libera te tutemet

|| libera te tutemet || Aeliana & Maevaris

           Objective I . Eliminate Magistra Maevaris Tilani.

           Contract from an old friend. Must be good to hear from Cal again!
                                                                              – Caius Viridio

   She had asked Caius to read the objective to her three times. Three times it
   had seemed to echo through her head without meaning. (Eliminate Magistra
   Maevaris Tilani. Eliminate Maevaris Tilani. ELIMINATE MAEVARIS.)
Her eyes
   had stared beyond him, beyond the dwarven merchants hawking silver,
   beyond the marketplace where they were taking tea over contracts. (Why,
   Calpernia?)

Her boots padded silently along the estate rooftops of Qarinus. The night sky cloaking the coastal city in darkness, the sounds of the streets below muffled by the distant call of the sea.

   Calpernia was leading the Venatori. Or… was trying to. Aeliana’s stomach
   clenched and she excused herself from the table to retch into an alleyway.
   Another betrayal. Another mage she’d thought was above it all, was better
   than the altus had ever let her be. No different. She emptied her stomach
   before rejoining Caius at the small iron table.

The window was open. Aeliana dropped from the eaves of the estate to a small stone ledge and slipped inside, her dark leathers dancing with the shadows. The bedroom was… different than she had envisioned it so many times before. Somehow more beautiful. Fitting for the woman who slept there.

   They wanted Maevaris dead. They knew that they had failed one too many
   times. It was time to bring in steel. A magekiller. (And what better payback
   than sending the one who has been tailing the Magistra like a puppy?)
She
   cursed herself. Cursed the fact that she already knew what she had to do.
   Cursed the fact that she was en route to Qarinus by morning.

She waited. One dagger in hand. (It would be so easy to kill her now. Do it. Just cut her throat like you’ve done a hundred times before this night. Do it, magekiller. DO IT.) Aeliana dropped the dagger, the steel clanging loudly against the polished floor…

“Maevaris…”