Dead-Poetic-Slumber: I am keeping it a secret on what it is Leanna will learn. As for a descendent of an assassin, well I have mixed emotions about that concept because there are stories out there that have main characters that are related or descendent from assassins. Just wait and see what surprises I have in store for my readers.
Thenamelessone: You will have to wait and see what Ethan has up his sleeve. I like to slow things down a bit when I write and the war itself is coming up. I wanted to wait for the election of Lincoln and such. It gives people a bit of history that they may or may not know.
McFassy: Glad you like my story. Always happy to see people enjoy it.
Disclaimer: I do not own assassins creed. Anything regarding the Civil war is based on historical events. The character's you will read are not based on fact with the exception of the main players in the war. There will be racial slurs and offense, but do not take it lightly for what has happened in history.
The Southern Belle
He rode the horse wounded. The smell of blood filtered through the humid night air as the stars gazing down on him taunt him as his efforts to ride into the town were growing dimmer and dimmer. His left arm was bleeding badly and he was losing conscience. Images were beginning to blur as his hands held tightly to the reigns of his horse. The animal's heartbeat raced along with its master's heart. He felt angry with himself knowing he could have gone unscathed. It was a novice mistake to take on more opponents than one could handle. The shame he could feel ripped at his pride when he knew his own mistakes. His master had hope for the younger man; his own grandson.
'I failed you master. I let my guard down for a moment and they wounded me like some animal. I have not only shamed my father but I have shamed the brotherhood. I will not make this mistake I swear upon my own life. If I should fail to bring the letter to Mister Lincoln, I will not rest in peace.' He thought as the wound that was inflicted upon his arm began to hurt. He was bleeding even more but he could not hold pressure upon it. He was close to the town, he knew it. Something within his sight kept him pushing forwards as the stead galloped in a faster pace. The young assassin could see through tired eyes something like a gold figure by his side, riding a horse of a different breed.
This vision he sees was something that was told to him from his father and grandfather. These visions of the past were not so common amongst the other assassin, yet it was within his family where the once great masters of long pass come to them in times of need. The visions guided those before him and will continue to do so when he has long passed. Connor has told him that they are the spirits of his ancient ancestors that have come to see him through when times get tough. In his young life, the assassin has learned of his heritage. It was clear that they come from lands of the desert, the lands of lush grass, to the plains of the new world. The young man has come from a line of great masters, some of whom had many great tales.
He could feel himself falling from his horse but he kept firm despite his pain that was burning through him. His mind was racing as the blurs of the night were trying to keep him from keeping his eyes open. He has not felt this weak in many years since he was no longer a novice. He knew the repercussions of his mistakes yet he did not keep his eyes firm when he was fighting. In the distance he could see the lights from candles in the windows of the locals guiding him. His horse was close to collapsing when he pulled upon the reigns causing the animals to rear back. He made it to the village when a local came out of his home with a candle in his hand.
"…A stranger in our town?" Then the man averted his eyes for a clear view almost stepping back when he noticed the hood of a bird's beak. "It is you. The one many speak of within these times. State your business quickly before I send word of your presence. Mister Lincoln may place his loyalty amongst you strangers, but I have to keep my guard." The man said cautious of the stranger on horseback. With the night covering his wounded arm the stench of blood went to his nose. The young assassin looked to the man and gave him a note that was brown and folded with a red ribbon.
"I will not be long for I ride back to my other ally. I bring you this letter for Mister Lincoln. He is to read the letter…"
"…You are wounded." The man interrupted the stranger.
The young assassin sneered at the man's eyes going from his covered eyes down to his wound. The sleeve of his arm red with the blood, but he turned himself to try to cover it.
"That does not matter. I will heal. I need you to give the letter to him. It is of urgency."
"I may be an old man but I can see that you are going to faint. Even if I am cautious of your true manner I will not let a wounded man ride into the night until it is infected."
"I can handle my own." The assassin retorted when he grimaced in pain. He knew that the older man was right. Infection was not so keen to the wounded. Within that night the stranger took in the assassin, cleaning and tending to his wounds. They did not speak of what occurred that caused it nor did they pay any mind to one another. All though cautious, both men waited till the morning to begin anew. It was then that the older man got the assassin's name but not of what he did. It was clear that the younger man was a fighter, not a soldier. The man was young of only about twenty and his name… His name was William.
