Scarlet sighs to herself as she gazes into the mirror, brushing out her red hair. It had been a long, tiring day of dealing with decisions for the Kingdom, petitions from various citizens and squabbling between Council members. Everyone had their own agenda and expert opinion on the best way for Firenze and Tuskany to grow, but the coffers would not support more than token efforts at each plan.
Why did I let Faisal talk me into this?
On top of it all, the young priestess was continually having to contend with unwanted attention from the obsequious and self-important Captain Carson. Gifts of flowers and public proclamations of love from the sweaty little man had become an almost daily event. He had even found out about the exotic elven candies she loved, a treat that her father used to bring back from his many trips to the homeland. She didn’t know how he had managed to obtain them, but she certainly didn’t like associating her pleasant childhood memory with the simpering soldier.
I don’t know how, but I’m sure that little bitch is behind it all.
The quiet of the chamber is broken by a piercing scream, causing Scarlet to leap up and knock over her chair. Deirdre stands in the doorway, one hand over her mouth in fear and the other pointing to the wall next to the red-haired woman.
What is doing here?!
The wayward chair strikes something unseen and the Scarlet feels a heavy impact on her arm. The deep thunk of a blade biting into wood is followed by the sudden materialization of a slim, dark-clad figure wielding the dagger that has just missed its mark.
Scarlet scrambles back from the assassin, grabbing for something to defend herself. Deirdre continues to stand in the doorway, screaming. The attacker struggles unsuccessfully to free her blade from the soft wood as the priestess grabs a fireplace poker. The sounds of booted feet echo from the hallway, growing louder as the guards respond to the acolyte’s screams.
" Murtadd ", curses the assassin, her dark brown eyes locking with Scarlet’s. As the first of the guardsmen crash past the paralyzed acolyte, the dark-clad woman turns and dives through the nearby window, disappearing into the night.