Chapter 3 – My Pleasure
…4 years later…
Rasco sat in a simple wooden chair, back against the wall, with a full view of the fire pit blazing brightly in front of him – not to mention a view of the entrance and a straight run to the stairwell too. He had just been given a new contract and was told to meet an ugly, odd Orc to get the final details sorted out. But all Orc’s were ugly so he didn’t know how in Nirn he was going to distinguish one from another, but the Bridge Inn was well stocked and was a warm retreat from the winter air so he didn’t mind waiting.
Especially considering that this particular contract would be rather boring. The fun part about an assassination was the challenge behind the kill and getting away clean, but taking out a target in Cheydinhal was just too easy. He could put an arrow in the eye of one of the guards 100 yards away while standing merely steps away from the Sanctuary, easily able to slip down into the hall and have a cup of Cyrodilic Brandy poured before the guard hit the ground.
The young Breton recalled a time when such a task would not have been so easy, back when he first met the Listener himself…
“You owe me something, murderer.” Rasco struggled with all he could muster against the apparent paralysis spell the mage had cast on him. “Don’t resist too much, you’ll pass out before we finish speaking,” the man said while seeming to come out of the shadows without moving.
“And why would I want to speak with you, mage,” Rasco replied, still struggling with the invisible bond, “I have no business with you magic-types.”
“Oh, but you do,” answered the man. Rasco could now see that he was an imperial. “You see, you killed someone, someone you didn’t even know, in pure cold blood. This someone owed my organization money for a contract that we carried out at his behest.” Rasco managed to move one finger.
“Then take the gold and leave me be,” responded Rasco with more than a little frustration.
“Hm? Impressive.” The spell that bound him resurged with a new vigor, constricting tighter and firmly keeping his finger from being wrestled free again. “But you will repay me in a different way, I think, Rasco.”
He could not suppress his own shock. “How do you know my name? And how in Kynareth’s name would I repay you?”
“I know your name because the Night Mother told me, Rasco, I am the Listener. And repayment? A life for a life, taken in the name of Sithis.”
Rasco pondered this. “Do I get to kill an elf,” he finally responded.
“If you prove worthy after this task and only if you stay with us. We’ll even pay you too.”
He couldn’t believe his luck. Smiling, he answered the
Listener, “My pleasure.”
The memory was broken up by the sight of the ugliest Orc he had ever seen in his life. Granted, Rasco had not seen many of the folks said to hail from Orsinium, but still. This Orc was skinny even for human standards, with a bulbous head covered by a bright pink scar that cut his face in half from above his right eye to below his left cheek. His skin was a pale gray/green hue that reminded him of the Ashlanders and he wore patched clothing. He stood, maybe, at 5’10” with wispy hair that only grew on the sides. The only things he had on him was a curiously ornate Iron dagger and a coin purse, both secured by the twined rope at his waste. The dagger looked to be enchanted; it gave off a very slight bluish light. This Orc was definitely the uglieset and strangest one he had ever seen.
Ugly, whom Rasco had taken to calling him in his own mind, sat down at his table, uncharacteristically jumpy for an Orc. This should be entertaining
, he thought to himself.
“Well, she was right after all. She always is,”
Rasco said with smirk.
replied Ugly, looking around anxiously.
“The Speaker of course.”
Rasco waited for a response from Ugly, but the Orc just sat there with a blank, confused face, mouth wide open, not uttering a sound. Losing some patience with the ugly dimwit, Rasco proceeded with the conversation, “You have something for me?”
Ugly snapped out of whatever daze he was in, “Yes, yes of course. Here’s the money,”
he said, fumbling the coin purse over with shaky hands. Rasco peered inside, quickly counting out 1,000 Septims. “Th-that is only the first half. The rest will come after.”
He wondered how long it had taken this fool to come up with so much money.
There was a pause. “Yes, yes. Her name is El-Mei,” Ugly blurted out, “She’s an Argonian girl, very beautiful. She spends her nights in the basement of the Temple of Arkay. You-“
, he hesitated.
It was not a question; Rasco was growing very tired of this milk-drinking welp.
Ugly slid the dagger onto the table, “You have to kill her with this… through the heart… and leave it there.”
Rasco nodded, taking the dagger and sliding it into his own black leather belt, the Orc took his leave. Rasco pondered for a while, waiting for the night to come, this kill would be more interesting than he first thought.
Rasco decided he did not need any armor for this mission and, he had learned, the best way to look inconspicuous was to dress commonly, blend in with people. He wore his old leather boots, brown breeches, dark red tunic, and had the dagger sheathed in his belt. No one would pay him any attention.
Rasco entered the Temple through the front door and started towards the stairs. Spotting no priests, he quietly made his way to the basement. He still couldn’t tell the lizards apart very well, but he definitely recognized the voice of a high-pitched Argonian coming from the distance. He spotted her, praying in front of a coffin with a candle lit on either side. Stopping a few feet behind her, “El-Mei,”
he asked sweetly.
The small girl was obviously startled; she had not heard the Breton at all. Spinning around as she jumped up, she answered, “Yes?”
Rasco smiled the sweetest smile he could muster. “I have something for you,”
he said as he reached behind his back.
she responded with some surprise. “But how would you know where to fi-“
Rasco interrupted the girl mid-sentence, “It is a kiss from Sithis.”
Drawing the dagger, he plunged it through her chest, to the hilt, punctuating his sentence. The dagger glowed red. Too easy
, he thought to himself as he turned around. Looking up, Rasco stopped, mouth open, disbelieving what he was staring at. There, not 20 feet in front of him, was Ugly. This time the Orc was dressed in the fine robe of a Master Mage, a glowing green ball of magicka in his right hand, a matching blue one in his left. Desperately grabbing for time to think, Rasco said aloud, “Hey Ugly, don’t you owe me some money now?”
The Orc didn’t smile. Shit