly replied. "They pointed their guns at us. Mother told me to run out as fast as I could while she created a distraction. She immediately began fighting them off. They fought inside the kitchen while I ran away. Just when I was running onto the street, I heard a...a gunshot. I...couldn't do anything, father...nothing."
"How many were there, son?" quickly questioning Arnold with the tension of an interrogation.
"Five," he stated. "There were two men wearing hats and two others dressed formally. One of the men wearing the top hats had a scar across his face. Those two men had...strange crosses stitched into their left sleeves. And then there was another man that they referred to as their master."
The words spoken to Arnold from the mouth of the man echoed through his head. "Our master demanded this to be done..." spoken by the voice of the now dead man. It puzzled Arnold greatly, just who is their so called "master"? "What did he look like?" continued to ask the former assassin. "Did you see his face?"
Haytham shook his head. "No, father," responded Haytham, disheartened by the whole situation. "He wore a long black frock coat with a long black cloak that had a hood attached to it. He wore that hood so I couldn't see his face..."
"Ich verstehe," (I understand,) acknowledged Arnold, his body then began moving forward.
Haytham held his right hand out in front of him. "Wait, father!" yelled the young man to his father. "Where do you intend to go?"
Arnold stopped once again, his footsteps freezing solid. He closed his eyes, realizing what exactly he was going to do. "I'm going to find the ones who did this," boldly stated Arnold. "We are leaving Berlin, Haytham. Come with me."
With that, Arnold stormed off. Without another word, he began walking forward. Haytham did not like what exactly this was leading to. He knew that they were returning to Frankfurt and to the lair of the Assassins. With an apprehensive feeling sinking like a lure for a fish in the deepest ponds of his stomach, Haytham looked on with suspicion.
But he was unable to deny the danger that surrounded his life. Haytham ran forward and followed behind the hasteful pace of his father. He was worried about him with all that was going on. The young man caught up with his father, staying by his side with the loyalty of a faithful dog. But the harsh reality creeped from behind him, lurking over his shoulder and peering into his soul.
It searched and located his very heart, tightly wrapping it in it's blackening clutches. From his very soul to the very physical mask that displayed his feelings like a prized trophy, it revealed his anguish. He seemed lost in thought, desperate to find an answer to the question that lingered in his head. "Just why did she have to die?" thought Haytham, a unsolvable puzzle was laid out in front of him: the puzzle of the mind of a man.
The two walked together side-by-side, they didn't share a word after they had previously spoke. It was dead silence from the start to the end. The sliver light beamed down upon their heads, a dim glow kissed their faces and guided their path like a spotlight searching for a sign. The night hung on to the land, keeping it's self from losing it's grasp upon the rope of life.
But slowly, it slipped. Several hours had passed and traveling from foot to carriage, Arnold and Haytham arrived to the front of the Havel, a long river that sliced across northwestern Germany like a hot knife through butter. Arnold walked over to the root of water in front of him. He and Haytham were in the grass beside the river.
Arnold knelt down, his knees touching the tip of the land's saliva. Haytham closed his eyes, unable to believe the show that was put on in front of him. An awful feeling surrounded him, leaving him to drown in a cesspool of doubt and fear. He bowed his head in silence, he mouthed prayers under his breath.
Arnold's eyes glanced down into the mirrored reflection of himself that the crystal clear phantom of the water showed him. Arnold saw an image, a broken image of a man he once knew. He waved and became disfigured in the water, a truth that was slowly overcoming him. He then laid Diana down for one last time in the hands of the water.
Slowly, the water pulled her away and carted her off to a new land. She was pushed forward by Arnold, carrying her further along the small cup of Adam's ale. She drifted away, a ship sailing across the sea. Smaller and smaller that ship became before the very eyes of Arnold, a nightmare was relived in his head.
As the former assassin's eyes witnessed her disintegrating before his apathetic hazel eyes, the aplotic shadow that made it's self at home slowly vanished back into hiding. A gallant horse rode forward and it carried a knight wearing incredibly bright and shining armour. This knight was a star among it's people, becoming something that was worshiped like a god.
The sky flared with many colors. There were blues, purples, and oranges. A broad spectrum of colors that made the vault that stood by heaven's door seem like it came straight out of an artist's lullaby. Not a cloud of any shape could disrupt the beauty that this morning had to offer. A west wind came rolling in, passing by the two as if the ghosts of the past were walking by them.
Arnold continued to stare as his love slowly distanced herself from him, the echoes of the past still reaching down and tugged at the very strings of his heart. They played violin with them, creating a melody of melancholy. He did not speak a word, not even his breath spoke for him. He just kept a glance that stared down a million miles before him.
"My mind was set with a goal," thought Arnold. "I needed to find the ones who killed Diana and pay them back in their own blood. I would not rest until they met their end, until they came to know an absolute fear that would consume every aspect in their life. We made our way to Frankfurt where I hoped to rejoin the brotherhood."
Just like a whiplash from the past, Arnold once again stood above the manhole that led down to the Assassins' base in Germany. Arnold turned towards the young Haytham, he seemed serious. The young man acknowledged it. The former assassin raised his right hand up to the height of his chest. He then pointed his index finger up towards the sky. "Do not follow me," commanded Arnold. "I will come up to you when they have lowered the entrance inside the cathedral."
Arnold then turned his attention down upon the manhole, his eyes gazed upon the symbol of his creed. He knelt down, stay at it's side. He then wrapped his hands around the handles of the manhole and then began pulling it up with all of his might. With the struggle of an epic duel between two countries, Arnold managed to pull the manhole out of it's home.
He then slipped into the darkness, entering the tunnel that ran for miles. His hands latched onto two stones that were sticking out from the wall. He then began steadily climbing down, one stone at a time. His climbing was a bike left outside for many years, it was rusted almost beyond repair. But with a fix, it would surely come to life once again.
Haytham knelt down and his eyes took a waff down into the darkness. He saw his father slowly become devoured by the shadow, he was spirited away by the arms of Erebus. Haytham seemed concern for the safety of his father, but he was confident that Arnold would be fine. Haytham sluggishly reached his right hand for the manhole's cover.
The cover then returned to it's place, recoiling back like the opening of a can in reverse. And with a loud bump, the cover reclaimed it's spot. Arnold was left alone in the darkness, only able to rely on his sense of touch to guide him down the tunnel. The rocks were much easier to grab than the last time Arnold had come here.
The air was dry, making it hard to breath for him. The atmosphere sat at about thirty-nine degrees Fahrenheit. Arnold was able to see the breath leave his body. Carefully, the former assassin made his way down the tricky tunnel at a pace of one step at a time. He continued to reach his legs down before his arms, firmly gripping onto the stone handle before moving on.
The soft, dim light that was brought down from five holes in the cover came down and softly brushed across Arnold's face. It was a friendly, warm light despite being in the foothold of winter. Arnold breathed constantly, almost at an in and out rate. He still kept his calm, collected demeanor even though he hasn't climbed a single thing in three years. He sliced with ease through each challenge that awaited him.
He then reached his right foot down upon a stone that stuck out from the rockface. That was when suddenly the stone broke into pieces, scattering all over the place. This took the former assassin by surprise, the grips of both of his hands just barely able to hold on. His left foot slipped as well, he was dangling down like a branch of a tree. He heard the echoes of the falling rocks hit the ground below him in a hard, heavy thud.
It was a frantic moment for the former assassin, but the fact that he managed to keep a handle on these rocks was a miracle. He breathed a sigh of relief, releasing all of his stress that was brought up at the very moment to rest. He then continued to scale the long tunnel, descending into the underworld.
Finally, after fifteen minutes, Arnold reached down to the bottom of the well. He placed his feet down upon the familiar red carpet. He was surrounded by the recollections of his past, a place that he had hoped he would never lay his eyes on again. It was as if he never left at all, the room he found himself in was still the very same.
He stepped forward, walking towards the white skull stuck inside the wall. His footsteps were soft pounding hammers that gently hit the surface of the red carpet. He approached the door with the insignia of the Assassins on it with reluctance but he knew it was something he must do. He stood two feet from the skeleton face, his hazel eyes gazed upon the hollow eye sockets of the skull.
The memory from his perspective projected like a movie in his mind, he was of him reaching his hand out towards the skull and opening the door. He reenacted that very memory, reaching his right hand out in front of him. He flipped his hand backwards in the same exact fashion as he did three years ago. He hooked his right middle and ring fingers into the eye sockets of the skull.
He then pushed his right hand up, bring the skull up with him. The wall shook, a heavy bang was hurled into the air. Arnold then unhooked his fingers and pulled them from the fire at the speed of a flash of lightning. The hands of a mechanism then threw the pieces of the skull out of their places, angrily assorting them into their own unique piece of artwork.
The sculpture of the skull was now turned upside down, making it's view of Arnold become backwards. The wall then buckled, spewing dirt and dust in a mixed form from it's top and bottom. The wall became moveable, it was allowed free motion to any degree. Arnold tossed his right hand forward, his hand became planted against the wall.
He began to push it forward, following closely behind it's spinning waltz. Arnold's eyes gazed upon the world of the Assassins that he thought he had forever left behind. It looked exactly the same way, nothing had changed. His eyes gazed upon the wooden sleeves that held onto books of many kinds and all the others looking through them.
He stared down at the red carpet that stretched from his feet to the end of the room. Arnold's feet stuck out into the room, taking his first step into the stomach of the Assassins in Germany since that very day. The memories of his childhood lingered with freshness in his mind, they came into motion with each area that Arnold took a peek at.
Arnold walked forward, stepping onto the stage with fright. But he made haste towards the Grand Master's room, trying to find the man responsible. As he walked away from the entrance into the order, he ensnared the rabbits of attention. People turned an eye towards Arnold, curious as to why he had returned.
He continued to press forward despite these gazes, he headed for the upper right wing of the base. He stepped into the long hallway which only contained three rooms. One was on the left and right walls while there was one at the end of the hallway. That was the room that Arnold was making his way towards.
Am I ready? Am I sure this is what I want? These and many more were the questions that circled through Arnold's head with the speed of an intense car race around a circular track. Arnold quietly moved onward, his heart pounding softly in his chest. The Assassins pulled their heads towards Arnold, watching him walk alone down the long hallway.
Arnold stood in front of the Grand Master's room, facing the familiar double doors with their symbol craved onto it's face. His hand slowly began tempted to touch the surface of the door. But it was afraid of what laid behind it. It wanted to continue on but it couldn't bear the thought it might not be what it was hoping for.
Arnold was worried about what hid behind the door. Would it be someone entirely different? But the a thousand suns of anger and resentment burned a hole into him, deeply wanting to get out what he needed. Quickly, Arnold gathered together the support of his people...the only person he needed: himself. His hand repeatedly whipped onto the door, knocking three times before ceasing.
From inside the room, the very same old man that sat in the center of the room was writing a letter to the English Assassins who were keeping an eye on the Victorian leadership there. The old man, Friedrich, heard the knocking that beckoned for his focus. His eyes are pulled off of the sticky paper and onto the door where Arnold hid.
To him, the knocking was different from the rest. It was familiar sound, yet it had been lost for many years. "Hereinkommen," (Come in,) quickly responded Friedrich.
The doorknob twisted in the eyes of the old man, it pulled open and revealed someone that the old man thought he'd never see again. It was his son, Arnold. At first, Friedrich could not believe his eyes. He believed that he were tricking him with what he wanted to see. But he realized that this was not an illusion, it was as real as he was.
A giant grin of glee cracked the seriousness of his face, a happiness buzzed inside of him. He jumped out of his seat, pushing it backwards. He stepped forward, walking closer to Arnold. "Arnold..." happily called Friedrich with disbelief still lingering in his voice. "You have returned!"
Arnold turned his head away from his father, he was unable to share in the joy. Friedrich sensed this from him, extinguishing his previous mood and recoiling his sense of seriousness. The old man stood five feet from Arnold, ceasing his motion and began the investigation. "Why have you returned?" he questioned, poking at the obvious anger and lament still very present on Arnold's face.
A fifteen seconds of silence passed through the world, Friedrich still didn't get an answer. His eyes peered down at Arnold's shirt and saw the blood on it. He became worried, concerned over the well being of his son. "What has happened, Arnold?" Friedrich continued with his voice raised, he demanded an answer.
Arnold slowly slammed the door into the Grand Master's room behind him. His head then boomeranged back into the lap of his father. His hazel eyes peered into his old man's hazel eyes, connecting each other to a conversation without the need for words. Friedrich was shocked to view all of the rancor that had infected his son.
Arnold's hands gripped into tight fists that showcased his anger. "I wish to become an Assassin once again," stated Arnold with a scratch of hesitation in his voice.
Friedrich crossed his arms, unable to answer for himself exactly why. "Why, son?" the old man asked curiously. "You know you can't just come back after you abandoned your brothers and sisters, Ar—"
"The Templars killed Diana, father," Arnold furiously interrupted, his voice shook with anger. "And I want to pay them back."
Friedrich seemed shocked by this discovery, a ball of saliva rolled down the lane of his esophagus. But still the rightful duties as the Grand Master hung on his sleeves. "So, revenge," said the old man. "Is that the selfish ambition that fuels your return? You know that I—"
Arnold turned towards the old man, quickly reaching his hands forward. They tightly grabbed onto the collar of the old man, pulling him up off of his feet. Friedrich's eyes widened by this event, the fury and desperation on his son's face gave him the key to all of his answers. The two stared eye-to-eye, just a few inches from each other's face. "YOU do not understand," growled Arnold. "I need to kill them all. Whether you accept me or not, I will not rest until the name of the Knights Templar is cleansed from history! Do you hear me!?"
"I see, I see," replied Friedrich, acknowledging his son's hatred and anger. "Would you let me go now?"
Arnold's hands dropped the nest of the old man's collar, making him fall back down onto the ground. Friedrich readjusted him, fixing himself back up. Arnold's eyes flew onto the old man, bonded onto him like glue. "Haytham told me of a man that the other Templars there referred to as their "master."" stated Arnold. "Exactly who is their master?"
Friedrich closed his eyes. "We do not know," answered the old man. "Recently, the Templars have been deciding a new Grand Master shortly after the passing of their previous one. At this point, all that we can gather is that he is Russian."
"Suhr gut," (Very well,) replied Arnold, grabbing the information that his father gave him.
Arnold then turned towards the door leading out of the room. Friedrich then pulled his head towards his son. "Where do you intend on going, son?" asked the old man.
The furious man spun around, facing the old man. "To find a man with a scar across his face," answered Arnold.
Friedrich thought for a moment, remember the strange Templar with a scar sailing straight across the sea of his flesh. "Bogdan Zolinerowich," named Friedrich. "He is a strange man who is both cunning and aware. One of our French Assassins attempted a take on his life but only left a scar as a reminder. He is not a man to be trifled with, Arnold."
"I don't care," stated Arnold. "Where can I find him?"
"Not anywhere near here," answered the old man. "However, another Templar is a sitting target in Italien." (Italy.)
"Wer?" (Who?) swiftly asked Arnold with interest.
"Sergei Borovich Utkin," his father named. "He's a Russian Templar staying in Venice for the sake of keeping watch over the Italian government. On March 6th, he'll attend the opera of La traviata where I believe you can squeeze a spot in."
Arnold shook his head, acknowledging the words spoken to him by his father. He then turned towards the door and push it open, once again revealing the pathway of red before him. Without another word, he left from his father's sight once again. Set with a goal in mind, Arnold keeps walking forward with the readiness of accepting this life once again.
The End of Chapter 2
Chapter 3: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
"Finding and wiping the name of the Knights Templar from history was all I had left," calmly stated Arnold to himself. "Without this purpose, I would be a broken man drowning in thoughts of self-destruction. I was ready to accept this life again because it was all I could do to save myself."
