Earlier that day
She glided through the noonday sunshine’s oppressive heat, moving as if always cloaked in shadows, though the place had few, and as if even the ever present dust could not touch her. The open market was crowded—it was always crowded in shanty town—with yelling merchants and customers bargaining for every copper piece. Thieves were positioning themselves in all the best and busiest places, where they might cut a purse string without ever being noticed, or if they were discovered, where they could melt away into a swirling crowd of bright colors and flowing robes. Nihil noted the thieves clearly. she could tell with a glance who was there to shop and who was there to steal, and she didn't avoid the latter group. she in fact purposely set her course to bring her right by every thief she could find, and she’d pushed back one side of her dark cloak, revealing her ample purse—revealing, too, the jagged ash colored jewel-decorated dagger that kept her purse and her person perfectly safe. The dagger was but one of her trademark weapons, one of the most feared blades on all of Shanty Town's dangerous streets. Nihil enjoyed the respect the young thieves offered her, and more than that, she demanded it. she had spent two years earning her reputation as the finest assassin in Shanty town. Of course that was before the current police force had fully established itself.
She crossed the busy avenue, heading for a small outdoor tavern that had many round tables set under a great awning. The place was bustling, but Nihil immediately spotted her contact from Thultanthar, the flamboyant Sha’lazzi Ozoule with his trademark bright yellow turban. Nihil moved straight for the table. Sha’lazzi wasn't sitting alone, though it was obvious to Nihil that the three men seated with him were not friends of his, and were not known to him at all. The others held a private conversation, chattering and chuckling, while Sha’lazzi leaned back, glancing all around. Nihil walked up to the table. Sha’lazzi gave a nervous and embarrassed shrug as the assassin looked questioningly at the three uninvited guests. “You did not tell them that this table was reserved for our luncheon?” Nihil calmly asked, her face hidden under her cowl. The three men stopped their conversation and looked up at her curiously eyeing her up.
“I tried to explain . . .” Sha’lazzi started, wiping the sweat from his darkskinned brow. Nihil held up her hand to silence the man and fixed her imposing gaze on the three trespassers. “We have business,” she said.
“And we have food and drink,” one of them replied. Nihil didn't reply, other than to stare hard at the man, to let his gaze lock with the other’s. The other two made a couple of lewd remarks, but Nihil ignored them completely, just kept staring hard at the first challenger. On and on it went, and Nihil kept her focus, even tightened it, her pale blue gaze boring into the man, showing him the strength of will he now faced, the perfect determination and control.
“What is this about?” one of the others demanded, standing up right beside Nihil. Sha’lazzi muttered the quick beginning of a common Thultanthar prayer. “I asked you,” the man pushed, and as he reached out to shove Nihil's shoulder. Up snapped the assassin’s hand, catching the approaching hand by the thumb and spinning it over, then driving it down, locking the man in a painful hold. All the while Nihil didn't blink, didn't glance away at all, just kept visually holding the first one, who was sitting directly across from him, in that awful inhuman glare. The man standing at Nihil’s side gave a little grunt as the assassin applied pressure, then brought his free hand to his belt, to the curved dagger he had secured there. Sha’lazzi muttered another line of the prayer. The man across the table, held fast by Nihil’s deadly stare, motioned for his friend to hold calm and to keep his hand away from the blade.
Nihil nodded to him, then made a single motion for him to take his friends and be gone. She released the man at her side, who clutched at his sore thumb, eyeing Nihil threateningly. He didn't come at Nihil again, nor did either of his friends make any move, except to pick up their plates and sidle away. They hadn't recognized Nihil, yet she had shown them the truth of who, and something of what, she was without ever drawing her blade.
“I meant to do the same thing,” Sha’lazzi remarked with a chuckle as the three departed and Nihil settled into the seat opposite him crossing her legs. Nihil just stared at him, noting how out-of-sorts this one always appeared. Sha’lazzi had a huge head and a big round face, and that put on a body so skinny as to appear emaciated. Furthermore, that big round face was always, always smiling, with huge, square white teeth glimmering in contrast to his dark skin and black eyes. He was of the few mortal humans used by Thultantahr, mostly due to the fact the living can com and go more easily then the dead often could.
Sha’lazzi cleared his throat again. “Surprised you came out for this meeting so quickly,” he said. “Now to business. Our King would require a task of you, it would seem he has taken notice of the rise of this 'police force' within Shanty town."
Nihil only continued to stare at the man who continued after clearing his throat again. "He would have yo learn what you can of 'cops'. Assess if they will be a danger to his future plans or not. With the investments of the Death arcanist in his most recent rituals he has... accelerated his plans."
Nihil made sure not to respond to this news visibly, keeping a stoic face. Though what the man had meant interested her. It could only mean the Ancient King had finally made his move, which meant at such an early stage precautions would be needed. So it made sense to feel out possible future enemies now rather then later.
"I understand...I will what I can learn."
"Very good, I'm sure it should be no difficulty for someone of your skill." He said picking up his glass and drinking deeply.
The busy hustle of the day slowly faded as the sun set, people returned to their homes, closing shop or stalls. Few remained out after dark settled, surrounding it to the less savoring members of society. Walking briskly in short strides Nihil moved with purpose in each step. Having already set out to drop off a her package for her spy within the police force. It was too risky to meet with her informer in the open, thus more subtle means had to be used. She walked down a narrow alley way. Garbage, pipes, dumpsters, and refuge of all shorts littered the walls and alley. Nihil walked with her cloak tightly grasped to her body, no longer revealing her purse, but rather a long wicked looking dagger at her hip. Such candle still task demanded as little attention to be drawn to ones self as possible, but failing that showing you were armed was one of a sure ways to prevent trouble. Hence also was her choice of route through dark alleys rather then the open street where she could easily be seen by those on the ground or from windows to rooftops.
It was best to play it safe, at least until she had successfully delivered he message. Then it was a simple task for him to pick it up the following day during his patrol. She had no fear of the dark shadows, here she was at home, at her strongest, and none would surely would dare fathom attacking her.