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Stained

Since the day I was born I was considered an outcast. I was unloved. Unwanted. When people looked at me, you can tell by the look in their eyes: disgust, annoyance, fear. A look that says they want nothing to do with me. It’s not that it bothers me. I want nothing to do with them as much as they want nothing to do with me. People come and go. It’s one of the natural things in this world. My life is a mess anyway.

When I was just a baby I was already an orphan. My parents left me in the streets, literally. Wrapped with newspapers and tied with shoelaces in the cold dark night. Don’t care though. I have no idea who they are, where they are, or why the hella they left me to die alone. I don’t even wonder if they’re still alive or not. Why should I?

The only reason why I’m still in this damn world is because of the person who took me in. That person raised me. But I don’t know if I should be grateful to him or not. His name is Ardelle Xenence.

I’ve been with him since I was a baby. According to him, he found me one rainy night, surrounded by three dogs who looked hungry and were about to eat me. It was in an alley. He scared the dogs away and took me to his place. He taught me everything that I know. Gave me everything that I have. Made me everything that I am.

For 18 years, I have followed every command he gave me without questioning whether or not it was the right thing to do. What I am today? Who I am now? It’s all because of him. And it’s because of me. Because I blindly followed him.

Here I am now, standing in front of a cold dead body. A little girl… an innocent child… who I murdered. All because he told me too. Since I was 5 this is all that I have. All that I knew what to do was kill. And kill. And kill. Without blinking an eye I would take lives. Tear up, families. Let other children be orphans. Showing no mercy. This is who I am for as long as I live. A murderer. An assassin. He made me do his own bidding so he wouldn’t get his own hands dirty.

Walking around the town I put to ruins, I saw a doll in the burned-down house of that girl I killed. I picked it up and placed it on the ground where I buried her.

“I’m sorry”

After whispering those words, I left without shedding a tear. I returned to my apartment that was provided by my so-called father. Once I entered my room, my smartphone rang.

“It’s done,” I said.

“Well done my lovely dove”

“I told you to never call me that”

“Heartless as ever. As expected from my one and only daughter”

“I am not your daughter and you are not my father”

“You’re right. You are not my child but my pawn. You belong to me. And it’s time to do your next job. I will be sending you your next target’s information tomorrow afternoon. I expect nothing but perfection from you. My lovely dove”

After that, the line went down.

I threw my phone to the sofa beside me and then I threw myself on my bed. I feel exhausted. Flashes of my victims’ faces appeared in my head when I closed my eyes. Every single one of them. Their cries for help echoed in my ear. I let out a deep sigh and I reached out for my headset sitting on my side table. I put it on and turn it on and set it to its highest volume. Once again, I shut my eyes and hoped I would fall fast asleep.

The next day, I got up early and took a shower. Hoping the water and soap would wash all the blood in my hands away. But I knew it wouldn’t. I could never clean these stains away. It’s foolish of me to think otherwise.

I headed to the town and look for a place to grab a meal. While I was eating, this girl sat in the seat in front of me. A ginger head girl, wearing sunglasses but I can tell she’s around my age. Maybe 19 or 20. Red lips, fancy earrings, a gold pendant, and a black leather jacket.

“May I help you?” I asked with a rather annoyed tone. I don’t like people intruding in my life.

“I was hoping to help you actually. I saw you eating here by yourself and you look kinda sad and lonely so I thought I would keep you company” she took off her shades and gave me this sweet innocent smile.

“Why would you think I was lonely?”

“Obviously because you are alone. Here. Eating breakfast. Like always” what with her goofy smile?

“Wait, did you say ‘always’?”

“Always. Everyday”

“How-?”

“Because I’ve been watching you”

“What?”

“I live next door to you. A month ago I started noticing you. Always eat your meals here. Leaving for 3 days every now and then. Sometimes a week. I tried following you once but I lost track of you in some dark alley. You leave bright and early and come back late at night. You eat the same thing for every meal. You never wear the same outfit twice a week. You only wear three colors, red, black and grey. Though I saw you wear blue once”

“Are you a lesbian? Are you into me? Is that why you’re stalking me?” she laughed at my question. It made me want to slap her.

“Please. I’m into guys. Don’t worry. I’m not here to jump on you. I was… curious about you. You live alone right?”