The fortitude of light collapsed, crushed under the kingdom of shadow. The sun fell down like a Trojan horse blown apart by a cannonball. The ball of shimmering silver rose from the hills and gazed down softly upon the lands. It's snow white irises beamed gently lit daggers, stabbing into the tightly clenched embrace of darkness.
The country of Germany was fast asleep with very few eyes still open at this late night hour. One pair of eyes that still remained awake at this very time was down below the floors of Saint Bartholomew's Cathedral in Frankfurt. His name was Arnold Reiniger. He laid like a toy wrapped up in paper on Christmas inside a small room.
The room was twenty feet long and twenty feet wide. The ceiling stood about seven feet from the ground. Arnold's bed laid at the northwestern corner of the room, a small dresser stood at the foot of his bed. The banner of the Assassins stood on the northern wall. A lit three-branched brass candlestick stood on top of the wooden dresser at the foot of Arnold's bed.
The walls and ceiling were made of white stone brinks while the floor had a red carpet. In the center of the eastern wall was a mirror that hung from the wall. It stood at about five feet tall and the edging was made of brass. He was still wearing his clothing that he wore when he came into here. Arnold's eyes were closed, his consciousness came onto a massive boat that far exceeded the size of the Titanic. But he was the only one on board.
As this eerie vessel gently sailed across the seas that stood between it and the mythical Land of Nod, a tremble shook the whole ocean. Suddenly, a large tidal wave that towered over Arnold's head stood in front of him. The crystal clear blue seas turned to black, crashing down on top of the assassin.
There, he was consumed by a dream. Images of Diana filled him, torturing him like a plaything. The memories of her circled all around him, her voice came from every direction. Arnold shuffled his head all over the place, his eyes gazed upon her face in each direction. The love that he felt, the kindness that gently gripped on his heart. It was a joy that only he could express.
He smiled, he felt the presence of her once again. Then as the warmth of her embrace held onto him tightly, his hazel eyes find themselves staring up at a white ceiling. His mind had been plunged back into the cold, harsh reality. His heart ached, it was in a million different pieces. His apathetic eyes gazed without life, numb to any feelings whatsoever.
A candle was the sun, it provided a small relief from the crooked black. He carelessly tossed the covers that bounded him to the bed away, raising up like a vampire from his casket. He twisted his body to his left, the broken image of the Assassin was a reflection off of the face of the looking glass.
He stood up from his bed, his hazel eyes gazing down upon the floor. Once he stood up from his bed, his irises pulled up. There, they looked upon their reflection. Inside the mirror, Arnold gazed upon the one he truly wanted to see. She stood beside him, her arms wrapped around his right arm. She gazed back at him with a smile on her face.
"Arnold..." her haunting voice called his name. "Arnold..." Her voice was found by Arnold's ear, it sounded as if Diana was actually speaking to him at his side. His left hand reached down towards his right elbow. His left hand grabbed onto his elbow, where the reflection of Diana's left hand was. Arnold continued to stare into the mirror, the beckoning voice of her tempted him away from life.
Her face pulled him away, spiriting him away into a world of fantasy. The days of the two came into his mind. Once again, that warm and tender feeling filled Arnold. It was an irreplaceable glow, something that couldn't be copied. But it was all a trick. He knew that this was only a figment of his imagination, a vivid dream within a living nightmare.
He knew of the illusion that his mind played that reflecting back into his irises. Acknowledging this, the torn man's heart bled more. A teardrop fell down from his right eye. The warmth faded away, dissipating like the life he once had. The color and vitality in his world was captured, turning back into a numb world of black and white.
The war between the day and night settled down on a peace treaty, calming the battle for the blue field that spanned further than the world could ever guess. The luminous flag of peace waved over the heads of humanity, signalling the serenity that has overcome the land. The air was frigid as the winter days dragged on.
January was at the ending days of it's life. It was an old, tired man who had sampled all of the humanity's offerings. And because it was it's last day to live, it cried. It poured down a lament that touched the faces of all who came from their homes. Frozen teardrops began their descent down onto the world, many of them were separated from their loved ones.
Slowly and quietly, they gently fell down onto the crowded streets of Frankfurt. They fell from the heavens, following behind their other brothers and sisters. Finally after the longest journey of their brief lives, they all regrouped in a many large piles of white. Small mountains of snow piled up along the streets and roadways.
Many people were out on this day, dressed in heavy coats and scarves. The air stood at about twenty-six degrees Fahrenheit. Down below the cathedral and into the hallways of the Assassins, Arnold sat on his bed. Up about a foot from his face was his right hand, his hazel eyes gazed upon the ring that symbolized his commitment and love to Diana.
He switched the ring's place from his left ring finger to his right in order to reveal the ring shaped burn that signals him an Assassin. The man looked like a mess, his usually dark brown gelled hair was unkempt. He had small bangs that covered parts of his face. His eyes were glued to the golden surface of his ring, they were unable to let go.
The anger and fury against the Templars simmered which caused his right hand to clench into a tightly knitted fist of ire. He pulled his right arm back down and rose from his bed. He turned to his right, his front faced a dresser that was filled with the many things that he thought he'd never see again. His feet began walking over to the small dresser.
Soft and small thuds hammered against the red carpet beneath Arnold's feet. He stood in front of that long abandoned dresser in order to find the answer to his tragedy. He then pulled open the very top drawer, revealing the white hooded tailcoat that he wore all those years ago. One by one, he dressed himself back into the outfit he last wore to slay his brother.
He stood there, wearing the white tailcoat with a hood attached to it. He wore the hood down. Underneath this coat was a white high standing collar dress shirt and a dark crimson red double breasted vest that had a raised collar. Around his neck he wore a black silk puff tie. The ends of his tailcoat's sleeves were at the middle of his forearm, they hid under gray cloth vambraces with the symbol of the Assassins engraved into it.
From that point on, the sleeves of his dress shirt appeared. The ends of his dress shirt's sleeves appeared frilled. Hidden well underneath his sleeves were metal bracers that housed the blades of death, an Assassin's weapon of choice. Around his waist, he wore a crimson red sash made of silk.
Hinging on this sash were two leather sheaths. One that concealed his longsword and another that hid his revolver. Both of which were strapped onto his left side. He wore dark gray dress pants and black brogans. He stood there with the readiness to do whatever it took to eliminate all of those who stood before him.
His ears then captured the sound of two knocks at his door. The assassin knew exactly who it was behind the door. "Come in, son," said Arnold to the one behind the door.
The door slowly pulled open, revealing that it was indeed Haytham behind the door. "Father, I..." said the young man as he entered the room. His voice was killed once his brown irises gazed upon the appearance of Arnold. He seemed surprised and maybe even a little disgusted. "You really are going to go through with this, aren't you?"
Arnold's eyelids closed, cutting his vision from the world. "I am," quickly stated the assassin. "I have to do this, Haytham. They need to die."
"So, you're just going to kill them," questioned the young man at the speed of lightning. "Those people that you intend to kill have families, father—people who love them very much!"
"It doesn't matter," responded Arnold.
"It does," riposted Haytham with a raised voice. "You Assassins believe that there is no other way to deal with your problems—that killing is the only way to solve them. Well I believe that you shouldn't come to that! You claim that your killing will "benefit mankind" but I think that's just some cheap justification!"
"Are you done?" asked Arnold without a single burst of tension or emotion in his voice.
"If nothing will get through to you," continued Haytham, his voice returned to his normal tone. "Then yes, I'm done."
Arnold then turned around, his stolid eyes stared onto the infuriated face of his son. "Then step aside," demanded Arnold, his voice just above a whisper. Haytham stepped to the left, freeing the doorway from any presence. His head was turned away, his face a mask of bitterness. He disagreed entirely of his father's ideals.
Without another word, Arnold bolted out of the room. He was quiet on his way out, not even his breath could break the silence. Arnold walked right Haytham without anything left to say. He passed through the wooden doorway and out towards the long red carpet floors of the lower right hallway.
The assassin began walking down the long red path laid before him, taking one step at a time. Inside the long and wide entrance room, the many fellow Assassins there gazed at Arnold with question. They whispered behind his back, talking to one another about their beliefs of Arnold.
They all performed an autopsy on the being of the assassin. With a sharp and cold blade, they divulsed each piece of the puzzle that made him whole. Each piece of inspected closely, tearing into the very details of what made Arnold himself. Out in this very room was the Grand Master, Friedrich Reiniger. His hazel irises gazed upon the assassin known as Arnold, the only son that he had left.
Tightly clenched in Friedrich's right hand was a piece of golden brown paper rolled up. There was a red seal stamped onto the letter, the insignia of the Assassin placed in the center of the seal. The master wore a hood over his head, the hood's shape looked like the head of an eagle. It's beak covered the inner corner of Friedrich's eyes.
The old man gazed with seriousness upon his son. Arnold returned the favor, giving his father a serious look of his own. "Son," named the Grand Master. "Are you ready to accept this life again?"
Arnold continued to walk forward, becoming closer and closer to his father. Once close enough, he froze just two feet from the old man. "Ja," (Yes,) he quickly answered. "Who will you have me kill?"
"Well, I've already told you of Sergei Utkin," continued Friedrich. His arms are then pulled behind his back. There, they fold together into one. "But I do believe that there is another that requires our attention."
"Give me his name," swiftly spoke Arnold in an almost demanding tone.
"Edmund Geier," named the old man. "Edmund has been tracking our motion for quite a while. Even attempts to take his life have ended in failure. It is why we have stopped making any movement. Killing him will allow us to become active once more"
"Where can I find him?" asked Arnold.
"Berlin," stated the old man. But something else hung on the old man's tongue, something he only wished he could keep secret. "Arnold...I do believe that he was the one who found you."
Knowing of almost all who lived in Berlin, Arnold gained the information that he required. The assassin's mind buzzed with the memory of meeting a man not long ago with the same exact name. The man stood at six-feet-one-inch tall and his hair was as black as the night. It was kept in a ponytail. His skin was pale and his eyes were as black as his hair.
He began walking away, knowing exactly where to go. Friedrich kept his eye on the back of his son, concerned about his well being. But he was confident of his success. Arnold was ready to confront his first target after a three year break. With everything in him prepared for this moment, Arnold walked towards the skull face on the wall to exit the headquarters.
He walked through the narrow pathway cloaked by the walls of knowledge kept in books. The eyes of his brothers and sister drilling into his soul glare with dislike towards him. Escaping the grasp of the irises that gripped him until he bled, he stood face-to-face with the bare face of the skull. But yet another would take a look upon him.
He stood at about six-feet-four-inches tall, he weighed about one-hundred-and-ninety-pounds. His body was muscular, built almost as solid as a wall of stone. His face was quite intense, appearing to be about the same age of Arnold. His hair was jet black and short, it was gelled to the left. He had sideburns that reached down to his jaw.
His eyes were chiseled blue, they seemed rather displeased with Arnold's appearance. His outfit was an exactly copy of Arnold's, minus the revolver. His arms were crossed and his back leaned against the stone wall. The man's hood was down, revealing his face to Arnold. The man was able to see the mess that became of Arnold.
The thirty-seven year old Arnold stopped just two inches from the stone wall, readying his hand to enter the eye sockets of the skull. The man against the wall turned his head towards Arnold, his face now gazed upon the mask of ire worn on Arnold's visage. "Arnold," named the man, his voice hid under a sea of angry. "You shouldn't be back with us. You shouldn't even be here."
Arnold inserted his fingers into the skull, he pulled them upwards to unlock the skull. He quickly removed them as the skull began to change. The wall then became mobile once the skull fell down. Arnold placed his right hand flat against the wall, readying himself for the job. He completely ignored the man beside him which made the man even more annoyed.
"Will you not answer for yourself!?" sharply spoke the man against the wall, his voice raised. "You abandoned us, the ones who called you family!"
"Niklaus," called the booming voice of the master. Friedrich appeared walking down the hallway of books and shelves. The angry welling inside Niklaus disappeared, bringing him back down from his cloud. Friedrich appeared before the angry man, his eyes staring upon the man. The grand master then turned towards the back of his son. "Go, Arnold. Do what you must in order to silence Edmund."
Without a single word to take off from his lips, Arnold began pushing the solid face forward. It spun, turning to the left. It revealed the red carpet room that housed the rock climbing wall. Walking towards the rock facet, his left gloved hand and his right naked hand reached behind his head. They grabbed onto a edge of the hood that he had not worn in years.
He swiftly pulled it over his head, concealing his eyes under a bandage of shade. The beak shape of his hood revealed his intentions, the purpose of his life. The soulless stare of the assassin beamed onto the solid wall of hardened earth. Above the wall of stone was the light of the sun, it was as if Arnold was walking towards a wall that reached up to the heavens.
Time then began to pass, Arnold would quickly make his way out of the state of Hesse. Several days had flown by since his departure, the assassin arrived to the city that beckoned for his return. Traveling there via a white gallant horse, the city of Berlin was in his sights. His deathly stare peered onto the city that sat just over the horizon, speeding towards it faster than the pounding of his heart.
Twenty minutes had passed since that moment, the assassin had entered the city of Berlin. Behind him was the distant sun sitting down upon the land. He stood tall and ready on top of a stone building, the wind rattling his clothing. His body sprinted forward, speeding towards the northern edge of the building at fifteen-miles-per-hour.
Reaching the edge, his body catapulted forward. He flew into the air, nothing below him but a floorless ground and several people oblivious to his existence. Many people still continued to discuss the news regarding the fire that broke out around Arnold's former home. While up in the air, Arnold's left leg stood out in front while his right leg stood in the back. His arms fanned out like wings.
His left foot landed perfectly onto the rooftop of the following building. Making it onto the building, Arnold prepared himself for another bolt. His footsteps charged towards the next building. He began heading towards the east and towards Pariser Platz, a square at the heart of the city. Reaching across the city and towards the very place that Arnold darted towards, two people were discussing many things regarding the events that occurred.
One was a man and the other was a woman. The man, standing six-feet-one-inch tall, had hair that was as black as the night. It was kept in a short ponytail. His skin was pale and his eyes were as black as his hair. He wore a dark gray top hat on his head. He then wore a fine light gray single breasted vest on top of a white dress shirt with a high-standing collar. Around his neck he wore a white satin ascot.
He wore a gray, knee-length frock coat that was all buttoned up. He wore black deerskin gloves around his hands. He wore long dark gray dress pants and black leather brogans. Hanging from the left pocket of his frock coat was a chain from a pocket watch. His eyes were glued onto the very beautiful woman.
The woman, standing at about five-feet-four-inches tall, stood just in front of the man. Her hair was a deep, rich chocolate brown and her eyes were a gorgeous pale blue. She weighed just about average for her age, appearing to be in her late thirties. Her hair was in a ponytail and divided into three sections, each of which were braided. And they were pulled underneath the ponytail.
As for her attire, she wore a satin ivory blouse beneath a pale dark brown floral outing jacket. Around her neck, she wore a necklace made of silver and a white neckerchief. She wore a long, wine red satin skirt that's length reached down to her ankles. She wore a a white underskirt just underneath it. She wore black leather laced up boots with a one-and-a-half inch heel.
Among a moving army of hundreds of people, the two blended. All of those wearing the tallest top hats and the most radiant and eye-catching dresses. They matched the crowd well, almost an invisible presence within the school of fishes swimming all around them. The two smiled at each other, stepping closer to each other.
With arms wide open, their arms wrapped around each other. They were embraced with love and care, knowing of the events that occurred. Flattered, the safety of them finally being held by the other was priceless. "I'm so glad you're all right Edmund," the woman mumbled to the man, the worry she had felt was long for the trip back home.
