1 Delicate matters

Walking closely behind Geralt, he could clearly appreciate his master stature and poise.

It doesn't matter how many times he looks at his master, his wide, muscular back always makes Alex feel safe around him, even though he rarely if ever admitted this.

When Geralt saved Alex, the latter was just a pup, and a young one at that barely 10 years of age.

And despite his tender age, he was subjected to so much pain and suffering that even a soldier would be appalled.

The reason why was just partially known, but Alex figured that it had something to do with his family.

While Alex was just starting to reminiscent about the past, Geralt stopped in his tracks and turned around, seeing Alex's emotions slowly shifting.

"Hey, Alex. Stop daydreaming already and cover up, we're about to enter the village, unless you want to be seen"

In response Alex shook himself out and pulled his hood further over his face.

True to his words, the duo exited the forest line in less than 2 minutes and were currently walking towards the village's entrance.

The entrance was surrounded by high walls, too tall for normal beasts to jump over, made up from a mix of wood and stone, giving the village an powerless feel, especially now at nighttime.

The lack of illumination outside the walls, the lack of manpower walking over the walls and inside the corner towers accentuated this feel.

As Alex was approaching the village's gate, which was barely big enough to fit a wagon through, he could finally inspect more closely the walls.

Although it didn't seem like it, this village as poor looking and as powerless as it seemed it did have it's fair share of battles from what Alex could piece out.

The wooden part of the walls had deep gashes, grooves and missing chunks out of them and in several parts the thick tree trunks the people used were splintered in half length wise, with the part unattached to the rest of the wall hanging by thread. This image repeated over and over the entire length of the wall.

The stone part didn't fare much better either, several boulder sized chunks were ripped off the main part leaving gaps where the structural integrity of the wall was questionable.

Geralt also looked over to the walls, and knowing about Alex's curiosity he started sharing his bit of knowledge and his own insight over this matter

"The walls of this village are wider than you think, so small gaps like this are no problem. Did you notice that the wood is still green? That's because the wood is mostly used as a scent masker, it is easier to live here when the beasts inside the forest don't attack you everyday. This is also the reason why there are not many guards patrolling the walls as doing this will attract beasts over"

As Geralt had finally stepped into the light emitted by the torch that was placed over the gate, a gruff voice was heard from beyond the walls.

"Halt! Who goes there?"

Both Alex and Geralt stoped their movement before the latter addressed the guard.

"I'm Geralt, here to meet Chief Zultan about the upcoming passing of souls"

Although Geralt didn't speak very loudly, among his words there could be heard other watchmen chatter among themselves, the moment he finished speaking a heavy silence fell over the area, only the now almost deafening sound of locking mechanisms turning and grinding could be heard.

Now an elder looking watchmen stood before the open gate looking at the two strangers in front of him and motioned for the duo to come in quickly, after which he peaked his head out to make sure that they were the only ones in the area.

"We were expecting you, and you alone to be more precise. Any reason why you are accompanied by another?" After going through the gate Alex and his master encountered another person that unlike the guards around was dressed in a considerably more valuable attire.

"And you Chief Zultan, we were supposed to meet at the Adventurer's Guild did we not?" Geralt retorted with another question, making the chief tense his eyebrows.

"Well, sir Geralt, I was starting to think that you had changed your mind regarding our little conversation so I was just about to prepare a searching party just for you. Now, however it seems it wasn't necessary after all" Zultan stated with a calm demeanor before raising his right hand dismissing the group of adventurers behind him, but before he turned around he took a small glimpse at Alex's left arm.

"Follow me, we will discuss these matters privately"

Geralt nodded and motioned Alex to follow.

Walking through the city, Alex saw a remarkably unique architecture that continued from building to building.

Each construction here was either build high in the air, suspended on thick trees that had the upper part cut off, or were built to look like ant hills or mounds of dirt, that had massive windows on the side allowing plenty of light to come through.

It was quite a strange and alien feel, one that Alex was not quite sure he liked, but he had to admit such architecture did fit into such a place.

Although the buildings were, more often than not, round they were pretty close together making the village resemble a colony.

Of course since this was a place that it's survival depended on trading goods there were also many more types of architectures present however they were dwarfed by this native style.

After a while of walking, the duo together with Zultan reached the Guild, where they were led into the latter's office.

The chief walked from the door to his desk that was placed on the opposite side of the door facing it, and sat down on a rather expensive looking red leather chair.

He then motioned the duo to also sit down on the chairs opposite of him.

"Please, sit down. Now, mister Geralt, can you introduce me your acquaintance here?"

"He is one of my students, his name I'm not going to share as well as his identity like facial features and such. However I can assure you that he is extremely proficient at fighting and remaining unseen" Geralt responded while inclining further into the chair, waiting for Zultan to start discussing his matters.

Zultan, hearing Geralt's words, leaned forward putting both his elbows onto the desk and, in a severe tone, imposed to Geralt

"Although I hate to ask this, especially considering your words, I still have to ask is he to be trusted? And you know, if something leaks out then it's your head that you have to watch out for right? So, please answer truthfully" after he finished talking, Zultan straightened himself waiting for Geralt's response

'Hm, it seems like even this guy doesn't know about the old man, about who he really is. And he tries to intimidate him?' Alex shook his head internally but still took a look at Geralt looking forward to how he will respond.

"Zultan, although I doubt you trust me, believe me when I say he will not tell anyone a word"

Zultan, seeing that Geralt remained unfazed during their small exchange nodded his head and then proceeded to talk about his own matters.

"As I told you the day before, the matter I look forward to be resolved is rather delicate. I will not beat around the bush anymore, I want you to kill something. The lineage of Khyte"

Not only Alex, but also Geralt frowned deeply this time. This matter was indeed quite delicate, even for Geralt.

In the time Alex was with his master, he was witness to quite a handful of assassinations, and he grew quite accustomed to it, but to request the extermination of a whole lineage? This was going a bit too far.

One must consider the fact that a living lineage has many members one one hand and on the other hand some of these members are women and children.

"You know that this matter is not just a simple assassination request right? This is a massacre. And you want me to do this? When you first spoke with me you knew that I was alone, so please elaborate on your plans, I doubt that you are as foolish as to believe that a single person could pull this off"

"I'm pleased that you can question the requests presented to you, unlike all the other assassins. But no, I don't expect you to this all alone, this is why I also hired others to do the more dirty job before you"

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