Chapter 41 - Decision

Sharaya, Kingdom of Jevarish, Yra of the year 69

Meyja was torn. She liked Eralion and he attracted her albeit differently from Aron whom she loved and whom she wanted to be by her side again. But Aron was gone, she had been alone for more than a year and drowned her loneliness in alcohol and for three weeks she had been trying to wrestle the decision she had made. With no one left to talk to she had listened deeply to herself and decided for herself to choose her own luck. She had pondered this for a long time before knocking on that door.
"Meyja," remarked Eralion astonished when he opened the door and let her in immediately.
"Thanks." She looked at him as he closed the door behind her. “I've made a decision. I'm sorry it took so long, but I've thought long and hard about what is right. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion there is no wrong decision, just two paths that I had to choose between."
He looked at her waiting with a fearful feeling in his stomach and sweaty hands but subconsciously noticed she looked much healthier again.
Finally, she informed him of her decision. “I have decided not to wait any longer for Aron. If you still wanted me…"
The knot in his bowels loosened in the blink of an eye, beaming he walked up to her, and hugged her. "Of course, I do, and I’m very happy about it."
When they first touched, they'd both been too drunk to feel the real closeness of each other. But when Meyja kissed him now, she could taste his lips, feel the soft skin of his cheeks, and feel the slight scratching of his beard on her chin. Eralion put his hand on the back of her neck as he kissed her back, his thumb gently stroking her skin.
They stood there for a while kissing each other tightly until they parted and he took her hand in his.
"We should discuss a few things despite our romantic feelings, don't you think?" he asked quietly.
Meyja nodded and pulled him to the bed, where they sat next to each other on the edge. She tucked a loose strand of her hair behind her ear and he could see the dark shadow on her finger where she had worn the engagement ring until recently.
"Ed shouldn't know anything about us," she began quietly and he agreed with her on this point. “It would be wiser, if we didn't meet here so often, and therefore so close to the shop. It would only be a matter of time before someone noticed that I was walking in and out of your place."
"Alright. I suppose we will spend our hours together in your flat then?” Eralion asked quietly.
"If you don't mind, I would prefer it," she replied honestly.
Even if it was basically Aron's home, he was gone, and she fought against the emptiness that his disappearance had left both in the flat and in her heart.
In the morning she had laboriously heaved herself out of bed in the Drunken Beggar and gone to the Workshop where she had been busy getting rid of all the dust and dirt until noon.
She had sadly packed up Aron's personal belongings and stowed them in a box in the next room. Eralion would know that it was his flat, but he would discover nothing more that reminded of him. She even took off the ring and wore it on a fine silver chain around her neck. She was not yet able to part with it completely.
Eralion felt a little uncomfortable at the thought of the fact that he should visit her there but he nodded. “It's more sensible even if it has a guilty conscience, to be honest. Aron was my fighting brother and should he show up again at some point he would still be. And then I would have taken his woman in his own bed."
“This flat belongs to me now and you have nothing to fear. I don't think he'll actually come back one day – on the contrary. I am convinced that he is no longer alive,” Meyja replied sincerely and stood up. “Visit me tonight, if you can arrange it. Unfortunately, I have to go, a new order is waiting."
She hugged Eralion who had also got up and walked towards her.
"I will," he whispered and kissed her goodbye.
After Meyja had stepped out into the street she took a deep breath and turned to the left so as not to have to pass the shop again where she had already been before she went to see Eralion. Her target would not be easy to find it was a suspected member of a rival guild. Not a man, but a woman. The wanted one was called Sia, and it was suspected that she was behind the title the Blood Red which made the whole thing even more interesting.
'The Indomitable against the Blood Red...', she thought.
She liked the idea and took up the challenge with joy especially since she had never killed a woman of her own kind. In the meantime, people talked much more often than she would have liked about her own title. When she had been drinking in the Tired Traveller some time ago two men next to her had talked about the Indomitable and she had been able to overhear everything. Seemingly, enemy guilds were doing everything in their power to track her down, but they were unable to find her which gave Meyja some satisfaction as it meant that she was doing a good job and had become a shadow.
She had even been compared to Deny who had never kept his title a secret. Cold and merciless she chased her enemies as he had always done and the guys were right because no one was safe from her once he or she was on her list. Ed also gave her the family assignments because she was the only one in his ranks who killed children without blinking an eye.
Why exactly she did it in this emotionless way she did not know herself in this respect, she simply worked and carried out her tasks without asking questions and without a conscience. In addition, her boss had mentioned in a quiet moment she had now even surpassed Aron which she had taken note of, but considered nothing more than flattery.
Meyja walked quietly and inconspicuously through the streets and looked for the one she was looking for. She had known Sia's face since they met once. A pretty, dark-haired woman just as inconspicuous as herself and certainly no less deadly but Meyja was longer in the business of death and had more experience to show which gave her a certain advantage. Presumably, she would have to bring Sia to an end during the day and in the open street because like herself the woman would have secured her flat against the unnoticed intrusion. In order to be prepared for all eventualities, Meyja had additionally poisoned her stiletto which she always used when she had to kill at a distance.
After a few hours of fruitless search, she finally saw her supposed victim disappear around a corner of the Old Town, and hastily pulled her mask over her face before climbing up a building unseen and following the woman unobtrusively. It was really Sia who walked innocently through the winding streets while death was already clinging to her heels above her. Meyja passed her skilfully and silently until her target person came on the street in the direction of the building on which she had hidden. A certain risk still remained when a few seconds later she leaned around the chimney and at the same moment threw the stiletto at the woman, but Meyja had misjudged herself and the blade only missed her victim by centimetres.
'Crap...', she thought.
Sia looked alarmed up at her assassin before turning on her heel and running.
Meyja had also already started moving and jumped into the street when Sia had just disappeared around the corner before she started the chase. The Blood Red was quick and kept she inflexible on again and again by throwing everything at her that she could get hold of. So, Meyja had to defy barrels, baskets, and entire displays of various overturned market stalls and walk around people who had been bumped into by Sia and who were now furiously cursing the pursuer.
They reached the main street and Sia just made it to the other side in front of a cart while Meyja had to use her run to jump up on it with one leap. But her speed made her fall and so she ended up cursing in the brittle chicken cages that were loaded and some of which cracked apart with a crash.
The poultry ran away cackling while the man on the driver's seat scolded her loudly, but Meyja ignored him, climbed off the wagon again and ran into the alley in which Sia had disappeared. She just recognised the dark braid of her target person who had already vanished around the corner of the house and continued to rush after her with burning lungs.
When Meyja reached the junction where she had last seen Sia, she stopped and looked around hastily but she saw no trace of the woman. On closer inspection she noticed a passage to an inner courtyard and she ran towards it, crossed that passage, and stopped again breathlessly. There was not a soul in the circular small inner courtyard and the walls of the house were so high and steep that Sia could not have escaped over the roofs in such a short time.
Before she could turn around, she noticed movement behind her and ducked under Sia's throwing knife just in time before turning around to face her target. In contrast to Meyja, the Blood Red was much stronger and the fighting experience she had gathered in the Stone Hall helped her to spot Sia's weak points within a few moments.
Also breathing heavily Sia had stopped and pulled her daggers from her back. "Then show what you can do, bitch." She put her chin forward provocatively.
Meyja did not reply, but rose slowly, and also drew her blades knowing that Sia did not face her of her own free will, but could just not run away any more. The Blood Red had been quick and skilful, one had to give her that, but Meyja's condition was much better, she could have run as far again in contrast to her target person.
Lurking the two women circled and looked at each other disapprovingly before Sia demanded, "Take off the mask, I want to see your face."
The Indomitable shook her head slowly then she took a quick step towards Sia and thrust her dagger from below in the direction of the belly of her opponent but she cleverly blocked the attack with her blade and in turn started a blow with her weapon. Meyja avoided the attack on her neck by ducking, but before she could react Sia had kicked her legs from under her body and she landed hard on the ground where she lost one of her daggers which clattered away over the cobblestones.
As always when Meyja had to fight with only one weapon, she turned the remaining blade agilely in her fingers, so that the edge protruded downward from her fist. With this she fended off another attack by Sia on her neck which had undoubtedly had her carotid artery as its target and she realised why Sia called herself the Blood Red. 
Meyja pushed herself off the ground with both feet and kicked Sia violently on the side of her head, so that her opponent also lost one of her weapons and grunted grabbed on her skull. As Meyja straightened up, Sia's foot hit her hand which was still holding the dagger and her second weapon flew away in a high arc.
Sia smiled wickedly before she skilfully carried out a few more attacks on the neck of the Indomitable which Meyja avoided, but it was close and she heard the blade rush through the air. In a touch of panic Meyja leaned back until her hands found the ground then loosened her feet with the necessary momentum stepped under Sia's chin who then fell backwards and hit the stone hard with the back of her head while Meyja almost gracefully came to a standstill after her roll backwards.
Before Sia could even try to get up, Meyja had already disarmed her and thrown the blade away. Blinking, Sia looked up at her nemesis who could read the fear in her eyes as she sat on her chest and put her hands to her throat.
"Wait," Sia croaked when she couldn't breathe.
Meyja loosened her grip just enough for her victim to speak.
Sia breathed, “At least tell me who will bring me to an end. And let me see your face."
Now for her part smiling angrily, Meyja pulled the mask from her face. "I am the Indomitable."
"At least someone with fame and honour." Sia smiled and closed her eyes.
When Meyja brought both hands back to her throat and squeezed, Sia soon began to twitch and tore open her eyes in agony, hit at her murderer, kicked, and scratched the back of Meyja's hands. But the Indomitable did not let go of her until the Blood Red had stopped breathing and lay quietly under her while a single tear ran from the corner of her bloodshot eyes. Meyja gently ran her fingertip over the tear and licked off the salty drop before she got up, gathered up all four daggers and hurried out of the courtyard in the direction from which she had come.
With a feeling of triumph Meyja pushed the cloth into her pocket before she disappeared into the alleys. She left the scene of the crime in no time and wandered through the city for a while to shake off any pursuers before she happily made her way to her boss to collect her reward.
It was not without a certain irony she, too, always moved through the city in a similar way to her victim without ever being the target of an attack, but she was also more cautious than Sia had been.

