Views: 1812 Shaco, the Demon Jester, part 3
Flashes of a blood caked knife with a gleaming edge, men falling with open throats, cries of pain and sorrow. Gliding through an ocean of bodies, all of them screaming from between clenched teeth and painfully twisted faces, lips pulled up tightly, wailing in a sadistic eulogy to the joyful damned. Shaco was an unstoppable force, killing again all those he had killed before. Strike after strike, his arms never grew weary, and his thirst was never slated. More and more he slew, going back further and further into his past, until he came upon a slight man with a pointed face, and a grin all his own. Shaco leapt forward to firmly plant his blade into the despised man's chest, but upon meeting the fabric of his shirt, the dagger faltered, and refused to sink into its rightful home. Looking up in horror, Shaco saw the man's grin spread ever wider, as he lifted his own knife, shining silver decorated with onyx and ebony runes, and plunged it straight towards Shaco's exposed throat...
A sharp bump yanked Shaco from his dreams, and nearly planted him on his rear on the bottom of the cart. He looked around to see his now familiar co-passengers, Aileen and her daughter, Brinella, who was now thankfully rid of her cough, and smiling almost constantly. Apparently she was on her way to see her father, who was stationed in the Noxus military barracks as a cook. Shaco supposed that, for some people, that was a happy thought.
"Rorin, you have been asleep for several hours. Having a pleasant dream?" asked Aileen. She was still completely fooled by the disguise he wore. To be fair, Shaco was playing the part beautifully. It really wasn't her fault.
He twisted his head back and forth, and massaged his neck. Sleeping while leaning against a window on a bumpy carriage was certainly not a great way to get beauty rest. "Well," he replied, "it was good, until it got to the end." A bit of honesty wouldn't hurt.
"Oh?" She asked in a concerned manner. "What turned it around?"
He thought for a moment to before he replied. "I came across someone I would rather forget." Or find and butcher like I should have done twenty years ago, he thought to himself.
Glancing out the window, he was surprised by the sight of houses lining the road, and a massive wall surrounding a metropolis in the distance. He had slept longer than he thought. Back again to Noxus, he thought. Been awhile. I wonder if that cafe that sells my favorite crab claw soup is still in business? It should still only cost a few copper.
Slowly but surely the caravan rolled its way up the road, and eventually reached the main gates. After a relatively short stop for security purposes, they were allowed to pass. They were taken roughly a mile into the city, and the journey ended at the trading post the line buggy business was stationed out of. Shaco stepped out, and took a deep breath of the... pungent aroma that permeated the city. A uniquely Noxian mix of trash, sewage, and sickly sweet dried blood. He couldn't help himself... His teeth shone in a wide smile. Some of his best contracts had been in this city, and was generally where he spent a large amount of his down time, back in the day.
Taking a side street he was very familiar with, he walked about a block before he reached a large armored building, heavily fortified with guards, both living and automated. A classic Noxian bank. He passed through the large heavy double doors and into the grand foyer, where a row of tellers lined the back wall (behind solid steel and impact resistant glass, of course). He headed to the far right, where if memory served him, an old friend would be dutifully at his post. Sure enough, there he was, an old, gray furred Yordle by the name of Phlex.
Nose buried in paperwork, he hardly took notice of Shaco when he walked up to the counter. "I'll be with you in a moment", he said gruffly.
"That's fine, Phlex, take your time. But not too much time, I'm kind of on a schedule."
At the sound of his voice, a furrow crossed the old yordle's brow, and the stamper in his hand paused in mid air. Before he looked up, he said aloud, "Well, well, could this be one of my oldest friends still left alive?" The first part of the passcode that they used.
"Of course it is, you old grayfur. Who else but Rorin would bother to know a tricky Noxian banker by name?" The second and third parts of the passcode. First, the use of the term "grayfur", which was seen as a term of great endearment to yordle kind, not likely to be used by any Noxian, and third, the use of the fake name Shaco was currently using.
A large smile crept across the old banker's face as he finally looked up. "Rorin, my dear friend, what brings you back to our humble city this day?"
