Jacob Landry's Blog
Ranger
[Diero] [Reader View]
The ranger sat alone at a small wooden table inside the crowded pub. Diero and his mentor watched him from afar, sipping on ales and listening to the idle conversation that surrounded them. A long bow was slung over his back, a knife stashed in his boot, and a heavy back on the floor next to his chair. He spun a golden coin on the table in front of him, starting at it as it spun but not really watching it. His face was long and drawn out in what looked like pain; despite the crowd he seemed to believe he was completely alone in this room, as if he didn’t see the other patrons that nearly bumped into his chair as they drunkenly stumbled past.

“What’s wrong with him?” Diero asked, setting down his mug and glancing around the room casually.
“That girl you delivered a while back was his niece. The butcher has fallen in line but the streets say he is planning to make a stand.”
“I see…” Diero trailed off as the ranger stood and wavered a little over the table, groggy from drink.
“He’s a formidable foe. There’s no shame in taking advantage of someone’s weakness.”
“What’s his weakness?” Diero’s hand checked his knife under his cloak, making sure it was easily accessible.
“Open your eyes. He’s drunk, he’s sad, he has to piss. In a few moments he’ll be alone in a dark alley with his cock in his hands. How much weaker does he have to get?” The old man glared at his young apprentice, his eyes filled with hatred and disapproval. Diero nodded his head, ashamed of the question immediately and filling with rage at his own stupidity. His mentor let out a low chuckle. “Use that rage to your advantage. Play on his stupor, if you’re drunk too you won’t seem a threat. And last, go for the kill. Don’t stab him in the back like a pathetic urchin.” Diero rose from the table, handle on the sheet of his blade, and discreetly left the pub. The ranger still wobbled at the table but was trying to turn and walk out.

As Diero waited outside the door, back to the wall pretending to get some air, he listened to the commotion inside. A rush of people headed for the door and he braced himself, unsure of what was happening. A force of yelling and laughing spilled through the door as it was kicked open and the ranger tossed out.
“Go sober up ya drunken buffoon!” A large man hollered, laughing as the ranger hit the muddy street and rolled, spraying mud in all directions. A sly smile crept across the young rogue’s face.
“Too much to drink?”
“Aye, he ‘fell’ into one of my waitresses. Just an excuse to get handsy if you ask me.” The man pulled the door shut and returned to his duties behind the bar. The ranger struggled to lift himself up from the mud but fell back down, face-first with a groan. Diero watched as he tried a few more times before he rolled onto his back and sighed heavily.
“Need some help, friend?” He tried to sound as cheerful as he could.
“No!” The ranger barked at him, abruptly sitting up then pulling himself onto his feet. “I’m fine…” With a nasty glare he stumbled past Diero, letting out a quiet burp and holding his stomach as if he was about to vomit. He stumbled into the alley and Diero checked the street; no one was paying him any mind so he crept into the alley behind the man. He had walked into the alley about ten feet and was propped up against the wall with one hand, draining his bladder into the mud below. Diero scuffed his feet and pretended to stumble, causing the man to look up and see another drunk shambling towards him.
“They throw you out too?” he looked away, staring down at the pool he was making by his feet.
“No.” Diero said calmly, slipping the blade from its sheath and deftly grabbing the man by his hair. It was long and greasy, giving Diero an excellent grip. He tugged hard and pulled the man’s head back, exposing his throat. The ranger let go of himself and tried to lift his arms to fight back but Diero’s knife quickly dashed across his open throat. The rogue promptly released the drunken ranger, a spray of red painted the wall of the tavern in front of him. He quickly and quietly wiped the knife off on the man’s green cape then replaced it in its holster, then left the alley as casually as he had entered.

“Much better.” His mentor commended with a smile as they listened to the soft gurgling of the man drowning in his own blood. “Maybe next time cut a little deeper into the left side, he’ll die quicker and won’t make such a racket drowning like that.” Diero nodded. “Great! Lets pay the Butcher another visit.”