Stepping onto the train, Cara looked for a seat but couldn't find one, the usual though, as the subway was always so busy in China. She held onto the bar as the train sped off through the underground tunnels.

"Hey, there's a seat here," a young Chinese girl smiled, patting the seat next to her.

Cara replied with a smile and sat down next to her, "Thanks"

"You looked like you needed to sit down," the girl said, "Been a long day?"

"Yeah, very long"

"Well you can relax now... On the uncomfortable plastic train chair" the girl laughed

Cara just smiled again at the girl's attempt at having a joke with her.

"I'm Mei by the way," the girl said introducing herself.

"I'm Tanya," Cara replied, knowing never to give her real name out to strangers.

Mei chuckled, "Now, why you got to start off our friendship by lieing to me?"

"Wha-?" Cara asked, but she was interrupted as Mei quickly pulled out a colt. 45 handgun from her purse, smacking Cara in the head with it and jumping backwards. The sight of her gun caused the innocent civilians on the train to scream and run far from it. Cara rubbed her bloody head as the hit on her head was hard, but she quickly picked pulled out her own handgun from a holster on her ankle, hidden under her jeans.

"Look, I'm not here to kill you... I'm just here to bring you to James, but he did say, if you get rowdy, I can blow your fucking brains out" Mei smirked.

"I'm not going anywhere with you - James knows the rules, if he wants me, he has to come and get me himself, otherwise he breaks the rules"

Mei laughed, "You think James gives a shit about the rules? He's just sick of your lame attempts to get him"

"I will, I will get him," Cara snapped. She quickly pulled the trigger, a bullet exploded out the barrel and shot at Mei, who dodged the bullet, returning the fire at Cara, who grabbed the sides of the train and pulled herself up, the bullet hitting the side of the train. Cara swung herself forward, her feet smacking Mei powerfully in the face, who fell backwards, her gun scattering along. Landing back on her feet, Cara aimed her gun at Mei and without hesitating, pulled the trigger and blew a bullet in her brains, killing her instantly. The civilians on the train screamed and squealed at the sight of the murder. Cara picked up Mei's purse and pulled out her phone, going through the contacts and clicking "Call James". The phone began to rang a couple of times as Cara just stared at Mei's corpse.

"Mei? Did you get the hit?" James asked.

"No she didn't James," Cara replied, "And I'm coming for you."

She then hung up the phone.

/

10 years ago (Past)

Cara closed the car door, a bag over her shoulder and a sleeping bag in her hand. James stood next to her, holding the same supplies. The duo looked at the middle-aged jet black haired woman infront of them, once their Maths teacher, Mrs. Banks, and now their assassin boss, Sage.

"You nervous?" Sage asked

"Very..." James said, his cheeks getting red.

Sage as Mrs. Banks, was undercover, almost talent scouting students she could mould into top assassins, and she came across James and Cara, who were best friends beforehand. Sage scouts, and then sends them to Toshino Yubari, a trainer who lives in a secluded mountain village in Kyoto, Japan, who teaches fighting and killing skills, and turns people into cold-blooded assassins.

"This is a big place," Cara said, looking up at the colourful temple infront of her, Toshino's house and training area. "How long are we going to spend here?"

"The training takes four years, you are 16 now, so will be out by your 20," Sage explained, "Where you will be the best"

"We will be the best!" James smirked, nudging Cara who smirked back.

Sage sighed, "Being the best will take a lot of hard work... Toshino is a very brutal trainer, so to be the best, you have to abide to him and the temple's rules"

"We won't mess up, Mrs. Banks," Cara told her.

"Good," Sage replied, "Now hug me!"

She smiled and opened her arms as Cara and James jumped in for a group hug, her embrace comforting them. "Now get going, and good luck"

/

Reaching the top of the temple stairs, James and Cara were exhausted and began taking big gulps of their water. Stood there was an old Japanese man, the infamous Toshino Yubari. Infront of him were six others, young teenagers, and other students sent here.

1. April Lutz

2. Jennifer Miller

3. Celeste Runner

4. Graeme Anderson

5. Andy Lopez

6. Sara Keegan

Cara and James quickly dropped their stuff and ran over to join the other teenagers, who all stood in a straight line before Toshino, who looked down upon them all in curiousity and disgust.

"You have all been sent here to be trained into the world's top assassins... The training will be brutal, I will be brutal, and for the next four years, life will be brutal... But through this, you will become brutal," Toshino explained, "If anyone has a problem with this, say now!"

