Leo and the Dagger

By Andrea Radius • All Rights Reserved ©

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I watched him what I could only assume was making an arrangement with the innkeeper. Before he finished, I ran around the building, paying attention to its second floor. There were windows facing the front and the docks, but the other two walls were solid.

I ran back to the front and watched Lilenn finish with whatever he was doing and head upstairs. I crossed the street and stood in a spot where I could see the windows of the two walls that seemed to host guest rooms. Two were lit facing the docks, while one on that side and two facing the front of the inn were dark. That changed in a moment when the third window facing the docks suddenly had light filtering through the glass. That was Lilenn’s room, a fact I confirmed when he came to the window to close the curtains. All I had to do now was wait for him to fall asleep, but I had some scouting to do first.

The inn had no trees nearby for me to climb on, but it did have a smaller building right next to the window I needed to get to. Said window also had a ledge wide enough for someone like me to balance on it to open the window.

In other words, getting in and out would be easy. Waiting for the right moment was the hard part. So I forced myself to step away and walk around the small town. It consisted of countless shops selling anything from fish to clothing to trinkets. There was even another inn farther away from the docks. Even though the shops were closed and the hour was late, the town still had movement and life. The docks had constant people tending to the ships and I even counted two more docking by the time I decided to walk back to inn.

When I got back, Lilenn’s window was dark. Trusting he had been asleep for a while, I checked to make sure Master’s journal was still secured by my belt. I easily climbed atop the one story building next door with the help of some crates left outside and then jumped onto the window ledge. The window opened rather easily and I slipped inside.

Lilenn was sleeping comfortably, while his things and mine were sitting atop a small table and his traveling garments laid out on a chair. He hadn’t even unpacked and probably wouldn’t spend more than one night here. I walked over to the table to pick up my knapsack when I decided to take another look at Lilenn.

He was resting without a worry in the world. This man had blackmailed me into doing his bidding, only to turn on me. He, much like everyone else with piss-colored hair, had plotted against me with hate when all I wanted was safe passage. I was sick of that treatment and this time I was ready to make sure things ended differently.

Instead of grabbing my knapsack, I walked over to Lilenn’s pants and drew his dagger. I paid closer attention to it this time, taking note of the great level of detail the smith took in designing the leaves. I ran my finger on the edge of the blade, finding it smooth and sharp.

I slowly walked over to Lilenn, who was laying on his back, sleeping ever so peacefully. His chest was rising and falling rhythmically as the dream world kept his mind relaxed, helping his body rest and recuperate for the following day.

A day he wouldn’t get to see.

I held the dagger with both hands, and raised them as high as I could above my head. I brought to mind all the times I was tortured, all the times my body ached from the pain I was forced to endure, all the screams and pleads of mercy… I grabbed everything and packed it all up into my arms and let it fuel my swing. With great satisfaction, I watched as the clean and sharp blade of Lilenn’s dagger pierced its owner’s chest.

Lilenn opened his eyes in surprise and tried to speak or scream, but he couldn’t. His life force was quickly leaving his body along with each drop of warm blood coating the sheets covering his chest.

“Hello, my friend,” I snarled. “I’m back for what’s mine and because I really despise you, I’m taking what is yours as well. If what you own doesn’t please me, I will have to kill you. However, I already know that what I’ll find won’t be enough to make me happy, so I’m saving us both the time and I’m killing you first.”

I twisted the blade inside his chest and watched his face contort with agony as it struggled to cope with the pain. I just stayed there, looking straight into his eyes and watched life leave his body.

I felt relieved and happy, like a part of me had been incomplete up until this moment. I remembered how horrified I had been when I saw the bodies dropped by Fanarel. But now… now it all felt very different and the memories of those he had killed didn’t scare me anymore. I had suspected that Fanarel had murdered more because he wanted to than because he had to, and now I can understand why. Taking the life of those who plot against you is rather satisfying.

After looking at Lilenn’s dead body for a while longer, I pulled the dagger out of his chest and cleaned it and my hands as best I could with the sheets. I recovered the scabbard and sheathed the dagger, attaching it to my belt. I also picked up his travel cloak, resting on the back of the chair. It was rather long for me, but it was warm and well cared for. I could use something like this out in the wild of this new land.

I opened Lilenn’s sack and went through his things. I didn’t want to be over encumbered, so I only took his rations,  coin and silver cutlery from his sack. I also found the bottle of wine he had taken from the ship, almost completely full.

With little effort and the use of my teeth, I managed to get the bottle opened. I first sniffed its contents and then took a long sip. It was indeed rich and delicious wine, much like Lilenn had promised.

After setting the bottle on the table, I took Master’s journal from its hiding spot in my shirt. I took a moment to look at it and caress it with my blood-stained hand. Guarding this object was looking to be more amusing than originally expected. After I was done smiling, I carefully packed Master’s journal in my knapsack along with the rations, coin and cutlery I had just acquired.

Before I finally headed out of the room, I picked up the bottle once again and walked back to Lilenn’s body. I poured the remaining contents of the bottle onto his face, watching the red wine drown his unblinking eyes, staring at nothing in a mix of surprise and horror.

Enjoy your wine, friend.

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