Killer in the Shadows #7

Rome night

From the top of the hill the entirety of Rome could be seen. Ahead the river twisted its way past the city walls which stopped at its bank and snaked in between two halves of the River District.

As the poorest citizens occupied the cramped conditions by the river, the wealthiest inhabited the spacious hilltop over which the wide street ran. At the peak of the hill were several of the largest villas inside the city.

Outside one of these stood a senator dressed in a white tunic with a gold hem. Gold rings and a silver necklace flashed in the sunlight as he stamped a sandaled foot against the step. He had waited too long and decided to leave.

As he began to walk down the street he thought about the unreliability of his hired bodyguard. He would see how tough the man was when he chained him to the ceiling of his cellar. The thought pleased the senator. He would work the man over a bit. A good beating would teach him not to be late again.

The senator’s sadistic daydreams were suddenly interrupted. A stranger walked into him going in the opposite direction. They said nothing but continued walking at the same pace as they had before, without even turning their head.

The senator sneered as he watched the departing figure. He imagined the stranger chained up and beaten. That would teach them some manners. Thinking about beating his enemies cheered him up.

He straightened his tunic, thinking that he would continue his journey, but his hands slipped on the wet fabric. A wave of nausea made him double over. He looked downwards and saw a wide red stain blossom on the front of his toga. A small tear in the material, a neat puncture in his stomach, and a deep knife wound were the only marks the stranger left behind.

The senator fell to the ground. Blood seeped down to his legs. Passing citizens stopped to stare at the prostrated figure as bled out on the hard cobbles. On an adjacent street the hooded stranger wiped a long, thin blade clean on her sleeve.

PART 8

Read the latest installment of The Diplomat here.

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