A weasel near one’s home is a sign of bad luck.
(Ancient Book of Nature)
It was not until the afternoon of the next day that Weasel and Cassius finally stopped for longer than just a few minutes. Cassius was exhausted. The old assassin surprised him. Despite being what? 65? 70 years old? Weasel had managed to keep an incredible pace. A speed that Cassius could barely maintain for very long. Weasel didn’t look at Cassius, nor did he speak to him. Instead, he was entirely focused on finding a place that only he had known.
The village they finally arrived at was tiny and looked unimportant from the edge of the forest. But this was only the first impression. A more attentive visitor would notice that the guards at the gates were relatively well-equipped for such a seemingly trivial place. A few dozen gloomy-looking soldiers stopped anyone who dared to come closer. Something important was just beyond those gates. Or… someone.
“There’s no way we can get past the guards unnoticed,” the voice said behind Cassius, catching him by surprise. Weasel finally spoke! Again. Who could have thought?
“You still haven’t told me why we’ve even come here,” Cassius replied, feeling angry. For the fifteen years he hadn’t seen Weasel, he forgot what an uncomfortable person the old assassin could sometimes be. “Can you please stop being your usual self for once?”
“Luckily, though, we don’t need to go inside.” Weasel continued, ignoring Cassius’s words. Of course he couldn’t stop being himself. Cassius sighed. It was stupid to think that the old assassin would change. “Every morning, they ride their horses to inspect their surroundings. All we need to do is wait.”
Cassius cursed, and Weasel smiled weakly.
“Life’s not a bowl of cherries, kid.” Weasel finally said, looking straight into Cassius’s eyes. “Sometimes it can surprise you. You say, not being my usual self for once. Indeed…” Weasel gave him a sad smile. “I am curious, though. How many assassins have you met in your life where you knew who they were, but they didn’t try to kill you?”
“What do you mean?” Cassius replied. He looked back at Weasel’s face, and a realization suddenly dawned on him. Weasel turned his face away from Cassius, focusing on the village gates again before responding.
“Sometimes you get the order, but your client forgets to share with you a few tiny details… about the target. For example, that he’s just a kid who lost his mother in his childhood and is obsessed with the mystery of her death.”
Cassius, mouth open, stared at Weasel in shock.
“Time to become a real adult, kid,” Weasel said. Cassius was still in shock. The cold, determined assassin was now looking at him once again. “And on this occasion, I’ve brought you a farewell present. Something borrowed from your uncle’s treasury during one of my visits.”
Weasel grabbed his bag and gave Cassius a small jewel. A jewel created in the shape of a beautiful woman with a crown over her dark hair; a proud, austere look. A woman who loved to rule and command. His mother.
“Isn’t it best to solve all mysteries in one go?”
[TO BE CONTINUED…]