"Oh, nothing too major this time, just delivering a package."
"Delivery boy? That seems rather mundane. Usually your business is rather more exciting."
"Usually. But the pay was too good to pass up. Would you possibly be able to withdraw some cash for me?"
"What's the amount this time?"
"Small. As said previously, I have a schedule to keep, so I can't afford to stay long."
"Ha, 'afford'. I keep tabs on your accounts, I know what you can afford."
Shaco feigned incredulence. "Spying on my accounts! How dare you! I was sure I could trust my noble banker! You have disappointed me this day, Sir."
Phlex chuckled. "Well your first mistake was trusting a banker. We are skeevy little bastards, you know. Haven't you heard the word on the street? We exist to drain money from the populace, even though we give people money just for keeping theirs in our guardianship."
"Very true. Well, little spy, chop chop with the cash I have so trustingly given to you to keep. Timetables and all. Oh, and if you wouldn't mind putting this in my personal storage?" He held up a sack that contained all of his knives and other assorted deadly gear. He was headed to the Noxian Intelligence headquarters, and if they so much as found a toothpick that was too sharp on him, he would be imprisoned and likely executed for attempted murder of a government official.
The yordle pushed out a tray from the wall, and Shaco put his weaponry in it. Phlex pulled it back, and picked it up, weighing it in his hands. "Well well, what kind of storage are we asking for here? High priority, short term?"
"Just short term. Those are my toys, I'll be back for them before the day is out. Wouldn't think of being in this city for too long without those. Lots of dangerous people walking the street."
The diminutive yordle hummed a little laugh as he hopped down from his stool and walked back to the vaults, sack in tow. A short time later, he returned with five small leather bags, each holding 200 gold coins. "There you are, Rorin. That should hold you over for a couple of days. Have some fun while you are here! All business and no play, and all that drivel."
"Ah, but my friend, you seem to have forgotten. To me and what I do, work and play are one in the same." Shaco scooped up the bags, and reached his hand through a small gap in the bars to shake Phlex's hand with a thank you. As he walked out, he put four pouches into secret pockets sewn into his shirt, having palmed the fifth one into the yordle's hand for the trouble. He had no clue whether or not the gray furred little man-beast was actually fond of him, or if he was simply an actor of stature fit to rival Shaco himself, and just kept on the demon jester's good side for the cash and safety. Honestly, there was alot of risk for him, keeping up all of Shaco's accounts in all of his fake names. But, being who and what he was, numbers and forgery came easily to him.
No matter. Really, whether or not he liked him, he did everything Shaco needed, so it was irrelevant. Keeping up a smile and humming a tune, he walked out of the bank with a skip in his step. The living guards regarded him with clearly open curiosity... Skipping in Noxus was nearly a crime. Walking and skipping his way down the streets, he made towards his destination with glee. His schedule was... Well, right on schedule. As long as he got back on a buggy to the Institute tonight, he should be back in exactly one week from his departure.
Suddenly, a man stepped around a corner in front of him, wearing worn out thick leather clothing, and holding a gleaming, jagged looking dagger in one hand. "Well well, look what we have here. A tourist. And from the jingling I hear from your ridiculous skipping, it sounds as if you've got quite a lot of cash on you. Sounds about like a little less than a thousand gold coins."
Wow, thought Shaco. That's pretty damn impressive. I don't even really want to kill the guy for threatening me. Talent like that is hard to find. Laughing out loud, he clapped his hands, and bowed to the would-be crook. "Very impressive, sir. As a matter of fact, I have 800 gold coins stashed away on my person. Your ears are honed to a fine point."
"Of course they are," said a voice from behind him. "Do you know who this guy is? He is Vash DeLile, Noxian famous Heist Master, soon to be world famous!"
"Shut up you idiot!" Said Vash. "What if I wanted to let this guy live? He's got an appreciation for the finer things in life, and I kind of like the man. Now that he knows who I am, I have to cut his throat."
"But boss, you need a name for yourself! You need to break out of this petty ****, and get in the big leagues!"
