I walked down the street to the location Dave told me where the party would be attended, where Balthazar would be hosting. Nothing was going to stop me this time: not a blimp, not a siege, not from a lack of information for weeks, not even the fiery pits of Tartarus would stop me from taking his life which would only be in a few short hours from now.
With this mindset, I shoved ponies aside, slipped through crowds, and in some cases knocked over a few ponies carrying supplies. Most of the time I received some form of a shout of annoyance from the ponies I rudely pushed through but they stopped when they saw my face.
Under my hood, my eyes burned with pure rage and determination, a small clench of my teeth together told that I was not ready to mess around and installed a bit of fear for anypony having seen me. It was enough to make them shut up and for me to continue walking.
While I did want to be efficient, I didn’t want to alert the guard to my presence.
By now they must’ve noticed the cell is empty. No doubt they would inform the Princesses who would then inform the rest of the guard and finally will inform the citizens.
From the corner of my eye I saw a guard speaking with a family and making gestures with his hoofs in an effort to describe something…. likely me.
“So the pizza’s in the oven and the knob should be turned to six, anything else? Okay thank you honey,” the guard gave a hug to the mare in the group.
Maybe the Royal Guard is lacking their criminal hunting prowess.
Just then a platoon of Royal Guards ran through the street, I quickly managed to make my way to a newspaper stand and pick one up to look through as a disguise before they ran past.
I need to go faster, stay incognito, but I need to reach Balthazar without drawing any of the guard’s attention.
Checking through the paper to make sure there were none left, I put it back onto the stand and quickly ran through the street to an alleyway.
Since these guards fly, taking the rooftops right now despite the nearing of nighttime is too risky, it’s better if I get through these alleys as there aren’t ponies blocking my way.
Avoiding the slightly more “shadier” characters of Canterlot I covered a lot more ground and avoided more of the prominent guard patrols around the city. Dashing from corner to corner and peering around streets for any sign of a law pony, I gained some distance.
I went out of an alley and looked behind to see if I wasn’t being followed by some “backdoor item peddler”, there wasn’t and without looking where I was running, I accidently bump into somepony.
“Oh my!” a sophisticated voice said as I crashed into him.
I was about to regain myself, ignore the pony I bumped into and quickly continue running but he quickly gave a cough and said with a politeness that was truly intricate, “You seem to be off in a hurry young lad! My apologies for accidently bumping into you on this fine day for a stroll. Oh but I do beg forgiveness for my demeanor, it’s not every day you nearly get crashed into. My name is Fancy Pants. Might I ask where you’re running to in such a hurry?”
I looked at the pony I bumped into with more attention; white, unicorn, a blue well-groomed mane, a fancy suit, mustache and a monocle.
Looks like a typical pony you would see in Canterlot, though I can’t shake this feeling there’s something different about him. He seems more…
I don’t know, above average than the rest yet he’s not a snob or anything like that. Just a gentlecolt. Hmm….
I don’t have time for this.
“I’m trying to get to a… meeting, before it’s too late. So excuse me messare as I need to go-.”
“Why that accent seems most familiar to me as a Ponitalian one if I do remember correctly. And judging by your attire you seem to be from a far place away. Not just with the design itself but these you model these robes as if they were a part of you and I’m pretty sure you must be a hit with all the mares,” Fancy Pants gave me a friendly nudge.
“Would you mind if I could just look at these robes for a few minutes, I’m a fashion developer and I’ve always wanted to work with new styles from faraway places. What’s the point of making good fashion if it doesn’t go out to everypony to enjoy?”
I really don’t need this now. My best bet is to just comply and hopefully it won’t drain the time I’m losing to plan my attack.
“Will this take long?” I asked him, not wanting to waste any more time.
“It shouldn’t really, if you would like we could walk and talk so you can get closer to your meeting without running out of time,” he suggested. I don’t know why but I gave him a nod.