Copyright: Larissa Doe

Chapter 42 - Respect

Meyja pushed open the door to the shop and walked inside, the bell ringing announced her return.
“You were here today. What else is there?" Ed asked astonished as he came through the curtain.
“The Blood Red is history,” she reported shortly and handed him the assignment that she had only received that morning.
"That was fast. Incredible," Ed muttered and waved her upstairs to his flat. "Was that what you did with your hands?"
Meyja nodded. “The fight started because I missed her with the stiletto. If you happen to have gloves here, I wouldn't be averse."
“I hope nobody saw you doing it. I'll give you a pair in a moment and new stilettos, too. The delivery came just yesterday. Do you need poison too?" he wanted to know handed her the bag with her reward and went back down the stairs to the back room.
She followed him. “I don't have much left but it's not urgent. And nobody saw me involved at least not my face. The persecution across the city cannot be called inconspicuous, however."
He handed her three new stilettos and two poison vials then winked. “You are doing a good job, Meyja. And as far as I know you're still not on anyone's death list. Still, that's not a guarantee. Take care of yourself."
"Sure," she replied, saying goodbye to her boss who noted the equipment he had just given her in one of his endless lists.
Before going home, she did some shopping, made a detour to the Tired Traveller where she bought some philosopher's herb and finally looked for a new bed in a furniture factory. It would be bigger than the old one in which she had slept with Aron and she put a few more coins on the purchase price so that her request would receive preferential treatment.
By the time she got to her flat it was already dusk, so she quickly washed and put on fresh clothes. She took off the engagement ring on the silver chain and was putting it on a shelf when there was a knock.
"Who's there?!" she called through the closed door and after Eralion had answered she let him in.
He kissed her gently on the forehead before stepping in a little hesitantly and looking around.
"You've been here before, so I don't have to show you anything," she remarked and offered him a seat in one of the armchairs.
He sat down. “I wanted to apologise for that. That wasn't right."
"It's okay, just forget it. What would you like to drink?” She stopped in the passage to the next room, her hand was on the door frame and Eralion looked at it.
"What happened to you?" he wanted to know, startled.
She took her hand away. “That happened on my assignment, nothing more. Just a few scratches. Ed gave me gloves, so it won't happen again."
He nodded. "Well. Please don't worry, I'll take what you drink, too."
Meyja turned around, went into the room where the bottles were lined up on a shelf and closed her eyes for a moment, took a deep breath. It was her flat, she lived here and acted as the hostess as Aron had done with her back then and Eralion answered exactly as she had answered.
The parallels between the two situations gave her an uncomfortable chest tug, but she swallowed her grief, took a bottle of wine from the shelf and two mugs and went back to her guest.
When she sat across from Eralion and poured them wine she was smiling again, presumably carelessly. They toasted a nice evening and Meyja took a sip before setting the mug aside and reaching for the metal can that was on the table between them.
"You smoke?" Eralion watched in astonishment as she skilfully rolled up philosopher's herb and tobacco in a strip of paper.
"Only if you don't mind." She paused.
"No, of course not, this stuff is really good." He smirked.
"I like to share," remarked Meyja, rolled up the parchment and lit the cigarette.
After blowing out the smoke, she passed the tube to Eralion.
"So, were you able to finish your assignment today?" he asked exhaling a large cloud.
"It took a couple of hours, but I finally got her."
"A woman? That's rare,” he muttered.
"I know. And one of us, too, which is even rarer. That was the most difficult job so far not least because of my own failure,” reported Meyja and took a sip from her mug.
"What do you mean?" he asked.
She gave a short shrug. “I tried to kill her at a distance and my stiletto missed her by a hair's breadth. Then we competed across the Old Town until she tried to kill me in an inner courtyard. She disarmed me before I could take the daggers from her. It was truly a life-and-death struggle, even if it ended strangely." He continued to look at her questioningly, so Meyja continued quietly, "It was almost as if she had shown me respect. She wanted to know who I am and see my face. I told her my title and showed myself without a mask. The only thing she said was at least I was someone with fame and honour. Since then, I have wondered, if we would have become friends in another world."
“An interesting thought and yet somehow absurd. She would have killed you the same way, if you had a bounty on you, Meyja.” He handed the tube back to her.
"I know, but it was still weird and bothering me."
"Understandable, but you shouldn't brood too much otherwise the lines of thought on your forehead will never go away." He began to giggle in a daze.
She had to laugh, too. "You dumbass!"
Then they giggled exuberantly because of their consumption of philosopher's weed and Meyja had forgotten Sia for the moment.
After they were finally able to calm down, he said, "You may not have been a Deathshade long, but you are already the best of us."
"Nonsense," she replied dismissively.
She knew Raemur had been with Ed for a good decade and Tasim had been with Ed even longer. She thought it was a joke that even with only one and a half years of experience she should still be the best among them.
"That's what Ed said. I don't know how good you really are and I don't want to find out, but if our boss says that, I believe him,” Eralion continued undeterred.
She shook her head. "I have been in Sharaya less than three years and the killing started a little less than two years ago. How can I be better than the men?"
“You have incredible talent, Meyja. I thought you were aware of that," he remarked.
Not only Eralion himself had a high opinion of her, the other men also regularly astonished her deeds, if at the same time they were a little jealous of the success of the youngest, they still showed her great respect – apparently, the same respect that she received today had been given to her by her victim.
"What is it?" she asked when she noticed the thoughtful expression on his face.
Eralion shook his head and looked away for a moment before saying softly, “I just wonder why you avoid all kinds of praise. Your behaviour goes far beyond simple modesty."
He apparently really wanted to know, so she would tell him honestly how she saw it, even if she chose her words in an unintentionally treacherous way. “I don't want to hear I'm talented, or I'm doing a good job. I have the blood of many people on my hands just because someone wanted them dead, including many children who were completely innocent. I do it because there is nothing else, I can do and I don't like fornication even less. I don't like being what I am, but I'll keep going until one day I end up dead in an alley myself. But before that happens, I will never bend over or show weakness."
Eralion's knowledge was reflected in his gaze as he whispered, "You are the Indomitable…”
So, it was Meyja who the whole city was talking about, and who bore the title that even the men of her own guild had spoken of with fear in their voices. Every Deathshade had feared that one day she would come over them, but their worries had always been unfounded.
Meyja just nodded and rolled some more philosopher's herb into paper before lighting it and inhaling the smoke. "Aron gave me this title," she mumbled, wrapped in thick smoke.
Eralion was still looking at her with the annoying awe in his eyes and she tried to distract him. "Tell me about yourself."
"What would you like to hear? I don't have a title, there was never any reason for it,” he said.
“Everything that should be known about you. Where were you born? Do you have family? Was there a woman? Something like that,” she enumerated.
He thought for a moment before he began to tell, “I was born in Tyrca as the first, and only child to my parents, but my mother did not survive my birth and my father raised me, he was a simple blacksmith. After a long illness he also died when I was fourteen. I spent a few years in the Sharaya orphanage and when I was old enough, I turned my back on the clergy. I made a few coins here and there doing simple work, until I got hold of Ed. With him, like you, I started running simple errands until Deval taught me the craft of murder. Since then, I've been taking on the simple jobs for Ed. Even if I don't earn a lot of gold with it, it is enough for everyday life. There was also a woman once a few years ago and we weren't married. She died like my mother in childbed and so did my son. Not much has changed in my life since then."
"I'm very sorry, Eralion," Meyja remarked sympathetically.
They were silent for a while, but it was more of an intimate silence than uncomfortable before he asked quietly, "Will you tell me your story too?"
"Even if it is anything but beautiful?" she asked.
He nodded, so she also reported what had happened to her, but she glossed over things clearly and cleverly hid the fact that she was Voyneress.
"Was your husband good to you?" he asked after she finished although he already guessed the answer.
“You must have noticed the scars on my back. That was him."
Eralion covered his mouth with his hands and slowly shook his head shocked at what she had told him. "I can't think of anything to do that, but I would like to express my deepest sympathy for you."
She mumbled a low, barely audible thank you.
After a few more minutes of silence, he asked, “I already know that your brother saved you from giving your husband a child. But what about Aron? Did you two never want a family?"
"We had never considered it and since the thing with Deny I suspect that I can no longer conceive a child," lied Meyja and got up.
Then she walked over to him and pulled the waistband of her pants down so far that he could see the fine scar over her pubic area.
Eralion put his hands on her waist and leaned forward pressed his lips to the scar before he looked up at her. "You’re still perfect, Meyja."
She ran her fingers through his long hair and smiled then sat on his lap and kissed him gratefully. Eralion had almost become a father once before, but he had lost both the woman and the child and yet he called her perfect, even if she could not give him what every man probably dreamed of.
Her hand reached around his neck and the kisses became more demanding, more intimate. "The new bed will be ready soon, we have to be content with the one there, if you don't mind," she said breathlessly when the need for his loins took over.
Eralion didn't answer, but kissed her again, pushed her towards the bed then took off his shirt and took off the chest strap. Meyja also took off her shirt, but he held her back with a smile on the leather straps by holding her hands. Instead, he disarmed her, put her daggers on the bedside table and pushed her gently back on the bed before kneeling in front of it.
Even if she didn't know what he was up to as he stripped off her pants, and tossed them aside. He leaned over her, stroked, and kissed her breasts and while his hands stayed where they were his head moved slowly downwards. Meyja gasped with relish as his kisses made their way down.
He wouldn't be...’ she thought.
She could hardly believe it when his lips reached her lap and his tongue began to caress her down there. This feeling was truly more incredible than anything she had felt in a long time and when he took a hand from her chest to penetrate her with a finger, she came to climax shortly afterwards moaning softly. Eralion stood up with a smile and looked down at her, the excitement protruding from his midst and she knew immediately what she was going to do now. She sat down on the wooden floorboards in front of him and cupped him before she put her lips on the tip of his member and let him slide slowly into her mouth while she looked up at him and kept eye contact.
"Oh, madness..." he breathed. His voice trembling with pleasure and shortly afterwards had to close his eyes.
It had been a long time since they had made love and the pressure in his loins made his juice come out faster than intended, struggling to keep himself on his feet. When he looked down at her again, she grinned at him with watery eyes and wiped the semen from her upper lip.
He crouched down. "Are you okay?"
She nodded giggling and he apologized embarrassed. 
"All right. I can take it," she remarked blinking.
"Hopefully not only that because I'm not done with you yet," he added quietly and pulled her to her feet.
With another grin over her shoulder, she knelt on all fours on the bed and stretched out to meet him. "All night as far as I am..."
For a moment he visibly savoured the sight that was presented to him then he gripped the strap that ran across her shoulders with one hand, and penetrated her. 
Meyja gasped as he took it gently and slowly, enjoying every single one of his movements. She had also liked what Aron had done to her, but Eralion loved differently, she could feel the devotion with which he treated her.
He pulled her upper body up on the leather strap, until her back almost touched his chest, his free hand resting on her bosom. She moaned loudly as he moved inside her and her body began to twitch uncontrollably again as she climbed the summit, her muscles clasping him tightly until he groaned loudly and she could feel him pouring into her. Driven by his lust she climaxed again with a deep gasp.
Eralion lay down next to her on the bed smiling and pulled her onto him before he pushed himself into her again.
She looked at him in surprise and asked, "Still?"
"Philos works wonders."
She kissed him with a smile and then straightened her upper body arched her back as she rode him, his fingers playing around her nipples and gently pinching them. Panting she threw her head back and moved faster and faster on him until they came again at the same time.
Exhausted, she sank down on him and he wrapped his arms around her, caressing her back.
"That was unbelievable," she whispered smiling happily.
"You’re amazing, Meyja," he said softly and gently took her face in his hands before kissing her tenderly. "And indomitable."