Shaco found himself amidst an apparently already long standing argument. Content to watch them fight and be entertained, he leaned against a wall and made himself comfortable. The 'idiot' in question was a scrawny looking teenager who was attempting (and failing) to grow a man's beard. Shaco could see his points, but the boy was going about it all wrong. You didn't argue with your superior by making bold points. You trick him into thinking that your opinions are his own. The boy had to die, he was clearly dragging this promising Vash character down.
"Boy, you're lust for power is clearly apparent, as is your lazyness", Said Shaco.
The man-child looked over at Shaco, giving him an incredulous look. "Excuse me, moneybags? What was that?"
Shaco looked over at Vash, to see him giving him a slightly curious, yet patient look, almost as if he truly wanted to know what Shaco saw. So he continued. "Well, child, you are pushing him to make something of himself, which would be nice of you, if you weren't pushing so damn hard. Since you are so insistent, you must have some personal motives in mind. So what you want to do, is convince him to move forward, and perhaps do something as important for the criminal economy as start a syndicate. Where you come in, is sitting right on his coattails as he blazes forward. You, as his currently oldest henchman, I assume, will likely be given a cushy management job, and get to share in some of his glory, before you slit his throat one night and take his place. You're as easy to read as an infant's picture book."
The boy looked like his eyeballs were about to pop out of his skull, and blood shoot out of his ears. He sputtered for a moment, before he shouted "Bastard! How dare you accuse me of using my master! My mentor! I would never do something like that to the man I revere most in the world!"
"Ha, so what are you going to do about it, boy? Kill me?"
He stood there panting for a moment before he replied, in a tone filled with murderous rage, "Yes. Yes, you foolish little man. I'm going to kill you, rip your body to shreds, and feed it to the rats in the sewers."
With a yell, he ran forward, drawing a knife as he went. Shaco stood still, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed till the last second. As the boy's arm arced down for a slice, Shaco caught his wrist, side-stepped, slammed his hand into the side of the boy's head, and smashed his face into the wall. Gripping his hair, Shaco pulled him off the wall, and viciously pummeled the boy's face with his free hand, until his arm was holding up dead weight. Regarding the toothless, mangled mess with distaste, he opened his hand and let him go, dumping him onto the ground like so much butchered meat.
Turning calmly, he regarded Vash with expectancy. "Well? Aren't you going to try to avenge you're minion's death?"
Vash sighed, and crossed his arms over his chest. "Well, that was the last act of a long line of hot headed foolishness. The brat was going to get me killed eventually, and I was likely going to end up wasting him myself sometime in the near future. But, I had planned to do it after I had procured a replacement. He may have been a fool, but he ran my errands, and got me the things that I needed. I will need some payment to get me by until I can find a suitable lackey."
"More suitable than him? Ask the next person you see, and I'm sure he will get you farther. But, the request is reasonable." He pulled a purse out of one of his sleeves and tossed it to Vash. "There. 200 gold coins. That should pay for the boy."
Vash caught it, and weighed it in his hand, apparently checking to see if it truly did hold 200 coins. He smiled, and gave a little chuckle. "Sucker. I would have taken 50. Well, have a nice day."
"And you as well, Mr. DeLile. Perhaps we will meet again someday." Shaco walked forward past Vash and into the open street. Before he got there, he turned and said, "Oh, and if you ever need someone killed, look me up at the Institute of War. We could have a laugh or two there."
Vash, who had been lightly tossing the bag, stopped cold. Laughing deep in his throat, Shaco continued on his way, knowing the message had been received.
A short time later, Shaco found himself at his destination. A large, dreary looking concrete block of a building with few windows, set in the middle of a large barb wire fenced court yard. The Noxian Central Intelligence headquarters. Coming up to the gate, he found himself face to face with two extremely large bull-headed men. The image of Alistar was immediately conjured in his head, but these massive examples of bovine humanoids made Alistar look like a toy. As he approached, they took the wide bladed 10 foot long hauberks they carried like tooth picks and crossed them in front of the gate. The one on the left said, in a voice that sounded of gravel being ground across an iron plate, "State your name and business, stranger."
