Shadow of the Assasin
The Life and Times of Clyde Arrowny Chapter 1

From Here to There

By Cain

"Apples, Apples for sale," the young man shouted as Emitt walked into the town. It was as he remembered it, but brighter. More alive. Like it was before the disaster. He smiled for a moment as the thought hit home. I helped save the world. Then his smile faded. No, I didn't. That man was dead now, his debt to the world repaid in full.

He walked on, buying an apple from the young one, and taking a bite. It was sweet, and obviously recently picked. He stopped as a young couple crossed his path, the young man quite thin and the young woman thinner, obviously quite drunk. Everyone was apparently savoring Kefka's defeat, living their lives to the fullest, now that they had hope. As the couple stumbled off, he watched them go, wondering, Was I ever like that? His jaw tightened as he realized he had, once. He quickly started walking again, toward the inn.

As he pushed the door open, he was assailed by the smell of stale alcohol, and the sounds of music and laughter. Several men looked up at him and cheered, either mistaking him for another, or not really caring who he was. They were just really happy, although quite drunk, which was, in his experience, a rare oxymoron. He looked for an unoccupied table, and spied one that had recently been left. He made his way around the other tables, and sat down. After he had sat for a minute, with no one coming to serve him, he took out a gold coin, and began to flip it. Within moments, a voluptuous waitress (he wondered if that was her only occupation) in a lacy dress walked over to him, smiling.

"Hello," she shouted over the ruccus, with an accent typical of... Narshe, surprisingly. She must have been one of the people who evacuated from there. She continued, "and how can I help you?"

He smiled and flipped the coin upwards, toward her. She caught it without effort. He told her, "Ale, if you would. And water it down a bit. I'm not much of an alcoholic." She arched her eyebrow at the unusual request, but went to get it anyway. He watched her hips sway as she went.

He leaned back in his chair, putting his feet up on the table, and looked around. Last time he had been in this bar, everyone had been depressed. Now, people were laughing, with beers in their grasps and women on their laps. The dancers were good, and inspired the men to cheer every time they kicked.

In a minute, the waitress came back, carrying the ale on a tray. She set the mug down on the table by his feet. He gave her a slight smile and a nod of thanks. She smiled in response, and asked, once again loudly, "So, where are you headed?"

He raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"

"Well, you're obviously not from here, because no one from South Figaro would ask for watered-down ale. I've worked here long enough to figure that out on my own. And no one comes to South Figaro, unless they want to sail somewhere."

Emitt nodded approvingly. "You're very clever." A lot like Maria, he thought. And Relm. He continued, "You're right. I'm going to get a ship. To... my hometown... Thamasa."

Her eyebrows raised. "Thamasa? What's that place like? I heard that there was so much inbreeding there that you could be your own cousin."

He chuckled a bit. "No, no. It may be isolated, but it's nothing like that. It's... peaceful there. No hustle and bustle. It's been a long time since I lived there. I believe I've had enough adventuring for one life time. All that's left is... home."

She smiled. "Sounds nice. Maybe I should visit there some time."

He took a sip of the ale. Good. Quite good. "Maybe you should. I wouldn't mind a visit. My name's... Emitt, by the way. What's yours?"

She smiled shyly. "Rhea Rhea Viones. From Narshe."

"Nice to meet you." He put his feet on the floor, and reached his hand out. She looked down at his hand, surprised. He raised an eyebrow. "It's a hand. Most people shake it."

She chuckled, and reached down to shake the hand. When they let go she told him, "It's just... Well, most men don't really shake hands with women."

Emitt took another gulp of the ale. "Well, I guess I'm not 'most men'."

She smiled, and stood up. "Anything else I can do for you?"

He thought a moment, and replied, "Yes, as a matter of fact. Do you happen to know of a good tailor?"


Emitt stepped out the door, and smoothed out his sleeves. Now, he was sure, he looked presentable. A bandanna was tied around his neck. He wore a long green shirt, covered by a black tunic, and green pants. His brown leather boots had brass buckles. His new belt fit perfectly, and his new sheath was covered with a pattern woven of brass wires. Only his sword remained the same, although it was nondescript enough that no one who knew him would recognize it anyway. The only physical remnant of his past was the black hood in one of the inside pockets of his slacks. No matter how he tried to reason with himself, he couldn't part with it.