Copyright: Larissa Doe

Chapter 43 - Legend

Sharaya, Kingdom of Jevarish, Caligon of the year 70

Another six months later, Eralion was lounging in one of the armchairs, a smoking cigarette with Philosopher's herb between his fingers and grinning at Meyja in amusement.
"And then Ed asked me why I wasn't looking for a nice woman to sweeten my lonely days," he said.
She laughed softly. "If he only knew…"
It was one evening of many when he visited her and they told each other about their experiences. As always Eralion had cooked for her and Meyja had made sure there was a sufficient supply of Philosopher's cabbage which she could now easily afford. In contrast to Eralion's, her income was considerable and she really didn't have to worry about gold. She had pushed all other worries aside as well; she was finally satisfied with herself and her life again. Eralion seemed happy, too, he was no longer alone, but had found someone to whom he could give his love – and he truly did. He carried her on his hands and almost every evening she expected him to ask her, if she wanted to be his wife.
Meyja was very fond of Eralion and if he had wanted to marry her, she would have said Yes but she still waited in vain for all questions to be answered. However, she had never told him she loved him, she just couldn't. The reason for this was not clear to her, she probably just needed a little more time. Eralion, on the other hand, waited for her to tell him before he would ask for her hand and would often show his love to give her the opportunity to do the same. So, they both stayed in a wait-and-see position without being really unhappy about it after all, they knew what they had in each other, even if they weren't a married couple.
When there was a knock on the door, they looked at each other in amazement for a moment before Meyja got up and walked over to the entrance.
"Who's there?" she called softly.
Eralion looked over his shoulder at her ready to protect her should it be necessary.
But it was Raemur who answered, so Eralion hurriedly crept into the next room and left the door ajar, so that the other Deathshade would not see him. Meyja opened the door and let Raemur in, offered him a seat in the armchair in which Eralion had just sat. Thanking her, he sat down and she sat down across from him looking at him questioningly.
"Would you like something to drink?" she wanted to know.
"No, thank you. It will not take long. Eralion can also join us if he wants,” replied Raemur.
With bright red cheeks Meyja asked, “What betrayed us?” Had she not been fogged by the Philosopher's herb, she would certainly have managed better to hide her visitor.
“These are his boots at the entrance, there are also two mugs and his daggers are on the table behind you. You shouldn't smoke so much, if you have something to hide... Or someone." Raemur explained disparagingly and nodded to Eralion who just came back into the room, he also looked more than embarrassed.
"Well, you caught us," admitted Eralion and stood a little undecided next to his lover.
Meyja got up and he sat down then she sat down on his knees and looked over at her surprising visitor again.
“I guess I have. But that's not why I'm here. It's about this job,” said Raemur, took a roll of parchment out of his pocket and handed it to Meyja who looked at it with interest. “I accepted the task without thinking twice. But now I don't feel up to it alone, to be honest. After doing some research the target person seems a lot more difficult to pin down than I thought and I need help. Ed said I should ask Meyja, that she is an expert in such things."
“You've been in business a lot longer than I have. Why should I be able to help you?” she asked with a frown. She was a little surprised that Raemur asked her for help, after all, next to Tasim he was the best man among the Deathshade – at least since Aron had disappeared.
“The guy is a whore that is beyond compare. According to Ed, you're more than adept at pulling guys like that out of their reserve. Especially since he's so cautious that I haven't caught him yet. However, it is unlikely that he will have a bodyguard with him when he is birding, that's why Ed came up with you, Meyja,” Raemur explained and leaned back in the armchair.
Eralion looked a little unhappy and mumbled, "I'm not at all comfortable with it."
“It's okay, I can do it. One of my easiest exercises,“ Meyja answered a little ashamed. The fact that Ed touted her as a seduction artist both flattered and insulted her. “But I still have to ask one question. Is that what I am said to be? That I am so successful because of this ruse?"
Eralion bowed his head, he knew about the rumours, but had never told her so as not to expose her, but he, too, pondered whether that was her secret.
"Honestly, the men assume so, yes," Raemur admitted clearly uncomfortable with the question.
Meyja hissed indignantly, “That is not true. I have only made use of the fact that I am a woman in hopeless cases. The number of those I have killed while pretending to be a whore is negligible. A cheek to say something like that!"
“It's okay, Meyja. I didn't want to offend you, I was just honest,” Raemur defended himself and raised his hands soothingly.
She looked over her shoulder at Eralion and snapped at him, "You knew about it, didn't you?!"
"I didn't mean to offend you, so I didn't say anything," he muttered apologetically.
Stunned she stood up and shouted angrily, "I'm the damned Indomitable, I won't put up with that!"
She glared at the two men angrily, but bit her tongue when she realised that she had just revealed her title to Raemur.
"You are the Indomitable?" he repeated in astonishment.
Awe showed on his face, but she was uncomfortable having revealed her identity, so she just nodded silently and went to the bed where she sat on the edge.
"That changes the situation, of course," Raemur muttered amazed without taking his eyes off her.
“Now you know why I always said that you were doing Meyja injustice. However, I couldn't reveal her,” said Eralion still looking at his beloved with great regret. "I'm sorry, dearest. I wanted to tell you, but I was afraid to offend you. In addition, it would be wrong to give too much attention to rumours that men come up with in their resentment towards women."
“That resentment doesn't exist, brother. She's a Deathshade, one of us. It was just guesswork, deliberation. After all, it's more than unusual for women to be so successful in our line of work,” argued Raemur.
“Then I'm just unusual. So be it,” Meyja smashed the justification.
“I also want to apologise. It was wrong. Neither of us knew that you are the one who is already being talked about as a legend,” Raemur remarked ruefully.
"All right. At the meeting in a couple of days I'll bring this up and get rid of all the rumours. Now what about the job?" she wanted to know and waved her hand angrily.
“Well, it would probably be better, if we stick to the plan and you use this unpleasant ruse. I will, of course, work with you and have your back. I would also carry out the fatal blow myself, so all that would be needed was the distraction on your part,” said Raemur cautiously.
She thought for a moment then nodded and let the Deathshade tell her what he had already found out. Together they decided Eralion would also be there to provide them with additional support, he would watch over the guards and warn them if something unforeseen happened.
“Well, we'll meet here again tomorrow at dawn. And then we erase this bastard,” Meyja muttered grimly.
Eralion nodded satisfied because he was more than happy, he didn’t have to sit and watch as Meyja put herself in danger, but also had a part in her plan.
"That will work. He has no chance against three of us. Especially since the Indomitable now has him in her sights,” Raemur grinned.
“Not a word to anyone. Neither about her title nor about the fact you met me here. Understand?” Eralion warned his brother.
Raemur laughed as he stood up and said, “Never. I didn't see or hear anything, don't worry. See you tomorrow. Good night."
They wished him the same and he left them alone.
After Meyja had locked the door behind him, she turned to Eralion who had remained seated in the armchair and was looking at her thoughtfully.
“And I thought you failed me about those rumours. But you defended me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she said quietly and walked over to him.
Eralion nodded. “Sure, I have. I love you, Meyja. I’d never have been silent when I heard what was being said about you. But I couldn't reveal your title or our love and at some point I just held back. Anything else would simply have been too conspicuous."
"Understandable." She nodded as well sat down opposite him and rolled two more cigarettes with Philosopher's herb.
They smoked in silence then Eralion asked softly, "What are you thinking about?"
"I'm just wondering whether I should buy another robe or whether the one I still have here is sufficient," she replied and tossed the smouldering stub into the ashtray.
"If you show it to me, I can tell you what I think about it," he said with a smile.
She grinned a little embarrassed, but then she got up and undressed before pulling on the dress that she had bought together with Aron before she committed her first murder. Although she had gained significantly again the robe was still wider than before, but its advantages still came into play. The wide neckline of the dark red robe showed what she had to offer; on the sides you could even catch a glimpse of part of her breasts. The skirt had a slit that revealed her bare thigh when she took a step.
"Madness," Eralion exclaimed and she recognised the growing bulge in his pants.
She pointed to it with a grin. "Your reaction shows me that I don't have to go shopping anymore."
He got up and walked over to her, loosening the clasp on the robe at the back of her neck and the fabric slipping off her body. "But I like you even better that way," he said in a dark voice, his eyes fixed on her naked body.


