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God's Assassin ★ 1

by Lightsong


An assassin was someone who killed an important person - such importance was decided by the assassin herself, or by those who paid for her service. It was different than being a god’s assassin, as your job was proof for your loyalty to your deity, the divine. Rila served for Xesar, the God of Wrath, and obeyed His will through his priest, Kestari Fexar. She was His right hand of judgement, bringing death to those who deserved it.

Today, she was to kill Gael Xikara, a student who came to prominence because of his late attuning to the element, and the element he was attuned to itself - ice, the truest element of Serra, the Goddess of Revenge. He was among the top five students of the Quasar Magica Academy and would graduate today. Perhaps he wouldn’t be able to.

Rila stood among the guests consisting of parents and children. She could spot the Xikaras, a family of two parents and a small girl - Gael’s sister. Her chest tightened from imagining what would it feel like to see your son or brother killed in front of you and how it changed your life, but she took deep breaths quickly, calming herself. This feeling of sympathy was normal - it had to be there, but only to signify her humanity, before be cast away, since it hindered her from doing the right thing.

She didn’t know what wrong Gael had done to deserve the assassination, but a god’s assassin didn’t question, only obeyed. Her curiosity could kill her. As she watched Gael receiving his badge of honor on the stage in front of the standing crowd, she moved into the edge of the field, an area that was slightly deserted. The sun shone from above and through the leaves of the trees where she stood now. After glancing around to make sure no one was observing her, she whispered the spell.

Seresta erventa, firenzi or cornanza.’ Her dull place seemed to twist - threads of light appeared from nowhere, surrounding her, before they moved around her. ‘Seleste revana or denize es farar.’ They increased from dozens to hundreds, wrapping her like a cocoon, and when all she could see was light, it vanished. As if nothing had happened. But she knew. No one could see her now.

She held out her hand. ‘Firenzi arwe.’ A ball of fire emerged on it, then shaped itself into an arrow. A single, glowing one, its tip directed to Gael. Her assassinating process was simple; her targets simply weren’t aware - and even if they did, it would be too late. She stared at Gael, a tall young man wearing a serious expression. She leaned towards the floating arrow, and whispered, ‘Lariza.’

Gael turned his head right at her. His eyes met hers.

The arrow flew. It passed through the crowd, but not in a straight fashion. Instead, it maneuvered whenever it was about to hit someone before it reached Gael. And when it did, aimed to strike his chest -

He shoved it away with his modified bow, attached to his wrist. Rila gasped. It couldn’t be. He might be aware of the arrow, but he couldn’t have blocked it. It was too fast - only she could follow its movement. Then how? She watched Gael as he mouthed something. To her.

Assassin.

Her eyes widened. He knew. But how? This was the first time someone evaded her deathly attack, and more, it was the first time someone knew an assassin was targeting. And he seemed to know where she was, could see her. Panic rushed into Rila’s head, scattering her thoughts. She closed her eyes and shook her head, before opening them again. No. She wasn’t about to ruin her mission. She could handle this. If an attack from afar couldn’t work, then she had to confront him. She smiled. If she was dangerous from miles away, then she was lethal up close. It had been a while too long since her daggers met their victim.

She took out the smoke bombs from her cloth, a loose creamy garment. ‘Falles.’ The invisibility wall dropped. She ran through the crowds, throwing the bombs around her and triggering screams from the guests. The guards in charge launched themselves towards her, but their efforts to catch or attack her were useless. Any space with light was her playground.

Ignis elfancio multiplis,’ she whispered, and in an instance, a dozen of her appeared, running just like her. Their appearance stopped the guards before the guards moved again, trying to catch all of them. They didn’t manage to catch her with all the smoke and the duplicates, except for one. She moved around to his back and swiftly cut his throat with her dagger before she continued her pursuit on Gael.

In no time she arrived. The principal had flee. It was just Gael and another girl on the stage - the principal’s daughter - who seemed to have no one to usher her out of this danger. Rila smiled. She knew her. Ilami, the number one student of the Quasar Magica Academy. Ilami saw her and moved closer to Gael. Both of them watched her in silent, as if expecting her next move. Perfect.

Seresta erventa, firenzi or cornanza. Seleste revana or engar batallica.’ The threads of light appeared again, wrapping the three of them, before vanishing. And surrounding them was another place, a soiled ground near the waterfall. She had transported them to another place where no one would bother her assassination.

‘Stealth; invisible, controllable weapon; illusions; teleportation.’ Gael nodded. ‘The god’s assassin impresses.’ He moved a step forward. ‘But you can’t kill me. You’re a fake assassin, a pawn by despicable humans. I, on the other hand, is Serra’s priest.’

Rila laughed. ‘This is no time for jokes, boy. I’m here to kill, not to converse.’

With that, she launched herself towards them, daggers in her hand. ‘Firenze wheelis.’ A pair of fire wheels appeared on her shoulder. One appeared in her hand, which she threw to Gael. He dodge, and the wheel stuck on the ground. She smiled. In a blink, she was at the spot of the wheel and behind Gael, whose back she sliced with her dagger.

