“How much for that?” I asked, motioning to the obsidian blade on the wall. Someone had torn the dark green cloth that should have been wrapped around the hilt. That bothered me more than the fact I was about to pay for my own sword.

The scrawny man turned to inspect the fine weapon before he faced me again with calculating blue eyes.  I knew he was taking in my ragged cloths, scar nicked skin, and alcohol heavy breath as I leaned heavily on the stand.

“More than you can pay, I’m afraid. Move on,” the merchant grunted before a hiss hiss sounded as he continued to sharpen the dagger in his hands.

“I can pay. Name your price,” I said with more anger than I meant. I steeled myself before I met his gaze again. I wasn’t sure if it were the slowly fading glamor I had thrown over myself or the attitude I gave but I could tell he was rethinking his dismissal.

“Twenty gold,” he said, testing me.

I clenched my hands, the knuckles cracking in protest. “Deal,” I replied, annoyed that he would ask so little for such a powerful weapon. I dug in my pockets and slammed down the pieces, but kept my hand on them while I waited impatiently. I hoped he wouldn’t notice the blood on them. He eyed the gold marks before turning and pulling my sword from the wall. I winced when he slammed it on the counter. We stared at each other for a moment, both completely untrusting. He was right to be.

I pushed the gold to him with one hand and snatched the pommel of my blade with the other. The second my hand touched it, power shot through me. The inscription on the blade glowed briefly in a deep green against the black metal before disappearing.

I smiled in pleasure at the strength that flooded my body. The merchant stammered something but I didn’t care. I threw off my glamor with a flourish and stretched my aching muscles as they hungrily soaked up the energy humming from the sword.  I turned to find the merchant holding the half-sharpened dagger in his hands as he pressed his back against the far wall of the tiny stand.

“Thank you for holding Shade for me,” I said before I lashed out, closing the distance between us in a second. My sword buried itself into his chest with a beautiful song of flesh against metal. The man’s blue eyes were wide and, for a brief moment, flashed forest green before he slumped, dead. Very dead.  I withdrew the sword with a fangy smile and turned away.

Now to find those men who had separated us, and repay them in my favorite way.






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