Copyright: Larissa Doe

Chapter 44 – Camouflage

When Raemur knocked the next evening, Meyja and Eralion were already finished and had only been waiting for his arrival.
Eralion let in the Deathshade and said, “Nice to see you. We’re ready."
"Good evening and… wow," Raemur paused when he saw Meyja.
She wore the dark red dress, her hair was loose over her shoulders and she had made up to look even more wicked, apparently with success.
"She'll never pass as a whore with that," Raemur grinned, rubbing his short hair.
"But?" Meyja wanted to know, amazed and looked down at herself.
"I don't want to offend anyone here, but you're far too beautiful and graceful for anyone to think you're actually selling your body," Raemur muttered.
She blushed. “This is the most revealing thing I've ever worn. If I don't even look like a whore in it, then in no robe in the world."
“It's okay, we're just planning something different. You sit down in the Drunken Beggar and I'll play your companion then we'll fake an argument as soon as the target person has appeared and I've shown him to you. Then I'll sit down somewhere else and you'll be left in a noticeably desperate manner. If he should speak to you, you just pretend you need to be comforted, of course you reject all other suitors. If he goes outside with you, I'll follow you unobtrusively and finish him off,” suggested Raemur.
Eralion frowned. "Only as long as you promise to keep your fingers to you."
"Of course. What do you think of me?” Raemur replied.
Meyja said, "If it should be necessary for camouflage, but I suppose it should be sufficient to pass through as my companion, even if Raemur does not grope me."
"I think so, too," replied Raemur.
"Agreed. But take good care of her.” Eralion nodded in agreed resignation, then he went to his lover and kissed her tenderly. "I'm near you and if something should happen, shout out loud for help like a defenseless woman, then I'll be with you in a few seconds."
“But I am not defenseless, you know that. I carry the stiletto with me, and even without the daggers I am still fatal. But I promise I will be careful,” she replied quietly and glanced over Eralion's shoulder at Raemur, who looked at his feet in disgust, given the intimate situation between them.
She had only gotten another belt from Ed this afternoon, so that despite the fine shoes she wore with the dress, she could carry the blade with her that was now attached to her concealed thigh. Fortunately, the stiletto was very flat and so it was not noticeable under the thin flowing fabric that she was armed.
"Let's go," she suggested calmly and Raemur opened the door before they left the house and Eralion disappeared from their field of vision shortly afterwards over the roofs.
“Don't you think it's a little noticeable? After all I'm dressed smartly and you wear your everyday clothes,” she muttered.
Raemur smiled and threw aside his leather jacket under which he wore a white shirt that together with his trousers which were also made of dark leather would pass as decent clothing.
"Armed for all eventualities," he remarked with a wink.
"Yes, yes, it's okay. I'm still a little nervous about such actions. It's more dangerous to pretend to be a whore than to just kill the guys from ambush and I'm not used to the fine clothing," she muttered.
"All right. However, to the delight of all men you could dress up like this more often. It looks great on you,” he remarked appreciatively and she blushed again.
"It is not my intention to please other men than Eralion with the sight of me," she threw off his compliment.
It was a bit uncomfortable for her that he kept looking over at her, his looks were quite clear, so she stopped and corrected him, “Raemur, stop staring. Eralion is your battle brother and that is not the right thing to do. Our relationship half an eternity ago doesn't give you the right to gawk like that."
"All right. Eralion and I are not the best of friends, but I won't reveal it. You have my word on it,” he replied and they went on.
As they approached the Drunken Beggar, he offered her his arm and she obediently hooked herself under him. He held the door open for her and let her go into the packed guest room in which despite the many people there was a table for both of them and where they could take a seat. Lustful glances in Meyja's direction weren't surprising, but despite the fact that she didn't look like a whore, she felt like one.
“You’ve made a reservation. Clever. But certainly expensive,” she remarked.
Raemur grinned broadly. "Sure, but I had to make sure everything was going according to plan. What do you want to drink?"
"Beer. The Warehouse please,” she replied and he walked over to the counter.
As soon as he got up the first guy stood at her table and gazed openly at her, but she shooed him away with a quick wave of the hand. Now all doubts had been dispelled that her plan would work. She thanked Raemur who came back with two mugs of beer, clinked glasses with him and took a long swig of the bitter drink. Then they began to talk about irrelevant things.
At one point he said quietly, “The target person just walked in. The brunet with the dark clothes."
"Half-length hair, handsome?" she asked just as softly.
“You think he's handsome? You have a strange taste for men, if you ignore me,” Raemur said with a grin.
“I like long hair on men. What's strange about that?” she replied frowning.
"Well, first Aron, now Eralion… You are selling yourself below value in my opinion. Neither of them can hold a candle to you, Meyja. Should you ever want to let a real man into you again you know where I live. My door is always open to you and I swear that I will fuck you again like no other man could ever fuck you," he whispered turning his eyes openly to her cleavage.
His words stopped her, her hand with the mug paused halfway to her mouth. "I thought we settled that," she hissed, slamming the mug back on the table, causing the beer to spill over the edge.
A few of the guests around her were already looking over at them, but she didn't notice she was too indignant about what he had just offered her.
"You won't regret it, I promise," he continued before grabbing her hand and pulling it in the direction of his loins.
"Stop doing that. You have a job,” Meyja whispered and tried to wriggle her arm out of his grip, but he held her mercilessly.
Grinning immorally, he replied, “My target person will be here all night long. And I not only reserved the table, but also one of the rooms. I also know I'm a lot better built than Eralion. He wouldn’t notice any of it and I can see that you’re thinking about it."
Raemur had really caught her because she had thought about it well, but not for more than a few seconds. Angrily she freed herself from his grip, and hissed, "Stop that immediately! Are you actually stupid?! See that you get away from me!"
When he got up, he winked at her and walked away, the penny dropped. He had wanted to make the argument look authentic and thus really caught her off guard, she had gotten really angry and had chased him away. In order not to have to grin she took a long drag from her mug. A second admirer was already at her table and wanted to sit down, but she also shooed him away with an impatient wave.