"As am I, Mein Liebe," (My love,) quickly replied Edmund. The two forgo each other, standing just a foot from each other. "Did you get the letter I sent you?"
The woman shook her head. "Ja," (Yes,) she answered. "We are to move to Frankfurt?"
The man bent his right hand up like a backwards L and held his opened right hand up to about head height. "Der Meister (the master) commands it," stated Edmund to the woman, moving his right hand as he spoke. "He knows of our success in finding Arnold Reiniger, Cara. Trust me. Life will be better once we find the other Assassins."
The woman drew in the breath of life into the purple balloons hidden behind her ribcage. Her chest expanded as the air filled her. She exhaled, releasing it back into the atmosphere. She let go of her concern, confirming her readiness with a shake of the head. "All right," she said. "I am ready when you are."
A grin of glee erupted like a volcanic mountain on Edmund's face. "Guten," (Good,) he softly spoke. "Meet with me tomorrow morning at the Brandenburger Tor. We'll discuss thing further there."
"All right," she once again replied, digesting the information given to her. "Ich Liebe Dich." (I love you.)
Edmund shook his head. "Ich Liebe Dich," (I love you,) he said back to her with all of his heart. Once their conversation broke, the two split apart. They walked their opposite ways, becoming swallowed by the monster known as society. Unbeknownst to them, a pair of eyes as cold as winter watched them from afar. His ears searching through their conversation, digging to find the answer he required.
He was six feet from them. He was a perfectly blended wash of paint in this portrait scene known as the day-to-day routine called life. He knew the man that he was sent to find all too well. And so, a twisted thought came to his mind—a thought of showing Edmund the pain of loss. With this idea in hand, Arnold's body then began moving. He twirled and waltzed around the people of the crowd, tailing behind the one he wants: Cara Metz.
Unaware of his presence, Cara continued to walk. Oblivious to the shadow of death that walked by her side, she was followed by death all the way home. She checked her back to every now and then but Arnold would vanish like the wind each time. So, she suspected nothing. Arriving at her house just a hour after meeting up with Edmund, she entered her red brink house without worry.
But unbeknownst to her, the sharpened eyes of an Assassin took aim upon her. The cold, apathetic stare of Arnold Reiniger peered below from on top of the rooftops of Berlin. The wind blew to the west at about five-miles-per-hour, waving his clothing like the sea. He stood at the edge of the building right across of the building that Cara entered.
Rolling from the cover of his frilled sleeves were the brothers of death, the duo that have delivered many to their graves. They sluggishly revealed their faces to the day, shining in the setting sunlight. They, like their master, were ready to kill. Cara stood inside the comfort of her home, she felt secure and had clarity after her talk with Edmund.
She was swaying back and forth in her rocking chair. Steady in her left hand was a needle of sewing. Laying on her lap was dress shirt made of navy blue thread, it had quite a hole in it. There were a few wooden chairs in the room, a table that had a kerosene lamp on it, and a fireplace installed in the western wall. The floors were covered mostly by carpets made of woven cloth.
Portraits of many people hung all across the walls, revealing those closest to the woman. As she sat there in her chair sewing through the fabric, she hummed away to a tune in her head. But as she's peacefully sewing away the day, the heavy thud of a footstep caught her attention. Her focus is reeled in, quickly flipping her head to the area where the thud was made.
Her pale blue eyes bolted towards the kitchen. A mask of intensity patrolled her face, a bullet of sweat falling down the right side of her face. "Who's there!?" she quickly asked. No response was made, making Cara more nervous. She flew out of her seat, tightly clenching onto a percussion cap pistol. The gun was ready, which was the opposite of her.
She held it in her right hand, her index finger kept closer to the trigger. She slowly took one step forward. Her heart pounded fast in her chest, in her head was a panic. In front of her was a corner to turn in order to get into the kitchen. She quickly whipped around it and the image of a white hooded man was reflected off of her eyes.
She saw him gazing upon a family portrait. His hands were folded together behind his back, he seemed almost oblivious to her presence. But Arnold's skilled ears caught the sound of her heavy breathing, allowing him to acknowledge her arrival. "Such a lovely family," he mentioned calmly.
"Assassin," she named him. "Why are you here?"
"Are you going to shoot me?" Arnold asked curiously, ignoring her question. Arnold then began slowly turning his body to the right, partly revealing his face to Cara. "Can you even pull the trigger?"
She seemed irritated, annoyed by the fact that Arnold is just toying with her. Even questioning if she can shoot him. "You think I can't?" Cara questioned.
Arnold closed his eyes. "Nein," (No,) he quickly replied.
She quickly pulled her gun up. The barrel pointing towards the back of Arnold's head. "Testen Mich," (Test me,) she boldly reposted.
Arnold turned his body completely around. His front was now facing her. A light just behind Arnold kept his face from being seen by Cara. "So, shoot." Arnold bluntly suggested, spanning his arms out. The assassin looked like a cross, he did not fear what was to become of him if she did indeed pull the trigger.
Her hand rattled, the gun quivered in her hand. She couldn't bring herself to shooting Arnold, no matter how much she wished to. Her trigger finger was out of her control, the phantom known as fear took control. Arnold quickly pulled his left hand down onto the handle of his revolver. Quickly, he drew it from it's holster.
And as fast as lightning, Arnold readied and held it towards Cara. Without hesitation, Arnold pulled the trigger of his revolver. The bullet flew out from the metallic lips of the gat, spiraling towards the woman. The bullet sliced right through her, piercing right through her stomach. The blood flew into the air, staining the carpet red.
All she knew was that there was a loud bang and that she felt like her breath had been forced out of her lungs. Her eyes are pulled down, she gazed down at the sudden pain she began to feel. All she saw was blood staining her clothing. It raced down her skirt, streaming like a river of wine. The gun in her hand then began to fall, her hand loose and open.
She then scrolled her eyes towards the one that shot her. His emotionless stare watched her as she realized what exactly had happened. She seemed almost terrified, she was unable to grasp the thought of dying. The smoke still poured from the mouth of the gun, the loud bang still fresh in their minds.
Her body then began to fall, her body felt almost weightless. Her vision watched the droplets of her blood spun like a swarm of graceful ballerinas dancing in the boundless world. She hit the ground in a heavy thud, landing solely onto the carpet. She laid there in a near-death state of agony. She had nothing left, no more vitality left in her.
Arnold recoiled his gun, placing it back in it's case. His hazel irises gazed down at her faintly breathing body that was covered in blood. His eyes then noticed a shine coming from her neck. His legs then became animated, taking the few steps needed in order to stand above her. She stared up at his face, she was able to make out the details of his identity.
Her glance was vague, almost blank. But as she began to die, she realized that she was killed by a man that she assumed had been killed. Her eyes widened, stunned by this revelation. Arnold knelt down beside her, he was to her right. His eyes gazed upon the chain links of her necklace. He sees the silver pendant that marks his enemies: the Templar cross. It hung around her neck to about the length of her sternum. The cross laid in the palm of his right hand, his eyes could not let go of it.
It took much effort, but Arnold's eyes yanked off of the cross and turned to the barely conscious Cara. "Go now, Templar," angrily spoke Arnold to the dying woman. "Run off into the safety of your Gott." (God.)
He then pulled the cross pendant, trying to rip it from it's bind. He plucked it off, the cross was now all that Arnold's hand held. And as he ripped the cross away, Cara uttered her last breath. She passed away, her life now coming to an end. The life that emitted from her, the warmth of her breath, had dissipated.
Arnold stood up from his knees, standing tall and strong on his feet. The assassin glanced down upon the motionless face of Cara Metz. Her stare was a whisper of death. His was a gelid stare that spoke no life, no remorse. What he held was not regret or grief but the life he came to claim.
The day passed away just as she did just a few hours later. What had become of the day turned into shadow. The image of a pale skinned visage faced the world below it. The shining cascade of a white-as-winter light cloaked the land in a soft, frostbitten embrace. And without a cloud in the sky to hinder it.
The night became the day. The radiant orb of light popped it's head up over the land like a mole in the Whack-A-Mole arcade game. A warmth enveloped all those shaken by the chilling tide of Nyx. In the very center where he and her met just yesterday, Edmund would wait there again for the woman. He stood by the Brandenburger Tor—the Brandenburg Gate—where they said they were to meet up.
He seemed almost impatient, his arms were tightly tucked in his pockets as his body shivered. It was exactly six in the morning and yet very few were in Edmund's view. It was very unusual to the man as he quivered from the deep chill. But he didn't think much about it, concerned more about meeting his love than such trivial things.
But from atop the gate, a white ghost stared down at the top of Edmund's head. The shadow of death was tempted by the life that breathed in his presence. And as his desire drew closer to the fire the hidden blades in his command under his sleeves eagerly awaited their time to shine.
The End of Chapter 3
Chapter 4: Getting the Act Together
Exactly one hour had passed since he arrived at the gate. His worry exploded into a gigantic flame, consuming all that he held in thought. With a crowd of people surrounding him, Edmund began pushing through the crowd of people. He wanted to investigate, see if she was okay. A pair of hazel eyes were glued onto his back, keeping an extremely close view of him.
Edmund shuffled his head in each direction to see if she was here. But her presence eluded him, she was nowhere to be found. His haste marched much more rapidly, he was almost jogging. Arnold realized that he needed to follow behind Edmund. And so, he turned to his right and began speeding towards the buildings beside the gate.
Coming to the edge of the stone gate, his body sailed into the air. He soared across the atmosphere, his arms once again sprouted out like wings. He appeared like an eagle attempting to grab it's prey with it's mighty right talon. The edge of the structure was just in front of him. He reached for it as he began to tumble back down to the mortal world like a bird with a broken wing.
His hands grabbed onto the rim of the structure, his body bounced like a vertical piston in fast forward. He maintained his grip upon the building, trying to keep his breath under his lips. But his body had grown accustomed to a low impact life of a harmless sellsman. With all of the strength in him, he pulled his body up. He was a giant catch of fish that was being pulled onto a stone boat.
He managed to pull his body onto the top of the building. His eyes followed the navy blue frock coat that cut a path through the body of people walking to their destination. He was on his knees as he continued to stare at the very concerned boyfriend. Arnold then quickly rose to his foot and then began bolting towards the next building.
Hopping from one building to the next, Arnold kept a steady pace and tailed just behind his target. No matter what, his eyes did not leave the frock coat in motion. Less than an hour lately, Edmund arrived at the front door into Cara's home. He was just ten feet from the door, approaching at a steady pace. But in the narrow pathway of an alleyway to his right, his ears captured a rather heavy thud crashing down onto the ground.
The sound made him jump out of his skin. His legs froze in place despite his desire to move forward. His head twisted to his right, his frightened black irises pierced deeply into the body of the alleyway. A rancid smell flowed into his nostrils, making him sick to his stomach. A corpse of what appeared to be a police officer laid lifeless on the ground.
A slice across the throat was the cause of death. From ear to ear, a long slash bled the carcass dry. He trembled as mutters of terror spewed from under his tongue. His legs swayed like a tree in the worst hurricane imaginable. His vision took a pause on the breathless face of the officer. He was greatly alarmed by this, a disheartening feeling stuck lower and lower into his stomach.
"Mein Gott..." (My God...) softly mumbled the man. Edmund then turned to his head up towards the rooftops. What he saw was the air and the morning sky, nothing more. His gaze fell back down to the German land as the saliva rolled down his throat. As his heart began to pound and pound more intensely, another body was kicked off of the rooftops above his head.
It landed just in front of the body of the officer, scaring the life out of Edmund. He sprung off of his feet, falling backwards onto his bottom. The loud thud rang in his ears. But this body had a face he recognized—a face that he loved. He realized it was of his love, Cara Metz. His mouth dropped to the ground as his eyes widened to the size of the moon. "C-Cara..." he quietly stuttered.
He didn't care about what was going on around him. All that mattered was his love. He swiftly jolted forward, crawling over to the body of her. As he did, his eyes began to fill with water as his sniffing popped a few times into the air. "No, no, no!" he cried as he drew closer to her. Her stare was soulless as it looked straight forward.
Edmund sat just in front of the lifeless body of his love. He held her in his arms, his right hand grabbing the back of her head. His black irises gazed into her faded eyes, there was nothing left. "Mein Liebe," (My love,) he painfully mumbled as his voice began to succumb to cracks in it's foundation.
He then pressed his forehead against her's as his woeful moans controlled the air. On top of the rooftops, Arnold watched as Edmund mourned his loss. His iniquitous hazel irises would have many thrusts into the body of the man. What held onto the gaze of the assassin was a rich and very present resentment.
The woe and agony that Edmund was experiencing was very similar to Arnold's pain at the loss of his love. The lament that the man felt was a joy to Arnold's eyes. A smirk that would only belong to the visage of the Devil rose like a fire on the assassin's face. He was gleeful in viewing the suffering of Edmund.
As he watched a little longer, the happiness inside of him welled up to the point where he was almost laughing to himself. His smirk blew up into an all-out hellion's grin. He was entertained, thrilled by the display shown by Edmund. He stared with sorrow by the face of his love as he then realized that she had been murdered.
His left hand then reached for the silver chain necklace around her neck. He gently pulled it towards him and saw that the cross had been ripped off. This was a very daunting revelation, a spine-chilling sensation shook his whole body. His face was all red from crying as his nose was stuffed. He then noticed a hooded shadow on the wall all the way at the end of the alleyway.
"Hurts, doesn't it?" calmly asked the familiar voice. A exclamation mark shot up from inside Edmund. This voice haunted him, sounding very recognizable. He quickly spun his head backwards and saw the silhouette of a man he thought he had been killed. It must be a ghost, a shadow that hunted for him for his sin. "Losing someone that you love."
Edmund's teeth had a very loud and terrifying conversation in his mouth. A droplet of sweat barrelrolled down his forehead. He then pointed his right index finger towards Arnold. "Y-you...!" dreadfully called the man with a shake in his voice, lashing his finger like a whip. "Y-you should be dead!"
Arnold took a step forward. "Then think of me as the Grim Reaper here to claim your life." quickly said the assassin. Edmund then stood up to his feet, his quivering hand reaching for his gun that was strapped to the left side of his waist. He then began to pull it out, readying it to fire at Arnold. The assassin quickly reacted, latching his left hand onto the handle of his revolver.
He then pulled it up towards the man, readying his finger for the trigger. As Edmund's hand was just coming up to point it towards Arnold, the assassin was just about ready to pull the trigger. Without a thought about what is about to happen, Arnold fearlessly pulled the trigger. His revolver screamed, spewing a single sharp word.
The bullet swirled, spinning like a Ferris Wheel in fast forward. The insignia of the Assassins engraved into the bullet was revealed as it came closer and closer to it's target. The bullet bit into the left shoulder of Edmund, sending the left side of his torso flailing backwards. His gun was thrown out of his hand as his blood splattered into the atmosphere.
His handgun landed several feet behind him, leaving him completely defenseless. He dropped down onto one knee as his shoulder bled. The crimson dripped from his fingertips as if they were crying red wine due to the pain. His teeth fastened together, glued to each other due to the pain of the bullet digging into his flesh.
His face was a grimace, the agony of the gunshot was almost too much to endure. His eyes were tightly closed shut as sweat began to race down the sides of his face. Smoke flowed from the mouth of the assassin's revolver as it vanished from sight. Arnold's left hand began to lower, pulling the gun out of his field of vision.
As he lowered his gun, his hidden blade then began to reveal itself from under his right sleeve. The blade shined, ready for the murder it was about to commit. His legs then began to move forward, walking onward towards his target. Edmund heard the very silent footsteps made by Arnold and so it caught his attention.
