‘Well I guess we won’t be seeing each other for a while huh?’ Rozera said calm as always, her hazel eyes shimmering with suppressed tears.
‘Yeah, we’ve all got jobs now, and they’re not really jobs that encourage socialising.’ Amaya said, her own deep blue eyes sad.
‘No kidding. I’m not even allowed to tell anyone my job, ‘though I really do need to come up with a cover story, at least for the moment.’ Reiaka said grimacing slightly, but for once not flaring up about it, although her fiery red eyes sparked with suppressed emotions.
‘Yes well, that’s at least better than mine, I’m allowed to tell people but most don’t like it when I do, my job practically makes people run for cover.’ Shiriia sighed, her pale green eyes clouded.
‘Oh so that’s why you haven’t told us.’ Rozera realised, ‘well I’m the same as Rei, I can’t tell anyone. Not that I really want to, people don’t usually trust people like me.’
‘Same here.’ Amaya added with a slight sigh.
The four friends lapsed into silence as the principle talked about how proud she was of all her students and how she was sure that their employers would be satisfied with them and how they would all excel at what they do.
It had been six years since they first enrolled at the school for Battle Magic and six years since they had first met each other. In those six years they had fine-tuned their control over their elements; Rozera over Earth, Amaya over Water, Reiaka over Fire and Shiriia over Wind. Now they were graduating along with all the other students of the same age. They were different however, they always had been. With their magic made up of a single element and not a combination of more than one. They had of course become friends, training and practising with each other, becoming almost inseparable. Even now at Graduation they were different, unlike most of the other students they knew exactly what job they would be going into. Shiriia and Rozera had already begun, although no one else knew this.
‘Agh, how long is she going to go on for,’ Reiaka groaned not very quietly after a while, causing several people to turn and shush her.
‘I’m sure it won’t be much longer,’ Rozera said calmly, placing her hand on Reiaka’s shoulder.
‘And now I will present the Graduation certificates and the Job positions to all you fine graduating students.
‘Finally!’ Amaya muttered, her temper, as unpredictable as her element, clearly rising with impatience. The principle called out each student’s name, presented them with their certificate and declaration of their job, the student then went to sit off to one side, where all the Job Masters sat.
‘Rozera Diadren, congratulations.’ Rozera stood and walked up onto the stage to receive her certificate, before moving to the other seats. Reiaka was next then several other students before Shiriia then Amaya were called. They each sat in their newly designated seats, no longer together. They all knew that they were now separated, and not just by a few seats.
One of the masters nodded solemnly at Shiriia and she walked past and she nodded back. To the casual observer it was simply a master congratulating a student and the student in turn expressing their gratitude. In reality it was a confirmation that an order and mission would be carried out.
As more newly graduated students took their places the four friend’s view of each other was obscured and even more distance came between them.
Shiriia fingered the device strapped to her wrist, concealed by the long sleeves of her graduation gown and the black leather gloves she had begun to wear after receiving her job. She sighed inwardly and glanced around, Rozera was the only one of her friends she could see. Rozera glanced her way and where the two of them would have once smiled and pulled faces at each other they simply nodded seriously at each other, Rozera’s long brown hair half obscuring her face. Shiriia felt sadness well up within her, already the group had dispersed; the knowledge and responsibility of their jobs driving wedges between them. She looked back around and saw the master that had nodded to her staring hard at her, the order clear in his eyes as another student walked to join the ranks of the graduated.
Shiriia knew him, he wasn’t a friend but they’d had some classes together. The knowledge of what she was about to do made the bile rise up her throat and she recalled the words that had already steeled her against many harsh realities, the words that had been spoken to her when she had learned of her job: emotions are not bad, but they can overwhelm you, turn them into strength and use them to complete your job.
She forced herself to close off her heart as she pulled her right glove off, revealing the intricate device beneath. The metal of the device was snaked around her hand, holding a crystal snug in her palm. She stroked the crystal and held it up to her mouth, allowing her long light blonde hair to conceal the motion as she breathed softly across it. Her breath caused the gem to shimmer and change colour, going from pale green to blue to purple. The small puff of breath shot across the room and encircled the young man as he walked. He stopped and clutched his throat, gagging and gasping; he coughed several times, bringing up blood before collapsing to the ground, already dead.
Everyone’s attention was on him as he fell and so only one person saw Shiriia slip the glove back on, and the single tear that escaped to slide down her cheek. Rozera sighed softly and looked away from her friend, catching the eye of one of the masters; he nodded curtly to her and looked away. The young man’s body was moved away and the ceremony continued, after all, it wasn’t the first time someone had dropped dead in the middle of something.
After the ceremony Shiriia headed off to her new quarters, outside the school. Carefully avoiding her friends, she couldn’t bring herself to go over and talk to them, not after what she had just done. She looked at them though, watching the friends that she knew so well, the friends that she could always pick out in a crowd. Reiaka, tall and confident, tossing her flame red hair over her shoulder as she walked over to a group of people who were standing to one side, she was slightly taller than the people she was standing with and her confidence made her seem even taller. Amaya, slightly smaller but no less self assured, slipping between people. She wasn’t as loud or as boisterous as Reiaka, preferring to more around quietly. Her bluey-black hair caught the sun as she ducked around a group of weeping girls. And Rozera who stood off to one side leaning against a wall, watching everyone else as she waited for someone. Her brown hair was now pulled back and her eye’s flickered around the courtyard, taking in every detail as people walked past. Her eyes flickered over to where Shiriia standing and Shiriia ducked her head and kept walking.
As Shiriia walked she felt a hand come to rest briefly on her shoulder and she felt someone lean in close to her.
‘That was messy, people noticed and there was evidence. You must train hard. You need to get better before you will be trusted with more than just a simple Kill Request.’ The voice was soft but filled with authority and Shiriia nodded curtly. The man moved off striding past her without a backward glance.
She arrived at the plain and unassuming building and nodded to the man, flashing the pattern on her glove that passed as identification. The people passing by barely gave the building a second glace, they didn’t know what it was and they didn’t care. Shiriia walked inside the building that was now her home, with no one looking or caring. The Assassin’s Guild.
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