There was something about this pony. I just can’t put my hoof on it. Either way I’m sure he would be a good distraction should any guards come by.
Just a simple kick and whoosh, I’ll be gone. Perfect.
From what Fancy Pants said while examining my outfit I learned that he runs a large million bit fashion industry and that he mostly spends his time in Canterlot doing some more designs and working. So even though he might be a typical Canterlot pony he isn’t like the snobs somepony would usually see.
“So, I hope it isn’t rude of me to ask but what brings you to Canterlot Shadow?” he said my name as I given it to him prior.
“Obviously if you traveled this far then it’s for something important I presume?”
“I was looking for someone I haven’t seen in years. I’m hoping at the meeting he would be there and we get to exchange some… welcomes,” I lied.
If you call a welcome 10 blade stabs to the chest. Might throw in some knives and some cross bolts in for good measure to make sure he’s dead.
Who knows………. might get some other Templars in the crossfire. Anything’s possible, it will be a party nopony would ever forget.
“Well that’s good to hear,” he said just before noticing my Assassin insignia on my robe and raising an eyebrow, “Oh, might I ask what this is? A symbol perchance?”
“Um… you could say that,” I gave a small grin before turning my face into a blank expression, “It’s there to remind me of what I’ve lost.”
“Ah, I see,” he said while rubbing his monocle on his lapel.
Suddenly two guards quickly appeared around a corner and ran towards us, I barely withstood a small flinch of me needing to escape fromm here but I maintained my ground and let the guards approach us.
“Excuse me citizens, we’re on the lookout for two fugitives that recently escaped from the Canterlot Dungeons,” one of the guards said.
“OH MY!” Fancy Pants shouted out in astonishment as his monocle fell which he quickly brought back up to his eye and gave a small cough of readjustment.
I remained silent.
“We’re on the lookout for a criminal by the name of Lucky Bit, he’s a known pickpocket and a thief.”
“Like the one from the Thieves’ Guild rumors I’ve heard about?” Fancy Pants said with some interest.
“Please citizen, there is no thieves’ guild in Canterlot and any criminal we find WILL face harsh disciplinary action and consequences,” the other guard said assertively.
“But onto more pressing matters, this pony is wanted for questioning,” the first guard pulled out a poster that looked exactly like me, except that the robe color in the description was white and not my grey that I am currently wearing.
With the hood down it’s hard to tell who it really looks like to begin with.
“He’s armed and dangerous and is wanted for the murder of a Royal Guard Captain,” the second guard elaborated.
“A captain you say? That is most troubling indeed. But I’m afraid I haven’t seen a pony that matches that description,” Fancy said with disappointment, but with also the faintest of grins that only I seemed to notice.
Was that.... intentional? Does he recognize me?
“What about you? Do you have any information on this pony?” the guard literally shoved the poster of me right in front of my face. All the details looked right, a quick sketch but they’ve got the general idea. And ALL the guards have seen this and probably studied this for hours in order to find me effectively.
………………. Are you serious?
“No, I haven’t. Sorry,” I said coldly.
“Well should you find any tips or leads make sure you report it to the Royal Guard, we thank you for your time,” he said as they both walked passed us and began interrogating a frail old mare.
“Well I guess I shouldn’t keep you from your duties any longer Shadow, not with all this excitement running around everywhere. Thank you for letting me see these designs, it should do wonders for my next line of inspiration.”
“Please Fancypants, it was a pleasure,” I said to him with my own politeness just to thank him for how polite he has been for this entire time as well as me wanting to get him to go away so I can get back to running.
“Well good luck Shadow, I hope our paths cross again in the future,” Fancy said before shaking my hoof and walking away.
Well that was nice, he was nice. I guess Canterlot isn’t so bad after all.
I immediately get elbowed out of the way by a mare in a fine dress.
“Well excuuuuuussssee me handsome…… NOT!” she gave a snobbish laugh at me before leaving.
Right….. never mind what I said about this place.