A month has passed by and what was June turned into July. The days passed quickly when the sun was just rising into it descending in the night. It has now been a month that the Abel and Cole family have made their alliance into family business. All was not rushed into the thought of the two young adults marrying. It did come about in conversation once or twice between Jim Bob and Dale. Both of the head family men had better talk of business than of their children marrying. With his horses being shown in auctions to fine traders in other states by the use of Dale's railroads-money was flowing through both families' business. When there was money involved it always meant knowing the powerful. Jim Bob was climbing higher and higher within the ranks and soon he will be amongst them.
He had to keep a close eye on his investment for the sake of his families' protection. If he were to be discovered Jim Bob will take it upon himself to be the one responsible. He was the head of the Abel family but he will also die for his alliance with the brotherhood. For too long the Abel family male always held connections with the assassins when times of crises needed to be held. His duty to both was kept secret. What Jim Bob did not know was that his daughter's suitor would dig deeper into the family like a thorn in a lion's paw. Time was never nice to those who tread the bumpy road. In time, Ethan will discover a hidden Abel secret.
The fireflies sparked the skies with the whispers in the wind talking in a language that always made known to the young miss. The book was kept safe, hidden within the drawer were she has yet to pick up and read once more. She knew that she has opened some door beyond a realm which she could not understand. Fearful as to what it was that she was hearing in the winds, Leanna could not speak a word to anyone. No one would believe her anyhow even if they were to see it with their eyes.
'They cannot see him. They cannot see the figure that shows itself within the shadows. Since I read the book I felt the presence. Father told me to keep the book close and keep it in the Abel family. What are you hiding from us father? With these rumors growing of war, is there something you want to speak of? Will you join the fight when it happens? '
"I know that they once called you master long ago in the land of the desert. I have read your story; the language is a mystery to my eyes." She whispered as the fireflies flew around her.
"Did I wake you from your slumber? I know you are long dead but why do you show yourself to me? Do I remind you of someone that you once knew?" Her eyes looked about her trying to see if the figure would appear to her. But alas, it did not show itself at this time. Leanna wanted answers that the book could not give her. It was a burning passion that she needed to know but the figure would give her a name… William… As far as the young miss knew she did not know a William.
'William? This man that you tell me, who is he- the figure that dresses in a hood that resembles a beak of a bird of prey. He stalks the night sky yet he keeps to the shadows of the moon. He is related to a great assassin master and the son of another…' She came out of her thoughts as she felt a hand on her shoulder. Leanna jumped slightly at the touch when she heard a calming voice.
"Leanna, do not jump for it is your own mother." Willowdean spoke with a smile. "I did not mean to scare you from your thoughts. I was looking for you until one of the maids said you were in the garden."
The older Abel woman took her hand from her daughters shoulder and walked to sit down next to Leanna. The young miss kept her eyes on her mother as she sat down with something in her hands. Looking closely at it she could see that it was the book. Questioning how her mother found it Willowdean kept her small smile upon her graceful face. Noticing her stare, the older woman sat straight with her hands firm on the old book.
"I thought that I could keep you from the books, but you have such spirit like me. You always remind me of my younger self when I was just a girl. How the times pass and I have you. Jesse and Ashley are still young and boys but being the eldest is not always such a blessing." Leanna smiled as her mother chuckled lightly. It was moments like these that made the young miss glad that she had a mother whom she could relate to at times. It kind of made her forget about the book for a moment in time. "With Ethan keeping you away from your fantasy world, I think that not even he could take away your books. I can say that your imagination will not leave you. We need creative in these times like those before you… Not many women can have such imagination when the world is run by men and their petty squabbles."
"What has changed in your view of what I believe in mother?" Leanna asked. "You say these are but children's tales that are meant for children."
"I was quick to choose to what it is that you see as real. When I found this book I began to question why it is that you will read this if you cannot understand the language."
"Father presented me with the book. Explaining that Jesse and Ashley were too young and would not understand what it is that they will read. Mother, this book is more than a story and of a different language. I wish I knew what it was but something within the night air, within the stars, is here." There seemed to be a shine in her daughter's eyes as she spoke. Willowdean looked to the book within her grasp, feeling the old texture and the words that were within it. She that Leanna was a smart educated young lady in this world; she also knew that no matter what Leanna will always keep her imagination. Even with Ethan soon joining the family as one of their own, he could not stop the young miss from thinking.
"This book is more than it seems. The ancients of longs past wrote this book for a reason it seems. The ancients keep secret but with such a find like this… If you study it long enough, Leanna, maybe you will learn its secrets that I cannot. Your father gave you this book for a reason. I do not want your brothers to find it or to read what is within it. Their young minds cannot understand. Keep it hidden somewhere where even I cannot find. Get a nights rest for tomorrow I am sending you to the market with Berta to pick fresh peaches for peach pie."