His eyes opened up, gazing upon the assassin. The terrorizing image of the hidden blade reflected off of his black irises, opening the door of an absolute dismay into his soul. "I'm sorry!" yelped Edmund, spoken rather fast. "I didn't want to tell him but I had no choice! I was just following orders!!"
"Then confess to me, Templar," said Arnold, stopping just a few inches from the kneeling man. Arnold placed his revolver into it's holster. The assassin then stared with wickedness down into the frightened eyes of Edmund. It was almost as if Arnold was staring into the man's soul. "Who is "him"?"
"Mein Meister, Herr," (My master, sir,) quickly answered Edmund. "I was told to track you, my lord! I-I didn't mean for anybody to die!"
"And who is your Meister?" (master?) calmly questioned Arnold with a wave of tension and anticipation hidden in his voice.
A moment of silence flew by. Edmund was concerned about the answer he had to give the assassin. "I do not know!" he shouted with apprehension. A memory then flashed by in his mind. It was of a hooded man who never revealed his face to the Templar. "He told me that I didn't need to know, that I wasn't worthy of knowing. I am so sorry, Arnold...I didn't—"
Disappointed by the answer given to him, Arnold had enough of the talking. Arnold tightly grabbed onto Edmund's right shoulder. He then lunged his hidden blade downward towards the left side of Edmund's neck. The blade sliced right through the man's left jugular vein, sending blood all over the place.
Arnold then recoiled his blade, quickly pulling it out of Edmund's neck. Edmund sat there with almost a blank look on his face, he was shocked at the realization that he had been killed. His kneeling body then began to fall. His head crashed down onto the lap of his lifeless love. His blood oozed from the stab wound placed upon his neck.
As his life faded before his very eyes, Edmund glanced up upon the hooded face of the Assassin who claimed his life. The deadman's eyes peered into the windows of the building that housed Arnold's soul. But what he found was nothing short of what he hadn't expected. Inside the flesh stone building was as hollow as an empty bottle.
Arnold stared down upon the dying man, his eyes held no remorse or grief. He didn't feel anything, completely numb to what he had just done. It didn't matter to him. After the report of a gunshot fired, a group of police officers began rushing over towards the scene. Five of them arrived at the alleyway where it all happened.
It had been a few minutes seen Arnold killed Edmund. The officers' eyes gazed down into the alleyway and saw the corpses that laid lifeless upon the ground, including one of their very own. They seemed at a loss, the general of their words betraying their army and setting sail to the enemy known as silence. And just like time itself, Arnold had vanished.
"It was strange," thought Arnold. "For a man who was a Templar and as a Templar he would surely wish me dead, he did not seem like that kind of person. No...his words almost seemed worth buying. Almost."
Several days had passed, February had begun. It was a child finally able to walk on it's own two feet. The radiant eye of the sky shined like a beacon. It revealed to the world it's beauty and luster. Very few clouds could hinder the light, the land of azure was as clear as the water that reflected the sun.
Down beneath the earth were humans avoiding the glorious sunlight. These people always avoid the light in any way. The Assassins of Germany strolled through book after book trying to find the answers they craved. Inside the room at the end of the eastern hallway, the Grand Master sat alone behind his desk. He sat there, scrolling his eyes through the context of a newspaper.
A coating of seriousness was painted red all over his face. He clinched the newspaper in his right hand with his left hand laying gently in the arm of his chair. The title spoke to him, saying "Die berüchtigten Assassin schlägt wieder." (The notorious Assassin strikes again) As he continued to read through the words on the paper, it said that three bodies, one including a police officer, were found laying in an alleyway.
A woman had been shot in the stomach. The police officer had his throat slit. And a man had been stabbed in the neck. It further goes on saying that the police officer went there to investigate a gunshot. Sitting on the right side of the desk was a hot cup of tea. Friedrich proceeded to grab the arm of the cup and pulled it up to his face.
He then poured the hot liquids into his mouth. The hot juice flowed gently down his esophagus, the taste was a perfect harmony of ingredients. Coming to the end of the paper, his reading is disrupted when his ears caught the train of door knocking. There was three taps onto the visage of his door. Friedrich's hazel eyes didn't leave the paper, he isn't even fazed by the noise.
"Hereinkommen," (Come in,) said Friedrich, allowing the one behind the door to enter. The door swung open just after the master spoke. Revealed to the hooded old man was his son, Arnold. The Assassin came in without his hood being over his head. Friedrich knew exactly who it was right from the start. In his mind, he began the gathering of the storm of sentences that he will thunder on top of his son.
Arnold closed the door behind him, walking forward. He walked towards the front of his father's desk. "Father, I—" quietly spoke Arnold.
Friedrich raised his right index finger up as if he were pointing towards the ceiling. "Silence, child," quickly interrupted Friedrich, angry hung on his tongue. The old man took another sip of his cup of tea. He then placed the cup back down onto the small plated land it was made to stand on top of. "Have you done as I asked?"
Arnold now stood in front of the desk that his father sat behind. Arnold pulled his hands behind his back. They then folded into each other, becoming one. "Ja," (Yes,) answered Arnold.
"Wirklich?" (Really?) sarcastically returned the master. "Your actions would speak otherwise."
"What do you mean?" curiously Arnold asked, but in his voice it almost sounded like he didn't care.
The old man's hazel eyes then shot up towards the face of his son. "Do not play stupid with me, son," seriously spoke Friedrich in a demanding tone. "I asked you if you had done as I asked, not if you had done as you desired. I had not instructed you to kill anyone except Edmund and yet you proceeded to do so anyway."
"The woman was a Templar—" swiftly said Arnold, trying to defend his actions.
"And what of the officer?" once again questioned Friedrich, his words hammering down on top of Arnold's head. "Was he a Templar? Or was he just an innocent victim who was caught at the wrong place, at the wrong time?"
"..." Arnold lost his voice, growing silent. He pulled his head down, his head bowing to Friedrich. His eyes closed shut. He was not ashamed of what he had done despite possessing his father to believe the contrary.
Friedrich took in a child of welkin into the house that kept his bellows. He then let it go out, disposing of the ire that had took a strong foothold in him. "I understand the pain that you are going through," calmly stated the old man. "When your mother died, I couldn't live with myself. I became a bitter, hardhearted old fool. You know what happened once I changed into this? Your brother turned to our family's enemy in order to escape the venom that made him suffer."
Friedrich stood up from his chair slowly. His eyes did not leave the empty shore that existed past the hazel windows of his son's soul. "Arnold," he softly named. "I just wish that you don't turn out to be like your old man."
Not caring the meaningful words spoken to him by his father, Arnold turned his head back up towards his father. "So, what will you do with me?" softly asked the assassin.
"I should banish you for your transgressions," stated Friedrich. "Taking the life of an innocent unnecessarily is against our ways."
"I understand," mumbled Arnold under his breath. Still his voice lacked compassion or even care.
Friedrich took a step forward. "I hope you do, son," truly wished the master, hoping that Arnold absorbed the inked words that spewed from the quill of his father. "I will not banish you, child. I feel in this world, a man is entitled to second chances. And so I will offer you one. But do not act carelessly again, understand?"
"Ja, Vater," (Yes, father,) Arnold grasped with understanding.
"La traviata approaches," spoken with acknowledgment by Friedrich. "In just a month, we will make our first group movement in a very long time. Take note that this is not a solo mission but an invasion of four."
"Whatever you find to be the best way, father," replied the assassin with lenience.
Friedrich turned around, his face now looked upon the chair that he had abandoned. "Many high ranking members of the Knights Templar will be there," informed Friedrich to his son. His body then began to descend down upon his chair. "It is for a fact that they will be quite suspicious now that Edmund Geier and Cara Metz lay dead. Which is why we will have to disguise ourselves."
"Dress formally," spoke Arnold, finishing the words his father was about to speak.
"Indeed," concurred the old man. "This also means that we must leave behind most of our weapons. The only thing we can take, of course, is the very thing that changes and will change the very shape of our history and of our land."
"That all depends on who is in attendance," quickly stated Arnold. "Which of them will be there?"
"As I've said, many of the high ranking Templars," repeated Friedrich. His left hand reached for the cup of tea sitting quietly on the table. His index finger tied around the handle of the cup. He then pulled the cup up to his lips. The still warm liquid then rushed down his throat, warming his body perfectly. He then quickly placed his cup down upon the plated land in which the rocket flew from. "There have even been rumors that he will be there."
Arnold's eyes bolted towards the gray hair of his father. "Er?" (He?) he curiously questioned, a twist of interesting catching his ear. "Do you mean—!?"
"Ja," (Yes,) the old man answered Arnold. "According to my spies, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar will be there."
His hand clenched into tightly knitted balls of ire. The rancor reflected off of his visage, acknowledging the possibility that he could very well stand in the presence of the man responsible for the death of his love. "When do we leave?" asked Arnold with fury exploding like a barrage of fireworks shooting into a black and white sky in a variety of reds.
"Very soon," responded Friedrich. "You and Niklaus will leave for Venice by the end of the month. There, you will meet up with two from the Italienisch (Italian) branch of the Assassins."
"Understood," corresponded Arnold, bowing his head. Arnold then turned around, facing the door in which is used to exit the room. His footsteps then began to take him towards it. He was a moth drawn the flame, a tempted soul pulled towards the shine of the golden doorknob. His left hand reached for it, tightly grabbing onto it.
With the single twist of his wrist, the door is unlocked. Revealed to him was the long red carpet that he once again had to become familiar to. The days of preparation again, contemplating the actions that will change the world. Arnold constantly sat on his bed, his mind couldn't leave the subject. His thirst for the blood of his enemies pulling him into the shadow of insanity.
Each day, Arnold would not move anywhere. He remained locked away in his room, ready to take on the foes that he resented. His hazel eyes stared into the looking glass in front of him. His reflection revealed a man, a shattered man focused on the only thing that could keep him from drowning. "Diana," he muttered softly to himself.
His love sitting next to him, a smile of glee on her face. "Arnold," she softly spoke back to him.
"I'm going to kill them, Mein Liebling," (my darling,) he angrily mumbled. His voice was slightly louder than his previous words spoken. "They're not going to get away with what they've done."
Just outside of Arnold's room, his adopted son listened to his father's words. Haytham's ears couldn't help but to become attracted to his father speaking. Haytham seemed concerned about Arnold, scared that something cruel could truly be plaguing his father. A blight that will consume him, swallowing him into the nothingness.
"Arnold," mumbled Diana to Arnold. "Arnold."
"I will kill them all," angrily spoke the assassin. "Especially that bastard that pulled the trigger. I WILL make him pay!"
To Haytham, there was a moment where his father spoke and then a moment where he paused. It was as if he were having a conversation. But it was with a ghost, a phantom that Haytham could not hear. It was as if Arnold were talking to himself. Saddened by this, Haytham began walking away. He fears the change that is steadily overcoming the will invested in the man he once saved.
The days quickly passed away. The life of February had effloresce, growing from a strong and capable young spirit to a wise elder. A frigid breath blew from the mouth of the north, pelting people with it's icy sting. It was February 28th of the year 1853 and with more than a week to go, Arnold was ready for the fight that stood in front of him.
He readied himself, strapping on the blades that will serve him well during the events that would occur at Venice. He was all geared up in his Assassin's equipment. He was ready to strike the heart of the Templars that wronged him. Hanging in the doorway was his young son, Haytham. A light smile was on his face.
Arnold knew that his son was there but did not gaze at him. Haytham stared at his father's back. He knew that his father was too busy but he wished to stay. Haytham gathered the winds of courage to sail his lifeboat across the ocean. "Father," he called with a tone under his normal voice. "Might I have a word?"
He did not turn to his nervous son. Arnold was staring at his right forearm. He had his right arm bend like a backwards L. The palm of his right hand pointed towards his face. Jumping eagerly out from under his sleeve was the blade that will change the history of the world. It stood tall and ready just as Arnold was. "Make it quick," quickly stated the assassin.
"Uh, well..." spoke Haytham, apprehensive about his father's reaction.
Arnold glued his left index and middle fingers together. He then scrolled those fingers all across the blade. His bare fingers felt the frigid steel that hid under his wrist. "Speak," growled Arnold with irritation.
Haytham gulped saliva down into his esophagus. "Well," he said, throwing away his care and apprehension. "...Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!" (Happy Birthday!)
His stuck together fingers then bounced at the tip of his blade, poking at the sharp blade. Assured of the deadly power of his blade, the snake coiled back into it's hole. Arnold then pulled his leather glove over the skin of his left hand, armouring it in a leather skin. Arnold then turned towards the doorway that Haytham had stuck himself in.
Arnold then began walking forward, stepping closer and closer to his son. Without even a word with him, Arnold moved right passed Haytham. The assassin began walking down the hallway, his movement pointed him going towards the main room. This left Haytham with a thoughtless expression, he didn't know what to make of his father's actions.
Arnold stepped into the light of the entrance room, the room with all of the books just teeming with knowledge. The eyes of his brothers and sister soon followed his appearance. Arnold walked towards the center of the room where his father and Niklaus were. With his approach, the eyes of the two drew closer to him.
Arnold stood beside a very angry looking Niklaus. Immediately after Arnold stopped moving, Niklaus took a step away from Arnold. The anger that boiled under his skin hissed with fury, his glare towards Arnold was enough to show it. Friedrich shuffled his eyes between the two, a serious expression masked his face.
The old man's hands were pulled behind his back. They then folded together and became one. "Are you two ready for the events ahead?" questioned the master.
"Without question," quickly answered Niklaus. The swiftness of his words made sure that he was the one to respond to Friedrich and not Arnold.
"Suhr gut," (Very well,) Friedrich responded. "You both will head to Venedig. (Venice.) There, you will meet up with two of the Italienisch (Italian) Assassins, their names are Celio Allegri da Milano and Rosanna Allegri da Milano. They will then brief you of everything, the attendance, those inside, and the targets. Verstanden?" (Understood?)
Niklaus bowed his head to Friedrich. "Yes, Meister," (master) he acknowledged.
Friedrich turned his head towards the face of his son. The old man stared into the eyes of Arnold. "Arnold," named the master. "Verstanden?" (Understood?)
"Ja," (Yes,) quickly and silently replied Arnold.
Friedrich turned his head to them both. He grew a light smile on his face. His arms let go of each other and split apart. His arms spanned out, his body appeared like an arrow pointed up. "It is settled!" Friedrich exclaimed. "Viel Glück (Good luck) to both of you. I look forward to the good news."
Niklaus didn't move but Arnold turned his back to his father. Arnold then began walking towards the exit out of this place. "W-wait," quickly spoke Niklaus. "How do we find them?"
Friedrich closed his eyes and a bigger grin grew on his face. A light laughter chuckled under his lips. "You needn't worry," assured the old man. "They will find you."
Niklaus seemed sort of puzzled by the master's answer. But with it in hand, Niklaus began following behind Arnold. From the corner, Haytham watched as his father walked away without saying goodbye. Friedrich watched them become smaller and smaller before his very eyes.
A question was like a blight sweeping across the entire scape of Haytham and Friedrich's minds. Will I ever see them again? Will they return? This was something that remained to be seen. The days passed, Arnold and Niklaus traveled there by the will of two white, gallant horses. They galloped with quickness, speeding towards the city made up of many islands.
Frigid winds pounded at their backs. They did not speak a word to each other for the entire way. Instead they traded glares rather than sentences. A week had passed since their departure and then had finally arrived to the city of Venice. The two arrived on the very day of action. Jumping off of their horses, they began walking into the city.
