It is cold. The winter is already here. The man in white clothes seems not bothered by the cold wind blowing through the gaps from the trees around him. He’s not in this enormous park for a walk nor for sight seeing. He want to kill a person.
He is one of the member of the Assassin’s Order. They are hired by anonymous clients and kill their target without question asked. The assassin who’s in the Great Green Park right now has an interesting target. A homeless man; he’s known as The Hobo. The Assassin has handled a lot of contract before, but never as weird as this one. His previous targets were politician, country leaders, rebel leaders, big company CEOs, and other kinds of important people. But this? A homeless man? Why is someone want to kill a specific homeless man? And how hard is it to kill one?
He grumbles while tons of questions fly over his head, wondering the purpose of this kill. He feels somewhat insulted to be given a task to kill a mere homeless man. Are the upper echelons have low assessment of him? The Assassin want to kill this Hobo guy quickly and then return to base as soon as he can and prove that he is able to finish his contract easily.
Whatever he thought about this homeless guy is wrong. The Hobo just blocked his sharp and fast knives with bare hand as if it’s just a normal punch. The Assassin has trained all his life to achieve what he consider as the peak of human physique. His slashes were accurate, fast, and filled with his power, yet this homeless man in front of him simply shrug it off. Forget about finishing the contract easily, he even doubt he could kill the Hobo without injury.
“So, why are you trying to kill me?”
Ignoring the question, the Assassin lunges forward and swings his knife at the Hobo once, twice, thrice. The Hobo ducks, steps aside, and moves sideway; he dodges all of the slashes with such small and precise movement. His face shows that he doesn’t need much effort to dodge.
Feeling his attacks were ineffective, the Assassin steps back. Questions run amok in his mind. Who is this man? How could he do that? Amidst the storm of unanswered questions, at least one finally has an answer; he finally knows why he is the one they sent. This hobo guy is strong and perhaps annoys some people in power, thus the reason why he need to be killed. And he is given a contract to kill a homeless man is not because they think lowly of him, but because they think he can bested the Hobo in a fight.
Unconsciously, the Assassin smirks. He’s glad that the upper echelon still think highly of him. This Hobo guy perhaps is the strongest and most troublesome target he ever has. But, he looks at it as a challenge. Beating this guy may be a test of his skill. Plus, it’s been a while since the last time he go all out.
With one deep breath, the Assassin rushes forward. His speed is incredible, in just a blink of an eye he already arrived in front of the Hobo. Surprised with how fast the Assassin is, the Hobo unable to dodge the first slash and is forced to parry it. This proves to be fatal. By parrying the first slash, the Hobo has given the Assassin the momentum to continue slashing non-stop without able to dodge.
Above, right, left, and then above again; flurry of slashes attacking the Hobo from all directions. The speed of the attacks are so fast that it seems the Hobo can’t find the chance to retaliate. All he can do are parrying and blocking them, of course with his bare hands.
The Assassin’s eyes are wild and a creepy smile decorate his face. It’s as if he’s telling, ‘you can’t run.’ Around him, silver linings from the moonlight reflected by his knives occupy the space. From afar, he looks like surrounded by countless number of fierce fangs that attacking the Hobo relentlessly.
“Mister,” Tama who is looking from the sideline looks worried. She just met the Hobo several minutes ago, but that doesn’t prevent Tama to worrying him. The Hobo didn’t scared when he look at her unlike several people she met before. That, for Tama, is enough to care about that young man well-being.
Tama starts to walk towards the impressive fight, hoping she can do something to help the Hobo. Before she can go far, one of the homeless man catches her. With a determined face, that man looks straight at the little fox girl’s eye, “He will be fine. Believe in him.”
Tama’s eyes stare at the man for quite a while before she finally blinks. Around them, the other hobos look at Tama. Their eyes showing trust at their leader; all of them believe that the Hobo will prevail. Seeing this, Tama can’t help but believe in the Hobo too. She turns her head towards the battle between the Hobo and the Assassin. She won’t go there, yet she can’t help but worried.
Not far from Tama and the homeless men, the fight is still on. The Assassin’s strikes are still fierce even after dozens, if not hundreds, of slashes thrown. Where did he get this much energy is eluding the Hobo’s head. He’s surprised that the man before him able to unleash constant stream of powerful and deadly strikes. But, he has seen enough.
With great force, the Hobo suddenly deflects the Assassin’s right hand which about to bring his knife to cut the Hobo’s artery on his neck. The force is so great that the knife get thrown away from his hand and lost in the bushes. At the very same time, the knife on Assassin’s left hand is heading to the Hobo’s stomach. In a very quick manner, the Hobo catches it between his right elbow and right knee, break it into two, land his right foot, and push his left palm unto the Assassin’s chest. The force of the push lift the Assassin off the ground and thrown into the nearest tree.