The young miss was handed her book and held it tightly to her chest. Willowdean could not say that she was disappointed in her daughter-she could not be for her daughter had the Cole son. He was heir to the railroads of his family. It was not only her suitor but what her daughter can do in a man's world. The Abel woman looked away from her daughter as a cool nights breeze blew through her hair. The fresh earth filled her nose as the fireflies took their distance away from the women. Times were getting tougher for not only the Abel's, but for all around them. Willowdean heard the rumors and wondered on how much was true or how little the townspeople like to spread rumors like wildfire.
He kept a close distance but far away so she could not see him lurking in the distance. Like the hawk that he was, his observant eyes watched her every move. The young miss was in town looking for something in the stores with her caretaker as he walked slowly amongst the day's crowds in the street. The markets were open for the season as the fresh pickings were being grabbed by potential buyers. It was of no surprise to see the townspeople not caring for the stranger that was back in their town. Today, he kept no mind even though there was much to take care of. On this day it was quiet with nothing more to do. There was no message to be sent, there was no target to chase, and today it seemed was a peaceful day.
'Will days like this happen? Will times of peace ever show itself amongst the dividing of a nation?' He thought solemnly to himself as he sat down on a bench. The sounds of chatter and children running was ever present making the young assassin ease with little peace. His mind was always racing with what was to happen the next day.
"My mommy told me it is not nice to stare." Coming out of his thoughts, the young assassin looked down to see a smiling little girl of about five. She had bouncing brown hair that was curled framing her small little face. She was wearing a blue dress and had a basket of flowers in her hands. How the young child snuck up on the assassin, even he had to be impressed. She seemed to have walked away from her mother or she was looking at the fresh fruit. Whatever the matter, the child noticed him sitting, staring.
"She is Leanna Abel. She is pretty to you if you stare at her." The girl kept her smile but the assassin looked onwards to Leanna. "My mommy told me that she has a suitor now. He is a handsome man and known to the town. But I think if you do not talk to her she will not know that you love her."
The assassin wanted to give the child a small smile. She was too young to understand what was too happen, but she was observant. Children have always had a natural instinct to be blunt about things. Clearly this little girl had misinterpreted what he was doing as some form of affection. The Abel daughter did not know of his existence- clearly- but he had to know something that was bothering him. He did not know why but the Abel girl was pulling him in. He could feel the pulse following her, the figure of those he saw on that night kept their dead eyes on her. The vision knew something that the young assassin did not- at least not yet. It beckoned him towards her like a siren of lost tales.
"I do not love her for I do not know anything about her."
The child grew confused. "Then why spy on her if you do not know her?"
"For a child, you ask many questions to a stranger whom you just met. In any case, you would not understand child. I have to have answers to my questions."
"I am curious mister. Adults think of us as innocent but my mommy knows that I am smart. When I see someone staring at another it could mean they want to do harm or they are scared to go up to them. You look like a man who does not see fear in a woman. I do not think I have seen a stranger like you here. Your clothing is strange." She said touching the fabric of his sleeve. The assassin made sure she did not touch the arm where his hidden blade lay. He did not want to scare the child, but it seems she was fearless even to someone she did not know.
Then for that split second she met his eyes than looked away as if she has seen a ghost. She urged the caretaker forwards into an alleyway and he pursued following the women. There was something about her that he could not shake off so easily. The young assassin wanted to find the answer as to why he was intrigued with this woman.
"A stranger is uncommon within towns."
"Ana!" Came a woman's yell.
Ana- as the child was named- turned around as her mother came into view. The child turned back to the assassin and bid him a good day as she was being scorned by the woman. The assassin could see the scared look in her mother's eyes but looked away as Leanna was nowhere to be seen. He missed his chance to follow the Abel girl, but seeing as she might have head back to her home; the assassin had no reason to stay within the town. His mind had to find reason and Leanna was that reason. There was something that she knew that could answer it. The assassin could see what the others could not… The trail that she left behind was like a scent to a dog. His eyes were adjusting to this new sight that his father and his father and those before him could see. It was the tradition that carried itself in the brotherhood.
'Ancestor's, why am I cursed with this sight?'
Like a shadow in the shade, like a ghost in the wind, the assassin disappeared without any notice to the people except for the little girl. Before he could leave she ran back towards him, giving him a flower which he held firm in his grasp. The flower was beautiful but he had no time to recognize it as a part of beauty.
"I hope to see you again stranger." Ana said before she made her leave.