“I don’t mean to be rude but I don’t look kindly on people who try to barge into my life,” I said in a sarcastic way.

“Oh, I’m sorry. It’s just that—I have this habit where I can’t help but help people who I see needs it”

“Well you’re in luck, I don’t need it” I stood up and left my payment. I started walking away. Hoping this crazy nut head would leave me alone but I was wrong. She happily followed me around.

“Why are you following me? You’re starting to annoy me. I advise you to leave me alone before I do something unspeakable”

“You say the most hilarious things. Did you know that?” she giggled. She actually giggled. Who does that? I’m threatening her and she giggled.

My phone beeped and I quickly checked it.

From: Ardelle Xenence

The package is inside a tree at the park, 5 blocks away from the market

“Who’s it from? A friend? Well now that I think about it, I’ve never seen you with anyone. Why is that?” I stopped walking and faced her.

“Ok seriously. I need you to butt out. You and I have no relationship what so ever so I need you to cut the crap and stay away from me. You got that, pretty little girl?” I left her there before she could give me her answer.

I went to the place Ardelle said and grabbed the envelope hidden inside the trunk. I returned to my apartment only to find that girl inside.

“I can see you have the talent to get past my securities. Now tell me what you really want from me?”

“I told you, I can’t help but help”

“And I told you, I don’t need your help”

“Then maybe you can help me, Venichie Montelle” then she gave me a smirk.

How does she know who I am? This is bad. If she really knows who I am then my whole identity will be compromised. Not just me. The whole organization I’m in. True that I don’t really hold any emotional attachment to any of those people I’m with but I still don’t want them being discovered since I’ll be put into a death sentence if that happens.

I’ll tag along with her for the sake of not dying just yet.

She took me to a remote location I have never been to. Strange though that this is my first time here even though I’ve been to thousand places because of my missions.

“Welcome to our headquarters” the wall from inside a cave opened.

I followed her inside and to my surprise, it was a high-tech place where there are only a few people inside. About six people.

“This is the Vigilante Squad! Guys come to meet someone!”

“The what now?” we headed to a room where there was a round table where everyone gathered.

“Yeah we couldn’t think of a better name. Don’t worry it’s just a temporary name. I hope. Anyway, guys, this is Venichie, she’s the one I was talking about”

“Why am I here?”

“Yeah, why is she here? We told you we can handle this on our own” a girl with grey hair tied in pigtails said.

“Calm down Linda. She’s brilliant like I told you. I swear she will make a great addition to our team”

“I’m gonna be a what now?”

“Venichie I told you, we need your help. With your abilities, we’ll become invincible. You’re an amazing person” amazing person huh?

Clarrise, the girl who dragged me here, told me everything. Apparently, they’re a group that protects the weak. Cliché. Now they’re stuck. They’re chasing a maniac who kills potential candidate presidents of a powerful company. And now they think I can help solve their problem. Clarrise saw me protecting myself from a mugger a couple of nights ago and was really impressed. She did a background check on me. Good to know it’s only an educational one.

“Come on Chie—“

“Chie? Are you trying to give me a nickname?”

“Cute huh?”

“No. Not cute. Look, there’s a line only some people can cross” some meaning none “so please, stop. I cannot help you. I will not help you”

“You can help me. I know you”

“No you don’t and you shouldn’t” I left her and went outside. I gotta get out of here before I kill her.

“Venichie! Wait!” I turned around. “Please, just hear me out”

“What? What do you want? I told you I can’t help you”

“Then let me help you”

“I told—“

“I know. But I told you, I know an innocent when I see one. Help me so I can help you. Please, or at least just lend me a little hand and I promise I’ll leave you alone” I heaved out a sigh and went inside. She smiled and followed me in.

They briefed me about their job and told me their plan. We decided to leave first thing in the morning. But I can tell by the look of the other guys, they aren’t as happy to have me as Clarrise is. After some indirect insults and bickering, Clarrise showed me to my room.

“Thanks…for umm… agreeing to help us. Sorry for my comrades’ attitude. They aren’t always like this”

“No worries. I’m used to it” she looked at me with more compassion than anyone has ever.

