1 Cyanide

"Accept, kill, and receive. Rinse and repeat. Look into my eyes—for they'll be the last thing you ever see."

*****

A lone, slim figure traced around the edges of a popular strip club in the red-light district of Tokyo, cloaked by the shadow of the building and protected by the veil of night. His midnight-black cloak and angled tricorn-like cap, reminiscent of a certain video game, added to the camouflage, along with the black gloves on his hands and mask that covered the bottom half of his face.

Was he here to get drunk, go for a couple of rounds, then head home?

No. He was here on a mission. A dangerous one… but not for him.

The figure swiftly scaled the side of the building and climbed onto the roof using various ledges and pipes as footholds, then scanned his surroundings. No one was up here.

Adjusting his large black cloak that was long enough to reach his knees, his eyes landed on a door a couple of meters away. The mysterious individual walked closer to it, then tried pushing it open. It was locked.

But what did a mere lock mean to the top assassin in the underground guild, the Nighthawks?

Reaching into his cloak, the figure pulled out two paper-clips, bent them open, and got down to cracking. In this line of work, getting caught was always a risk. It has never happened to Cyanide before, but as an assassin, he had to factor in all possible outcomes. As such, on the off-chance that he was indeed caught, a paper clip would be far less conspicuous than an actual lockpick or even an electronic one, both of which he knew many of his 'colleagues' used.

A few seconds later, he heard a click, and the door was pushed open with ease. Tossing the two bent paper-clips back into his cloak's inner pockets, he stepped into the building and softly closed the door behind him before reaching up to his ear and tapping on the device that lay within it.

"Luna. I'm inside."

A short period of static ensued, then a female, slightly robotic voice came back on the other end.

"Good work, Cyanide. The target is two floors below you, in a private room. Uploading data to your lenses."

The figure — Cyanide — wore special contacts in his eyes, which flashed blue momentarily as the data was uploaded. Once the process was done, he could see a human figure highlighted in red a couple floors below him.

'… There,' he thought, narrowing his eyes.

He immediately began heading down the staircase next to him, keeping an eye on his surroundings at all times. His footsteps were completely silent, his breathing undetectable — the results of professional assassin training.

As he arrived on the second floor, he saw an employee pass by the door leading into this stairwell and quickly ducked behind a corner, as swift as a leopard. After the employee passed by, Cyanide eyed his target and noted that once he reached the bottom floor, he would still have to go about 100 meters in a straight and lit-up corridor before finally arriving there. Given his current outfit, that was like asking to get caught.

As such, he pressed his face against the door that the employee just passed by and spotted the worker entering a staff, single-person-use bathroom.

"That's the one?" Cyanide asked quietly through his comms.

"That's the one," Luna confirmed through his earpiece.

The assassination target? No, of course not. Cyanide would never take on a request as simple as killing some lowly employee. He only went for the bigshots, the challenging targets. Otherwise, where was the fun in the craft? This employee was just a sacrifice, chosen before the operation even began, in the planning stages.

Realizing this was his opportunity, Cyanide immediately began picking the lock on this door using the same two paper-clips from earlier. His hand movements were fast and precise, having practiced this thousands if not tens of thousands of times. Within seconds, the lock was picked.

He gently pushed open the door so that there was a sliver of light shining in, just enough so that he could hear the sound from outside the stairwell. Then, he took his cloak off, hid it in a dark corner, and waited. Like a cougar waiting for its prey, he was patient.

About two minutes later, he heard the sound of a toilet being flushed. Not wasting any time, he glanced both ways to make sure no one was around, then dashed out of the abandoned stair well and arrived at the washroom right as the employee opened the door to leave.

"Wha- mmf!"

Cyanide quickly placed a hand over the employee's mouth and forced him back into the washroom before gently closing the door once again. The worker tried to fight back, but even with both his hands, he couldn't overpower the inhumanly strong grip of the Cyanide.

