The blade pierced the cloth, the flesh, and the wall behind the intruder. Like a tombstone, their shadow was still against the wall, as if it too had been transfixed by the steel. The Lord of the Estate rose from his bed, his sneer a sunken mask of ageless black ridges, broken by the silver reflection of his ceremonial katana.
“You thought me so easy to kill, fool?”
The shroud pinned to the wall shivered. As though the wearer could not hold themselves up on their feet anymore, they murmured, and slumped to the floor – darker that the polished boards. Then it rose. The assassin, unmarked and free from his midnight shroud, inched out his own blade. His smile wrinkled the wrappings of his mask.
“Yes,” he whispered. “That’s exactly what I thought…”