Men sported magnificent cloaks and suits, their top hats as tall as towers. Their walk spoke confidence, strutting about the streets. Women wore beautiful dresses and gorgeous jewelry around their necks. It was the afternoon, the middle of this March 6th day. The streets buzzed with life, humming away at a tune that played everyday.
The two assassins walked forward but then Arnold felt a light tap on his left shoulder. He quickly spun around, halting in his steps. Quickly, his hands fastened together to reveal his hidden blades. But strangely, there was nothing behind him. He seemed alerted, more cautious than what he was before.
His stare stretched for miles, it was as intense as the peer of an eagle. But realizing that what he had felt perhaps was just his imagination, Arnold carefully twirled back around. His hazel irises then gazed upon a young woman gazing upon a cloth pouch that was quite heavy that was in her left hand. Arnold's face quickly changed with tension. He readied his blades, about to attack the young woman.
She carelessly tossed the pouch up into the air and caught it over and over. "You're pretty rich, pal," she said with a smile. Standing in front of Arnold, she stood at about five-feet-three-inches tall and weighed slightly less for someone of her age. She only appeared to be about in her early twenties. Her hair was as black as the night and her eyes as green as the blades of grass that swayed with the wind. Her skin was pale but had a slight tan to it.
Her hair was rather short up in the front but to about shoulder length in the back. The hair that surrounded her face was curled slightly. She wore a white cotton blouse with a high collar and long barrel cuffs around the wrists. Around the upper portion of the blouse was floral embroidered. Around her she wore a white capelet that's length went down to about her elbow.
The capelet was trimmed by beige colored fur. There was a wine red satin tied ribbon just under her chin. Attached to the ribbon was a brooch that looked like the insignia of the Italian Assassins. Her hood was loose and covered much of her head. The shape of the inner portion of the hood looked like the beak of an eagle, it covered the inner corners of her eyes.
Around her waist she wore a wide red velvet belt. She wore a long, light gray tight fitting pants and she wore white boots that has an inch-and-a-half heel. The boot was laced up and the laces were wine red. In her right hand was a white lace parasol that was opened. She had it in her hand and it was leaning against her right shoulder.
As the pouch was coming down, Arnold quickly snatched it into his grasp. His expression was a furious mask, he was in no mood for games. His eyes darted down on top of the young woman in a sharp and heavy glare. He was displeased with this woman's actions. She smiled, looking up at him as his eyes beamed down animus.
It didn't seem to bother her, looking up at Arnold with glee. Arnold's eyes scrolled down onto the brooch attached to that ribbon. He sees it, the symbol that would mark her as his ally. "You are an Assassin..." he mumbled.
The pale-skinned hand of hers reached up towards that very brooch. She clenched it tightly, it looked as if she were putting her hand over her heart. "It is good to finally meet you, Messer Arnold," stated the young woman, bowing her head. "I am Rosanna Allegri, at your service."
Niklaus, who still was walking even after the confrontation, noticed the voices speaking behind him. He paused, turning around to see exactly what was going on. His eyes gazed upon the white hooded woman and Arnold breathing in the same area. He began walking over to them. He came just two steps from the woman's back. "Hey," he said. "Are you—?"
Rosanna turned around, facing Niklaus. Still the smile on her face rose like a glass about to cheer. Her eyes lit up once the reflection of Niklaus' visage appeared in her eyes. "And Messer Niklaus, too!" she happily exclaimed, bowing her head. Her head then raised back up once introduction were over. "It is good that you both came!"
She then faced the road in front of her as if she was about to start walking. "C'mon," she said as she took one step forward. "Walk with me."
She began walking into the body of people surrounding the three. The two German assassins began walking just behind her. The two caught up to her, walking side-by-side. Their footsteps in complete synchronization, walking together in absolute harmony. Around them were so many buildings with so much history, horse-drawn carriages, and people sporting all kinds of different colored and shaped outfits and dresses.
Rosanna's smile transformed into a full-fledged serious expression. "I wasn't joking when I said that it was good that you both came." Rosanna clarified. "Infatti, (Indeed,) we truly have something on our hands tonight."
Arnold quickly bolted over to Rosanna. Knowing that she had all the answers, a question hung with anticipation on his tongue. "Is it true that their Meister (master) will be here?" he swiftly asked just as soon as she finished speaking.
"Ja," (Yes,) she answered him, giggling a bit afterwards after speaking in German. "He will be here tonight."
Niklaus crossed his arms, thinking deeply about the situation. "This is indeed quite a situation," spoke the German assassin with a splash of enthusiasm in his voice. "We silence the Templar's Meister (master) tonight and this war might turn in our favor!"
"Let's not be quick about this," Rosanna responded, trying not to jump to conclusions. "We'll need to disguise ourselves as nobles and enter Teatro La Fenice. There, we will need to find them all and hopefully do what we came here for. Mio fratello, (My brother,) Celio is working on the disguises as we speak."
Niklaus smirked. "Heh," he laughed. "Ja, (Yes,) I suppose that it's the only way."
Crossing a bridge, Rosanna's eyes gazed upon a face she recognized. A smile that was the size of a mountain grew on her face. Her eyes were gazing upon a man about five years older than her. His hair as black as her's and his eyes as green as her's. His skin just the same. He appeared to be five-feet-eleven-inches tall and weighed a little above average due to a pack of muscle underneath his outfit.
His hair was combed over to his left. He had facial hair that appeared to look like a mutton chops style type of hair. He wore a long, white inverness coat on top of a wine red striped double breasted vest on top of a white dress shirt. Sewn into the coat was a white hood with the inside of it being wine red. His hood was worn down. The wings of his coat were trimmed by a wine red pattern.
Around his neck he wore a wine red cotton cravat. His hands wore white leather gloves. Around his waist he wore a crimson red sash and attached to it was a brooch that signaled the Italian Assassins. He wore light gray dress pants and black gaiters on his feet. In the right pocket of his dress pants hung a golden chain for a pocket watch.
Rosanna then began running over to him. "Celio!" she happily shouted.
Celio spanned out his arms. A light smile grew on his face. "Salute, la mia sorellina," (Hello, my little sister,) Celio greeted as Rosanna embraced him. The two let go and stand just a foot from each other. "How are you?"
"Sto bene, grazie!" (I'm good, thank you!) she replied, turning her body to her left. This motion revealed Arnold and Niklaus to Celio. Her left hand sailed up to about the height of her shoulder, it pointed towards the two. "Brother, I would like for you to meet Arnold Reiniger and Niklaus Schermer."
Celio took a step forward. His eyes gently stared onto the faces of the German Assassins that came all this way to him. His upper body leaned forward, bowing respectfully to his masters. "My name is Celio Allegri da Milano," Celio humbly introduced. He rolled his torso back up from the ground. "It is an honor, maestri." (masters.)
Niklaus shook his head. "We are no different from you, junger Mann," (young man,) responded the German assassin to the respectful Italian.
Arnold's eyes bolted towards Celio. "Is everything in order?" quickly asking Arnold with shortness.
Celio turned his head towards Arnold. "S-si, Messere," (Y-yes, Mister,) Celio nervously stuttered. "I retrieved clothing from some shipment down by the port. Satin, wool—the best that money can buy!"
Niklaus crossed his arms. His left eyebrow rose up like a flower in bloom. "So," he said. "You stole it?"
Celio smirked. "Heh," he laughed. "They consider it stealing, I consider it borrowing."
Niklaus clenched his face, slamming his visage with the palm of his right hand. "Oh, Güte..." (Oh, goodness...) spoke Niklaus with worry, surprised by the words made by Celio.
Ignoring the situation going on, Arnold desired the point. "When does La traviata start?" questioned the German assassin with swiftness.
Rosanna turned to Arnold. "Eight o'clock," she returned.
"Bene," (Good,) quickly responded Arnold. The German assassin then began walking forwards.
Arnold passed right by Celio. Celio followed right behind the German assassin. "Messer Arnold is right," he stated, assuming his purpose by his actions. "We probably should be getting ourselves ready."
With the opera just around the corner, the group of Assassins head forwards to prepare for the night to come. A grim feeling filled like a flooding of Arnold's chest cavity. A feeling he couldn't shake gripped him tightly. What was this unbreakable feeling? Arnold could only pick at the shell that concealed the answer.
The End of Chapter 4
Chapter 5: Showtime!
"I was prepared," spoke Arnold to himself. The nocturnal moth had finally been drawn to the distant silver beaming a cold but heartfelt light down onto the land. The Assassins, disguised cleverly as nobles with the deepest pocket stood at the entrance into Teatro La Fenice. "That man... my enemy, was just inside. I knew if we made it inside, their Meister (master) would fall."
Niklaus wore a gray top hat, his hair was gelled back and his sideburns were trimmed perfectly. He wore Gothic style spectacles with clear lenses. He wore a gray frock coat on top of a light gray satin waistcoat which sat on top of a white dress shirt. Around his neck he wore a red silk bow tie. Wrapped around his hands he wore black gloves made of the finest material.
As for pants, he wore satin black dress pants and black leather brogans that were polished so great that they themselves would serve as a mirror. Arnold wore his hair gelled back and his beard was trimmed. He wore no hat or any kind of monocle. He wore a dark gray cutaway coat on top of a red single breasted vest with a black silk puff tie. In the center of his tie was a beige tie tack.
In the right pocket of his coat hung a silver chain to a pocket watch. He wore gray dress pants and black leather lace up boots. Around his left ring finger, he wore his wedding band to cover the burn mark signalling his Assassin affiliation.
Celio's hair was gelled to the left and he wore a golden monocle on his right eye. He wore a dark gray top hat on his head. He wore a dark green tailcoat with a velvet trim. The cuffs of his coat were barrel cuffed. Hanging from his right pocket was the golden chain of a pocket watch. Underneath his tailcoat, he wore a black double breasted vest with eight pale yellow buttons at the front.
Around Celio's neck, he wore a black silk cravat. He wore black leather gloves around his hands. He wore dark gray silk dress pants and black leather brogans. In his left hand, he held a black wooden walking stick. On top of the stick sat the handle which was a silver eagle with it's wings tucked in.
His sister, Rosanna, wore her hair curled like sausage curls. And she had on make-up. She wore a gorgeous dark emerald green dress, it reached down to her ankles. The edges of her dress were trimmed by black lacing. It appeared much like an evening gown, exposing her shoulders. She wore a black velvet cape around her, it reached all the way down to the back of her knees.
Underneath her cape, she wore a black lace shawl around her that had a floral pattern. Around her arms, she wore black lace sleevelets that were tied around her ring finger. She wore black dress pants underneath her dress and long black laced up boots with a one-inch-and-a-half heel. They reached up to her thighs.
Clenching tightly onto her white parasol, Rosanna noticed a man to her right. Walking towards the double doors into the theater, a gentleman dressed formally approached young Rosanna. "May I take your parasol, madam?" he gently asked.
She turned her eyes towards him. "No grazie," (No thanks,) she replied to the kindness of the man. She raised her parasol up, making it lean against her right shoulder. It was closed, appearing much like a walking stick. Blending with a growing crowd of people from all over Italy who dressed in the most formal of attires, the four walked into the beautiful theater without gaining the attention of anyone.
Two gentleman, dressed in tailcoats, held the door for all to enter. "Enjoy the show," repeated the man to the left as people passed him. There standing for all to see was the grand stage where the opera will take place. In front of the stage was a sea of seats cushioned with comfort in mind. The theater walls themselves were mostly white but were trimmed by golden decoration of all kinds of images.
The ceiling was covered by a motif of squares and circles with Victorian era style decoration in mind. The many symbols and the theater's design in general appeared almost like that of a cathedral. In the center of the ceiling had a white chandelier that was hanging by golden chains. Curtains concealed the stage from the view of the public. The curtains were blue and trimmed by yellow string lacing.
The galleries lined all across the right and left walls housed the many people who would watch from higher ground. Those areas were more reserved for those of higher power. Down below, the crowd of people gathered as the chatter of a thousand voices grew in strength. The four blended as well as they could, forming a diamond shaped circle as if they were speaking to each other.
Arnold's hazel eyes flipped to Rosanna. "Which box is he in?" he mumbled as softly as he could to her.
Rosanna turned to the German Assassin. "I have no idea," she quickly stated. "But a friend of ours should be founding us soon to inform us of—..."
"Grazie a Dio!" (Thank God!) shouted a man from behind the four. The group flipped their heads over to the source of the voice. "I was worried you would not come!"
The man appeared five-feet-ten-inches tall, his skin was fair and his eyes were green. His hair was short and black. He wore a small handlebar mustache on his face. He wore a beige bowler hat on his head. He wore a dark beige frock coat on top of a red waistcoat which sat on top of a light gray dress shirt. He wore a yellow satin ascot around his neck.
He wore white leather gloves around his hands. For his trousers, he wore brown dress pants that dropped in the front. And he wore dark brown leather brogans on his feet. Rosanna smiled, placing her left hand onto the right shoulder of the man. "No need to worry, amico mio." (my friend.) the Italian Assassin stated. "We're—"
Arnold quickly turned his attention onto the newcomer. "Where is their Meister? (master?) questioned Arnold with swiftness, interrupting the young woman.
"Left wall, upper center box," quickly stated the man. Hearing that, Arnold looked up at the box that he was told held their master. The appearance of a man with brown hair wearing that exact same outfit described by Haytham sitting in a chair reflected off of Arnold's fierce hazel irises. He began walking away from the group. "But Messere! (mister!) You can't possibly be thinking you can just causally stroll through the front door! You'll be killed!"
"Nein," (No,) responded Arnold as he began to walk away. "I will not be killed—he will."
"Verdammt," (Damn it,) growled Niklaus to himself in frustration. "Arnold, stop this folly! This goes against everything we've been taught!"
He was unable to stop the freight train. So just like that, Arnold sped forward and vanished like the wind. He blended with excellence within the body of the crowd. He surfed through the ocean, passing by each wave of nobility and flesh. He was a man on a mission, absolutely nothing could stop his step. Niklaus watched his back, he watched him as Arnold faded away before his very eyes.
There was nothing he could say, nothing he could do to stop Arnold Reiniger from his mission. Niklaus' face almost looked concerned, he felt worried about the man he disliked. Drawing breath into his lungs, he knew what needed to be done. He let go the burden of air from the purple balloons inside his chest. He turned towards the two Italian Assassins. "I must chase after him." the German stated. "I cannot in my good conscience allow him to do this to himself..."
Celio smiled. "Of course," the Italian replied. "You two are brothers afterall. You must look after each other."
Rosanna shook her head, agreeing with her brother. "I concur," she stated, believing in her brother's words. "Go, Messer Niklaus. Messer Arnold needs you."
Niklaus shook his head, acknowledging the support the two gave to him will now sailing his wings. "Grazie, mi amici." (Thank you, my friends.) thanked Niklaus to the two Italians in their native tongue. He then began walking away, blending with the crowd just as Arnold did. Arnold made it to the entrance into the theater, walking through the tidal wave of formally dressed bodies that kept pushing towards him.
Out into the entrance room where all converge to enter the theater, Arnold turned to his left. His laced up boots tapped down onto the red carpet beneath him. Pillars that reached up to the ceiling passed him by. His body began walking towards a double door where two bodies were guarding the way.
They were dressed in tailcoats and formal attire. They both stood to each other's side, one man's face wore a handlebar mustache while the other had long, thick sideburns. They stood with their arms crossed, ready to take on anyone with a percussion cap pistol hidden inside their coats. They both raised an eyebrow to the approaching man. "Basta!" (Enough!) quietly shouted the man to Arnold. "There are no boxes available. Please head back to the theater, Messere." (mister.)
