I had travelled far and wide. I was tired, my beard was turning grey and I was alone. I did not know the enemy land that I was treading on, with me I only had a few photos and the clothes I was wearing, I begged for my food for small jobs and charity. I had no intention of using my money: any penny had to go to the only real reason why I was traveling.
From my hometown, I also brought something that was not often seen in those parts: skin as dark as the night, and having nothing to lose. With nothing or anyone left in the world, without a home or a family, I was a target that was very difficult to hit. But I didn’t come here to be prey but to be a predator.
The country was small, more than I expected. There were a few huts, gathered around the main square of the town. There was a tavern, the only one in the whole village, and if a traveller like me knows where to find his prey, that’s where he is waiting for me, me, or someone with my same aims.
There is mud everywhere, even on my face, and I have a coat on me that makes me almost invisible. Maybe that’s why no one notices me when I enter. I sit at a secluded table, I observe the scene: there is only one sober man in this place – and you know, those who are sober have something to hide. He makes fun of a down-and-out bunch of drunks – people used to blow heads over a fight, but he doesn’t seem to care too much. He shoots arrows at the perfect center of a target, one after the other, without ever missing the shot. It is definitely him, there is no escape, it is his disowned ability that I heard about long ago when my journey had just begun. It is for him that I had come this far, it is for the hope that he represents that I had held my teeth tight and gritty up to that moment.
It is almost a catharsis.
I approach him with my arm extended forward, ready to stop him, but the archer’s bright blue eyes are like a beacon in the night. He has been aware of my presence probably ever since I walked into the bar, so he knows that I was staring at him, that I was studying him. <What do you want?> He says it lightly, neither curious nor harsh, a simple question to what he probably knows is an urgent need to talk.
<Vendetta> I extract photos from the pocket, photos of women and children. <I want them all dead> With them, he hears the clink of a bag full of money, which is displayed and waved in front of the mercenary’s nose. <I can pay you what you want>
The answer hangs between us like a spider’s web, ready to be broken at any moment.