Shaco pulled an official looking note from his sleeve, broke the seal, and held it out for one of the guards to take. "My name is Rorin Averson, I have a delivery to make to a Master Jenix, from his friend at the Institute of War."
The two gave each other a look that made Shaco raise his eyebrow. There was more said in that simple glance than words could say in an hour. It was almost as if they were surprised he was there. The one on the right took the note from his hand, looked it over for a minute, before he passed his hand over the lock on the gate, undoing the complicated piece of techmaturgy with a spell likely only he and his companion knew, and stated, "Proceed to the front doors. Let the secretary know who you are, and who you intend to see. And no funny business. We don't care who you are, if you so much as look at someone funny, our janitors will be cleaning you off the walls with a mop."
Shaco held his hands up by his head as he walked by, implying his compliance. "Nothing funny from me, no sir" he said. What a couple of idiots. They should learn to smile more. And I would love to teach them. But, alas, I have to put my need to help others to the side for now. I have much bigger fish to fry. So close now.
The inside of the building looked just like the outside did. Cold, stark, and sparse. Personal comfort was at a minimum. The bench against the wall was bare wood, and was worn to the point that it gave the impression that the people inside were lucky they got a place to sit at all. The secretary was about as cold, as well. She took the note, and walked through a door behind her. She returned a short time later, and told Shaco to proceed through the one door in the room that he could walk through (the counter the secretary was behind was completely sealed in, no way to get to the door behind it), and wait for someone to search him before being lead to see Mr. Jenix.
Shaco did as he was told, and didn't have to wait long before he was frisked... Exceptionally well, by a man that appeared to enjoy his job a little too much. The only thing missing was the complimentary rectal exam. After he was given a clean bill of health, so to speak, the man locked a gem encrusted solid silver shackle around his neck. Immediately Shaco felt as though his senses had been dulled, and a part of himself seemed to go missing; something in his insides that he never really noticed before, but now left an aching hole. A magic suppressor. Shaco had experienced them before, but it was not an experience he was entirely used to, nor did he want to be. Being "normal" was quite a sad experience.
The man who Shaco had named in his head "Uncle Touchy" lead him through a maze of corridors, each one looking exactly like the last dozen, until they came upon a strikingly ornate set of double doors. Well, "ornate" may be too strong of a word. There were a few simple shapes sunk into the darkly stained wood, but in this place, that was about as extravagant as it could get. Uncle Touchy said, "Master Jenix is expecting you," as he gestured towards the doors.
Shaco straightened his vest, and knocked twice. A deep voice said, "Enter", and Shaco pushed his way though, to find himself inside one of the most curious government offices he had ever seen (and his previous job led him inside ALOT of government offices).
There were bookshelves lining every wall, and seemed to hold more pieces of techmaturgy than books. Little gadgets and gizmos, some that looked fairly harmless, and some that looked incredibly sinister, even to Shaco. The floor was covered with the largest bear pelt he had ever seen, and the desk was a large granite slab set atop mahogany carvings of four weeping angels, their faces twisted by the burden they bore on their backs, their wings spread along the edges of the granite to try and take the piercing pressure off their shoulders. And yet, amidst all this, the man behind the desk looked almost normal. The image was quite jarring. Not particularly tall, not particularly fat or skinny, the man was dressed as any government agent should be: Black silk shirt and black silk pants for a base, and his personal taste had lead him to garnish the outfit with a dark burgundy vest. He stood to greet Shaco and reached out to shake his hand.
"Mr. Averson, it's a pleasure to finally meet you." Shaco shook his hand and noted a surprisingly firm grip, and calluses on his hands, his fingertips and palm joints in particular. So he was an avid magic user... and not the friendly kind, either.
"Yes sir," replied Shaco. "And a pleasure to meet you as well. My employer sends his regards."
"And how is Allerwith, anyway? He seems so secretive sometimes."
Allerwith. THAT slimy little bastard. I should have known, thought Shaco. "Oh, he is totally fine. Completely caught up in his work, you have to remind him to eat every other day or so."