"Veramente?" (Really?) mumbled Arnold, standing one-foot-and-a-half from the men. As his footsteps ceased, his hand reached into his left pocket. Fishing out a large pouch full of an unexplained amount of gold, he showed it off to the guards. He pulled the pouch of money over in front of the guard to the left. The greedy shark smelt the money, he became tempted by it's allure.
The other guard also seemed rather intrigued by the smell of gold trickling in his face. The man lifted up his left hand, his palm just under the bottom of the sack of money. He was unable to fight off his desire for the money that Arnold possessed. Arnold dropped the pouch into the man's hand, bribing him for access. Arnold smiled, joyous that his plan worked.
"S-si si, maestro!" (Y-yes yes, master!) stuttered the guard, nervously but happily did his voice bounce. "Sono profondamente dispiaciuto, signore! (I'm profoundly sorry, sir!) I did not see your name on the list. But... clearly, I do now. Forgive us for the error, Messer Marcellino."
Arnold shook his head. "It is quite all right," he replied, playing along with the game that the men were creating. The two gripped the handles of the door and pulled it open, revealing a large and glorious staircase before Arnold's eyes. He then began to travel into the room with the staircase, walking confidently to his target.
As his body began to ascend up the red carpet covered wooden staircase, the doors that he entered from began to close behind him. A familiar sensation then began to pound like a drum in his head, his heart almost leaping out of his chest. A surge of readiness coursed through his veins, his hands tightly fastened into a death grip. He was more than ready for what was about to occur.
Step by step, his heart would pound with more swiftness. Drops of sweat began to fall down from the sides of his face. Finally, his foot lifted off from the last of the steps. He was on the top floor, a long stretch of walls and doors stood before him. His body began to causally stroll the hallways, his predator eyes glared at each door in hopes of finding the right one.
Then his eyes catch a door protected by two of the cross. They were dressed formally, frock coats and white leather gloves around their hands. Hidden behind the mask was a lethal weapon that would be able to kill a man. The two men stared at each other as if they were having a conversation, they spoke as they protected the door.
They were distracted. That was what Arnold's ideal approach had in mind.
The German Assassin began walking to just the side of them. Approaching them with all of the readiness in the world, the two blades that hid under the safety of Arnold's sleeves eagerly awaited the blood that would slither down their bodies. Once he was just to their side, the two began to notice the stranger that came forward. And they knew exactly who he was due to his approach. But it was too late for them.
The blades underneath his wrists revealed themselves. And with a devilish smirk on his face, Arnold lunged his hidden blades up towards the underneath of both of their chins. The blades' glare gazed with a death stare upon the visages of it's victims. Their eyes quickly widened as their hands tried as quick as they could to reach for their guns.
But the blades found their mark, plunging forth in their throats and straight into their brains. The blades bit into them, cutting a clear passage through their trachea and towards their brainstems. His blades partly severed their brainstems from their spinal cords. His blades almost made a clean escape from inside the heads of the guards.
The men just stood with a breathless look on their faces, their jaws hung wide open and their eyes were just as wide open as their mouths. They gasped as their struggle for precious oxygen became a battle for their lives, but it wasn't enough. The blades hidden underneath Arnold's sleeves recoiled back into their holes, certain that their work was not yet done.
The men's bodies began to fall as their last moments of life began to dance in a blur in front of their very eyes. They clenched onto their throats, trying so desperately to stay alive. But their struggle for survival was all in vain. Still wearing that iniquitous smirk on his face, he watched as the very life within the people he just killed slowly vanished from their eyes.
His arms fell down to his sides as he looked onto the door those whom he killed were guarding. He knelt down, gripping onto the bodies of his victims. Arnold opened the door as slowly as possible, pulling in the bodies of those that he killed. His eyes gazed upon a oblivious man with brown short hair. An intensity unlike any other shook him to his core, controlling his very emotions.
His teeth gritted with ire, his eyes beamed with an indignation he had never felt before. He sluggishly dropped the two bodies just in front of the door. He calmly closed the door behind him, not a noise was heard. In the background, the opera known as La traviata had begun in earnest. Arnold ensured himself that he did not make a single sound, hunching down like a predator as he slowly approached his target.
Just within an inch was his target, the man he had wanted to kill for so long. His body was tense, his mind swirling with a million different thoughts. It was an intense battle to keep himself under control. He held in his breath, being sure to keep his anger from corrupting his mission. "He was right there," thought Arnold to himself. "His neck was just an inch from my blade. The death that I yearned for... was just an inch from me."
The blade underneath the left sleeve of Arnold's coat began to roll out from it's hole. It gleamed, shining with a tint of red on the tip of it's tongue. Arnold's hand quickly grabbed onto the top of his target's chair and he threw it down towards him as fast as he could. A thud and a bang collided in the air. He quickly twirled his body towards the person in the chair, holding his blade up as he was just about to make his kill.
He scanned the face of the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, the man he wanted so desperately to kill. But something was amiss, the face that he stared at was already soulless. The eyes of the man he stared into were completely void of life. Arnold's face became a mask of surprise, he didn't know what to think. The throat of this person had already been slashed, from ear to ear.
Arnold's kneeling body stood up, his eyes gazing down upon the face of the man that laid lifeless before him. His eyes then turned towards a table just to his left. There, sitting in the lap of the polished wooden table was an envelope. Arnold's right hand quickly reached for the paper. Held loosely, Arnold's eyes gazed down upon the face of the paper.
There was a seal closing the context of the paper from the view of the world. That seal appeared to be the symbol of the Templars: their infamous cross. Arnold took his left hidden blade and slashed it across the artery of the letter, slicing the seal in half. The context of the letter was revealed to Arnold, it's message reflecting off of his irises. And the more he read, the more furious he would become.
"Guten Abend, Arnold Reiniger (Good evening, Arnold Reiniger)
It is good to see you are still alive, Mein Freund. (my friend.) But it is clear to you now, isn't it—that all of your efforts to find me today were in vain? This man laying here now was that Frenchman who attempted to kill my brother, Bogdan. But you care not, yes? I am glad that you came, Arnold. I was worried that you and your little band of Assassins were too clever to take the bait. But it seems that I was quite wrong. You even brought along some of the Italian Assassins!
Many thanks, Arnold. And may der Vater des Verstehens (the Father of Understanding) guide you on your quest to find me. I look forward to it.
With his teeth fastened together and his eyes beaming with ire, Arnold had only his haste to blame for this failure. His grip on the piece of paper was deadly, the paper bent to his crushing grasp. As he bottled up the frustration into his mind, something caught his ear. It was a soft but unfamiliar step in the carpet beneath his feet.
Quickly, this sent a red flag waving in his head. Behind the Assassin was a man wearing a formal outfit, the finest cloth around. He stood at about five-feet-and-ten-inches tall, his hair was black and his eyes were a dark green. Clenched with security in his right hand was a silent but deadly bite, a small dagger made of hardened steel.
Alerted by this, Arnold quickly rolled to his right. His body swirled towards the wall with the door leading out into the hallways. Just as Arnold's body began to tumble, the man wielding the knife lunged the blade forward. The sharp tongue lashed forward, missing Arnold by just mere inches. The dagger's tongue stabbed into the table of which the note Arnold read was laying on.
The attempted murderer's eyes flipped over to his right, his bloodthirsty glance taking aim on the Assassin. Arnold's body came to a complete stop almost five feet from where he was standing. He was on his knees, his torso turned to his left as his hazel eyes gazed upon the man who attempted to take his life. A stern-as-stone mask clenched Arnold's visage as his eyes also took aim at the man.
His arms spanned out just a few inches away from his body. His hands flew backwards, the slightly tan skinned trapdoor hung open. This allowed a cannonball of death to pummel through and reveal it's self to the world. Gleaming from the dim light of the stage, it's time to the spotlight had come. His fingers danced in a same roll as if he were a puppetmaster controlling two puppets.
He rose up strong and solid onto his feet, standing straight and tall. His peer was without fear, it was as clear as the ocean's water. The man then quickly jerked his arm back, pulling out his dagger from the carcass of wood. Drips of wood stained the floor beneath the two like blood. Arnold's stolid eyes spoke it's own brand of fear, as if he was ready to kill within a moment's notice. "You must be Sergei," quietly spoke the Assassin.
The man's face let out a smirk. "Heh..." laughed the man. "You Assassins certainly are observative, aren't you? Oh, but don't worry Arnold... you'll be seeing your wife soon."
A devilish smirk then grew on Arnold's face once he heard Sergei speak those words. His face was the face of evil, the face only a death-bringer would bear. "Well then," said Arnold with swiftness. "Kill me if you can!" After his words spoke with volume, the Assassin charged forward. Once he came close, Sergei lunged his dagger forward. It's target was Arnold's upper torso.
Predicting the move, Arnold twisted his torso so that the dagger may pass. His eyes then bolted over to the hand that would shout danger to him, the right hand that held the dagger. Arnold quickly recoiled his blades back underneath his wrist, making his strikes non-lethal. His left hand then grasped onto Sergei's right wrist. Arnold twisted the Templar's right arm so that his elbow was facing up. Then, hammering down like Zeus' mighty thunderbolt came Arnold's right elbow.
His elbow smashed down on top of Sergei's right elbow. The sound of bones cracking popped into the air. An affliction unlike anything this Templar had ever seen became real. His dagger fell out of his hand as a terrible grimace took hold of his face. His teeth fastened together as the sharp pain shot up and down his arm.
Then his mouth hung ajar, his eyes became wide as they watered up. He tried his hardest not to scream from the sheer pain but he would let out a agonizing whimper occasionally. Sergei's back hunched over as his arm hung like an icicle. Sergei's mind couldn't come to grips with what has happened to him. His eyes dilated, unable to believe what was to come after this.
He fell to his knees, they dug into a red carpet. His head scrolled upward, his dark green irises cast a glance upon the face that would scare even death. A grin was wore on his face, it spanned from ear to ear. His eyes are pulled down, they too cast a glance upon the Templar. Arnold's nefarious gaze reflected off of Sergei's irises.
Sergei's eyes then widened even greater, becoming the size of a dinner plate. His body began to tremble as his left hand slowly reached for his neck. His hand lightly gripped a small cross that was held by a chain around his neck. "Отче наш, сущий на небесах..." (Our Father, who art in heaven...) he softly recited to himself. "Да святится имя Твое..." (Hallowed be thy name)
Arnold just continued to stare at Sergei as the Templar recited the Lord's Prayer in his native tongue. The fingers of death then began to reveal themselves once again from under the cloak of Arnold's sleeves. The steel tips were ready to plunge into his enemy's neck. They protrude from his wrist, making Sergei even more frightened.
Tears then began to pour from the Templar, his sobs conquering the air. As La traviata's opera marched on in the background, the dealing of death continued on. His weeping eyes looked up at the face of Arnold who seemed to be enjoying the terror being displayed. "P-please do not kill me, Assassin." begged the horrified Templar, his voice all over the place. "I-I meant nothing against you...! I only wished to serve our cause!"
"Then tell me something, Templar," quickly said Arnold with fury quaking under his tone. "Who is your Meister?" (master?)
"I..." Sergei spoke hesitantly, pausing for a moment. He feared exactly what would become of him after he told the truth to Arnold. "I don't know! I was never told anything! Just that I... that I had to follow our Father and our master."
Angered by the lack of information distributed to the Templars, Arnold readied his blades to extinguish the life that lit up the soul of Sergei. But then from over the railing came a familiar face to Arnold, an ally. He landed on his feet after pulling himself over the railing and into the box. Niklaus' eyes flipped over at Arnold, raising his hand up in front of him. "Don't, Arnold!" quickly spoke the Assassin, making Arnold yield. "Just because he doesn't know doesn't mean he can't tell us who might know."
Sergei frantically shook his head. "Yes! Yes, I can!" he stated excitedly. "Only those closest to our master know of his identity! You need to find Bogdan Zolinerowich! Yes! He'll tell you everything!"
Niklaus stood in front of Sergei. "And where exactly can we find Bogdan?" calmly asked Niklaus.
Something came to Sergei's mind, an exclamation mark popped in his head. "He's here," stated Sergei, moving his head back and forth between the two. "I saw him on my way up here! He was lurking in the crowd, sitting in a chair not too far from the back of the theater! He seemed like he was watching something..."
Niklaus quickly spun back towards the theater. His eyes frantically searched all along the crowd of people sitting down. He saw absolutely nothing. "Oh, Hölle..." (Oh, hell...) angrily shouted Niklaus, his voice a blur between angry and worry. He flipped his head back over to his brother. "This cannot be good, Arnold. If Bogdan was watching them, then..."
Arnold's eyes glared down at Sergei. "Then we have no more use for this puppet." assumed Arnold, readied his blade to kill the Templar before him. Arnold then began to plunge his blade down towards the left side of Sergei's neck.
Niklaus seemed surprised, alerted by Arnold's words. "Arnold, wait!" he shouted. Arnold's blade dug into the skin of Sergei's neck, slashing through his Jugular vein. Arnold's blade almost severed his vein entirely, only a small portion of it remained intact. A breathless expression took control of the kingdom of Sergei's face. It was a motionless, speechless mask with nothing left to give.
Niklaus seemed saddened, his eyes and eyebrows came down. He sighed as the life passing through Sergei's body began to dissipate. The stern expression that once gripped Arnold's face had returned, he had once again became impatient and steadfast. Arnold took back his blade and he pulled it back to his side.
The crimson then began to flow from the sight of the injury, the Templar's very life began to flow out of his body. Sergei's body dropped down onto the floor, his blood began to infect the carpet. Niklaus closed his eyes, the feeling of grief and remorse swelled up inside of his heart. He fell down onto one knee as he watched the vitality pass from Sergei's eyes.
Knowing that his life was coming to an end, Niklaus grieved on the inside. His right hand reached out for the Templar's left shoulder, offering him some comfort as his pain became numb. "Möge Gott Sie komfort, Mein Freund." (May God comfort you, my friend.) mumbled Niklaus to Sergei. "Ruhe in Frieden." (Rest in Peace.)
The breath of life was drawn out from the deepest part of his lungs, his eyes hollow and blankly stared down the face of the Assassin who gave the last words he will ever hear. Placing his right index finger on Sergei's right eyelid and his right middle finger on Sergei's left eyelid, Niklaus closed his eyes as he pushed passed the melancholy.
He swung his hand down, pulling the fallen soul up to finally lay him down for his final sleep. The sky of his eyes came back into view, revealing the sorrow laid forth in his soul. But then an angry boiled at the top, a simmering rage that seethed with fury. Niklaus darted up onto his feet and quickly twirled around to face the one responsible for Sergei's murder: Arnold Reiniger.
Arnold's back had already been turned, his body already making it's way to the door. With daggers digging deep into his back, the German Assassin paused in his way and stood with his back slightly hunched over. He didn't seem fazed at all by the taking of the Templar's life unlike his comrade who was grief-stricken. "Your haste could have very well cost us very valuable information, Arnold." quickly speaking was Niklaus' lashing tongue. "I hope you—"
"Do you love the sound of your own voice so greatly that you're willing to lecture me while members of our family might be in danger?" Arnold spoke, his thundering words crashing down on top of Niklaus and interrupting him. Arnold's head turned to his left, his hazel eyes glaring back into the face of his comrade. This stare broke the words spoken by Niklaus as he stepped back. Arnold then turned his face away from Niklaus' sight, his eyes gazing back at what is before him. "You can tell me I'm wrong all you want. Ist mir egal. (I do not care.) But that's not going to help us."
"..." Niklaus remained quiet, unable to muster his voice to reply back to his peer.
