Spring 20, Year 10
It was rare when Ace decided to venture out during the day, even with the sun beginning it’s downward descent. The day was for Amelia and Craig. To go about their normal lives, pretending they were normal and doing their best to forgive themselves of their past sins. But no. Not Ace. Such a mediocre, boring routine was not for him. It had never been. During the day he practiced the skills that had kept him alive all these years. Then when his mistress called when the moon had taken over, he began his stalking. His predatory nature kicked in and he was out. Blending to the shadows, watching, learning. It was what Ace did best.
But not today. He was feeling particularly…hungry. Not for food. But for a challenge. It was one thing to travel at night but the day…He couldn’t blend as easily. It took all his skills to make sure he couldn’t be seen. Specially with the distinguishing mask and goggles he wore at all times. Ace breathed quietly as he counted out his knives, connecting them along his belt and usual spots on his clothing. He brought a hand to his face, raising his index and middle finger, speaking a few words. Just one of his usual rituals before he left the apartment.
The usual easiness of escaping the apartment was changed by the sun still burning outside. It took much longer to simply escape the apartment building unnoticed but it was a welcome challenge. A change of route here, a few moments to watch the movement there. But it still proved to be no true match against him. It was nothing more than a delay.
Where to stalk though for tonight was the question. There were more then enough hunting grounds in this island despite its size. He could stalk the circle for late night shoppers or store owners closing the night. Stalk them, learn where they live. Of course, no killing. Unless they were an annoyance. He had the urges. The desire to shed blood. But there was no true enjoyment in killing someone helpless. No. He needed to hunt a hunter. Someone just as dangerous as he was. There was a true thrill in that.
There was also the wild areas. The forest and woods. That would be a change of pace…He had traveled to them over a few times. There was never much activity. Peace and quiet when he wanted to train in an open area but not much more. But for now since he was changing his schedule, he would change the location. It took a while to factor in the light but he arrived in the forest quietly.
He made his way through the woods, keeping to the thick trees so he was blended in. As he traveled, a peculiar sight caught his eyes. A girl running into a man and a very swift, skilled pick pocketing. For a reason, it made him grin. This girl was not new to the game of thievery. She knew exactly what she was doing. And the man was none the wiser.
Ace moved to a closer spot, hiding behind a tree. He peaked around the edge just enough to clearly watch what was going on. The man just chuckled and thought no harm was done, sending the girl on her way. The masked man watched as the girl sprinted straight back into the forest, off the path. He managed to not lose track of her as she entered a thick, bushy area. He gave one more glance to make sure the now poorer man left the area before he began to quietly move.
His feet carefully stepped around fallen twigs and leaves, making sure to not make any noises that could tip the girl off that someone else was around. He didn’t want to spook her. At least quite yet anyway. This girl had caught his attention. A very bad thing if the girl proved to be an annoyance. Or perhaps a good thing in a strange way…
Ace carefully approached where the girl was, him silently watching her. The girl dumped the contents of her steal on the ground. Considering she was distracted with looking over her steal gave Ace adequate enough time to see just how much a threat this girl could be. She was young, late in her child years. She was rather dirty, her hair a mess. A girl with a family or a home wouldn’t look like that. No…Ace knew the signs to well. This girl…she was certainly an orphan.
The familiarity of it caused the masked man’s face to subtly twitch underneath his second face. It brought back old memories of a filthy boy with blood stained hands. For a second, he saw it again. The boy was kneeling down, holding another boy in his hands. The forest didn’t exist. There were only rocks around, a river close by. The clear water began to carry away the crimson that began to invade it as the boy just stayed there.
He didn’t move in the slightest bit, just watching. He just held the other boy in his hands, watching as the cracked skull continued to let the life force leave. It must have known there was no point in inhabiting the vessel anymore. The kneeling boy, after watching for a while, laid the lifeless one down before rushing off straight through where Ace stood. Then he snapped back into reality. …That boy has long been gone…
He watched as the girl began to turn toward town, him deciding to not let this interesting girl go quite yet. “You, girl.” He spoke in his cold, emotionless voice. “I saw what you did.” He spoke once more, his eyes watching her through those demonic goggles. “…You were quick. In and out before he knew the truth.” His comments ended after that, the man simply standing there and waiting for the girl’s responses. In a strange way, he was looking forward to seeing her react.