While she kept repulsing guys and trying to make eye contact with the target person, she was still quietly amused by the fictitious argument with Raemur of who nothing was to be seen far and wide. He must have positioned himself somewhere and kept her in eye.
At some point the man they were after looked over at her and Meyja looked embarrassed for a moment at her mug when she raised her head, she saw in the corner of her eye that he was still staring over at her. Sighing, she pushed her lower lip slightly forward and rested her chin on her right hand while she brushed her hair behind her ear with the fingers of her left and finished her beer. Men were so predictable when it came to a nicely wrapped pair of breasts, the target really started moving and headed straight for her.
The brunet stopped by her table and remarked, “You don't look very happy. May I invite you to another beer?"
She decided not to make it too easy for him. After all, it would be conspicuous, if she refused half the guest room and immediately received him with open arms. "Maybe I should go. It was a strenuous evening and there is no rest here…" she grumbled and rolled her eyes.
“You looked at me. Why should you do that if not to lure me to you?"
"You are a handsome man and I am a woman with financial worries, but my day has been anything but pleasant so far. It would probably be wiser to go home," she replied she chose her words deliberately in this way pretending to be fickle and at the same time confirmed him in his ego.
And it worked great because he smiled and tried to convince her. "But the night is still young and if you let me, I'll save the day for you."
She acted thoughtful for a moment, but then nodded and pushed the mug over to him. "Fine. The Warehouse, please. I'll give you five minutes, if I haven't laughed by then, I'll go.”
He nodded, too, took her drinking vessel in his hand and promised, “You won't regret it. I'll be right back, don't run away.” Then he went to the counter and she could see that he was almost urging Seth to serve him immediately, a few seconds later he returned and sat down next to her.
"Thank you," she muttered in a feigned bad mood and toasted him as he handed her the mug.
"Never mind. But I have to confess something. I'm not a particularly funny person. If you don't laugh voluntarily, I will unfortunately have to tickle you until you do,” he replied and made an overly serious face with which he elicited an amused smile from Meyja. "Did that count now?"
"At least it gave you a little respite," she admitted.
"Very well. Then I still have enough time to ask your name," he remarked with a wink.
As usual she used an alias, she would never introduce herself as Meyja, so she replied, “My name is Levia. How may I call you?"
“Pleased to meet you, Levia. I'm Marcus,“ he replied and took a sip of the beer.
"So far you haven't really pleased me. In this respect the beer surpasses you by a lot," she said with a sigh.
“Well, my merits are elsewhere. I'm excellent at comforting and you look like you need some distraction,” he replied waiting.
Meyja leaned back and crossed her legs so that her thighs could be seen through the slit of the skirt as she crossed her arms with which she squeezed her bust seductively.
Then she mumbled, “It's so trite, Marcus. Why should I let you comfort me? Beer can also do that better than you."
Her visual charms kept him going, he accepted the insults without comment after all a hot night with her was at stake for him. “You underestimate me, Levia. If you don't want to find out how well I can actually comfort, I'll get up now, go, and you won't see me again. But if you come with me, I'll give you a few hours of my precious time and an unforgettable night," said Marcus seriously and got up.
She pretended to be thoughtful while he stood still for a few seconds and finished his beer. Then Meyja also downed the remaining alcohol and got up. “Woe to you, if you promised me too much. I'm spoiled when it comes to hot nights. And you still have to pay,” she said quietly.
"How much does an hour of your time cost?" he asked.
"Five Crowns. Maybe only four, if you're good enough," she replied with a smile.
Marcus stepped up to her and pressed a demanding promising kiss on her lips which she would have enjoyed under completely different circumstances, but now she only returned it because of her disguise. Then he took her by the hand and pulled her out the door. She followed him without looking back at Raemur.
Cool night air enveloped her and made her shiver, so he took off his jacket and put it over her shoulders.
They walked down the street, until Marcus led them into a secluded corner and mumbled, "I've changed my mind. I'll only give you a few minutes, turn around."
Meyja paused puzzled, she really hadn't expected that and when she didn't move, he roughly grabbed her and pressed her against the wall of the house.
"Stop it, what's the point?" she protested loudly and tried to fight back but he grabbed her throat with an iron grip preventing any further contradictions, or screams and opened his trousers.
His knee pushed her legs apart, she knew he would rape her, if one of the other Deathshade didn't come soon, or she saved herself. She began to fight him with all her strength, but he hit her head against the wall so hard it was difficult for her to remain conscious. In the next moment, she felt that she was laying on the street and Marcus was leaning over her dazed she hit him. She panicked as her skirt got pushed up, the stiletto pulled out of its harness and clattered to the floor somewhere farther away.
"You filthy bitch, did you want to stab me?" growled Marcus and yanked her underwear down.
A second later he was laying heavily on her and a gush of warm liquid poured into her face, coughing, and spitting Meyja gasped for air, but could not see anything because the stuff had also run into her eyes.
"Take it easy it's me," she heard Raemur say.
Marcus' lifeless body was lifted off her and she reached down hastily to pull up her underwear, only then did she wipe the blood from her eyes.
"Why did it take so long?", she snapped at him still sitting on the floor and glaring angrily at Raemur.
“That wasn't very long, it just happened incredibly quickly. And you two disappeared so suddenly that I had to look for you first. It was only your calling that put me on the right track,” Raemur replied softly then he smiled which was probably due to the sight she offered.
She got up hastily and was shocked when Eralion landed almost silently on the floor next to her from the roof.
"Everything okay? Are you all right?” he asked breathlessly and hugged her although she was covered with blood.
"It was close but nothing else happened to me, only my head is buzzing," answered Meyja, then she looked at Raemur again. "It would still have been nice to tell me how dangerous this guy actually is."
"What happened anyway?", Eralion wanted to know while Meyja picked up her stiletto.
Raemur shook his head and remarked, "We should get out of here before another guard comes over."
Smeared over and over with blood, Meyja nodded and then skilfully climbed up the house. The men followed her as they made their way through the city with confidence. Even if they had to go back down into the street in some places on the way to Meyja's flat, they got there unseen.


