The shadows hid the cloaked messenger as he stepped up onto the wall. Isamu waited, without so much as a blink of movement.
"Go," a voice rasped. "Do the bidding of your masters."
Isamu stepped back, crouched, than performed a perfect back flip. But there was nothing to land on. He plummeted downward, face first. The sheer rock face of the cliff sped by, and his eyes watered. The ground rose to greet him. He spun in the air, and landed with no more noise than the rustling of a leaf. His legs wide, and a hand out to steady him, he lifted his head.
Behind him he heard his partner hit the ground. He glanced over his shoulder, and looked at her, her black clothing blending into the dark rock of the cliff, with only starlight reflecting off of her eyes.
His eyes wandered up the cliff and rested on the Dark Keep. "Amaya?" he said softly, his voice almost too low to be heard.
"We will not fail, Isamu. I am ready." By her silhouette he saw her adjust her katana strapped securely across her back.
Without another word he stood, and started walking, but quickly and silently picked up speed until he was in a steady run, his strides stretching far. He could hear Amaya as she ran slightly behind him. More sensed than heard, he silently corrected in his mind. He reached up and adjusted his tenugui. This would be a long run.
They ran across meadows, through forests, over hills and lone mountains, and forged rivers before arriving at they're destination.
Isamu looked down on Varyon. The city looked cold and forbidding. No wonder people called it the scum-house of the world, he thought after scanning the walls. Up against the large stone fortifications were many hovels, most of them barely standing from what he could tell. "Looks
cozy." He said.
Amaya laughed softly. "Very," she agreed sarcastically.
"He is here?"
"The source" Amaya assured him. "Was not about to lie to one of us."
He glanced at her, and her eyes sparkled. Her face was completely covered by her tenugui, and her hair was hidden in her hood. But her eyes fully showed her amusement as she thought of the
source. "Good," he finally said.
He jumped forward, and grabbed the branch of an overhanging tree. He swung out and released, catapulting into the air. He pulled his legs up into his chest, and spun in the air. He landed on the balls of his feet, and rolled forward. He came up and looked up the thirty-foot drop.
Amaya came off the small precipice, not bothering with the branch, and landed on the balls of her feet, and slightly rocked forward. He ignored the twinkle in her eyes, and headed towards Varyon.
He didn't know what Lord Aker Gavronis had done to get someone to hire assassins, but he didn't really care. After tonight he and Amaya would return to the Dark Keep and be accepted as fully fledged shadowknights. Shinobi. Ninja. Or they would be executed for failure.
The sun was still below the horizon, but faint rays were beginning to light up the land. Isamu and Amaya moved quickly across the narrow plain surrounding Varyon, then through the city of hovels, to Varyon's walls.
Isamu looked up the wall. Left and right. His gloved hand brushed over the stone blocks. His fingers found the hold he sought. He reached up with his other hand, and it, too, found a hold. He carefully, but quickly, began to scale the twenty-foot wall of rock. His hands grabbed the top, and in one swift motion, he somersaulted over the parapet. He looked for guards and watchmen, but saw none.
Amaya was soon standing beside him.
"Where is the palace?" he whispered.
He nodded. He had studied the land they would have to travel, and Gavronis' bodyguards. Amaya had learned everything there was to know about Varyon. Amaya pointed at one of the houses closest to the wall. Isamu ran forward and sprang into the air. He landed with a light thud. He was instantly on the move again, and leaping to the next housetop, heading north across the roofs of the city. Amaya came behind him.
Death had entered this city. Lord Aker Gavronis simply didn't know it yet.