Whirlwind Chapter 1

Threats Are Made

By Danny Asencio

The night was cold and dark. It was darker even, than the heart of King Delita III, who was currently sovereign king of Ivalice. It was the perfect night for killing. Kalia slipped through the night as silent as the dawn. The king's palace that stood at the center of Lesalia, the capitol of Ivalice, in addition to being easy to sneak into, was huge and ornate. The palace's opulence was its greatest weakness. After one had slipped past the perimeter guards, then moving about the palace was made easy because of all the statues, and curtains, and pillars to hide behind. Kalia took full advantage of these defense weaknesses to slip in unnoticed and unimpeded. With her training in the ways of the ninja and in the martial arts, moving about the palace unseen was no challenge. She slipped ever so quietly into the king's personal quarters. King Delita III was at a well-polished wooden desk studying maps of Ivalice. Kalia crept right up behind the king. She was so close that she could smell the expensive perfumes and spices used to keep the king smelling fresh throughout the day. Her fingers twitched as they moved slowly downward to her short ninja sword.

"Stop your foolish games, Kalia. We have much business to attend to," King Delita III said offhandedly and nonchalantly. He turned around, exposing his short, but yet elegant profile. Kalia stood absolutely stunned for several seconds. No one had ever heard her sneaking up behind them before, and certainly the King did not posses such skills as would allow him to sense her presence, did he?

" How did you know I was here!?" Kalia demanded in a tone that hinted at bloodshed. Her hand once again drifted downward to her ninja sword.

" I summoned you, so of course I knew you were coming…" King Delita was saying when he was interrupted.

"You summoned me, but how in the name of heaven and hell did you know that I was behind you!" Kalia demanded. Now she was in a full fighting stance. She suspected an ambush and her eyes continuously drifted toward the royal chamber doors. A bead of sweat developed on her forehead. It had been many years since she had fought her way out of an ambush, and she was unsure she still possessed enough skill.

" Calm down," Delita said half joking, "You give the appearance of a caged animal." Delita gestured toward a small pouch made out of fine silk sitting on his wooden desk. " Here is a small down payment for the job I am going to give to you." Kalia picked up the pouch with obvious disgust. She then proceeded to dramatically dump all the gold coins contained within the pouch all over the fine Bervenian rug.

" I don't work for your scum anymore. I retired from assassinating…no murdering," Kalia said in a dark tone. She turned to walk out the door when Delita's gloved hand landed hard on her shoulder. She turned around slowly and the expression on Delita's face froze her heart. His eyes were intense flames of burning fire that swirled in a freakish cyclone. "Wha…"

" You will comply with my wishes or you will not leave this room…alive," Delita said in a voice that was not his own. His eyes hypnotized her in a burning cyclone of fear. " You will kill the Duke of Fovoham. If you succeed then you will be generously rewarded, but if you fail…I don't think I have to tell an ex-member of the Assassin's Guild what reward failure entails," Delita commanded her in his voice, which had returned to normal. Kalia took several seconds to regain her composure.

" You are as foolish as you are rich, your EXCELLENCY," Kalia said in a sarcastic tone, " You have forgotten that no assassin fears death, and I certainly don't fear you." She unsheathed her ninja blade, and with a sudden, surprising conviction, she took up a fighting stance. Fear was in her heart, but she refused to let it manifest itself in her mind. At first Delita looked at her in a perplexed manner, but then regained his composure and continued in a business like tone of voice.

" If you do not fear death, then perhaps I should find something that you do fear. My spies have been monitoring you for some time now, and I believe that there is a certain orphanage that you have been sending money to every year. It would be a shame if the orphanage disappeared and all those poor, sweet, innocent orphans were to die," Delita threatened in his businesslike tone. He stared her straight in the eye to let her know how serious he was. However, Kalia did not need to look at Delita's face to know he was not bluffing.

" Fine! I will take the job, but I warn you not to trifle with me. My years spent in retirement may have dulled my skills, but I still have many connections," Kalia said in a tone that did not match her false bravado. Then she turned and left. Before she left she noticed one thing. A clear glass box stood containing two strange orbs. For some unexplained reason, when she looked at the orbs, an eerie feeling overcame her. She hastened her pace out the door. She then proceeded stealthily out of the palace. Kalia most likely could have walked right out of the palace. After all Delita knew she was coming, so the guards probably knew of her presence as well. She told herself that the reason she was sneaking out was to practice old skills that had not been used for years. Maybe that truly was the reason, or maybe something about those two mysterious orbs unnerved her. Either way, she had a job to complete. In the morning she would hopefully steal a ride with a chocobo caravan headed for Fovoham.

Chapter 2

Final Fantasy Tactics Fanfic