The Start of A Great Adventure pt 2.

Okay, the next part of my story isn't written by me. I had started to do a collaboration with a girl named Reka at Cornerstone University however, things got put off as far as writing went (college is hard enough without the addition of writing a novel to it) and then we lost touch.

So here's what she's written. I'm considering opening it up again to making it a group collaboration, in which you, the reader, will email to me the next part of the story, and then I will post the winner's contribution in the next week's continuation of the story, along with their name. Leave feedback as far as that goes in the comments. That's all, so without further waiting, part 2 of the story:

The guards spotted Shadow only a split second before they saw the lifeless body of the king.
"Get that man!" one of them shouted. His cry brought more guards running. Shadow ran toward a curtain, thinking a window lay behind it. He was wrong, and this mistake could cost him his life. He pulled his sword and prepared to try and fight his way out of the nightmare in which he suddenly found himself.

Shadow didn't know it, but a second figure dressed in black was watching from a corner concealed in darkness. The figure shook its head and the long graceful arms crossed over its chest. The dark knowing green eyes took in the situation that had formed before them. Five guards had joined the original two. The young assassin was up against seven trained guards and none of his training had prepared him for that. He was an assassin, trained to be invisible, trained to silently kill his victim...one unaware, defenseless victim. The invisible figure pulled a small crossbow and aimed it at one of the guards. The small arrow flew straight and true. The guards were not wearing helmets and it had cost this guard his life. The second guard fell just after he saw his comrade go down.

"That's two," the figure pulled its sword and stepped out of the dark into the moon light. The figure was still invisible; the only indication of its position was the piercing green eyes from behind a black mask. Three guards fell on this new threat, one of them went down immediately.

Shadow caught a glimpse of the figure. He quickly turned so they were now back to back rather than facing each other.

"Four left friend," he said. The new comer shot him a glare. The guards advanced on the pair. Within five minutes the remaining four guards lay on the floor, dead.

"You're bleeding," Shadow said to the newcomer.
"You don't look so hot yourself," was the reply. The figure began to move silently and quickly toward the only window which lay on the opposite end of the room. Shadow stood frozen to the floor. The figure turned to look at him. "You had better follow me, the changing of the guard is in ten minutes, or do you actually want to get caught tonight?"

"You're a girl," Shadow said in shock.

"Yes I am, and apparently I am a better assassin than you." Suddenly, they heard footsteps in the hall and then a shout too muffled to make out. Without further communication the two made their way out the window and down to the ground. "There are horses waiting for us," the woman whispered. They quickly made their way to the waiting stallions, mounted, and rode off into the woods.

They had ridden hard for about and hour and a half before they stopped. She dismounted next to a small stream and gently guided her horse across. Once on the other side she knelt down and began to cleanse the wounds on her arm and the three inch cut on her face. Shadow knelt next to her and began to cleanse his wounds as well.

"I was lucky you were there tonight," Shadow began, "Thank-you, I owe you my life."

She shook her head, "You're right, you do owe me your life. I don't know how you botched this as badly as you did. I was able to finish the queen and the rest of the royal family AND get into the king's chambers before you even entered the room. They weren't supposed to be found until tomorrow."

"The entire royal family was assassinated," Shadow was shocked. "Why would he send a woman to kill the rest of the royal family? I thought only the king was to be killed."

"You don't really think you are the only assassin that he has do you? And besides, why do you assume he tells you everything he has in mind?" Shadow remained silent. "Besides that," she continued, "apparently I am the better assassin, even if I am a woman."

"If the king hadn't woken up there wouldn't have been a problem."
"Shadow, your timing was horrible, of course, so is the timing of the rest of the male species." She rose from the side of the stream and looked toward the horizon. She moved quietly and strongly toward her horse.

Shadow stood riveted to the ground. She moves so gracefully, he thought. She quickly mounted her horse. "Get to your rendezvous point Shadow, you have three hours."

"How do you know that," he asked.

"I know more than you think," she replied. She turned the head of her horse and began to ride away.

"Wait," he called.

"What is it Shadow?"

"I would really like to know the name of the woman to whom I owe my life."

"Jael." With that, she vanished into the darkness, leaving Shadow by the stream wondering when, if ever, he would encounter this mysterious heroine again.

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