He screamed and ran forward, retreating from her. Ilami moved towards her, a fire sword in her hand. She threw a fire wheel, but this time, Ilami deflected it with her sword, directing it to a place far away. Ilami whispered something but Rila couldn’t read her mouth. The mere fact alarmed Rila and for a safety measure, she retreated a few steps away.

Hotness. She could feel it below her. She looked down, and seeing the smoking ground, knew. She looked back and cursed to the similar ground. She was forced to move forward as lava burst from behind her, catching her to be made a victim. She had to get away from this unknown spell and confronted Ilami.

As she skirted around Ilami and away from the bursting ground, she weighed her options. Engaging a fight with Gael seemed to guarantee her a victory, but put this girl with him, it seemed difficult to win. They were, after all, the top students of the top magic academy in the country.

She had to separate them.

A/N: And that’s it for the first part! Yup, the star symbol is perfect for a bloodthirsty story like this one. Also, the original idea of the story is to have Rila having a conversation with Gael because the latter was the main character of the short story this one is based one, plus he’s actually a priest of a deity, but later on you’d see more of Ilami instead of Gael. Also, girl fight is interesting! I’ve never made one, so this would be a challenge. I think. Unless there’s no difference between boy fight and girl fight. :p


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Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:19 pm
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Lavvie wrote a review...



Hello Lightsong!

I think the premise of the story is quite interesting, although I'm not sure if we have a total grasp of it yet, which is just fine. Otherwise, it's a pretty unique idea for high fantasy and I'm looking forward to learning more about this world.

The biggest issue here is that there is a lot of information. You don't need to reveal everything to the reader right away, or else you risk sounding more like a fantasy history textbook than an actual story. While it's important that the reader has some backstory in order to have a basic understanding of initial events, oftentimes things just come out intuitively. I think you should focus less of telling everything all at once, and just allow the story to take you where it wants. Let it be less intentional, and you'll probably do a better job of showing whats going vs telling us everything all at once.

Because this is a short story, you don't have a lot of time to infodump on readers. In fact, a short story need not be so complicated because it'll ultimately detract from what is really important. You might feel that because of the fact that it is a short story, you need to deliver everything to the reader at once, but this is not true. The magic of short stories is that there is information you can leave out and the reader will still know what's going on, and that piece of information was probably irrelevant. There needs to be a lot more balance in short stories versus novels, because of the difference in length. They are different mediums, and therefore require attention in different places.

I have a few nitpicks:

as your job was proof for your loyalty to your deity


should be "to your loyalty"

but only to signify her humanity, before be cast away,


I think it would be better to write "to mark her humanity". Other note is that it should be "being cast away"

They increased from dozens to hundreds


I think it would be more straightforward to write: "Dozens became hundreds"

and even if they did, it would be too late


should be "and even if they were"

The principal had flee.


had fled

I, on the other hand, is Serra’s priest.


Should be "am" instead of "is".

Overall, what's really great is the originality of the plot and you have action right away which is lots of fun! You should just be mindful of how all the information might detract from the story and also be aware of when you're getting too verbose ;) Either way, this is a pretty exciting story.

Best,
Lavvie




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Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:42 pm
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Shota wrote a review...



I had to come read chapter 1 after I read chapter 2 lol. If you have any questions about this please let me know, I enjoyed it!

An assassin was someone who killed an important person - such importance was decided by the assassin herself, or by those who paid for her service.


This was an interesting choice of words for me, because an assassin doesn’t have to kill someone who is necessarily important. They merely need to kill whoever they are paid to kill. I assume you are implying that if someone is willing to pay for the death of someone, then that person becomes important? Just an odd word choice for me.

It was different than being a god’s assassin, as your job was proof for your loyalty to your deity,


I think “As your job was proof of your loyalty for your deity” makes more sense and has a better flow. Using “for your loyalty” just sounded odd and didn’t really seem to flow well.

Today, she was to kill Gael Xikara, a student who came to prominence because of his late attuning to the element, and the element he was attuned to itself - ice, the truest element of Serra, the Goddess of Revenge.


This seemed rather vague. I personally want more info, because I don’t know what an element is, why do you attune, why is it important or why does it matter? These statements leave me wondering, which can be useful if you plan to clear them up later.

Also itself doesn’t belong here, just, “and the element he was attune to was –ice,”

Perhaps he wouldn’t be able to.


I feel like Rila is decently confident in her skills as an assassin, after all she works for a freaking god. So saying “perhaps” almost sounds like she is doubting herself. I would personally have her be more confident.

Her chest tightened from imagining what would it feel like to see your son or brother killed in front of you and how it changed your life,


Just the wording of some of these sentences have an odd flow for me. I can’t point it out specifically, just watch your wording. For this one I’d try, “Her chest tightened as she imagined what it would feel like to see your son or brother be killed. How would it change your life if they died right in front of you?”

I wish I could be more specific in what I think, but I am struggling to find words, so I would just take a glance at the above example. I think it flows a little better, it’s clear and connects the thoughts.