As he stepped out onto the dock, he was surprised by the sheer amount of people in line to board the ship. Apparently, everyone wanted to get back home to see if their hometown was damaged during the fight with Kefka. Now that he thought of it, that was a valid concern. He really didn't know if Thamasa was in one piece. And he knew that the ship wasn't big enough for everyone, that he wouldn't get to sail today, with the size of this line. That settles it, he thought. Reaching into one of the pockets in his shirt, he pulled out a bag. Throwing it to his left, he yelled out, "Oh no! My five hundred gold pieces!"

As one, almost every man, and several women, jumped out of line, to be the first to get to that bag. The world may no longer be in danger, but times were still hard. Besides, Emitt had plenty to spend. He walked forward, at his own pace. The wives of men who had jumped for the bag didn't dispute his passing, as most of them had children in tow, and some just let him pass out of respect. After all, you have to respect someone with more money than your husband. The remaining line was rather short, and Emitt got onto the boat easily. In a moment, he spotted a man running from the crowd, holding the bag out. His wife soon ran to catch up with him. The crowd groaned collectively, and returned to stand in line. Soon, the boat was packed. Everyone who didn't get on was disappointed. Emitt could see why. After all, it would take a while for the boat to deliver everyone to every port and seaside town in the world.

In a few minutes, everyone was rushing to get a place to sleep for the night. Emitt, thinking ahead, had already found a bunk down below, and was lying in it. And for those who wanted to challenge his ownership, he simply made sure they saw his sword.

Soon, they set sail. It was getting dark, but Emitt didn't want to risk losing his bunk just to see the sunset. He just lied back, and thought. Getting tired, he allowed the rocking of the boat to lull him to sleep...


"Hey, Clyde, where have you been?"

Clyde snorted, jumping out of his half-sleep. He looked up drowsily, into Baram's face. "Wuh...?"

Baram grinned. "Hey, you wanna go somewhere fun?"

Clyde got up from the tree he'd been napping against, slowly, and stretched. "Where to," he asked.

"Old Man Beardsley left his door open this morning. Now's the perfect chance to go to see if it's true."

"See if what's true," Clyde asked as he drank some water from the nearby well.

"If his wife's skeleton is in the attic."

"Baram, my mom says that's not true, and that we shouldn't spread rumors like that. She's buried in the cemetery on the hill. You can even see the tombstone."

"Well, mama's boy" Baram responded, somewhat snobishly, "we could go check to see if he has anything good up there."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, if it's up in the attic, he can't have any use for it, whatever we find. And since he has no relatives, whatever stuff he no longer uses will just stay up there, and be wasted."

Clyde pondered this. "I don't know..."

"Come on," Baram coaxed, "it won't hurt anybody."

"Oh... alright."

They both turned to set off for the house, but were interrupted when someone called Clyde's name. They turned around together to see a young girl running up.

"Oh no," Baram groaned, "it's Maria."

"So what?"

"So she'll want to know where we're going. And you couldn't lie to save your life."

"Could too..."

They both stopped talking as she finally stopped before them, panting slightly. She wore slacks and an old shirt, both of which were dirty. She lived on a farm, and was much more of a hard worker than either of the boys before her. Stronger too. But the boys were certain that was only because she was twelve, while Clyde was only eleven, and Baram was ten. In Clyde's opinion, she was kind of pretty. In Baram's opinion, she was a girl. But first and foremost, she was a tomboy, and constantly hung around the two whenever she got her chores done. Well, she and Baram both hung around Clyde, resenting eachother.

"So, what are you up to," she asked Clyde, ignoring Baram's muttering.

"Oh... uh, going to help Old Ma-I mean some... Old... Ladies... Yeah, we're going to help some old ladies."

"Really," Maria asked, surprised.

"No," Clyde blurted out. "I mean... uh, nothing?" His cheeks turned red. He was no good around girls.

"Well, you wanna come down to the river and go fishing? I have to load some hay up in the barn first, but-"

"I'll help," Clyde almost shouted in her face, "I mean, I'll, uh... hold the ladder for you."

Maria gave him a friendly punch to the shoulder. "Thanks. I'll meet you back home." And she ran off.

Baram, now that Maria was gone, had no trouble voicing his opinion. "You'll hold the ladder for her? Yuck. Make sure not to look up while she's climbing. You might get cooties."

Clyde began to walk off, absently rubbing his now-sore shoulder. "Cooties aren't that bad," he murmured.

Baram just watched him walk off. Finally, he spoke his opinion: "Ewwwww."


"All the girls say I'm pretty fly for a white guy."
-The Offspring


Chapter 2

Cain's Fanfics