*Sigh* Then it wouldn’t be Canterlot now, would it?
I ignored her and checked my current position to a near landmark of a large observation tower.
Le Duck always did say, “The fastest way to get somewhere is either through or up.”
I cracked my hoofs and placed them one by one on a wall gripping on small cracks of polish marble as I began my ascent up the tower (also receiving some gasps from below, because obviously no pony in Canterlot would do something as crazy as this.)
Obviously they haven’t met with an Assassin.
-------- A few short minutes later ----------------------------------
I gripped my hoof onto the cold metal railing at the top of the observation tower and hauled myself over receiving quite a few gasps and shocks from the ponies that happened to also be visiting the tower, one mare had fainted. In fact one nearly fell off from my sudden appearance but luckily for him, he was a pegasus.
I took in a deep breath from my rasped pants to regain some rest from the climb upwards as I placed a hoof over the railing to get a bird’s eye-view over Canterlot.
Some guards are still flying over and searching the area for me, but there seems to be less than the ones I’ve had to evade a few hours ago.
That’s odd… I’m sure they would want to catch a trained Assassin as soon as they can…..
Very odd indeed…
My attention shifted to a large mansion quite a few city blocks away, it’s impossible to tell any details about it but what I do know is that’s the one Dave talked about. I looked around some more to see if there were any duplicates in my search to find there weren’t any.
My best bet to know for certain is to get down there and do a bit of recon.
A colt approached me scoffing at what nonsense I was doing, he got startled as I leaped off the edge of the tower plunging to the city below. The mare that fainted from before, had fainted again.
Even though it’s not that dark and it was likely anyone looking up would see me or a passing guard would notice a robed pony falling through the sky. I spread open my wings with my right one sending a small shock of pain through my body as I glided to my destination. No guard patrols were flying in my direction and no pony on the ground had even bothered to look up at the oncoming night, not even a group of guards doing some gateway checks right below me.
I landed on a roof not far from the building and ran across until I made it to one that was right across the street from the mansion. I hid myself between a small stone column as I observed what I needed to infiltrate.
Alright so what do I have?
A pretty open courtyard that I think stretches around back, probably where a garden might be.
There are a few guard patrols on the roof; they don’t seem to be part of the royal guard, they must be part of Balthazar’s, meaning this is definitely the place. Though I think climbing in through the attic would be a good way to go, it might not be the best thing to do since I need to run through the courtyard and I’ll be too exposed to climb the walls in time.
Suddenly a black carriage drives up its way to the front of the mansion, a mare being escorted by a stallion exit from it and the two guards stationed at the door bowed their heads and opened the door for them.
I need to be careful, it’s likely the guests Balthazar invited are also Templars yet I can’t know for certain.
I waited in my hiding spot on the roof as I see more and more party guest arriving at the mansion, this place was going to be packed.
I wonder, maybe I can use this to my advantage, get in through the crowd with their ridiculous fashion getups and get to Balthazar without anypony knowing.
Except for Dave…… cazzo.
I know this is a trap; I need to be extra cautious. I doubt this is just some ruse for Balthazar to throw a random party, if he truly is here, it will be for an important reason.
Some other features I’ve noticed were a couple of windows (perfect for an escape option should things turn bad) a few guard patrols around the courtyard I can time out of the way. Some courtyard shrubbery and bushes can also provide some cover, this is good.
But it seems from what my plan has worked out to be, it would just involve one of the things they wouldn’t expect from a stealthy assassin.
Walk in right through the front door.
I kneeled over the edge and begun adjusting my hidden blade and my cross bolt mechanism to see if they’re in working order. My glistening anger awaits the cover of nightfall and for the last of the guests to arrive before I make my move. As much as I would like to charge in there and kill that bastardo right now, I need to be patient and wait or else it would be suicide.
Balthazar may have everything; guards, weapons, money, power……..
He may also have the night but I will say this…
Balthazar will not live to see the next sunrise.