Jenix laughed, and said "Well I suppose that's why he hired you, right? That and do most of his work for him. I've read your research papers, quite impressive, I've actually used some of the principals you laid out for some inventions of my own."
This is going to be alot easier than I could have possibly hoped for, thought Shaco. The man seems to practically have a crush on me. "Well, thank you, Sir. I appreciate it. Just trying to help the world, and all that. But honestly Allerwith is an intelligence all his own, I even don't understand a few of the things in his latest project."
"Which you have for me today, correct?" So that's what I've been carrying around. Man, this guy gives up information like it's his job.
"Absolutely. Here you go." He reached into his shirt and pulled the package out from behind his belt and handed it to the surprisingly amiable man across the foreboding desk. He took it and immediately placed it into a lockbox behind his desk, and pulled out a box of his own, and handed it back to Shaco. "Payment, as promised." Shaco took it, and was surprised by how heavy it was. It was about the same size as the last one, but weighed easily three times as much. There must be a small fortune in there. Losing his composure for a brief instant, he let a small look of surprise cross his face. Noticing this ever so slight crack, Jenix asked, "Is something wrong?"
Internally beating himself to pieces for letting his act falter, he thought quickly through his options, before he settled on a partial truth. "Allerwith didn't tell me that I would be bringing back his payment. Somehow this makes me more nervous to carry than the project did."
Jenix gave a small laugh, held out his hand and said, "Well, if it makes you too nervous, I would be happy to hold on to it for you!"
Relieved that he chose the proper response, he held the box tighter and said jovially "No, no, that's unnecessary, I think I can manage."
Jenix pulled his hand back and said, "Well, if you're sure. But I believe our business is done here. I'm a busy man, and I'm sure you want to be on your way back to the Institute. Have a safe trip."
Knowing he was being dismissed, he bade the man fair well, and headed back out of the strange office and into the waiting gaze of Uncle Touchy, who lead him back to the examination room and removed his choker. Feeling like a new man now that he had his magic back, he set out past the secretary and the bovine guards, and made his way to his favorite cafe for a bowl of soup, a sandwich, and a cup of coffee before getting back on the buggy home.
Sebastian Jenix sat behind his desk, fuming beyond words. The bastard Rorin actually made it to Noxus? How? The bandit crew he hired to retrieve the package en route was well organized, and he made sure they were armed to the teeth. The payment he gave to them was a pithy amount, compared to what he had agreed to pay for the listening device being delivered itself. Allerwith was a fool as far as politics go, but his scientific knowledge was unsurpassed in many areas, and magic and techmaturgy melding was certainly one of them. Now, not only was he forced to pay for the full amount of the listening device, but he also had to eat the cost of the bandit crew. Assuming he couldn't find them and rip the money back from their smoldering corpses. Suddenly there was a knock on his door, and his secretary's head poked in. "There are a couple of men in to see you. They seem in a hurry, and pretty badly beat up. They said it was an emergency."
Having an inkling of who it was, he said "Let them back".
A few minutes later, it almost sounded as if someone was trying to break his door down. "Enter," he said, irritated. Two men that belonged to the bandit crew he hired limped in, each with a cast over opposite feet. "What are you doing here?" he asked in a none too kind voice.
Looking extremely anxious, the taller of the two said "Uh... Mr. Jenix, we have some bad news."
"I know", he replied. "Rorin Averson was already here to deliver the package. And I had to pay him for it. Would you care to explain exactly why I had to do that? Why the supposedly vicious, deadly gang of apparently mentally ill miscreants I hired failed to take it from him and deliver it to me themselves?"
The man pushed out the words as fast as he could, afraid that if he didn't get them out quickly, he would get crushed into silence by his employer's burning stare. "Sir, he just went nuts! The scientist guy, the one you just named! Our boss tried to take the package from him, and the crazy little bastard jumped on top of him and jammed a needle into his throat, then smeared mud over the wound to make him drown in his own blood! Then he just cut everyone left to ribbons, or broke their necks, or... Just, I don't know, the man was everywhere! I've never seen someone move as fast as he did. Me and Elsh here were lucky... After he cut our heels, he kind of forgot about us. We were able to keep our heads down and wait for him to leave with the buggy before we made our way back here. We came as fast as we could in our current condition."
