Though the shrouded figure spoke at a somewhat soft volume her tone was lilting and lyrical, lending it an almost inhuman quality that unnerved even these battle-hardened men. “It was not my fault that we were betrayed, it is with you that blame shall be laid, have you found out where there was a leak, or will I need to force you to speak?” Despite the way she spoke in almost musical rhymes her demeanor was one of a barely leashed predator, and she seemed to constantly be making minute adjustments to her stance.
The ronin leader stood from the pilfered throne he’d obviously stolen and laughed loudly. “So the little killer has a backbone? Do you think that I’m afraid of you? I’ve got five of my best men here and fifty more outside. You may be good, but remember that you’re an assassin; You don’t have it in you to fight a real battle. I think you should apologize and beg for forgiveness for threatening me this way.” As he spoke he approached to just outside of the assassins reach before pausing and looking expectantly to her.
For a moment her body tensed as if to spring, but she seemed to obey as she knelt onto a single knee and bent her arms at the elbow and brought her hands together in front of her. As the guards laughed at the pathetic display the assassin put forth, their attentiveness slipped for a moment…and she struck.
In a single motion she kicked off with her feet and flung both arms straight out, a poisoned dagger hurtling at the closest guards on either side; one took a dagger to the throat while the other seemed to suddenly sprout a daggers hilt from the bridge of his nose, and they both slumped down as they spasmed from the poison. Continuing the motion she twirled as the ronin leader went to draw his katana, and any identifiable parts of her seemed to vanish into her whirling cloak as if swallowed by a wave. The bandit swung at her on his draw but she deftly sidestepped, and as if in a magic trick her hands came out of the cloak wielding a kryss with a pulsating red crystal embedded in the center of it. The whorl of fabric kept the ronin leader from being able to anticipate her next move, and as he swung once more she parried his blow and slipped behind him, kryss pressed against his throat. The entire encounter had occurred in the span of a brief few seconds, and she held the kryss tight enough to draw blood as the two other guards stopped in their tracks just a few paces away.
“I think now you should no longer hold out, and tell us why we were sold out. Of course it’s still up to you… if you’re willing to accept your due.” On this last word she pressed her kryss harder and blood seeped slowly from his neck down its blade.
“It wasn’t us! There’s nothing to tell! We wanted you to succeed so we could usurp power in the Empress’ death!”
“What you say does sound true…more is the pity for you, and that through all your abuse, you no longer hold any use…” With the same songlike quality to her voice, she grinned widely and drew the sharpened kryss across the ronin leader’s throat, causing a spray of blood to gush and cascade outwards even as she seemingly danced behind the throne and drew a dagger in her offhand, holding it in a reverse grip as she crouched low to the ground. With a menacing and predatory grin she waited for the two other guards to make their move…
With a deliberate hand she finished writing the note carefully, rolling it up and sealing it with wax and her signet ring before handing it off to the messenger. “You best make sure it gets there, boyo, or you and I’ll be havin’ some words!” As the messenger ran off she turned around and headed back inside to her own small private room, making her way to the duffel on the bed with the majority of her belongings in it. She took a brief moment to look at the heavily padlocked chest, and after a few moments of indecision she pulled the key from her pocket and removed the lock. The padlock fell onto the thin bit of carpet with a soft thump as she discarded it, hefting open the cedar lid and looking inside.
The armor was well kept and flawless, and she admired the way it seemed not to catch the light at all. She removed the armor from the chest and packed it into her bag, and then let her gaze rest on the final two objects inside fondly before gathering them up, attaching one to each side of her belt. Letting the lid fall closed with a hefty noise she took a breath with closed eyes and assumed a ready stance. She held her breath for some moments before drawing both kryss and cutlass simultaneously, whirling them both through a series of cuts and slashes. She swiftly ended the little performance by sheathing both blades to the satisfying herald of oiled metal against leather. Kneeling down she checked the cleaver hidden in a special holster at her boot, and after ensuring its presence pulled on her traveling cloak. Pulling it around so that it hid the sheathed blades at each hip from view, she hefted the bag over her shoulder and made her way out into the Papuan night…but not before letting her gaze linger on the Inn for a moment. It was going to be a long walk, Lauren thought to herself, as she turned and made her way towards the road.