Finals? *shudders* good luck.
I decided to look for information in the town's underground. After all, I'd worked in the underground business before. This was my area of expertise. As I left, I looked back. Aaron still hadn't moved, and was doing his best to remain inconspicuous. Something was on his mind for sure.
I made my way into the darkened and dirty alley streets on the east side of the town. Memories came flooding back of a time before. I felt a pit in my stomach and and empty feeling in my chest. I needed to get this over with soon, or I was going to be sick. I'd never taken a job from this place, of course, but it was all the same. The officials never cared about what went on in the slums, so that's where everyone flocked for their illicit dealings. Even the aristocrats themselves had places in these areas, albeit kept as secret as possible.
On the right, I noticed a dingy shop. The low flame lantern inside was barely visible through the grimy windows. The faded and barely legible sign above the door read "Mapps". Perhaps an innocent mispelling, but I knew better. This was a common sign in the underground that it was an information shop.
Doing my best to keep from trembling, I pushed open the door and strode inside. Show no weakness. Use intimidation. These people will take a man for all that he's worth.
The door slammed closed behind me and the shopkeeper, a lean and balding man, looked up at me. I stepped up to him.
"Tell me what you know about Eric," I said, keeping my voice low in attempt to hold a conversation out of the hearing of the other man inside, whose back was turned to me.
"And why should I do that?" He asked, staring from a pair of beady eyes.
I dug a few coins out from the bag at my waist, holding them out in front of him. "Tell me what you know and I'll decide how much it's worth."
"Alright, alright! Everyone's sure been interested in him lately. He's spent a lot of time in the mountains recently. He claims its for hunting, but the local rare game hunters say there's nothing there. His house is the northernmost one on Timber Street." I felt that he was holding back something, but the sound of a commotion outside told me that I didn't have the time to deal with it. I hastily threw the coins on my counter and made my way towards the door. Before I could, the other patron in the shop grabbed my shoulder.
"Tuuka Sudbyre, been a long time since I seen you. Thought you dropped out of the business." Cautiously, I turned around. Soft blue eyes stared at me from a hooded face draped with blonde hair.
"Marcus." A bounty hunter that I had worked with before, Marcus was as cold and selfish as they come. "What do you want?"
"As much as you tried to keep it secret, I overheard your conversation. I'm after Eric as well. What do ya think, why don't we team up and split the bounty?"
"No thanks. I prefer to work on my own."
"Listen, Tuuka," he pulled out a knife and pointed it at me. "It would be much more... beneficial for you to work with me. I won't ask again."
"Tough luck," I growled. He stabbed towards me in a flash. I jumped aside, punching with my fist into his gut. He stumbled back, gasping, but this wasn't nearly enough to take him out. As much as I hated him, he was a strong fighter. He advanced towards me, but I couldn't move back. I was right against the door. He made a stab again, but this time I swung my arm down to hit his forearm aside in a block. The knife was knocked out of his hand and clattered to the ground. However, I'd been foolish. I'd ignored his left hand, which he now clasped to my neck. Soon he brought his other hand up as well, completing the chokehold. I knew him. He was dangerous. If I didn't act soon, he'd crush my windpipe.
With my left arm, I drove my fist into his liver. His grip loosened a bit, but still remained. In response, he kneed me in the stomach. My head began to swim. I swiftly kicked him in the leg, and he doubled back, releasing the hold. While he recovered, he scooped the knife back off of the ground. I punched him in the head, before he pushed me up against the wall. His knife flew up to my neck. I punched faster, knocking him in the side of the head. The force sent his skull flying into the wall, where I heard a crack. He fell down to the ground. His neck lay snapped.
I retched at the sight. I didn't want to kill anymore. I hadn't meant to murder him. Thoughts raced through my head again. Murderer, heartless, cruel. The pit in my stomach grew, and I threw up, heaving up my breakfast. I was dizzy. I needed to get out of here.
Noises of commotion still came from the street. I still needed to see what was going on. I stepped outside, looking the right where the sound came from.
Hawthorn and Katya ran through the crowds, hurriedly pushing people aside. The shouting of guards could be heard from behind them. I sprinted towards them. "What-"
"Just run!" Hawthorn shouted.