“Do you want to talk?” I stared at her and looked like she understood my answer. She just smiled at me then left.

The next day we headed to a town about a few miles away from here. Clarrise talked to the town sheriff while we waited for her.

“So what’s your deal?” the grey-haired girl asked.

“What deal?”

“Why did Clarrise recruit you? What did she see in you?” a guy wearing a trench coat asked.

“I honestly don’t know”

“Did you lose someone?” a blonde girl with a high pony asked.

“Lose someone?”

“Every one of us lost someone in our life. Someone very important to us. It’s kinda our similarity. Our connection. Our drive is why we do what we do” she explained.

I fell silent with her answer. I felt guilt. I have no idea what they are going through because I never really had anyone. Luckily Clarrise was back before they could grill me again.

“So the sheriff said that the attacks haven’t started but a week ago his friend from another town warned them. Although he never heard from him again since. Yesterday he found out that that town burned down but has no clue who or what caused it. If it was an army or just a small group. But whatever it is, it’s coming for this town next. So, we’ll stay here and protect them. But in the meantime, we’ll investigate first. So, Raven, Harry, and Milo go ask around what they know. Lila, I want you to patrol around the town. Sharon and Rio guard the mayor. I and Venichie will look around” so we went our separate ways.

Clarrise and I wandered the town and searched for clues. As we were walking we saw a house that seemed worn down.

“It looks abandoned,” I said.

“Yeah, according to records this was the house of a family that was murdered 5 years ago. They never found out who did it though”

This place looks familiar… I thought to myself. I walked inside the house and Clarrise followed me.

“Hey, what are you looking for? Woah. From the looks of things, it seems someone was murdered here…” she looked around and touched the bloodstains on the wall. “This has been here for a long time. My guess is around four, maybe five years. I wonder who lived here”

As I roam the house, I found a family picture displayed on a dusty shelf. My hands shook as I held the picture. I feel cold sweats running down my face. Clarrise turn in my direction when she heard glass breaking from the picture frame I drop.

“Hey! Are you alright?” I tried to stop my hand from shaking but I couldn’t. I felt something stir up in my stomach.

“I think I’m gonna get sick,” I said while I covered my mouth.

“Why? Hey–!” I ran outside and spit my guts out. “Venichie! What happened?”

“I threw up. That’s what happened” I stated the obvious while I wiped my mouth. “Let’s keep searching elsewhere” I started walking and she just followed.

I can still feel my handshaking. I held my arm and it seems like she noticed but didn’t ask anymore. Maybe she senses that I rather not talk about it. I mean what would I tell her anyway? Why did I throw up? Oh, no major reason, just that I found out I was the one who murdered the family who lived there five years ago.

I sighed as I remembered the picture. I felt like something was gonna come out of me again but I just held it in. How many innocent lives have I taken with my hands? Countless. I shook my head and tried to get their faces out of my head.

Night came and we all gathered at the entrance of the city. Clarrise gave her orders and we split to guard each entrance. I can feel the cold wind blowing. The whole town was dead quiet. I looked around and wondered what the heck am I doing? Why am I playing hero when what I really am is a demon? I turn the other way when I heard a sound. I look closely and then I heard a gunshot. I followed the sound and I saw Clarrise battling a guy with a mask. It didn’t take her long when she wounded him until he fainted.

“They’re here. Keep your guard up” I looked at the masked guy.

“Why didn’t you kill him?”

“We’re not killers. We’re only here to protect the innocents and not murder the criminals. That’s for the judge to decide” we heard thousands of footsteps and there we saw about 20 armed masked men ready to attack us. She smirked and faced me “Let’s see what you’re made of Venichie”

The battle started and it was a piece of cake. Though I have to admit, not killing them was a trial. We only wounded them. And Clarrise is good. Her weapon of choice is two pistols while I used knives to be able to maneuver quickly. My second weapon was a bow and arrow. I can use other weapons but I like my missions quite so this is better. I can also easily remove them from the victim so no traces will be left. Once we finish these guys, we headed to where the others are.

They are still in battle when we reached them. We lend assistance and quickly finish them off. We let one stay awake to ask some questions. But when I got a closer look at them I notice their mark. Shoot! They’re branch squad of Ardelle! I moved back and hid.

