She stood in the shadow of the keep wall and counted down the seconds in her head. Exactly eight minutes after Sielic entered the keep, she nodded to James and he gave the signal. The previously quiet courtyard erupted in chaos as the Loyalists attacked. 

She moved around the edges of the battle, keeping to the shadows, making sure the plan stayed on schedule. One of the Templars – Glenfiddich, a Dwarven Hunter – came out of the building directly in front of her and looked wildly around. 

“What’s happening?” He asked as he yanked out a sword and dagger. “Who’s attacking us?”

“Sielic,” she answered, concern and fear in her voice. “What should we do?”

He scowled at her. “We’re Templars! We fight!”

She nodded and pulled out her daggers. He took one step, two, then she slid behind him and slit his throat. He gurgled, twitched to the ground, died in a pool of blood. She wiped the blade on a cloth, then frowned. There had been a witness. A boy stood twenty yards away, frozen in place, staring at the blood in horrified fascination. His eyes lifted to meet hers, then he turned and ran. She yanked a spent arrow from the doorjam and threw it, catching the boy in the back. He stumbled and fell, then didn’t move. She nodded. It would appear that he had been hit by a stray arrow.

She glanced at the horizon. The sun was down, the fires were spreading. Any second now…Yes. Sielic and his guard lifted off and flew away. The last stage had begun.

She stepped out of the shadows and yelled, “Sielic is getting away!”

Some yards away she saw James fighting with a Templar. It was…Kanta? How…she shook her head. It didn’t matter. She ran forward and stabbed James in the back.  Pity – he had been a competent second. Ah well, there would be others. 

She looked at Kanta, concern in her eyes. “You okay?” He nodded, briefly. She nodded back, then turned and joined the pursuit of the fleeing Loyalists. 

Hours later, after the fires had been put out, the wounded had been tended, and the few living traitors had been imprisoned, she sighed as she lowered herself into a hot, well-deserved bath. The plan had gone exactly as designed. Soon the Templars – and the world – would return to the path of glory. Keljeri laid back in the water and smiled in contentment.

Author Sunscryer
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