'Prodigy' was what some called her. But that was one thing she was not. Arno was only a person with two goals in life: revenge and redemption. She dedicated herself to the Order and made herself a tool. Perhaps, not a perfect one, but a tool nonetheless.
With her dedication and focus on her goals, no one got close to her. At least, not until one Shay Patrick Cormac.
“Argh!” shouted out a Assassin as a hidden blade drove its way into his stomach. Brown eyes tinted with flecks of cold watched coolly as the Assassin feebly laid on the ground.
“W-why… why are you working with the Templars? Your father was an assassin.” A smirk made its way onto the Templar’s face.
“It’s quite simple. You killed him,” The female explained as if saying it to a four-year-old, “Your war with my comrades is tearing my country apart. I am only trying to finish what you started, if possible.”
“You-” The Assassin never finished his sentence. A gunshot at point-blank range at his head. He fell backward from his knelt position.
“Awfully talkative today. Aren’t you, lass?”
“Explaining the truth to our enemies can have some merits… and good entertainment as well.”
Shay took his head in exasperation, “You’re even more bloodthirsty than I am.”
“What I have is not bloodlust. I seek closure and redemption. This is… my only path.” A hand laid on her shoulder as Arno got lost in her thoughts.
“I know. People like us… we have only one path.” Kindred spirits, they were. She smiled in content. While she could live without Shay, life sure would be a lot worse without him. He was the only one who truly accepted her even with her Assassin heritage. Shay understood what she went through, and she… was grateful for that.
Arno walked with determination as she made her way to her true father’s killer.
“Who are you?” asked the drunken man. She managed to catch him off guard. Unlike Shay, she didn’t have much honor. With her gender and lack of early training, fighting dirty was how she managed to keep up with her fellow skilled Templars.
“I am the one who is going to kill you.” Recognition seemed to dawn in the pathetic man’s eyes. It was surprising that he recognized the daughter of his victim.
She idly picked up a knife and expertly spun it around. She didn’t want his death to be quick. Arno had done many horrible things leading up this moment. Why not commit one more?
“Don’t do this, lass. You will not get closure from this.“ She gritted her teeth. The knife paused in its malevolent course to Bellec.
“Whether I do or not will not change the fact that he murdered the Grandmaster, my father.” Don’t get in my way, went unspoken.
“Arno...” Shay gently grabbed her wrist. He slowly moved it downwards and grabbed the knife out of her frozen hands.
“Let me take this burden from you.”
“No.” Arno was always good at quick-shots, so it was no surprise for her to swiftly grab her pistol and shoot Bellec in the kneecap. A painful scream erupted from the Assassin.
Arno felt no glee from the pain her victim was suffering from. But this was necessary, was what she told herself.
The female Templar looked to her companion in expectation only to find mixed emotions of sadness, resignation, and most shockingly... acceptance. It was only the last emotion that she let herself truly go free.
Bellec’s death wasn’t quick.
'Hunter' was now what her comrades called her.
'Assassin Hunter' her enemies sneered out.
Arno killed her biological father’s precious Brotherhood with a fervor that could only be rivaled by Shay Cormac’s devastation of the American Brotherhood.
A groan came out of her latest victim. The small bit of mercy, the human part of her that always twisted at killing even the Assassins, brought out her pistol and shot the dying Assassin.
“Arno.” The simple call of her name had her turning towards a very familiar voice.
“Gabriel.” By the time she uttered the very word out, the man already struck at her with his signature weapon. She ducked under the swing and quick-shotted his kneecap in a matter of seconds.
A groan of pain escaped Gabriel, but he still remained standing. A phantom blade, that she couldn’t dodge, bit into her shoulder .
“You are… You’re stronger now.”
“And you’re dying and not by my hand either.” Surprise flashed through Gabriel's face before residing on acceptance.
“You came here for a quick death, did you not?” She continued.
“Yes, and to take you with me.” Arno gripped her sword with determination. She would make sure that she got herself out of this fight alive. The Templar had people she cared about and couldn’t leave yet.
Just as she made to once again fire a bullet from her pistol, she found herself to not be able to squeeze the trigger. Arno’s hands were trembling and her legs could barely move…
Poison. The phantom blade had been poisoned.
But that was okay. She could still kill him.
It was only this thought that had Arno stumble over to the ‘Axeman’ and tackle him with as much force as she could muster. The hand pushing him over on his chest activated her hidden blade. A gasp escaped the dying man.
“I’ll see on the other side, Axeman.”
“I-” He let out a cough, “-think not. And you still call me… that. ”
“I remember you used to call me when you were just a child.” He continued.
“And I remember you doing nothing when Charles gave me to the Templars as a political hostage. A sacrifice.” Arno bitterly sneered.
“I tried to stop him. He wouldn’t listen to reason-” Gabriel cut himself off. Arguing must be pointless to a dying man, thought Arno.
He weakly gripped her pistol and brought it to his head and smiled once more.
“Smile, Arno.” A trembling smile made its way onto the woman’s face. Even though he was her enemy, to grant one last meaningless wish wouldn’t hurt.
“You always had a beautiful smile.”
A gunshot pierced the air.
And... as Arno lay gasping on the ground, only then did she come to the realization that there was no poison.
Arno didn’t get up for what could have been minutes, hours, days. The truth was that Gabriel was always there for her and she killed him in return.
“I am a monster.” she uttered out. From her field of vision, Arno could see a familiar pair of heavy boots.
Their owner knelt down beside her and caressed her numb face with bloodstained. He wiped a stray tear from the corner of her eye and leaned closer.
His hot breath brushed against the shell of her ear and Shay darkly whispered, “Oh lass, then what does that make me?”
Arno could offer no reply. And so they stayed there. Two monster, two hunters, and two kindred spirits merely being in each other’s company.
Furious brown eyes made their owner slowly yet ruthlessly walk his way towards her. The Assassin made a weak attempt to stop him only to be mercilessly killed by a shot of his rifle.
When her fellow hunter finally completed his path of destruction towards her, Arno closed her eyes for what was to come.
“You were going to let him kill you.” gritted out Shay.
“Yes.” She admitted, “He was my childhood friend and... I couldn’t bring myself to kill him.”
“There is still one more left.” I’ll kill him for you, went unsaid.
“Don’t. I will… take care of it. This is my fight and like you, I will finish it.”
“Do not force yourself to be like me, Arno.” They both knew that he didn’t mean that. After all, Shay was the one who took her under his wing.
“I think it is already too late for that.” Bitter smiles tugged at their lips.
First, it was Axeman. Greencoat fell ultimately by Shay’s hand or rifle some would say. Finally, the last of the great three met their demise by the hand of a destruction of their own making.
The Assassin Hunter sat by Icecream’s now cold body. Her hands forever stained with his blood as well as his comrades.
'Monster' was what they now called her. She merely accepted the name with an impassive face. After all, she couldn’t deny something that was true. But…
She wasn’t alone. Heavy and familiar robes went over her as if to protect her from the cold rain. Yes, she had another of her kind to keep her company.
And that was all Arno needed.