With a single slash faster than the employee could even react, his neck was slit open by a dagger, both carotid arteries cut apart with a single blow. The cut was expertly executed just deep enough so that no blood spilled anywhere, but was still able to guarantee a kill. The poor man's skin wasn't even pierced, but the arteries inside had already been severed thanks to special nanoneedle technology added to his blade which made this possible. A talented scientist back at the organization had made him this knife—it looked normal on the outside, but in fact had many hidden customizations.

Cyanide then stripped him of his worker clothes and changed into them, before setting the worker's body on the toilet and spilling some foul-smelling, invisible fluid all over the floor. Then, he headed for the door, fishing out a bottle of superglue from his inner pants, the one that was part of his original outfit, before coating the edges of the doorway with it.

For the final act, he pulled out a latex mask prepared beforehand to exactly match this specific employee's face, and pulled it on over his head. Luna had hacked into the security camera system of this place several days prior, and chosen this employee as the sacrifice out of randomness. Cyanide was now no longer an assassin, but a normal employee here, completely blending in with his surroundings.

After stepping out and shutting the door behind him, Cyanide took the platter of drinks the employee had been holding from off the cart it was set on, then made his way down the same abandoned staircase.

He needed some darkness to execute the killing blow.

Pulling out a tiny pack of white powder, he dumped it all into one of the drinks. The particles settled and became invisible immediately, mixing into the liquid with ease.

He then made his way down the stairs at last, keeping his entire body deadly stable. The drinks on the platter he held weren't even wobbling despite his movement — just a side benefit of all the balance training he once did.

Shortly after, Cyanide finally arrived at the floor his target was on and looked around both ways before setting the platter down, picking the lock, and opening the door. Carefully, he picked up the platter of drinks again and stepped out of the darkness. No one else was in the hallways; all the customers were in their rooms and the other employees were serving them in there.

He walked boldly down the hallway, heading directly for his target's room. Although he wasn't wearing the special mask with the highlighting feature anymore, he had already memorized the location and could visualize it within his head. Once there, Cyanide gently knocked on the door three times.

"Sir, your drinks are here," he said in perfect Japanese.

"Huh…? Drinks?" A man's hazy voice asked back, loud and arrogant. "I didn't order any drinks… agh…"

'… Judging from his voice and tone, he's drunk… and according to his profile, he likes drinking a lot. In which case, a common request someone like him could make is…'

"You did, sir. You may not remember it, but you asked for the best alcohol we had here, so I brought it."

"Huh…? Did I…?" The man's voice murmured, hesitant. "Agh well, guess I did… come in…"

Cyanide pulled down on the handle and opened the door, stepping inside calmly. Leaning on the couch was a man with one leg crossed over the other arrogantly, wearing a yakuza-like outfit with his naked chest hanging out in bare sight. In each of his two arms was a young woman, who hugged him seductively.

In the other two seats, two bodyguards sat, both of which eyed the figure in suspicion, but didn't say a word.

Cyanide walked closer and held up the platter of drinks for the man to take — waiters didn't hand the drinks to them, after all. With the two bodyguards here watching, he couldn't afford to make any bold moves.

Because of this, he took great care to point the drink that contained the poison in the target's direction, since most people, especially when in a drunk state, will choose the object closest to them. Humans are lazy creatures — alcohol amplified that.

The theory was proven right as just as expected, the man picked up the drink and brought it up to his mouth.

"Heheh…" Kazu giggled and downed the entire glass in one gulp. "Fwah… that was good… oi, put the rest here!"

Cyanide, knowing that the deed was already done, did as told and set the entire platter on the table before bowing deeply, a dark and sinister look in his eyes.

"… Enjoy."

... Your final moments in life, that is.

As Kazu continued to indulge him in the drinks, Cyanide stepped out of the room and shut the door behind him tightly before retreating back to the abandoned stairwell, finding and slipping on his old cloak over the waiter outfit, then heading up to the roof.

Once there, he ripped the latex mask off his face, taking in a deep breath of the fresh midnight air while revealing his true young, handsome complexion underneath. His hair was a beautiful dark teal with light turquoise highlights, and his blue-green eyes shone like emeralds under the pale moonlight.

Leaning his back against the door to the staircase and pressing on his earpiece once more, he gave his verdict.

"… It's done, Luna. Bring the car around."

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