Copyright: Larissa Doe

Chapter 45 - Gold

"With all due respect I couldn't climb with the dress and shoes," Raemur grinned and let himself fall into one of the armchairs.
Meyja shuffled wordlessly into the next room to wash the blood from her body, Eralion brought her fresh clothes and then let his brother explain to him what had happened.
“It went like clockwork I don't know what she's got. After the target had taken a bite, the two drank a beer and got up afterwards. Then they kissed and went outside…" reported Raemur.
"Wait, wait. They kissed?” Eralion asked with a frown.
Raemur nodded and continued, “They were gone so quickly I had trouble following them, but when I was outside, I could hear Meyja scolding. I immediately climbed onto a roof and as soon as I spotted her, I dropped to the ground behind the guy and cut his throat. You were there a few seconds later."
Eralion nodded, too, but it was a worried nod. What had happened in the meantime? What could Raemur not be able to prevent? He sensed that there was something that had made her angry reaction. However, only Meyja could answer these questions herself and she would undoubtedly do, he was sure of that.
“I'm going to check on her. Apparently, she's got something. Do you want something to drink?" he offered his brother who then asked for a mug of schnapps.
When Eralion pushed through the door into the next room he saw that Meyja was already washed and dressed, so he reached for a bottle and three clean mugs.
"How are you feeling?" he asked thoughtfully.
She nodded slowly and replied, “I'm okay. But a little schnapps really wouldn't be wrong. And Philosopher's herb."
She tucked the two metal cans under her arm and took the chair that was in the corner with her. Eralion sat down on the chair and gave her the space in the arm chair into which she sank exhausted before she began rolling three cigarettes. They toasted their success with schnapps and Philosopher's cabbage and Meyja lounged with closed eyes in the upholstery where she smoked in silence.
"You actually hadn't mentioned a word he was dangerous," recalled Eralion and looked at Raemur expectantly, wanting an explanation for the accusation that his companion had already made.
Raemur shrugged and replied, “I just didn't realise that he was so unpredictable. As I said before, I couldn't get hold of this guy alone and since it wasn't easy you knew what you were getting into. Don't cry my ears full now just because our indomitable lady is in a bad mood here."
"Can you hear me crying, Raemur?" Meyja asked tonelessly and when he said no, she pointed her finger at him affirmatively without opening her eyes.
Then she continued to smoke, wrapped in a thick cloud while Raemur looked at Eralion with a raised brow. 
"Do you see? Everything's okay, don't make such a wind,” he muttered and leaned back also pulling on his glowing stick again and again. “This stuff is really good. How much do you pay for it, Meyja?"
“Three hundred crowns for two stalks of cabbage. One is enough for about three to four cigarettes,” she muttered absently.
Eralion and Raemur looked at each other in horror, figuring out how much money they were turning into smoke.
"And how much do you two usually smoke?" Raemur wanted to know.
"Depending on. When I'm alone about a stalk a day, a little more than two whole things together," answered Meyja and sat up again as the headache slowly subsided.
“That is calculated on the twenty days that I am with you a month, more than six thousand Crowns, Meyja! Only for what we smoke together!” Eralion exclaimed in horror.
She shrugged. “I can afford it. And it's worth it to me."
Raemur puffed out his cheeks and let the air escape noisily before he remarked, "I don't earn too little either, but that would be more than I can afford."
"That's more than I can get together in a month," muttered Eralion suddenly feeling inferior to the woman he loved so much.
"What? How much do you get for your jobs?" Meyja asked flatly, she was also amazed that her income seemed to be so much higher than that of the other Deathshades. 
She had never talked to him about gold before and conversations about the contracts were extremely rare.
"In a bad month hardly more than two thousand crowns, in a good one maybe twice as much," Eralion replied quietly and looked at his brother questioningly.
“That is little. For me it's about six thousand crowns," said Raemur and both men looked over at Meyja who had turned a little pale around the nose.
"I... well... my best month so far was twenty-five. There have been fewer than seventeen, but since Aron has been gone, never,” she admitted.
"Thousand? Twenty-five thousand crowns?” Raemur asked and leaned forward stunned.
Meyja nodded in embarrassment and Eralion covered his mouth with his hands could hardly believe that she had earned more than ten times his income.
"Where does this huge difference come from?" Raemur asked thoughtfully.
Meyja knew exactly how she created the difference which in her eyes was more than justified. “It’s because of the murders of members of other guilds. Such an order brings in between five and ten thousand crowns. In addition, my simpler jobs are also very lucrative, even if it's never really easy. The only thing that I do for Ed and that doesn't bring in a lot are the murders of families and I only do that so that none of you have to get your hands dirty with it."
"What part do you have to cede to Ed?" asked Raemur, Eralion remained silent.
“I get the highest rate as do you two. Two thirds,” she answered again truthfully.
“You have to be better than all of us put together. I know Ed pays each of us decently and assignments are distributed as we can. But the fact that you actually completely fill in Aron's footsteps is remarkable,” Raemur muttered a little absently, apparently the Philosopher's herb also worked for him.
Meyja just nodded and rolled three more cigarettes – another one hundred and fifty crowns they would turn into smoke and relaxation. But she didn't care in the least when she handed the two men a glowing stalk and lit her own. They went on smoking in silence, drinking schnapps, and thinking their own thoughts until Eralion rose from the chair and lay back on the bed.
Raemur looked at Meyja with a smile beyond Eralion's field of vision. He let his eyes slide over her body again and she was suddenly sure that it was not a fictitious argument. She stared at him dismissively, but her cheeks were visibly red again and when he lasciviously grabbed his crotch, she shook her head and stood up.
"It would be better, if you go now, Raemur," she urged the Deathshade and pointed to the door while she tossed the rest of her cigarette into the ashtray.
Raemur was still grinning, but he went to the door. Eralion raised his head astonished at the sudden expulsion and wished his brother a pleasant night. When Meyja had closed the door behind Raemur and sat down next to him he also straightened up and leaned against the wall.
"You should find out something that was going on between me and Raemur," she began softly.


