From Atop The Ashes (Riknas and saro007)
From Atop The Ashes
An aged man muttered to himself. He had a thick, black beard with peppers of gray in it; his face was wrinkled and spotted with birth marks that did nothing to improve his appearance, and his nose was steep like a cliff. He was far from being withered and old, but just the same, he was far from being young and energetic. His eyes and hair were hidden under the hood of a thick brown cloak like they always were. "People. Lots of people in this city. Dozens, maybe hundreds. Mindlessly scurrying about like ants..." he said from the shadows of an alley way.
Of course there were lots of people. That's why it was a city. Cities tended to have a large number of people, else people would just call it a town, or a village. Clarifying a city had a lot of people was like mentioning you found a barber that happened to cut hair. However, Kentic had no intention of saying that to the man, else he wanted a good slap to the face. Frankly, Kentic was not in the mood for a stinging sensation on either of his cheeks. Instead he listened quietly as the old man rambled on...again.
"Remember this Kentic. Peace is a lie. It is transitory, just waiting for Chaos to take hold once more. These people...these 'peaceful' people," he said, practically spitting with the word "peace", "these people are living lies. And tonight we shall break this facade of theirs. Yes, we shall remove from the wool of their eyes, and awaken them with the blade of truth. It is a jagged blade, yes, one with many bends, and it shall awaken the people with...Kentic, are you paying attention?"
"Yes, of course. We shall awaken them with the jagged blade of truth," Kentic said in a dull whisper.
"Ah, very good...yes, now then, as I was saying..."
Kentic wasn't really paying much attention at all. It's just that the old man said his speeches so many times he had memorized all the important parts, and it was pretty to guess which rant he was on just by hearing the beginning, so he could tune out as much as he wanted after that. Sometimes he would play cards by himself, while other times he would merely watch the people around him pass by. This time he merely looked at his dim reflection in a tiny puddle nearby. His skin was pale and smooth, contrary to the aged man, and he had no hair on his face to speak of; nor did the aged man have the crimson eyes he had, all they had in common was their black hair, and the brown cloaks they wore.
'That...and a mission,' he thought to himself.
Flicking his wrist, a small ember appeared in the palm of his hand. Eyes trained on the flame, he watched it grow ever so slightly, larger and larger. Though Kentic did not particularly like the old man, he did enjoy the benefits of working with him... When the aged man nudged him again, he quickly closed his palm, extinguishing the tiny flame.
"Are you ready?" The aged man asked, apparently done with his speech.
"Why," Kentic began, as a smile crept across his face, "I thought you'd never ask."