I may be a day late, but here is something I cooked up, and thought I'd share.
The messenger knelt on one knee, head hanging low. He was visibly trembling and a thin veil of sweat glistened on his face. His message was not a good one.
“My Lord,” he said, voice raspy. “I regret to inform you that Ambassador Stross is not who he says he is.” The messenger swallowed, an action slightly painful to his dry throat. “We’ve received word from Atylia that the true Ambassador Stross was found dead in his country home. The imposter could not be found.”
Duke Tefios was known to the entire known world as a short tempered tyrant, and the messenger feared for his life at the delivery of this message.
“Siena!” the Duke barked, his fists clenched.
“We’ve already doubled your personal guard and have soldiers patrolling the palace, looking for the fake ambassador and his secretary,” Siena replied.
“And now, for you,” the Duke said, drawing a hand-and-a-half broadsword and holding the tip to the messenger’s neck. “Who is responsible? Who is trying to kill me?”
“I don’t know!” the messenger screamed, crying.
“Then you’re useless!”
Before Duke Tefios could slit the messenger’s neck, the door burst open. Two figures stood in the door, wearing long, flowing, hooded garments. They both held swords, dripping with crimson blood, matching their garments. He immediately recognized the lithe, small frame of the alleged ambassador’s secretary and knew that the other much be the imposter, himself.
They were Ackonian assassins.
The woman struck first, striking with her curved, single-edged sword. Siena blocked the attack with her armored arm and drew her own sword. A short battle ensued, but the assassin was far more agile and adept with a blade than the Captain of the Duke’s Guard. Siena was cut down before she had the chance to even attack the assassin.
The Duke threw the messenger aside and brought his sword down in a long, sweeping arc that clashed into the ground as the assassin dodged. The assassin buried his sword to the hilt inside the Duke’s stomach before he could recover from his failed attack.
He wiped the blood off of his blade before he returned it to its sheath and turned to the messenger. The messenger was standing and had regained his composure.
“Do you have what I asked of you?” the assassin asked the messenger as his partner came up beside him.
The messenger dug into his tunic and pulled out a rolled up piece of paper.
“A list of his co-conspirators in his plot to overthrow the Ackonian Empire,” he said, holding the towards the assassin, but pulled it away as he reached for it. “First, where is my money?”
The assassin took a money pouch from the folds of his robe and tossed it to the messenger. He caught it with one hand and gave them the list.
“May I ask why you wanted me to deliver that message to the Duke?”
“Duke Tefios is a master swordsman, but he can’t react as well under such anger,” the female assassin said.
“It was quicker this way,” the other assassin said. “Now, we need to go. We have people to kill.”