April put her hand up and Toshino nodded at her, "Will we be getting dirty? I'm just not good with dirt"

A further look of disgust from Toshino was given to April, before the staff he held was in the air and going in her direction. A quick swift of the hand and April managed to grab it between her arm - Toshino then twisted it, and April twisted through the air, before landing firmly on her feet.

"Very nice..." Toshino replied, bringing the staff back towards him. Another quick movement and the staff was coming towards James, who never noticed it, and the hard wood smacked him in the leg, causing him to groan and fall onto his back.

"That hurt!" James moaned, holding his sore leg.

"Pathetic," Toshino snapped, "You have no sense of defense!"

James stood up, gritting his teeth as Toshino passed another staff onto James. He swung it around and lunged at Toshino, who lunged his staff at James, the two banging together. James quickly swung his feet, trying to swipe down Toshino, who jumped in the air and back-flipped over James. Turning around, James quickly dodged a powerful hit from Toshino's staff and flung his up in the air, distracting Toshino as James managed to smack him hard in the face with his left foot. He then went to kick him with his right foot as Toshino grabbed it and threw him backwards.

"Nice attack James," Toshino explained, "But in time, you will get better..." He then turned around to the others, "Now come on everyone, let's settle in before we truly begin"

/

(Present)

Putting the phone down, James was angered as Cara had once again killed one of his best assassins. He bit his fingers feriouscly as he leaned back in his chair, thoughts running through his head.

"Having trouble?" Miya, his close friend and also an assassin asked

"Cara killed Mei," James replied, "Amy is not going to be happy with this!"

"I know - she wants you to get rid of that Cara... She is causing too much trouble for us, James"

"Don't you think I know that?" he snapped

Miya smirked, "Don't get snappy - why don't you just send me after her?"

"Because she'll kill you, and I don't want to lose you"

"How do you know she could kill me?"

James just looked at her, "Trust me... You wouldn't last any longer than Mei did"

Miya grunted, hitting her fists off the table. Even though she was one of James' personal assassins, she was a rookie. To get rid of Cara, James has to send an elite after her, which Mei was, and the many before her, but all have gotten their brains blown out. Their little argument was interrupted as one of the young assistants walked into the room, "Mr. James, Ms. Amy would like to see you"

He gulped as he followed the girl out of his office, across the long hallway and into the office of Ms. Amy Wong, his half-Chinese, half-English and very strict boss, but also another close friend: who just likes things done right.

"Yes, Amy?" James asked, noticing that she had her strict facial expression on.

"Mei is dead," Amy bluntly replied, "Another assassin we have lost to your little problem! A problem I want rid of"

"I am working on it"

"Bullshit! You are sending rookie's out to be killed by an elite, do you know how stupid you are being right now?"

James sighed, "I will take care of it"

"You better James," Amy snapped, "Otherwise, you will be taking care of this problem yourself, and by the looks of things, your sending out others as you can't take care of the problem!"

"I am going to call in an old friend to take care of it... Just don't worry about it, okay?" James asked, pulling a cigarette out his pocket and throwing it infront of her on her table. He then left her office, walking back to his own, where a curious Miya awaited for him. Amy was right, he was to scared to care of the problem himself, but he had the very someone in mind who is capable of doing it.

/

(Past)

Sat at the round table in the dinner hall, James and Cara joked and laughed together as they ate their noodle soup. 11 months had passed since their first night in Toshino's training temple, and even though it had been brutal, their friendship kept them sane.

"I can't believe time has gone so fast," James said, "Do you miss your mum?"

"Yeah, and my dad... so much" Cara replied, looking down

"We only have like, 3 years left! Then we're out of here to be our own person"

"But we won't be our own person - we'll always be working for people, doing their jobs"

James nodded, "I guess, I never thought of it like that"

April, the best student of the eight sat at the spare chair at their table. "Training was hard today, huh?"

"Yeah," James replied, "But you are the best... You actually knocked Toshino down on his feet"

"I loved doing that, and how I'd love to knock him down forever... Stab him in his goddamn face with that goddamn staff," April snapped, "I hate him"

An awkward silence filled the table as April, angrily began to gulp down her noodle soup. James and Cara just looked at her, partially afraid and partially understanding of where she came from, sometimes Toshino did deserve a staff stabbed in his face. As the eight students had finished their dinner, Toshino came into the dining hall and clapped his hands. "It is time to rest!"

Their usual routine was them going into the one big room they all shared and falling asleep so quickly, exhausted from the training they had earlier on in the day. Passing Toshino, everyone used to say goodnight, but this time everyone stuttered, as he was beginning to wear them down: the number one essential part of assassin training.