Copyright: Larissa Doe

Chapter 46 - Confession

Meyja was more than uncomfortable, but she had to tell Eralion about her relationship with Raemur. The fear that one day he might find out from Raemur himself drove the truth from her mouth.
“First of all, I have to confess to you that for a long time there was more between Raemur and me than a mere friendship. We had a relationship where we met at least once a week. There was no love involved neither on mine nor his side. We met, did it, and then went on our way. We didn't even talk, neither of us cared how the other was doing and that was why it was going on for so long. After Aron was gone, I had to do something to make myself feel worse. I wanted to punish myself. Even though I wasn't to blame for his disappearance, I still thought I had at least a part in it which of course is nonsense. Raemur's condescending character and the way he touched me just made me feel inferior and that was exactly what I needed. Tonight, he stared at me immorally again, pulled my hand over to him and put it on the front of his trousers, then whispered to me that he had reserved a room and that you would never know about it, if I went up with him. I got really angry and yelled at him until he got up, and left the table. You know how the rest of the evening went."
"I knew he could be an asshole, but I would never have believed him to be," said Eralion uneasily. "But what happened in that dark corner before I got there?"
"Well, I went with the target assuming the guy was really about to use my services," she reported. “We were walking down the street and he pulled me into that corner where he said he'd only give me a few minutes of his time. He called me a cheeky piece of dirt and pushed me against the wall whereupon I protested. Then he grabbed my neck, he pushed my legs apart and I began to fight back with all my force. I was incredibly scared and instinctively knew that he would take me, if one of you two didn't come and put an end to him soon. He hit my head against the wall so hard that I could only see stars, then suddenly I was on the floor and he grabbed my legs, yanked my underwear aside and discovered the stiletto. I think he called me a filthy whore or a slut and threw the stiletto off I could still hear it rattling. A short time later Raemur was already there and finally killed him. It's not as if the pig has come far enough to really harm me, but the mere fear that it might happen again at some point almost drives me crazy."
He pulled her into his arms and whispered, “I will not let a man attack you once more, dearest. And I won't let you expose yourself to such danger again. The others should sort their crap themselves, or pay a real prostitute for it, but no one should even dare to ask you for something like that. I'll wash Ed's head one more time, too, because he comes up with such an idea."
“You don't have to protect me, Eralion. And you can't, even if you try. I am a grown woman and have lived with fear for years, but at some point, I will defeat it. Aron warned me back then just like Ed because they both thought I didn't know what to get myself into, if I became an assassin. They were right because I really had no idea how dangerous and stressful it actually is, but in my youthful recklessness I didn't want to hear. All the money I make isn't even worth it, but now I can't go back. As Ed said, I've already been swallowed up in the swamp of murder.” She sighed.
Eralion hugged her tightly and stroked her back. “Let's just get out of this business together. We're going out of Sharaya and buying a little house somewhere far away from all death. "
“We can't do that, Eralion. If I let Ed down, all Deathshade will stand out because then the guild won't be able to last much longer. I got myself into this situation and I can't betray the men after such a short time,” she replied.
"And in a few years?! You have to think of yourself, Meyja! How much longer do you want to do this? Until one day someone finds you who will kill you?!” He looked at her desperately.
She whispered, “But none will ever find me and fear is no reason to stop and I demand your secrecy. Don't talk to anyone about what I just told you. Should even the rumour arise that Meyja Blake, the Indomitable, almost pissed herself with fear then I am done for."
"Why should I do that? Of course, I'm silent like a grave." He could hardly believe how skilfully she had brushed his thoughts about a common future off the table, but he didn't come back to it just sighed and mumbled," We should now lie down any way you look finished."
When she nodded, he got up, turned off the lights, and lay down next to her where they eventually fell asleep huddled together.

The Deathshade came one after the other, Meyja and Eralion did not appear together for the meeting in the shop, but they were among the first to come and were therefore able to sit next to each other at the table.
Her boss had once again bothered to pour each of them schnapps and opened the meeting. “Now that we're all here at last, we can start. There isn't much on my part that I want to address. Therefore, I will only briefly bring you up to date on the activities of the other guilds."
He explained that there was probably a new gang that was about to dispute their orders, and that they would therefore have a lot to do in the near future. In addition, a few of the guilds had vanished according to the murders of their members, thanks to Aron and Meyja.
When Ed had finished and looked around questioningly, Meyja got up and looked seriously at the other men one after the other, then addressed the word to her brothers.
“I've heard rumours that some of you are wondering what my success is all about. I don't want to hear any justifications from you, but let me clarify something.” The men looked at her in silence and waiting. “These rumours that I am posing as a whore to kill my targets are untrue. I only use this ruse when I have no other choice and the conventional attempts have failed. This has only happened four times in the past. One of the assignments was my first, another the one where I had to help Raemur distract someone a few days ago. I trust each of you. We are Deathshade, each of you is my brother, and you can trust me as much as I trust you. So that you will believe me I am now bringing you the greatest proof I have of my trust in you. I am the Indomitable which means it should now be clear to everyone that bad claims are unjustified. The reason Eralion always defended me is because we are a couple. We have nothing to hide and we decided together you should know about it. Thank you for listening."
With these words she sat down again, the silence of the grave filled the room and the awesome looks which she hated so much she just endured for this moment. Now everyone knew and, in the future, she would be spared from being viewed in this way.
Eralion put his hand under the table on her thigh and braced himself against the reaction of her boss who had turned purple.
"Ah, wonderful. Why can't you just fuck someone who's not in the guild? But what am I talking about... Everyone does what they feel like doing anyway…" Ed scolded to himself, but then he fell silent and looked back at the men who in his opinion hadn't betrayed him.
Tasim got up and said in Meyjas direction, “I thank you for your trust and I would like to apologise that people talked badly about you. Nobody knew who you actually are, but we are proud to have the Indomitable among our ranks. Your achievements are outstanding and in order to create a balance I will also reveal my title. I am the Shadow."
Moved, Meyja watched as one after the other got up and apologised. Who had a title also revealed it. Thus, for the first time in the history of the guild, the Deathshade learned the titles of their brothers. Deval called himself the Torturer which was undoubtedly due to his personal preference and Raemur was the Silent. The others had no titles because they had never killed an enemy assassin beside Thom who killed Deny, but he didn’t see the need to give himself a title for this. When no one had anything more to say, Ed broke up the meeting and announced a date months later when they would meet again. Then the Deathshade went their ways.
"That was really brave of you, dearest," remarked Eralion with a smile when they were back in Meyja's flat and made themselves comfortable.
"It was just as brave of you to make our relationship known," she replied with a smile.
He looked a bit embarrassed before he replied, "I love you and would stand by you always and everywhere, Meyja."
"And I stand by you too, dearest," she replied, successfully evading the direct expression of love one more time.
Eralion was not disappointed, however, but was simply happy to have her with him and no longer have to hide.


Copyright: Larissa Doe

Chapter 47 - Engraving

Sharaya, Kingdom of Jevarish, Fulgyr of the year 70

Meyja turned the blade in the belly of her victim around its own axis with a low scream before she tore it out and a gush of dark blood spilled onto the floor. Mortally wounded, the man fell to the ground and lay twitching at her feet.
Groaning in pain she grabbed her waist where he had caught her with the knife and when she held her hand in front of her eyes, despite the darkness, she saw her own blood on the palm of her hand.
'Crap...', she thought.
Her heart pounded, she listened to her surroundings, but the house remained silent, no one had heard her fight, so she dragged herself back to the window through which she had come in and pushed her way through. As she climbed off the roof she slipped and fell but landed on her feet like a cat.
It was her own fault that her target had noticed her. She stepped on a creaky floorboard and woke him up. In a reflex she had jumped on him to kill him, but he had pulled a knife from under his pillow and she had landed right on the blade. This was followed by a bitter life-and-death struggle which she won in the end.
With one hand pressed on the bleeding stab, she shuffled through the nocturnal streets, evaded the guards and finally reached her flat.
Eralion wasn't here, he was also busy and wouldn't come back until tomorrow so she had to take care of herself. Panting, she took off her clothes, and went naked into the next room where she poured water into the bowl on the vanity.
Before taking the sponge to wash off the blood, she reached for a schnapps bottle and took a few long swallows then cleaned the skin around the wound. With the bottle, some bandages, a needle, and thread she dragged herself back into the other room, lit the candle on the table and carefully sat down in an armchair. She poured some of the schnapps on the wound and winced in pain, she was barely able to suppress a scream. With trembling fingers, she tried to push the thread into the eye of the needle but it failed, so she took a deep breath and took another long drag from the bottle.
A few minutes later she finally did it and could finally begin to close the wound. She leaned back and stabbed her flesh next to the wound, groaned loudly and clenched her teeth, but bravely continued sewing. At the end she knotted the thread. Sweat stood on her forehead as she reached for the bottle again and drank until she felt dizzy. Then she bandaged the wound, got up, and dragged herself to the bed with her last bit of strength where she fell exhausted on the sheets and fell asleep.