The other, shorter man spoke, more brash than the first. "Yeah. Our whole crew is dead. Our boss is dead. We got messed up, our legs are going to take alot to fix, if we ever want to walk properly again. You didn't tell us this guy was as dangerous as he is. You gave us false information that ruined lives. I think that deserves some restitution."
The taller one looked at his friend as though he had just sprouted tentacles. In absolute horror, he looked back at Sebastion, pleading in his eyes.
He looked at the two men in front of him calmly. In an even voice, he said "So. You think that you deserve more than what I already paid you because you got injured. Injured on a dangerous buggy heisting job. Injured doing a job that routinely gets people killed. Injured doing something highly illegal. Am I hearing you right?"
The shorter man bolstered himself, and replied "Yes, that's right. If you had told us that little bastard was as dangerous as he was, we could have-" His words were cut short. Able to contain himself no longer, Sebasitan Jenix lashed out, long thin wires made of concentrated fire leaping out of each of his fingertips. He encircled them both in an instant, and pulled his flaming garrote wires tight, slicing the men to chunks and incinerating the pieces to ash in an instant. Letting the fire die, he sat back in his chair, heaving in anger. But that anger soon subsided as a question was raised in his mind. Why had he NOT known that Rorin was as dangerous as he was, if these bandits were to be believed? He had files on everyone of any kind of importance on the entire continent, and beyond. He called for Rorin Averson's file, and a cleanup crew. Neither his secretary nor the janitors asked any questions about the foul smelling ash pile on the floor. Noxian politics were often messy, even in the most literal sense, and those that worked for politicians-and lived for any reasonable extent of time-learned to mind their own damn business.
Leafing through the file, he found the obvious research papers, a few mentions of his presence at some parties and science conventions... And nothing else. Not a single damn thing about where he was from, how old he was, who his lovers were, nothing. This was both surprising and perplexing. He would have to make a note to pay more attention to this odd scientist. And gaining the attention of Sebastian Jenix was rarely a good thing for one's life expectancy.
Back home and back in his proper clothes, Shaco wrapped his arms around himself and smiled as he walked down the dark corridors towards the summoning rooms. It was so good to drop that bland, dreary persona, and return to who he was supposed to be. Now he was going to deliver the payment, get his new room, and vacations.
He walked into the same summoning room he had met Allerwith in, and whistled. "Yoo-Hoo! Mr. Mysterious! I've got your cash! Come on out and get it!"
"Shut up, you fool!" hissed a voice from the shadows. "I know you're here! You don't need to broadcast our business to the rest of the institute!"
"Oh relax, there is no one within three floors of us. Now how about you come out of the shadows and give me some good news. By the way, you're still horrible at hiding."
The same dark, hooded figure stepped out from behind a pillar. Still he preserved all of his features, keeping them hidden from Shaco. He still thought his identity was safe. Walking towards Shaco, he held his hand out. "The money, please."
Shaco reached into his shirt, and pulled out the package. It was covered in at least as many wards as the device he had delivered, if not more, to keep its contents safe. As he was handing it over, he asked "So, where is my new room?"
Taking it, Allerwith replied "In the lowest floor, farthest back in the western wing. The secret passage you requested is behind the largest bookshelf. But I am afraid I have some bad news."
He froze with his arm extended. What? he thought. "What?" He said.
"I'm afraid I was not able to procure your vacation times. Your absence this last week has caused enough of an uproar. Further time off is not possible."
Blood red rage filled Shaco, and his vision clouded over. "You slime tongued, lying sack of ****! You made a blood oath to me, that is not something to be broken lightly!"
