“Holy Almother, mother of what has been created, have pity on your child…” The man hurries through the dark street, whilst softly mumbling a prayer. “…protect me from Evil…”
He turns the corner into an almost lightless alleyway and stops. He pulls back his cloak and checks the package he carries hidden under it. A cold tremor runs down his spine, when he turns the elongated package in his hands. “I didn’t want this…” he murmurs, with tears running down his cheeks. “Good Almother, please let me deliver this without dying! Let me survive this! I beg you!” He looks around and with a fearful sob, he hides the package back under his cloak and continues his walk.
He can see the house in front of him. The third house from the corner. There he has to deliver it. Almost…
From the last alley, a dark hand shoots forwards. The man with the package tries to evade it, but the hand grabs him by the hem of his cloak and drags him into the alley.
“No!” the man wants to scream, but his voice stops in his throat. His chest feels numbed and it seems like the breath in his body not only leaves him via his throat. He looks down and sees a second hand pressed against his chest. And in that hand, he sees the grip of a dagger.
“You have something I want…” a low voice says. The first hand releases the cloak and grabs the package. His victim wants to stop him, but the only thing the man is able to do, is pull off his murderer’s glove. “Hands off!” the low voice growls and he strikes the man to get him off him. Whilst the courier collapses against the wall, his murderer pulls his glove back on and pulls back the cloth of the package. In the narrow beam of light that shines into the alley, the courier sees the greedy look in the eyes of his murderer, when he pulls the shortsword out of the cloth.
The shortsword is held in the beam of light, but the extraordinary weapon reflects naught of the light. The blade of the sword is pitch-black and seems to suck in any light that touches it.
“In Zh’kuragon’s name…” the murderer mumbles, while he stares at the weapon with an open mouth. He looks down at the courier one last time. With a cruel smile on his face, he kneels in front of the collapsed body. “Thank you…” the low voice says in a frigid tone. Without averting his gaze or even blinking, he aims his dagger at the courier’s stomach and stabs. “…and sleep tight.”
Very faintly, the courier sees flashes of light. “A… Almo… ther…?” he says in a whispering voice.
Two strong hands grab him by the shoulders and pull him up until he sits up straight against the wall. “Narumin!” a voice yells out, but Narumin hears little more than a faint echo. “What is it?!” the voice asks.
Narumin blinks. His eyelids feel heavy and he needs to summon all the strength he has left. “Sword… brother…” he whispers and out of his pocket, he pulls a plain, steel ring with a small, red circle on it. He feels his heart beat less powerful with every stroke.
“Dabrior is dead?” the voice says. For a moment, he says nothing. “Where is his sword, Narumin?!”
“Oh gods… Who took it? Who did this to you?!”
The courier looks at the man in front of him and finally recognizes the man. He sighs and gathers the remainder of his quickly diminishing strength. Without even the slightest whimper, he pulls the dagger from his stomach. The man in front of him stares at him with large eyes and a pale face, but Narumin cares not. He presses the point of the dagger into the back of his left hand and, ignoring the pain, draws two bloody lines, right next to each other. While his right hand falls down limb, he lifts his left and almost presses it against the other man. “He did it…” he whispers with his dying breath. Then Narumin’s head falls to the side.
The man in front of him sighs. He lays his hands flat on the courier’s head and chest. “Athon ith fiden buron, Narumin…” he whispers in a reverent tone, after which he shuts the man’s eyes.
While he walks back to the third house from the corner, he presses his right hand to his frowned face. Around his finger he feels his own plain, steel ring with on it only one red dot. “They have to know.” he thinks. “As quickly as possible…”