There is a silence when everybody watch the Assassin fall back to the ground. The Hobo’s counter attack happened very fast and caught everyone in surprise, although arguably the one who’s most surprised is the Assassin. In just under 3 seconds, what looked like the Hobo is being pressured suddenly changed. One big boom and there, the Assassin lying on the ground. The Hobo managed to bring down his assailant with just a single strike to the chest.
“Mister!” Tama run towards the Hobo and hug him.
“Whoops,” being hugged suddenly makes the Hobo wobble and need to rebalance.
“I thought you were losing,” Tama looks up to see Hobo’s face. Her tail is wagging happily when the Hobo rubs her head while smiling.
“Yeah, we were holding our breath, you know. We believe in you, but the situation looked bad in our eyes,” some of the homeless men approach Tama and the Hobo while some carefully poking the beaten Assassin with tree branches. He’s still alive.
“I was just gauging his strength. My power need to be adjusted to avoid killing the guy,” the Hobo pats Tama head and heads toward the Assassin.
The Hobo picks a tree branch and start poking the Assassin’s head, “Hey, are you awake?”
The Assassin’s hand suddenly grabbed the branch. All the homeless men around him jumps back and start to move away slowly.
“I’m... not dead... yet,” struggling, the Assassin tries to stand despite his apparent damage. One can see that blood is coming out from his mouth. His pose is unstable and his legs are wobbly. He reaches to his back and reveals a knife on his right hand.
“Oy,” the Hobo looks at the Assassin unamused, “what can you possibly do with body like that?”
Everyone’s head turns to the source of the loud roaring voice. It came from behind a group of trees behind the homeless men and Tama. The roar was loud and made the blood stirred that everybody now holding their breath. As hard as they try, they can see nothing behind the front line of the trees. But, out of a sudden a huge creature jumps out from the darkness and snaps its jaw on Tama and some homeless men.
The Hobo then sigh in relief when he sees Tama managed to shove all the homeless people away and prevented them from turning into that creature’s dinner. When he turns to the Assassin, he already gone. The Assassin managed to use the confusion to his advantage and slip away unnoticed.
“Tch,” the Assassin can and will return to try to kill him again in the future, which makes the Hobo worry. But that’s not important right now. There’s a huge creature in the park and it’s definitely look dangerous.
The creature looks like a canine. It stands tall 3 meters above the ground on his four legs. A pair of horns decorate its head. They bend sideway and pointing forward. Two rows of spikes sprout out his back start from near his neck and getting smaller toward its pair of lion’s like tail. Black mist oozes out from all around its body.
“Run!” Tama instructs the homeless men who don’t even need to be instructed to run, “It’s a demon!”
“Tama, back-off!” The Hobo becomes restless after he heard the word ‘demon’. It’s not his first encounter with a demon and the last one didn't fare well.
Tama jumps back. She takes a very deep breath and then blows out a huge flame from her little mouth. The demon steps back to avoid the flame and growls. What Tama did takes the demon attention off the homeless men and, inadvertently, now focus its attention to Tama. The demon growls and then roars really loud.
“Umm… I don’t I like the sounds of that” As soon as Tama said that, the demon jumps toward Tama. She tries to shoot out another flame, but the demon is faster. Tama only manages to shoot out little flame when the demon steps on her.
“Ack!” The flame stops coming out from Tama’s mouth as she has trouble breathing. Her face tells that she's in pain. The demon lowers its head and growls in Tama’s face. Its eyes looking straight to Tama's.
“Tama!” The Hobo rushes quickly toward the demon. The situation doesn’t looks good and he will do anything to save her.
I won’t let a demon take anyone from me again!
Somewhere in the park, when in another part of it the Hobo just beaten the Assassin, a cloud of black mist sprouted out from the crack on the ground. It’s slowly getting thicker and thicker. And when it thick enough, a figure started to came out from inside the mist.
The figure walked slowly out from the mist. It’s a young woman. She has straight black long hair that slowly turn to purple near the end of it. She donned a red long sleeve top with white wide collar and a black skirt. A black choker decorate her white-slim neck. A pair of red knee-socks cover her legs below a pair of black wedge boots. On her left hand, a yellow bracelet cover her wrist. She’s holding a huge scythe that reflecting the moonlight.
The woman seemed confused and look around with her ruby red eyes. After a while, she started to sniff, trying to catch the scent of the place she’s in. “Earthrealm?” She wondered.
From behind her, a big canine-like creature came out growling from behind the trees. The women turned around when he heard it and look a little bit surprised. Only a little. And then she smiled.
“Hm?” As she smiled though, she couldn’t help but noticed that the creature was being hostile to her.
She stretched her right hand forward and open it. Then, with a confidence face, she spoke with a clear voice with foreign language which could be translated into, “I am Princess Aqua del Briginnest, second princess of Gharm. Behold, demon, and obey my command!”
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