Arnold raised his right hand up to about the height of his shoulder, his arm looked like a V. His blade still fresh with the blood of a Templar. A wine red spark gleamed from it's eyes. "If you're going to hide like a Angsthase (coward) then so be it." continued Arnold as the readiness for anything embraced him. Arnold's legs then once again began to work, his body moving forward into the potential heat. "Ich werde sein zurück." (I'll be back.)
With a goal in hand, Arnold continued to walk forward. He was bound and determined to go in there headstrong no matter how many Templars would get in his way. The sharp fingers of death that protruded from under Arnold's wrists were still very present. He was going to kill anyone who got in his way. Niklaus looked up back at Arnold, he seemed concerned about his brother. "Arnold, stop!" he shouted furiously. "You're acting too steadfast!"
He ignored the warnings from his comrade and continued on. He headed straight out the door and back into the hallway, without care or concern over his own life. But it was in his nature to feel this way, being involved in this war and in this life since he was born. With each step, he drew closer to the fire—a fire that could either burn him or set him one step closer to finding the man he searched for.
The End of Chapter 5
Chapter 6: One Step Closer
As his heart raced as swiftly as the legs that moved him, Arnold made his way across the hallway. His appearance was almost a blur as he sped on by. His mind dashed with a thousand thoughts, sweat dripped from his brow. He darted down the stairs, speeding towards the double doors from which he came from. He pushed his arms forward, his hands out in front of him.
The door burst open from the pulse of his hands, the wooden arms spanned out and pushed aside the men guarding it. The guards turned the heads over to the person charging out of the door as the wooden hands smacked them in the face. Their eyes gazed upon a dark gray flash of lightning that jolted away from them. All people within the room quickly flung their eyes over to the scene.
They saw the rush of the Assassin that they only believed was just a average gentleman. They whispered words in their native language about him, concerned and a bit rattled about the man galloping at speeds that they believed a normal man could not do. As Arnold escaped the theater, he stopped in place. His head frantically shuffled from the right and then to the left. His heavy panting caused a warm storm cloud to appear before his lips.
Arnold then began to scurry up to the Teatro La Fenice, his tan skinned hands grasped the top of a window surrounded by stone. His feet stuck onto the stone as well. Then he let his hands go off of the window ledge and he tossed himself up into the air. His legs pushed him up as he ascended up into flight. He reached his hands up towards the window ledge that was above his head.
His hands quickly grasped onto that ledge once it does become reachable to his grip. Once his hands were firmly clawed into the stone ledge, he then turned his head towards the next part to the climb. Once again, he makes another mighty leap upwards. His spiffy dressed body passed by a closed window as he grasped onto the ledge. His upper half of his feet are planted onto the stone just below the ledge and just above the window.
Arnold then lunged his right arm skyward, his hand like a gallant lance into the heart of a demon. He grasped on the ledge of the small window, the rest of his body then began to follow. His left hand grasped the very same ledge as his left foot dug into the wall. His right leg would follow just as quickly. With one last leap, he hurled his body up into the air. His hands reached out for that last ledge.
His hands easily grabbed hold of the ledge. His feet were solidly stuck onto the wall. With all of his might, he swiftly pulled himself up onto the rooftop of the theater. His climb went without a problem as his body was pulled up to the rooftop. He sat there on his knees at the edge of the building, his hazel eyes gazed out towards the city of Venice.
He stood up onto his feet, a slight breeze blew by his coat. He took a peek all through the roads around him. Then, reflecting off of his hazel irises as he turned to his right, he saw the siblings. They were slipping by the corner, Arnold was just barely able to make them out. They seemed to be heading for the canal close by to the right of the theater. Not wasting anymore time, Arnold began his odyssey. He turned to his right as his eyes followed the two.
Back inside the theater, Niklaus emerged from the very same pair of doors that Arnold came flying through. The men guarding the door were still a bit shocked by Arnold's haste. The Assassin turned towards the two. The palms of his hands flatten against each other as if he were praying. "Mi dispiace su mio amico." (I'm sorry about my friend.) apologized Niklaus as he began quickly backing up. "Uh... his wife's in labor!"
Making up a hopefully valid excuse, Niklaus began to chase after his brother. Concerned about his haste into the potential battle, Niklaus ran just as fast as the shadow that he chased. Just between the four pillars that stood before the theater, Niklaus shuffled his head in order to locate the man he followed. Then at the corner of his right eye, he sees a silhouette jump on top of a moonlit building.
He quickly spun his head in that direction, seeing a black phantom up on the rooftops. His appearance almost made the blooming moon look like it was the eye of the starlit sky. Niklaus then began to tail Arnold, running under his brother's speed. Arnold jumped from rooftop to rooftop, his eyes not losing sight of the two.
Down below, Celio and Rosanna were chasing behind Bogdan Zolinerowich. His scarred face was partly concealed under a black bowler hat. His head hung down, gazing at his front would not find his eyes. All around them was water, they stood at a dead end. To their left was a building but that wasn't going to do anything. Bogdan stood just in front of a brink fence blocking him from falling into the canal.
Before them was a beautiful scene of the moonlight's shine above the water, dazzling sparkles made the water look like it was dancing. Off to the background were many buildings lined across the canal. Around them were two benches, each with at least two people sitting on them. There was a man leaning against the wall of the building to the left and a man sitting on the brink fence just next to Bogdan.
They all seemed shady, they concealed their eyes under hats of all shapes. They were also formally dressed, in frock and tail coats. A nervous sweat dripped from the two Assassins as the apprehension began to sink in. It dragged them down like an anchor chained to their leg. A smile grew on Bogdan's marked visage. "Good evening, Assassins." spoke the Russian, turning himself around to face them.
His brown eyes drilled into their souls. He stood at about six-feet-four-inches tall and seemed muscular, weighing more than the average male. His hair was black with a hint of gray around the sides as well as having long sideburns. For attire, he wore a long navy blue great coat made of heavy wool.
The coat came down his torso like a V so underneath his coat was visible. He wore a light gray dress shirt underneath. The edges of his coat were trimmed by gray fur, appearing almost like wolf's fur. He wore black dress pants and black brogans. The two Assassins stood there, stepping backwards as they considered retreat.
Rosanna quickly twisted her head to her left, allowing her face to gaze behind her. But the very same kind of men stood at their rear, their hands clenching tightly onto daggers sculpted by hardened steel. There were eight men in total not including the big man himself. Bogdan took a step forward. "You plan on leaving already? But why so soon? You only just got here." he playfully spoke. "C'mon... stay and chat."
Celio's teeth quickly fastened together. "I don't think so!" he shouted as his hands quickly reached for his right pocket. There inside of it was a small circular object. It looked much like a bomb. With swiftness, he scooped it into his hand and held onto it tightly. Bogdan saw this motion come into play and so he quickly reached into his coat.
Revealing from under his great coat what appeared to be a pistol, the Templar pointed it towards the Assassin attempting to create an escape. Punching out from the hole of the barrel was a metal tongue lashing out. A tree of smoke grew out from this hole, reaching up to the night sky. Then a shot rang out, screaming from the metallic lips of the gun.
In an instant, a decisive move had been made. Celio then felt a liquid run down his coat. He then scrolled his eyes down towards the left side of his chest. He saw a red wine running away from the sight of a deep, aching hole in his chest. Celio then looked forward, gazing blankly at the face of the man who shot him. The life had begun to fade from his eyes.
He began to feel his life drain from his body much like the blood that poured out from him. His body then began to fall backwards, a hard bed made of stone awaited him at the bottom of his drop. He crashed down against the ground, his body flopping upward slightly like a fish out of the water. His action left unfinished, his bomb fell down onto the ground along with him.
At the corner of her frightened eyes, she stared with disbelief as her only brother fell. She didn't know what to do, her legs quivering faster than her own breath. A drop of sweat rolled down her face. She didn't dare to look backwards, knowing all too well what had happened. Her heart sank into her stomach, her face dropped like a stone. Her widened eyes then began to flood with water poured from the spring of sorrow.
Bogdan then pulled his gun down, knowing very well what he had done. He placed the gun at his side, taking a step forward as he did. "I was hoping that it didn't have to come to that so soon. But what can you do when your hand is forced." said the big man. Bogdan then opened up the right side of his coat, revealing a holster strapped to the right side of his torso.
He slid his pistol back into it's hiding spot, now awaiting it's next victim. He then gently laid his coat back down where it belonged. His greatcoat had pockets where he then placed his hands. He let out a sigh, his warm breath pounded against the frozen air. Then a smirk rose like the sun on his face. "Go ahead, boys," he said to his brothers. "Have your fun with the girl."
The eight men dressed in their formal attire stood up straight, smiling with joy as their eyes stared forward at Rosanna. They each took a step forward, raising their knives up. But unbeknownst to them, a pair of eyes stared at them from above. His demonic irises stared down upon their heads, an twisted smile was carved into his stone face.
Protruding like a nosy neighbor out from his sleeves were the very blades that made his family so very infamous. They sparkled with the unforgettable night light, ready to kill a man with a single thrust. They rolled down from under his coat's sleeve, the blood of his previous victims upon this night still hung fresh on the tip of death's finger.
A apprehensive sweat then dripped from her brow, Rosanna had no idea what to do. But as her situation darkened, an intervention would be made from a falling angel. Arnold fearlessly fell from the edge of the rooftop he had found himself. His legs pointed down towards the ground, his hair and any loose clothing then began to flap upwards as he fell.
He bent his arms into boomerangs, his blades thirsting for the blood of two men his body darted down towards. As he fell, the wind snarled and whipped at his face. But it wasn't something he had not grown to love. He enjoyed that feeling, almost as much as he enjoyed the feeling of taking a life. Still the Templars were unaware that death's scythe was aiming for their heads.
With his blades just above his victim's heads, his twisted grin reached out to touch the tips of his ears. He then crashed down upon the heads of two of the eight men standing before him. His blades dug into the back of the their heads, cutting through their brain stems and almost outside onto the other side.
Everyone jumped backwards, shocked and alerted by the sudden appearance of the German Assassin. Each Templar's eyes took a point at the newly arrived Assassin, who revealed his white teeth under a smile that belonged to a hellion. His victims laid there, not making a sound. His blades severed their brains from their spinal cords.
Bogdan seemed unfazed but inside of him was a panic. A nervous sweat dripped from the side of his face, swallowing down heavily a gulp of saliva. A moment of silence went by, Arnold still stood on his knees with his blades stuck in the base of his victim's skulls. Then he rose, his blades smoothly sliding out. A new crimson red clothing now covered the naked blades.
His hazel eyes stared at Bogdan, within them wasn't a soul to be seen. His face being revealed to the Templar, it was a stern mask missing a smile. Rosanna stood there, her eyes gazed upon the German who came and saved her. "Grazie, (Thanks,) Messer Arnold!" she thanked the Assassin, very appreciative of her superior's intervening.
Not losing sight of his enemy, Arnold readied his tongue to reply to his sister. "Gehen," (Go,) he quickly responded. "Leave them to me."
Shocked by her master's reply, she didn't know what to think. She sees that he is clearly outnumbered. "B-but sir..." she fearfully stuttered. "You would be far outnumbered...!"
"In number, perhaps." Arnold continued. "But not nearly so in skill. I've seen better looking fighters in my son and he's never fought a day in his life."
One of the Templar grunts fastened his teeth together, angered by his enemy's taunting. "You!" he growled behind his teeth. He then began rushing forward, his dagger ready to kill the man he became infuriated with. As the man roared with rage as he approached the Assassin, Arnold's right hidden blade disappeared from sight. The steel blade became shy and hid it's face from the public.
The Templar lunged his blade forward, aiming for the center of Arnold's chest. Arnold causally turned his body to the right, allowing the Templar's blade to run right by him. Tightly clenching his right hand into a fist, Arnold readied it to plunge forward. His fist then rocketed onward, aiming for the side of the Templar's head.
His fist hammered against the side of the Templar's head. The Templar's head was sent flying to the right due to the sheer force of the Assassin's punch. The Templar's face grew into a grimace, his left hand reached up and grabbed onto the sight of the blow. Shaking off the punch, the Templar then lunged his dagger again towards the Assassin.
His dagger impaled deeply into Arnold's left shoulder. But it seemed like the German allowed the blow to connect. Rosanna looked on in horrible that her brother had been injured but was questioning why he allowed it when he could've easily dodged it. The Templar smiled, overjoyed by his attack actually hitting it's mark.
But something was amiss, the Templar thought. His ears then heard the laughter of his enemy, the man he just harmed. An evil smile came alive on his face. Then the Templar felt a pain he would never be able to wash away. Gazing down at the ground, he watched as blood dripped and crashed onto the stone.
Arnold's left hidden blade had injected it's self into the abdomen of the Templar who had stabbed him. His sleeve became red with the blood of his victims. Arnold then pulled his hidden blade out from the abdomen of his victim who had stabbed his shoulder. The man stood there with a breath-taken expression, like all of the oxygen in his lungs had been pushed out.
The Assassin pulled his right hand out in front of him, pushing it towards the face of the man he just stabbed. He then causally pushed the Templar forward. And the man just collapsed like a stack of dominoes at the slight push. The man's back crashed first against the gelid stone, his head bounced as he landed.
The dagger that he stabbed Arnold was still very present in his shoulder, sticking out like a sore thumb. Bogdan smiled as he stared at the virtually unfazed Arnold. A soft chuckle ruptured from under his lips, perhaps he respected Arnold's endurance. The German reached his right hand out towards the handle of the dagger.
His hand wrapped around the handle, gripping it tightly. He swiftly jerked it out of his flesh, causing a slight flinch on his face. Arnold's hazel eyes then glared backwards, his peer taking aim at Rosanna. "Why haven't you left yet?" growled Arnold, almost as if he were annoyed with Rosanna. "I told you to leave."
Rosanna took a step backwards. She realized that no matter what she said, Arnold's opinion would not sway. She quickly bowed, showing respect to her superior. "G-grazie mille, maestro..." (T-thank you very much, master...) she thanked once more. She then turned tail and began running away as fast as she could.
One of the Templar grunts turned towards the fleeing woman. His face was angry by the sudden ambush of his enemy. But he was even more angered by the fleeing of his enemy. With his knife, he readied himself to give chase. "Oh no you don't!" shouted the Templar. His legs then began to move, his rush had started.
Arnold had predicted a foolish move such as this, readying the dagger held in his right hand. He then tossed it off towards his side, it's blade aimed for the Templar. The blade darted towards the man faster than he could even tell it was coming. The sharp steel found the man, impaling the left side of his neck. The blade sliced across his jugular, impaling deep in his neck.
The man ceased in his motion, clinging tightly onto his neck. He grunted and struggled to pull the dagger out. As he struggled to figure out what was going on, his feet had begun to step backwards. His body then flipped over the brink fencing that kept people from falling into the canal. He crashed into the canal, creating a splash that sent water flying over the brink fencing.
Four Templars outside of Bogdan remained, Arnold had slain half of their ranks. The Templars turned eye to each other, figuring out their next move. The four Templars then charged forward, preparing their weapons and themselves for the fight. They came at Arnold in sort of an X shape formation with Arnold gazing at the upper portion of it. The Templar to the upper right of the formation lunged his dagger forward.
With his right hand, Arnold grabbed the man's incoming hand and pushed it off to the Templar's right with all of his might. The dagger then impaled the Templar coming in from Arnold's left, digging deep into his abdomen. The Templar screamed in pain, his eyes widening. Shocked by this motion, the Templar who just lost control of his lunge just stared with disbelief.
Readying his right leg, Arnold then kicked the right arm of the Templar to his right. His foot crashed against the Templar's wrist, sending it flinging away. The Templar's grip on his dagger vanished. The Templars coming in from Arnold's back then began to ready their attack, pulling their daggers back to lunge them at the Assassin.