The wound throbbed when Meyja woke up in the late evening of the following day. Swaying she straightened up and headed for the liquor bottle that was on the floor next to the armchair. The vessel was still a third full and she put it to her lips drank, until there was only a little bit left, then lay down on the bed again and pulled the sheet over her freezing sweat-covered body. She raised her hand and placed it on her forehead which was glowing feverishly.
Damn... fever poison...', she thought.
Not only had the bastard caught her with his blade, it had probably also been poisoned which wouldn't kill her, but would incapacitate her for a while. Tired, she closed her eyes again and fell into a restless sleep full of confused dreams in which she had to fight strangers, but also Eralion and even Aron.

The creak of the front door woke her again.
"Meyja, are you home?" Eralion asked quietly from in the doorway.
"Yes, I'm here in bed," she replied and straightened up with a groan.
"What happened?" he asked worried, closed the door and came over to her.
“I was injured last night. Fever poison,” she gasped and let him gently push her back into the pillow.
He lit the lamps, came up to her again through the lighted room and sat on the edge of the bed before lifting the sheet and looking at the bandage.
"Let me see," he asked and when she nodded, he loosened the linen around her waist. "The fever can also come from the inflammation; the wound looks really bad and smells."
"Do you know something like that?" Meyja wanted to know and looked at him fearfully.
Eralion nodded and explained, “I have to open the wound again and clean it. This will be very painful, but otherwise the inflammation could kill you. Before I can do that, however, I have to get the tinctures I need in the High City. I'll hurry up, can you manage on your own for so long?"
"I made it all by myself the whole day, please don't worry," she said quietly and returned the kiss which he carefully pressed on her lips.
Then he left the flat quickly and Meyja stayed in bed fell into a feverish dream again, until he came back.
"Are you sure I shouldn't better take you to the Cathedral?" he asked as he sat down on the edge of the bed again.
"Only if there is no other way," she muttered.
She didn't want to go to the Cathedral, the hospital there stank of death and decay.
"All right, then I'll see what I can do before we decide," he replied.
Eralion went into the next room, and washed his hands carefully, cleaned his dagger, wiped all traces of blood and poison from the blade. He took some fresh linen bandages from the shelf and went back to the bed.
There he knelt down and looked at her seriously. "This is really going to hurt; do you want something to bite into?"
Meyja nodded fearfully and pushed the rolled-up bandage that he handed her between her teeth, then she nodded to him again and closed her eyes.
Eralion carefully cut the threads with which she had closed the wound with his dagger. As he pulled the fine thread from her flesh, blood and stinking pus flowed towards him.
"It looks worse than expected," he muttered.
Carefully he dabbed off the liquid that oozed from the wound, then put his hands on her skin and pressed the wound together as tightly as he could. Meyja screamed through the fabric in her mouth as the pain ran through every fibre of her body. A great gush of pus mixed with blood and wound fluid shot out and he hastily wiped it off before squeezing the stab wound again. She screamed again tears streamed from her eyes and ran into her hair but the next moment it got dark around her. Her body went limp as the pain made her pass out.
He noticed, but her faint was probably temporary and not worrying because she was still breathing, so he hurried up continued as long as she didn't notice and reached for the things he had just bought from a pharmacist.
He filled clear water into a kind of pipette with a small balloon at the end, carefully inserted the glass tip into the wound and then pressed the rubber head, so that the water rinsed out the wound forcefully. The last bits of pus and blood ran out which he wiped off as well. He repeated this process with pure alcohol which was supposed to disinfect, then he went into the next room and carefully washed the pipette before going back to the bed and pouring the wound tincture into the balloon.
Meyja was still unconscious when he pushed the tip of the glass into her flesh a third time and slowly brought the tincture into the wound. He used the alcohol to clean the needle that was still on the table as well as his hands and sewed up the wound with a few stitches. Finally, he dabbed his work with an alcohol-soaked bandage and removed the last remains of what he had rinsed from the inflamed wound. Then he went back to the next room where he washed his hands and made water for an herbal tea that was anti-inflammatory and a pain reliever.
Eralion knew a lot about caring for wounds, the other men had often appeared on him when they had sustained injuries on an assignment. But the fact that Meyja was now in such a worrying condition bothered him because unlike his comrades he loved her sincerely and with all his heart. She wouldn't die, the stab wasn't deep enough for that and in a place where it couldn't have injured any organs, but her pain hurt him, too, if only mentally.
He returned to her, sat down next to her and looked at her. She looked so lost in the huge new bed, so small and fragile that tears welled up in his eyes. And yet she was the strongest person he had ever met, the Indomitable who always lived up to her title. He couldn't even begin to imagine how she could endure all that had happened to her, the forced marriage, and losing both her entire family and her fiancé.
And even the joys of a mother were denied to her, she had lost their child as well, but she had accepted it without showing a trace of sadness. She even comforted him after she woke up one morning smeared with blood and discovered the small slimy lump that had probably once been her child on the sheet between her legs.
While he sat thinking about it all, her eyelids began to flutter and she woke up from her fainting with a low moan.
Confused she looked around, Eralion gently took her hand and whispered, “Don't worry, it's over. I've taken care of your wound and closed it again. If it hasn't reignited tomorrow, you don't have to go to the cathedral."
"How long have I passed out?" she wanted to know.
“Not very long, just a few minutes. How are you feeling?” he asked softly.
“Better, it doesn't hurt as much as it did before. And I'm not so cold anymore."
“That's because I uncovered a lot of pus, the inflammation was stopped for the time being, I hope. The fever should now go back quickly.” He got up when he heard the boiling water in the next room, there he took the pot from the stove and filled a mug with tea, then he went back to the bed and sat down again. As he handed her the steaming vessel, he explained, "Herbal tea, that should help get you back on your feet quickly."
She sat up slowly, thanked him, and sipped the drink, while he carefully bandaged her waist.
When he finished, he asked, “Are you hungry? I've brought something and can cook for you, if you want."
"Please. But only if you eat with me,” she remarked.
He had to grin as she sat there, wounded and with her tea in hand, but the only thing she thought about was that he hadn't had dinner either.
"Okay. It won't take long,” he said softly and kissed her forehead gently, then went back into the next room.
Meyja finished her tea, then got up quietly, took one of his shirts from the shelf and put it on along with one of her airy linen trousers.
Eralion was here so often now that he left part of his wardrobe with her and she simply brought his clothes to the laundry along with her own. Finally, fully dressed she walked over to him.
"What are you doing? You should stay in bed and rest,” he rebuked worriedly as she stepped next to him.
"I just wanted to have some more tea and then sit in an armchair I've been laying down the whole last day and my back is starting to hurt," she moaned and looked at him with wide eyes.
“You are an incredible woman. Not even an infected wound can tie you to your bed.” He kissed her lovingly, then poured tea into her mug, and sent her out shaking his head.
Meyja carefully sat down in an armchair and put her bare feet on the low table before she sipped the hot tea. A little later Eralion sat down with her with two bowls of stew, one of which he pushed over to her and handed her a spoon.
"Nothing special, but better than starving," he remarked with a wink.
"You say that every time and yet everything you cook is delicious." She took the bowl on her lap and began to eat with an appetite.
"Is that my shirt?" he asked surprised when he noticed what she was wearing.
"It is. But my own are much tighter, which would probably be uncomfortable in view of the wound,” she explained with a smile whereupon he nodded and they ate in silence.
While Eralion was bringing the bowls back into the next room and washing them up, she rolled two cigarettes of Philosopher's herb, one for him and one for herself.
"I suppose I should bring some wine?" he called from next door and Meyja’s face reddened.
"You know me too well, that's a bit scary," she replied and lit her tube.
She had just pulled it with relish and leaned back when the front door creaked open.
Eralion just came back with two cups of wine and dropped them on the floor with a startle.
Meyja threw her cigarette into the tea that was still on the table and slowly got up, went over to Eralion. She didn't even notice the wine that ran down the floorboards and wet the soles of her feet.
Both had fixed their eyes on the unexpected visitor who had stopped in the doorway, just as shocked as they were.

Sequel follows...


Copyright: Larissa Doe