Aurora smoothed down the rich midnight velvet gown, glancing around the room coolly. The noble parties were quite stiff, but she made an effort to attend as many as she could, as it helped keep her image. She glanced down at her boot, the wink of silver indicating the small dagger she had shoved in as an afterthought. Nothing she did now was ever completely safe, no matter how diligently she worked to keep her two identities separate.
A new figure entered the ballroom, one Aurora had never seen at these parties before. He turned before she could get a look at his face. It was odd she thought, all the nobles in Divinities Reach had some sort of connection, and they all knew each other through at least one person.
She had begun to carry around the portraits of her targets, even with a sharp memory, having too many targets floating around in her head proved to be difficult at times. She pulled them out now; glued into the pages of a novel she was often observed reading at parties such as this. She flipped through the pages; each one had a portrait stuck to it, obscuring the words of the novel.
She happened to glance up, and the strange man had his face turned toward her direction. She almost dropped her book, but quickly shoved it away into the folds of her traveling cloak. She didn't need her book of portraits to recognize this man. He was her top priority target in fact, the only one to have figured out who she was, and to have seen her in both worlds and lived to tell the tale. Thanks to him, her list of targets had expanded, as a select few of the man's friends now knew of her identities. The only thing that held them back from opening their mouths to the rest of Divinities Reach was simply fear of her reputation. She swore, but held herself, waiting for him to leave.
It was going on 3 hours now, and the man was still mingling. Just as Aurora was about to lose her patience and lunge at him then and there, he began giving his farewells. As soon as he left the ballroom, Aurora gathered up her skirts, and drew the dagger from her boot, hiding it behind her back underneath her cloak. She followed him to the courtyard outside, hiding behind a nearby bush. The man glanced around nervously, as if sensing he had a shadow.
He must have caught the gleam of her eye, because he broke into a sprint, running toward the center of the city where he knew there would be the safety of crowds and the Seraph. She let out a string of curses, and began running after him, pulling out her mask from another fold in her cloak, and hastily tied it on as she ran. She continued to chase after him until she tripped up in her long skirts. Once again she swore as she sheared off the skirts of her gown with her dagger, leaving a ragged strip of cloth that barely concealed her undergarments.
As she tossed the skirts aside into someone's bushes, she realized that he had gained too much ground. She spotted a trellis set up on the porch of one of the small homes near her. She scrabbled up it, hoisting herself onto the rooftop, and was able to catch the man's fleeting figure. She took a deep breath, and flung herself to the next rooftop, and then the next and the next, gaining ground back.
When she was finally on top of him, and it was clear he was tiring, she dropped from the roof she was on, curling into a ball at the last minute to disperse some of the shock from the fall. Still, a sharp pain waved through her body, causing her to stagger back for a moment. She was lucky though, for the man was in shock himself that she had managed to catch up to him after she disappeared onto the rooftops. She pushed forward, ignoring the pain that had begun to bloom in her ankle.
Twirling her dagger in her fingers, she advanced on the man, who had begun to back up, but alas, he had hit a wall.
"I swear, I won't tell, I'll sew my mouth closed. I didn't even see you! Please!"
"Oh, really? Well you see, we do have a problem, as you have told a few of your friends. Which by the way, will meet your same fate shortly."
The man's eyes widened, clearly surprised at the extent of her knowledge.
"Surprised? You have such a pleasant voice you know, especially when you talk to your dear wife, Clarissa."
He began shaking his head, tears beginning to shine in his eyes.
"Not Clarissa….." he trailed off.
She untied her mask, dropping it to the pavement below. She didn't like to tell lies, and this was her way of allowing each target to know the truth before they died. With a single smooth motion of her wrist, the dagger plunged between the man's ribs, just nicking his heart. His death was quick at least.
She bent to pick up her mask which had fallen behind her, and as she rose a figure loomed up in her vision. Her eyes widened, recognizing instantly her lover, Lord Causius. His mouth was gaped open, eyes flicking from the body in front of him to the bloody dagger in Aurora's hand.
She was frozen, thoughts whirling around in her head. She couldn't let him know this side of her, it would kill him. She had but one option, as she was not yet capable of erasing memories. She glanced down at the already bloodied dagger hanging limply in her hand, and almost as if she were in a trance, flicked the dagger across Lord Causius's neck, leaving a scarlet necklace to adorn his body.
Slowly, she wiped the dagger off on the scraps that remained of her dress, staining the already filthy velvet crimson in places. She replaced her mask, carefully tying a knot at the back of her head, and placed one foot in front of the other, again and again.