As this movement had been made, Bogdan had seen enough of this fighting. He pulled his coat open once again, revealing the pistol he used to shoot Celio. His left hand grabbed onto it's arm, pulling it out of it's home. The hidden blade underneath Arnold's right forearm then began to reveal it's self at the flick of his wrist.
He now wielded the power of two fingers of death. The two Templars were just an arm's reach from Arnold. As their blades began to thrust forward, Arnold dropped to one knee. He felt the breeze of their arms brush across his gelled hair. As the blades nicked the tallest tips of his hair, an iniquitous smirk grew back onto his face. Arnold then pushed his blades upwards, aiming for the abdomens of the Templars that sat right next to him.
His blades punctured right through their flesh, impaling through their organs. Their blood then began dripping onto the ground, staining the stone red. Arnold then quickly recoiled his arms back to his side, allowing the pain-consumed Templars to drop onto the floor. Arnold's sleeves had been covered in blood, turning white to red.
The reflection of a pistol aiming directly for him appeared very present on his hazel irises. With an itchy trigger finger just a moment from pulling the trigger, Arnold quickly bolted up onto his feet. As he began ascending onto his feet, his right hidden blade then quickly withdrew from sight as his hand reached out for the Templar he had kicked.
Standing up, Arnold had the upper portion of the back of Templar's coat in his grasp. The Assassin then pulled the Templar closer to him, using his body as a shield to fend off the incoming Templar bullet. Just after Arnold's move had been made, the sound of a bullet exploding from it's home then suddenly dashed into the air.
The bullet sliced a fissure inside the man's body, cutting a clear path through his abdomen. The lifeless expression grasped the face of the Templar Arnold used as a meat shield. Smoke fell in reverse from the mouth of the gun in Bogdan's hand. Arnold's right hand let go of the Templar's coat. His hazel eyes watched the Templar toppled.
His body crashed onto the ground, creating a pool of blood as he laid flat against the ground. Arnold stood there before the high ranking Templar, all around him were the bodies of the men he had killed within a moment's notice. Bogdan smiled, withdrawing his pistol back into the case he had kept it in. "Impressive, Assassin," complimented the high ranking Templar. "It's been quite a while since I've seen such handy work from your kind."
Remaining silent, Arnold continued to stare apathetically at the Templar. His face wore a mask of stone, revealing no emotion to Bogdan. Tears of crimson poured from the eyes of the blades standing beside the Assassin. Bogdan then opened the left side of his coat, revealing two cup-hilt swords hanging from the same side of a leather strap around his waist.
Arnold's vision twisted in that direction, the appearance of the two blades reflecting off of his eyes. Bogdan's head turned downward, his face gazed upon these blades hidden inside leather sheathes. "I trust you know how to use one." said Bogdan as he handed his head back over to the Assassin.
Arnold stood quietly, not answering the Templar's question. His face still kept a firm expression. Bogdan then smiled with glee. His right hand then clenched tightly around one of the blades. He pulled the sleeping sword out from it's bed, pulling out the bare steel for all to see. "I do not wish to fight a man unfairly—especially if he is my enemy." continued to explain the Templar. "So, I give this sword to you."
Bogdan then chucked the blade up into the air, it twirled like a ballerina. It appeared just above Arnold's head as it began it's decline. Arnold then threw his right hand up into the air, opening his right hand to catch the steel fish. Landing easily in his hand was the handle of the blade. The German quickly grasped the blade.
The blade itself was about thirty-two inches long and about three inches wide. It appeared to be a double edged blade. The cross-guard of the blade appeared much like a cup with it going over some of Arnold's hand. The hilt was made entirely of silver which had a slight green hue to it. Arnold peered his eyes across the blade, a finely crafted blade he thought. "This is quite the blade." said Arnold.
Bogdan then reached his right hand towards the grip of the other sword. Pulling it out from it's case, it revealed to be a taller twin of the very blade Arnold was using. "Made it myself." stated Bogdan, bracing himself for the fight ahead of him. With his blade ready as ever, Arnold then began to charge. Preparing his blade for the strike, his feet rush like a stampede over to his enemy.
The first strike was then made. Arnold swung his blade downward, aiming for the dead center of Bogdan's torso. Quickly, the Templar guarded against this attack. The two blades clashed in a death match, colliding steel versus steel. Bogdan then lifted his right leg, launching it forward towards Arnold's abdomen.
The Templar's brogans then pounded against the center of Arnold's gut. This sent the Assassin backwards, pulling his blade away from the Templar. He held onto his stomach with his left hand. Being stunned for just a moment was all Bogdan could ask for. The Templar then lunged his blade forward, aiming for the very place he had kicked.
Realizing this at almost the very last second, Arnold hopped over to his right. The blade's razor sharp point managed to wound the Assassin, cutting the very edge of the left side of his abdomen. This cut a tear in the German's suit, allowing blood to spill freely. Arnold's feet then stood firmly exactly two feet from where he once stood.
Bogdan then began charging for the Assassin, pulling his blade upward. Close enough to swing his blade at the Assassin, Bogdan then began swinging his sword downward. Arnold then swung his the back of his left hand, smacking the face of the Templar. This ceased the Templar's action, sending him backwards.
Arnold stood there as he watched the Templar take a step backwards. Once back in control of himself, Bogdan wiped his left hand across his mouth. There was blood coming out from the left side of his mouth which his hand cleared away. The two then stepped forward quickly, readying their blades once again after the very brief break.
Bogdan swung his blade downward, aiming for his blade to slice a path across the map of Arnold's body. The Assassin's step hesitated with intention, seeing the attack coming. Bogdan's blade swung right by Arnold, missing him by mere inches. With Bogdan's head just around the height of Arnold's waist, it was time to act.
Arnold bent his knee like a bow, throwing it up towards the underneath of Bogdan's jaw. His knee hammered against the underneath of his jaw, sending him bolting back up straight. Grasping with both of his hands, Arnold lunged his blade forward towards the center of Bogdan's torso. Gritting his teeth in utter frustration, Bogdan realized that he was at his last straw.
The Templar quickly swung his right hand towards the Assassin's incoming attack. He pushed Arnold's blade, making it impale his left shoulder instead of killing him. His blade cleaved a clear path through the center of his shoulder. The Russian's teeth fastened together as he held the pain as best as he could.
A grimace was worn tightly around the Templar's face as the blood of his injury began to run down his greatcoat. Arnold then pulled his left hand from the sticky grip of his blade. His left hand spanned slightly apart from his side, hanging at about the height of center of his abdomen. His fingers widened apart, opening up his hand like an umbrella.
Slithering out from it's hole again was the bringer of death. The moonlight shined upon it's crimson face. A expression as if he accepted that this is how it will inevitably would end appeared vividly upon the Templar's face. His eyes closed, accepting his fate for what it was. Dripping down from his neck, the wine fell like snow.
His blade hulled right through Bogdan's neck, cutting straight through his jugular. With swiftness, Arnold's blade loyally returned back to his side once the deed had been done. His leg grew frail, breaking like twigs. The Templar began to fall, realizing that his life was at an end. Arnold made sure that Bogdan did not fall on his own, carrying him down.
Arnold gently laid Bogdan to his final resting place. It was a beautiful place to die, among the stars and the glare of the moonlight dancing on the water's surface. The frost bitten air revealed to the Assassin the shaken breath of the Templar he had sentenced to death. Among the bodies of the fallen, the two stared down each other.
Arnold watched the life drain from the man's body, his soul escaping to a place beyond this hapless world. The world then began to slow, the canal's pull no longer existing. The stars ceased twinkling and the world itself stopped moving. Arnold's hazel irises spoke no words, not even of grief or remorse. He did not regret what he had done.
"You allowed this to happen," suggested Arnold, explaining his observation. "Why?"
A light smile grew on Bogdan's face. Blood began to fall from his pale lips. "Because I am done..." he responded, answering the Assassin's question. "I am done... with this—this war and world that never changes..."
"Change is made by those with the will to make it so." thought Arnold, replying back to the dying man.
Bogdan closed his eyes. "Perhaps so..."
"I ask this last thing of you," said Arnold, his voice spoke gently and with respect. "Who is your Meister?" (master?)
"Arnold Reiniger, is it?" asked the Templar, making sure he knew the name of the one who slew him. His eyes opened up, revealing a hollow shell. "да... (Yes...) I should have known... His name is Lazar Bogdevich Volkov... and he knows you come for him."
Arnold closed his eyes. And then a spark of amusement then ruptured on his face. His smile reappeared, overjoyed by the information he received. "Vielen Dank." (Thank you very much.) evilly thanked the Assassin. His dark stare then barreled down upon the Templar's head. The blade at the command of Arnold's wrist then plunged downwards.
His blade punctured Bogdan's abdomen, cutting right through his stomach. A breath-taken expression then appeared on Bogdan's face, he gasped out in pain as his life vanished within an instant. Arnold then pulled his blade out of Bogdan's abdomen. His widened eyes then fell down, shrinking with each second. His head then began to roll to the right as the life faded from his eyes.
Arnold sat there on one knee, staring down upon the lifeless expression that now grasped the departed Templar before him. His right forearm laid on top of his right knee which was bent so that his foot would hold him up. His left knee was the one digging into the blood covered stone ground. The smell of crimson and death lingered in the air but Arnold was not the least bit fazed.
He sat there before the dead Templar, wielding the power and confidence of the devilish smirk he became more and more acquainted with. Once there, time had begun to flow correctly once again. He stood up onto his feet, his hazel eyes gazed upon the blade that put an end to the Templar who fed him the information he so longed for.
But now that the battling and death dealing had been dealt with for today, the agony of the wounds he had suffered started to come into play. His blade recoiled back into it's hiding, revealing a bare clenched fist. He then pulled his left hand down, he held it at about mid-torso height. His hazel irises gazed upon the ring that bounded him to the person he loved.
His right hand reached out and fell on top of his hand. His fingers touched the golden face of the precious ring. As he did this, his smile went down. The army carrying the flag of his usual stolid expression reconquered the kingdom of his visage. His eyes went down, revealing a man hollow like a box filled with nothing. "I am one step closer, Mein Liebling... (my darling) One step closer to killing the bastard." he mumbled to himself.
Arnold's hands then go back down to his sides. His hazel eyes then set course towards the Assassin's casualty: Celio Allegri. His footsteps then began traveling up towards the Italian that laid dead. The heart that once pounded in his chest had been shot, leaving a hole in his chest. Laying just to his left was that walking stick that he had carried around.
The Assassin then reached his hand out towards the stick. His right hand grabbed onto the stick, pulling it towards him. He looked at it, his hazel eyes taking interest upon the silver eagle crowning at the head of the stick. Arnold then closed his eyes, standing back onto his feet. The walking stick still within his slightly tan-skinned grasp. He held onto the stick, the bottom portion of it pointed upward while the eagle pointed downward.
Finally appearing in view was the causally walking Niklaus. His blue eyes looked across a field of death and battle. And he noticed that Arnold was the only man standing. Arnold's eyes bolted over to Niklaus, a lightning flash of anger thunderous crashed down upon his head. Arnold's eyes fell down into a sharp-eyed glare, his eyes spewed thousands of daggers that speared into Niklaus' body.
But he didn't seem very fazed at all by this. Niklaus saw the death of one of the members of their family. And then he saw the deaths of all those that were slain by the man who stood alone. A heart-wrenching burden then fell on top of Niklaus, he was flooded with lament. But even more so with the death of Celio.
Niklaus knelt down right next to Celio. The Italian's eyes were still wide open, they gaze blankly up at Niklaus. Placing his right index finger on Celio's right eyelid and his right middle finger on Celio's left eyelid, Niklaus pulled himself together to combat these emotions that tugged at his heart. He swung his hand down, his heart ripping inside as the mourning and grief settled in."Requiescat in pace, fratello." (Rest in peace, brother.) he respectfully spoke to this lifeless soul before him.
He closed the gates into the hollow shell that wore Celio's visage. Now the young man appeared to be sleeping on his trip to whatever laid beyond the living world. Niklaus closed his eyes, his heart filled by much sorrow. Air was then drawn into his bellows, letting it go a moment later in a breath that spoke his melancholy.
He then stood up, standing just beside the German Assassin who had killed all the men around Niklaus. The German's blue eyes then make a second appearance, gazing down upon Celio's face. He seemed very saddened even though the man he stared at was one he just met. He mourned like he knew him for a very long.
Niklaus closed his eyes. "All of this fighting is quite sad, isn't it?" spoke Niklaus. "Families get torn apart and people lose the ones that they love..."
Arnold's eyes gazed down upon the young man's face as he slept a long and peaceful sleep. "Where were you?" the German Assassin softly questioned, completely brushing off the words Niklaus spoke.
"Consulting Rosanna in regards to... this." answered the Assassin, his voice lowering with each word he spoke. But then a curiosity poked at his mind. His eyes then flipped over to his brother, wondering exactly what the question was for. "Why, did the great Arnold Reiniger actually require assistance?"
"Nein," (No,) quickly stated Arnold. "But I think if we had gotten here faster, we wouldn't be mourning."
Niklaus looked up at the sky. The image of the starry sky filled by colors of blue and purple laid before his weary eyes. "Perhaps you are right..." said Niklaus, possibly concurring with his brother. "But we're always mourning, Arnold. After all, this is the curse of what we do. Kill a person, save another; an evil for a good."
A moment of silence went by upon this star lit night. A calm breeze swept by the two. Arnold continued to press the left side of his abdomen, where Bogdan's sliced a path across his body. His left hand was covered in his own blood. A minute went by with the breeze blowing by them making the only sound.
Arnold then began walking towards the body of their Italian brother. He knelt down beside him, his eyes staring down at the young man's face. His left hand slipped under where Celio's upper body laid. His right hand then slipped under the back of Celio's knees. Arnold then began to lift Celio's body, carrying him in his arms.
His face wore a grimace for just a moment, dealing with the pain of the wounds that he had suffered. But after a brief struggle, Arnold managed to pick Celio up in his arms as he stood up on his feet. Arnold's face hung low, an emotionless expression took control of his face. The two then began walking away from the scene of the battle that Arnold and the Templar waged.
Niklaus guided Arnold to where Rosanna was. They found her just a block away, sitting on the side of the stone-brink pathway. "There's something that I realized at that very moment." thought Arnold to himself. Rosanna saw the two approached her and saw who Arnold carried in his arms. She immediately began walking over to him and saw the sleeping face of her brother.
She planted her face against his torso as she began to wail. The tears of her grief were nothing compared to the tears of actually seeing the lifeless body of her brother. "All around me, this war between Assassins and Templars... I saw how greatly terrible this war we wage was. I... I thought at this moment about Haytham and my father. The Templars were willing to kill Diana, they were willing to kill Celio and he was just a young man starting his life. And all throughout history, the Templars killed innocent people merely because they got in their way of their goals. I... I have to stop them."
By the canal, Arnold placed Celio's body. His body floated in the water. With Rosanna and Niklaus standing behind him, Arnold then pushed Celio's body off. His body then began to venture off into the sea, setting sail to an adventure to a land he would never come back from. As Rosanna continued to cry, Niklaus did his best to consult her. He had one arm, his right arm, around her.
As this seed of sorrow grew into a flower of lament, an intensity burned like a furnace in the eyes of the German Assassin, Arnold. "I'm one step closer," continued to speak Arnold to himself. "Just a few steps until I reach him. And then, with a flick of my wrist... I will kill Lazar Bogdevich Volkov and then begin erasing the name of the Knights Templar."
The End of Chapter 6