The Assassin
Author: Phoenix Heart

Chapter 7
Chapter VI

Chapter VI

I led Ali back to our quarters and I sat her down on a chair. I grabbed a towel and dipped it into a bucket of water.

     I moved her hair back past her forehead and saw a nasty gash on her head. I soaked up the blood.

“Damn it, this is going to need some stitches,” I muttered.

     I wiped away the blood and popped out a slot from my Gauntlet, revealing several medical supplies.

     I knelt down in front of her and pulled out a needle and some thread. I began stitching up the gash in her forehead. I had to cup the side of her face with my hand to keep her head still.

     She was blushing the whole time.

     I finished stitching up her forehead and kept my hand on the side of her face. She tilted it and we looked at each other.

“I’m glad you’re okay,” I said.

“Thanks, I wouldn’t be without your help,” she said.

     She moved her face closer to mine, but I pulled away slightly.

“Ali, I am starting to feel for you, but my wife,” I said.

“Ramón, she’s dead… I am sorry, but she is dead,” Ali said.

“I know,” I said.

     Ali then kissed me, but I pushed her away.

“I’m sorry, but let me move on from my wife, so I can see where I will go,” I said, backing away from her.

 

I walked back to the training area, but I was cut off by Ricardo, Fernando, and several other spiteful men and women.

“You think you’re such a hero?” Ricardo asked me.

“Nope,” I responded, crossing my arms over my chest.

“Damn right, you’re not a hero!” Fernando snapped at me.

“I know that, I just said it,” I muttered.

“I want you to leave,” Ricardo growled at me.

“Really? Well, sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not leaving,” I said.

“You son of a bitch!” Fernando roared.

     He lunged at me, but I drew my crossbow; already loaded with an arrow, and aimed it at his face, stopping him in his tracks. Two of Ricardo’s men aimed their crossbows at me.

“This doesn’t have to be a bloodbath,” I said.

“It won’t you will die before too many of us die,” Ricardo said with utter calmness.

“Oh trust me, plenty of you will die,” Ali said with her daggers in her hand.

     One of the archers aimed at her, but the second still had me in his sights.

     Rosa then appeared behind the archer and pressed the edge of her blade against her throat.

“Move and I slit his throat!” she snapped.

     All of the revolutionaries appeared with their weapons and easily outnumbered Ricardo’s men.

“Ricardo, I have had enough of your vengeful desires against Ramón,” Ali said.

“Bitch, just shut up!” Ricardo snapped.

     I aimed my crossbow right at his face and brought my blade out to keep Fernando back.

“Aww, how sweet that you have this murderer to protect you. I saw you this morning, fucking in the spring,” Ricardo responded.

“I will put an arrow in your skull!” I snapped angrily.

“Ooh, touched a nerve,” Ricardo teased.

     Fernando snickered.

“Ricardo back down, now!” Ali shouted at him.

“No, I don’t think I will, your tyranny over these poor people is over! You bring in the very murderer who has put half of us into the hell we are in right now and expect us to train with him! No, that is not how it works!” Ricardo snapped.

     His people agreed loudly.

“I am going to lead an offensive right into the Holy Church’s throat!” Ricardo snapped.

     His people agreed loudly again.

“No, if you do that, you will all die!” Ali snapped.

“Ali, let him kill himself and all of his people,” I said.

“Ramón, no, I cannot allow that to happen,” Ali said.

     I put my weapons away and backed away.

“Go ahead, go up there, attack the Holy Church, and die,” I said.

     I glared at Rosa who backed away from the archer.

“Go, and get every one of your followers killed!” I snapped at Ricardo.

“Let’s go,” Ricardo said.

     His followers pushed past us and he stood next to me, facing the opposite direction.

“The moment the Church falls into the fires of Hell, I will personally throw you into the pit,” he said to me.

“Just don’t reveal where we are hidden, if the Church finds us, they will kill all of us… even the kids,” I said.

“Oh, don’t give me that. You do not care about anybody here, but yourself,” Ricardo spat in response.

     He pushed past me and led his hundred followers out of the catacombs.

“Please, don’t leave!” Ali called after them, grabbing onto some of their shoulders.

     They just pushed her to the ground. She sat there on her knees and watched them disappear.

     I walked over to her and placed a hand on her shoulder.

“Come on,” I said, helping her to her feet.

     She was starting to sob and I led her back to our quarters.

     She broke down completely and sat down on my mattress. I sat next to her and just looked at her.

“I was supposed to protect everybody,” she sobbed.

“And you have,” I said.

“They’re all leaving to be slaughtered!” she screamed at me.

“You cannot hold yourself accountable for their choices, their mistakes,” I responded.

“But it is my mistakes that led them there,” she said.

     I knew that she meant me. I didn’t take any offense to that.

“Well, we need to forget about all of our mistakes,” I said, placing my hand on her shoulder.

     Ali just looked at me.

“I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. I killed people because someone told me to, I wasn’t there to protect the woman I loved from being assassinated, I’ve done things most people cannot live with,” I said.

“How do you live with them?” Ali asked me.

“I don’t know… stubbornness, will, or maybe this whole damned thing down here!” I exclaimed.

“Hell it could be my desire to kill all those bastards from the Holy Church, it could be the grief I feel every second I go without my wife, it could be all the tension that is injected into my eye sockets from everyone down here, or maybe it could be that I’m starting to think that I love you!” I shouted at her.

     Ali looked at me, blinking several times in surprise.

“Oh well, my mistakes are in the past… I will not dwell on them, I refuse to dwell on them,” I muttered, standing to my feet.

“Ramón!” Ali called after me.

“What?” I asked her.

“You just said that you were starting to think that you loved me,” she said.

“So what, not the kind of recreational activities, remember?” I asked rhetorically, walking away.

     Ali followed me back to the training field.

“Are you going to save those people!?” a man called out to me immediately.

“No, they made their choice, let them suffer from the consequences,” I responded.

     I looked at Rosa.

“Rosa, you’re going to be in charge of instructing the ones who chose a sword. Ali, you will be in charge of the ones who chose daggers. I will be in charge of the ones who chose crossbows,” I said.

“Got it,” Rosa said, leading off about a hundred and fifty people to instruct and train them.

     Ali nodded at me and led about a hundred other people, mostly women, to instruct and train them.

     I was left with about fifty people to train to aim, fire, reload, aim, and fire again using a crossbow effectively.

 

Ricardo and Fernando stood in front of his followers just outside of the walls of the Holy Church.

“Draw weapons!” Ricardo called out and everyone drew their weapons.

“It’s time to send these religious fanatics to Hell!” he shouted, leading the charge.  

 

 

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