Allerwith spoke in a calm, condescending tone. "Who are you to ask these things of me? We have rules. Regulations. I am on the council! I have the power! You are nothing more than a puppet, a ridiculous marionette prancing around at the whims of your betters! Of which I am one. Learn your place, play thing. Go to the room I have so graciously given to you and undo the knots in your strings. I'm sure the summoners are anxious for your return."
The nerve of this... this filth! thought shaco. But he calmed himself, barely, and thought through his options. He would get his payment, in one way or another.
Noticing his anger, Allerwith chose to rub even more salt in the wound. "And if you were thinking of doing me in in a fit of rage, remember. These chambers are my domain. I control them, I am untouchable, and any thoughts you might have of exacting some sort of revenge here would be futile. The wards inside this room surround me, as its personal guardian. Run along. Calm yourself in your new chambers. Maybe try to get Fiddlesticks to giggle, or something. I frankly don't care. Just take what you've gotten from me, and be gone. There is nothing else you can do to change anything."
We will see about that, thought Shaco. "You are a fool. Your identity won't remain hidden forever. Remember, I used to be the world's best assassin. Information gathering is second nature to me. So, since I can't touch you inside this chamber, I will contend myself with discovering who you are, and planning the best, most gruesome way to murder you."
He turned and walked briskly out of the room. Yes, inside that room, Allerwith's position as a Guardian meant that the wards woven into the very stone automatically shielded him from any kind of danger as soon as he stepped foot inside. And he also controlled the very nature of many of those wards, changing them to do almost anything he wanted inside the chamber. Most of them... except for one. The ward that prevented non-champions from teleporting into or out of the room. That ward was sealed off, no one in the institute, even the whole continent of Valorian, could alter or destroy it. And, of course, the only physical way in or out of the room... Was the main door. The slime would have to come out some time. And Shaco guessed it would be sooner, rather than later, to try to throw him off. He may have acted cool and calm on the outside, but no one could take Shaco's threats lightly.
He walked down the long hallway, then turned left, down another, even longer hallway. After taking a couple of steps, he concentrated, and separated his mind into pieces; The passive, instinct based thoughts of walking, breathing, heart beating, away from his more conscious thoughts of murder, revenge, and magic channeling. He felt his flesh rip open as magic, in its rawest, most pure form poured from the core of his being. An instant later, le looked over, and saw himself look back at him, and flash an award winning grin. He waved himself goodbye, and cloaked himself in light bending magic, becoming invisible. The worst thing about the arena was how badly hamstrung all the champions were when they entered. Limited in their abilities to an awful extent. While competing, the time he could stay invisible was limited to mere seconds. In the real world... The time was nearly unlimited. He sent his clone down the hallway at a reasonable pace, and leaned against the corner. The sound of footsteps faded softer and softer behind him, as his clone came upon the steps leading out of the dungeon.
He was beginning to doubt his instincts. Maybe he was growing rusty... But then, his instincts were indeed confirmed. Allerwith's blond head turned and peeked around the corner. He didn't know it, but he was staring Shaco right in the eyes. And what Shaco saw filled him with satisfaction. There was fear in those blue eyes. Apprehension. Tension. And relief, when he saw the legs and feet of the fake Shaco climbing the staircase, away from him. Shaco chose that moment to release his grip on the magic surrounding him. He kept his gaze locked on to Allerwith's eyes as he faded into existance again. The fear renewed, the horror grew, the realization of his impending demise became clear. Oh... yes, Shaco thought, Give it to me, baby, show me what you feel inside! Show me the ravaging desperation clawing from within your very soul! Drawing his blade and leaping forward in one swift motion, Shaco impaled his hapless pray, sliding his knife through Allerwith's stomach, and placing his hand firmly across his mouth as he slammed against the opposite wall.
He leaned in close as his victim struggled against his coming death, unable to concentrate enough to use magic to defend himself, and whispered in his ear: "I told you when we made the deal... If either one of us did not fulfill our end of the bargain, the blood that was shed on that day would only be the beginning. I held up my end of the bargain... I returned in exactly one week, WITH your payment for it. Which you did not inform me that I would have to be doing; it was a bonus. In return, you only gave me half of your end. Thus, here we are. Me, killing you. Oh, and taking that box of money too. If I don't have my vacations, I will at least be a little bit richer."
