The Illusion Sword part 1
THE ILLUSION SWORD
The door to the bar creaked. The buzzing sound of people talking at the top of their lungs filled Varin's ears as he walked inside. He swept the place twice before making his way towards the bartender at the counter.
The bartender looked to Varin through his monocles and then turned back to the glass he's cleaning. He placed the glass on the counter and asked "What do you want?".
Varin squeezed himself between the other patrons at the counter and sat on the hard wooden stool . He looked around again before bending forward and whispered to the bartender. "I'm looking for information" he said and sat back straight.
The bartender looked to him with an emotionless face. His eyes glared around before finally giving Varin the signal to come closer with his finger. "What do you want to know about?"
Varin pressed his head closer. "I'm looking for the crippled man"
The bartender's eyes caught something behind Varin's back and he sprang back. He coughed and continue to polish another glass from the rack behind him.
"You, kid" a rough voice caught Varin from behind. "I heard you're looking for someone" . The bar's hectic noise silenced.
Varin turned to face a muscular man in his late forties with one patch over his eye. "I think we both need to have a talk" said the man with a smile on his face. His robe covered most of his body except for one arm.
"And what if I refuse?" said Varin. His face hardened.
Yet the man's smile never fade. "Oh, I doubt you would refuse me." he groped into his robe and produced a small piece of paper with picture of a hooded man holding a cane on one hand on it. "You are looking for this man, correct? So do we" he said.
Varin grits his teeth.
The man's smile turns to grin. "I thought so. Come, follow me." The man placed the picture back into his robe and pulled his hood up. He glared at the patrons of the bar and disappeared outside.
Varin shot from his seat and thanked the bartender before disappeared following the man outside.
The bartender sighed as he watched Varin disappeared. "I pity the boy"
Varin stepped outside and saw the man fled to a nearby alley, away from the crowded streets and the eyes of the polices patrolling the city. He trailed the man and went inside the alley only to be surrounded by similarly cloaked man all with their hoods covering their faces.
"What is the meaning of this?" said Varin. He glared at the hidden faces surrounding him. His hands clenched tight, ready for whatever is coming. His heartbeat races but his face showed no aggression. Only a frown.
"I'm sorry, but this is just customary for us. They don't mean you any harm, that is, unless you are intending to harm any of us." said the man. He turned around, and pulled his hood away, revealing his face yet again, this time darker and somewhat menacing.
"Who are you people?" said Varin. His sights jumps from one man to the other.
The old man smiled. The deep cracks and crevices on his face stretched and contracts. He gave a bow to Varin and the others followed.
"An Naqabath Man Hashshashin" said the old man.
"The Guild of Assassins" said Varin. His face grimmed. His heartbeat raced. A tiny silver bead slides down from his forehead and fell to the cold cobblestone road below.
Varin's words took the man by surprise. He looked to the others just as they to him. "So you knew?" he said.
"I know the name, yes."
The smile in the old man's face disappeared. "This is surprising." He glared to the others but no one made any movement. "Doesn't matter. We both have the same objective." He holds out the piece of paper with the picture of the crippled man. "This man."
Varin grabbed the picture from the man and pulls it close to his face. The frown on his forehead deepened. He burned the image of the man deep in his mind as it recalls the death of his father. Varin closed his eyes and with trembling hands, returned the picture back to the old man.
"So, I see that you have been hurt by this man. Then will you join us?" said the old man.
Varin clenched his hands. The thought of his dead father dominated his mind. The burnt corpse, the destroyed bar. Everything.
He reopens his eyes again and looked at the old man with a fierce gaze. "I'll do it."
The old man smiled. "Good. My name is Kaleem. And these are my brothers" said the old man as he waves his hand towards the others surrounding Varin.