She had been lucky. In her homeland, Marik was a loman, a step up from casteless. Here, in the famed city of Gilnair, her merit was judged by her deeds rather than the misfortune of her birth.

She prayed to mighty Tosh to grant her strength and speed, then ran to the end of the roof and leaped, flying through the window of her mark’s home and landing in a tight roll that brought her to her feet. She had not so much as disturbed the curtains that waved in the light breeze.

Still, her arrival was not unnoticed. Two guards who flanked the window had just enough time to raise their curved swords before they fell, knives buried to the hilt in their necks. Two more guards rushed into the room and met the same fate. Downstairs, she heard people moving around and knew it was time to act.

Marik bowed deeply and formally to the man in the bed. “May Tosh make me worthy of your death,” she said in her own tongue. The man’s cry became a gurgle as her blade sliced his throat open.

She bowed again, and was gone.

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