Allerwith mumbled something incoherently, his mouth still covered by Shaco's hand. "Oh, what's that? You want to say something? Fine. I suppose every man has a right to have a few last words." He removed his hand, and Allerwith drew in a ragged breath.
"What do you think you are going to do with it?" he asked. "Its walled off... protected-" He broke off, and coughed blood onto Shaco's face and shirt. Shaco took no notice. Composing himself, he continued- "Protected by wards more powerful than your barbarian, insane little mind can possibly comprehend. Take the box, and shove it up your ***. It would do you more good in there."
"Oh, shh-shh-shh-shhhhh," Shaco cooed, "Be silent, relax. The end is coming, my friend. And don't you worry about those wards, and that mean old box. I've got an answer for it, don't fret yourself."
Allerwith's eyes grew wide as blood began to bubble from his mouth, and he found himself unable to breath any more. He gripped Shaco's shoulder, and struggled even harder to push himself free from the wall. Veins spread along his corneas with the force of his mad fight for life. But to no avail. Shaco held tight, and kept the knife firmly planted in his belly. Within a few moments, his eyes began to blur and lose focus, completely bloodshot and red now, blood pouring down his throat and staining his shirt. As he began to slip away, Shaco lowered him gently to the floor to receive his final moments with grace. Much more than he deserved, but Shaco wanted the last thing this slimy piece of **** to ever see... was his smiling face. And so it was. As he passed on, and life fled from him, his vision was filled with a malevolent grin plastered on a painted face.
Well, that's done, thought Shaco. Now to retrieve the other half of my payment. He reached into the bag on the dead man's side, and pulled out the package he had become familiar with over the last few days. Yes, it was true that he had no clue how to undo the wards placed on the box in the conventional matter. But it was also true that he had a loophole, a skeleton key, if you would. He reached behind him, and tugged free the object that he detested most in the world from its home. As he brought it around and held it, he felt his essence pulled to it. A gleaming blade covered with runes so black they seemed to eat light, the ornate dagger's true purpose was even more sinister than its appearance would lead one to believe. Forged from pure silver, it was naturally a very effective magical conduit, and the runes etched upon it were voracious magic consumers. So powerful were they, simply being near it drained magic from you. The man he stole it from two decades ago was also an assassin of great renown, and this was his personal mage slayer. Shaco never used it on the field; he hated the fact that he was using it now. But, if a situation called for a screwdriver, a hammer wouldn't be of much use.
He placed the box on the ground, and pressed the tip of the knife into it. The box roared to life, fire, ice, lightning, and pure magical energy exploded from its surface, the wards placed on it activated by the small breach. But the hungry blade drew the energy into itself, sucking all of it in, feasting on the power. In a matter of seconds, the energy was spent, the wards used up in their self immolating defense of their charge. Shaco felt the tug of his own energy lessen... The blade's thirst was sated. For now. He placed it back in its protective sheath (protective from its owner's standpoint; it served to block the dagger's power), and picked up the now plain, ordinary package. Tearing it open, he looked inside expecting to find gold and silver. What he actually found was much, much more exciting.
Gems and crystals of all colors, shapes, and sizes filled the box to the brim. Some of them with sky high price tags simply because of their rarity and perfect cut, some of them equally as valuable because of their magical properties. He was completely astonished by the sheer value of the contents. It held easily twice as much as most cities could muster between all of its citizens' pocketbooks.
What in the world could I have possibly held in my possession that would warrant this kind of pay? he thought. Oh well. None of my concern. No matter what happens to the rest of the world, an effective murderer will always be a commodity. And I have to think that whatever was in that box, is certainly something that can change the world. That is the only kind of thing that could possibly cost this much.
Closing the box back and wedging it in his belt, he picked up the lifeless Allerwith and slung him over his shoulder. He set off towards his new room with a spring in his step and a tune on his lips. Good thing someone gave him a secret tunnel to the outside of the Institute. Makes getting rid of a body so much easier.