This feeling of sympathy was normal - it had to be there, but only to signify her humanity, before be cast away, since it hindered her from doing the right thing.


This was VERY interesting to me. Because the feeling is needed so she feels human, but she also gets rid of it because it can hinder the job. I would love to see you dwell into this in the future. It’s a perfect set up for conflicting emotions and feelings to surface, and would be something interesting to explore as you write out this character. Why does she care to keep her humanity? Is it important to her that she still feel human? Is she afraid to loose herself to the killing? Something fun to explore I think!

And I think you meant, “before she cast it away,”

Her dull place seemed to twist


This was odd to me, I wasn’t sure what was dull and what was the place?

and even if they did, it would be too late.


Should be, “Even if they were, it would be too late.”

Gael turned his head right at her. His eyes met hers.


Loved this, I was like damn he saw her! Now what…

He shoved it away with his modified bow, attached to his wrist.


What he is wearing a bow at graduation? Why? Is this normal? I’m not sure since I don’t know how other people or graduates are dressed. I would love a little more insight into this!

Both of them watched her in silent, as if expecting her next move. Perfect.


Should be “silence”

Thoughts:

Maybe I am a big fan of info dumps or something but I want more! I also would love to know what the school is like. We are reading about who Rila is, an assassin, and suddenly she is in a crowd. I would love for you to describe the area, what it looks like, what are the people like, just to give me some context to picture everything.

Also you don’t really describe your main characters, and I would love a little description into their looks and WHO they are.

Thanks for the great read, I’ll keep an eye out for chapter 3!




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Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:06 am
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Kays wrote a review...



This is Nikayla here dropping in for a review!

So I originally went into this thinking this to be a novel without reading the label, though short stories are fun as well! I have to say first off that this is very quiet. I do hope that in the future parts we get a bit more dialogue since that seemed a little scarce. The first half of this feels to be a set-up for the rest and is more drenched in thought than anything else. At the same time, I do suppose this is about an assassin that is killing gods so I don't suppose they're much of a talkative character.

This reminds me a little of Kratos from God of War (a game I admit I haven't played though and probably won't play) since that seems a little similar in plot, though I still found this idea to be pretty fresh! I have to say that I'm on-board with Silver in the fact that you're telling a lot more than what you're showing in the beginning which is something that I find to be a flaw of many fantasy stories. The reader wants to be hit with a hook or something more interesting than a bit of an info-dump. The actual writing when in motion is pretty well-executed and holds a distinct style to it, so I have to say that I enjoyed that. The action is a high point since it tries to be very brief and quick instead of being dragged out.

I have to say that while I'm fine with the main character Rila being mysterious and a little unknown for this part, I do want to see more character development in the future since that's something we don't get as much of in this opening here. Be sure to give us more character later on since that's something sacrificed a bit of here because of the plot. A nice start to a short story though I am worried about the aforementioned issues being problems of what comes out to be the overall product. Silver is also right on the grammar errors and I agree with his suggestion there as well. The tone or tension here is strong already and I hope that continues in the next parts.

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! I hope I helped and have a great day.

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Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:42 pm
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TheSilverFox wrote a review...



Hello, Lightsong!

As far as plot and pacing, I absolutely loved this short story. The choreography was nice, the action was intense and fun, and I was impressed by the sheer variety of spells and/or weapons that Rila could use (as embodied by the magnificent line "Any space with light was her playground"). Too, I like the sensation that you provide that this fight is not necessarily in Rila's favor, thanks to Gael's also being a priest and having all the perks that come with it, as demonstrated by his skillful observance of her otherwise unnoticed tactics. Ilami isn't a slouch either, and her own intense competence already makes her look just as good, if not better, than Gael, thus leading to Rila's sound reasoning that she needs to separate them. As such, between the arrow and the lava spell, I'd have to say that the action is there in multitudes, and I approve of the creativity here. I am curious though, what language did you use for the spells?

Otherwise, I would like to note that I had two general problems with the short story. Firstly, you seem to focus on telling instead of showing at the beginning, though I don't mind the narrator describing Rila's nature and goals as it would be hard to otherwise incorporate it into the story. It provides nice exposition, but I wouldn't mind having a detailed description of the scene, which appears to be outdoors, and perhaps peek into Rila's mind a little more. How much does she like her job? What struggles does she have to go through as she thinks of her humanity? However, the story becomes a lot more descriptive and polished as it progresses (though I think it's quite clear why she would teleport the three to the waterfall, and you could simply have just said that there was nobody around to get the same effect). Secondly, I noticed that there were plenty of grammatical errors within the story. Your spelling is fine, but you seem to have a lot of issues with proper tenses and verbs. Unfortunately, it does interfere with my ability to read through the story smoothly, so I'd recommend either a spell checker or having somebody proofread your work.

Regardless, I enjoyed reading this! It was fun, nicely paced, action-packed, and I'm interested in the world that you've developed and the characters you've created. Well done!




Lightsong says...


Thanks for the review! As for the language, I just made it up. :P I'm only bilingual. ;-;




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