A/N: And we're back with another installment to this story! I'm somewhat disappointed, but otherwise happy with the initial reception that the first chapter received. Firstly, let me clarify a few things for you all: 1. This story takes a somewhat realistic approach, 2. I try to follow the guidelines of the MGE, 3. There is no number three. Now that those are settled, we can get into the real issues. Last time, we just witnessed our hero single-handedly shut down a rebellion against the Order, but what will be the result of his actions? By the way, the Dullahan of this story will finally make an appearance, so I suggest that you all keep your eyes open for it!
“Uhh...what...happened? Where am I?”
“Vera? Vera!! I'm so glad you are alright!”
“Oof! Take it easy, Andrea. What happened to us?”
“I could tell you, but if two need some time alone then I just wait in the other room.” I call out from the hallway.
I poke my head into the guest room to check up on the two girls. Vera hops out of her bed and storms towards the door, Andrea following closely behind. As expected, Vera grabs me by my shirt collar and pulls me into the room with a claw at my neck.
“What's all this about!? What did you do to us bastard!?” She threatens.
I don't react at all, simply out of a lack of concern. A simple poke to Vera's side is all I need to subdue her since her injury is still fresh. Andrea holds her partner up, but maintains a stern face as they both look up at me.
“You two obviously have a lot of questions for me, but I'll save myself the effort of answering and give you this instead.” I reach into my coat pocket and pull out a sheet of paper that I had been reading this morning. Slowly and carefully, the girls read aloud the words in bold print at the very top of the article.
“New Development: Underground Rebel Group Surrenders, Leaders Killed...”
“Yep, I just read the news this morning. You two are out of a job.” I calmly comment before stepping back out of the room.
“Hold it!” Vera shouts as she grabs me again.
“What now?” I lazily acknowledge.
“Why did you let us live?” She demands.
“I don't like killing unless it's personal; that's about it.”
“We'd like to know what your purpose is in all this...” Andrea calmly asks me.
“The name's Gabriel, and I don't have a stake in your war at all. It's just business for me.”
“Then why did have to tear apart everything we've worked for!?” Vera fumes and shakes me roughly.
“You two were planning on starting a war on the Order. That kind of thing would take away my reward for the job I have to do.”
“What is it that you do exactly?” Andrea holds Vera's arms in place to give me some respite.
“Well for now, I'm planning to assassinate Lazarus.”
In a flash, I escape from Vera's grip and walk down the hall to prepare for work. All I'm wearing is a set of casual clothes plus an overcoat, and of course my knife. As I tie the laces on my shoes, I feel a faint bloodlust approaching me, but I pay no mind to it. Suddenly, I feel arms wrap around my neck as I'm caught in a choke-hold. Andrea steps to block my way as Vera tightens her arms.
“We're coming with you.”
“...?” I raise an eyebrow.
“There's no way we're gonna let you take the kill from us, so let us tag along until we find Lazarus.” Vera adds, loosening her hold.
“Grab some breakfast then, we're heading straight for the Order's main base.” I announce, rubbing my sore neck.
The clouds hang ominously above the town, giving a dark impression to everyone's morning. The three of us walk through the town silently as the streets slowly fill with small crowds just starting to wake up. Despite having lost their forces in an instant, the two of them are recovering well in my company. I learn that Vera's twin sister was taken away by Lazarus' men and Andrea is here to find her husband who was also taken away. I ignore the rest of their stories as we start to approach the building serving as the Order's headquarters. Two heavily-armored knights stand guard against the gate marking off the structure's area, watching us sternly as we stop in front of them. I could bribe the guards to let us through, but it will get tricky after that since there's no guarantee that Vera will be able to stay quiet inside. I scan our surroundings for any weakness that I could exploit, but the high walls and armed sentries walking about make it difficult.
I tug on Vera's and Andrea's clothes, hinting to them a suggestion of retreat. We nod our farewells to the gate guards, walking away with out backs turned. After about 100 meters, we hide ourselves in an alleyway to discuss the plan.
“I found a way for us to get in without having to fight the guards: there's a 3-meter gap between the wall and another building. We can jump across, knock out any patrolling guards, and take their armor as disguises.”
“That's all well and good, but how do we get inside without raising suspicion?” Vera's strategist side is indeed something to praise.
“We could wait until the shifts change, then sneak in during the mild confusion.” Andrea suggests, brushing aside some of her white hair.
“Too much waiting; Lazarus dies today while everyone is alert. I need as much panic as possible to come from his death.” I darkly remark.
“Let's just do this the old-fashioned way and-” Vera's golden eyes light up.
“No; fighting will just bolster the guards' resolve. I need the riot to be in the people's favor.”
“You didn't let me finish!”, I receive a punch to the arm from Vera as she continues, “I meant we should just sneak into Lazarus' office from the roof.”
I nod in agreement, smiling slightly when Andrea nods as well. With our plan set, I take the lead by wall-jumping upwards off the buildings, landing on a roof. Vera follows me, overtaking the ascent in a single leap with a grin on her face while Andrea flies with her wings. A grin permanently plasters itself on my face as we go through the same routine that I did last night. With the Order building fast approaching, I take a long leap at the huge surrounding wall just in time for an unfortunate sentry to pass by on his patrol route. The poor man didn't even get a moment to scream before I crashed into him feet first, knocking him down. He falls unconscious before he sees me, but I strike him once more in the head to put him into a deeper sleep. Some other guards must have heard my landing, but Vera and Andrea knock them out for me in their own landings.
Here we are, above the window leading to Lazarus' window. The other sentries walking along the outer wall barely take notice of us standing on the roof, but one can never be too careful. I take some deep breaths and ready my knife for the fight. Vera is unarmed, but her claws are sharp enough to cut through metal so there's no worry about her. Andrea is a Lilim, and enough stories have been told throughout the world about the magical power held by the daughters of the Demon Lord. I doubt Lazarus has bodyguards, but without any further suspense I break through the window ready for a fight as the girls follow.
In the center of the the spacious room stands a lone knight, fully-armored and imposing with tall height. I look to Vera and Andrea, but they start combating Lazarus right away. Vera slashes at him with her claws, but Lazarus dodges all of her attacks and blocks them barehanded. Andrea supports her partner with well-aimed fireballs, but somehow the magical hits don't even stagger the knight let alone damage him. I myself crouch low, easing into a nimble stance as I analyze the fight.
Lazarus moves with superior reflexes, but doesn't seem hostile since he hasn't drawn his sword yet. His breathing is getting heavier, so it seems that he can't keep this up for much longer. In a few more movements, I should be able to launch an attack that even he can't avoid...
The mistake I count on comes, as Vera finally lands a smash hit on Lazarus' chest and staggers him. Andrea follows up with a flame-infused punch of her own, adding to the considerable flinching that the knight experiences. I bolt forward, just like I did against Vera and Andrea, my purpose clear as my knife is raised in my hands. One swipe is all that I need to strike him down, his head instantly separating from his body as I pass by. My work finished, I pick up our fallen foe's head and escape the building before Vera and Andrea can say anything else.
A/N: Nothing like a good action scene to get the cheers going. I definitely could've made this a bit more drawn out, but I figured that keeping it short would be best. If you thought that Gabriel would stick around to clean up after that fight, let me remind you that he doesn't have any stakes in their war aside from profit. I know, Lazarus seemed like a huge wimp despite his near-invulnerable defense, but if it's three against one then what chance do you have? Third chapter will be out soon, so in the mean time leave a comment if you'd like telling me if I did well or not. Thanks for reading!