“Who are you and who are you working for?!” Raven asks as he pointed his spear at him. But before the guy could answer, he was shot. I looked from where it was fired and I saw another guy on top of the room. He was about to shoot at Raven so I quickly fired my arrow.

“T-Thanks,” Raven said. I saw Clarrise smile. Seems like she’s pleased.

After that, the others trusted me a bit. We headed back to the headquarters and for a week I stayed there. Not because I wanted to but because Clarrise asked me. For some reason, I couldn’t say no. We carried our missions swiftly and efficiently. After, Clarrise decided we should head home for a while. Since we live next door, we went together. It seems she really took a liking to me. When we’re together she never stops talking.

Once I entered my apartment, I was surprised. I’ve forgotten about my real missions and my real leader. When I got inside, he was there waiting for me.

“Where have you been Venichie?”

I can’t tell him about Clarrise and the others. He’ll kill them.

“I took a little vacation,” I said while I took my jacket off. I have to act naturally. “And what is it to you anyway?”

“What is it to me?! You just vanished without a word and we couldn’t reach you! You have completely forgotten your job and because of you our plans have been set back!”

“So what? You expect me to care?” I crossed my arms as I looked at him annoyed.

“I expect you to follow orders. Or have you forgotten that I own you? Your life belongs to me” he pointed a gun at me and released its safety trigger “Now, tell me where you really were?”

“What makes you think I’m lying? I was in Hawaii taking a vacation. I left all of my phones here to get some quiet time!”

“You’re lying. I would have known if you took a plane. Unless you took someone else’s private plane. Now tell me before I shoot you”

“I am not lying!” we heard a knock on the door. For all the time in the world!

“Chie! Are you in there? Want to eat lunch together?” she kept on knocking.

“Chie? It seems like you made a friend my dove” he grinned and that really pissed me off.

I quickly grabbed a knife from my secret pocket at my back and threw it at his hand which made him drop the gun. It fired but luckily it missed me. I threw another knife which scraped his face and made him scream. I grabbed the gun and rush outside.

“Chie what was that—?!” I took her wrist and we ran.

“No time to explain! We have to get off here!” we ran as quickly as we can. I took her to the back and we jumped outside a window. We headed to the alley and went inside an abandoned building. We caught our breath once I sensed the coast was clear.

“Chie what happened back there?” I looked away because I don’t know how to tell her.

“We have to get back to HQ. It’s not safe here” she looked at me intently then sighed in defeat.

“Fine. If you don’t want to tell me then I understand. I’ll contact the pilot to get the jet ready” she called the pilot and set our flight for tonight.

I headed to the back room and grabbed my emergency equipment. I am a pro after all.

“Is this your safe house?”

“One of my safe houses. No one knows these places but me” I put my weapons on my back and placed my ammo and other things in a bag.

“You have a lot of weapons”

“You’ll never know what you would need” I wore my jacket than my coat and my shades. I toss her a spare jacket and a hat. Then I handed her a gun. “You’ll need those. Put them on and let’s get out of here” I pressed a trigger and we heard a bomb go out.

“What did you do?!”

“I made my apartment explode. Erasing all evidence and making sure no one will be able to track me. Now let’s go so I can burn this place down as well” she looked at me with astonishment.

As soon as we left I pushed another button and then the building’s first floor was on fire. We got to the jet safely and a few hours later we got to HQ.

They asked me tons of questions but I had no idea how to answer them. Then a phone rang. Milo answered it.

“Clarrise it’s for you. It’s Gin”

I looked at Harry and ask who Gin was. “He’s the guy who took Clarrise in after her town burned down” my eyes widen upon hearing this. He further explain when saw my eyes with questions “When Clarrise was ten her entire town burned down. No one was left but her. She was out that day and when she got back she saw the town on fire. She was devastated and they never found out who did it. But because of that, she was known as the sole survivor of the Kornole massacre”

“Wait, did you say Kornole?”

“Yeah. That is what the town was called. Have you heard of it?”

I felt like throwing up and my face became pale. Kornole. I… I was the one who was given that mission. Ardelle said that that town was where top agents came from and he felt threatened by them so he had me murder every single person in that town.

I ran to the restroom and threw up in the toilet bowl.

“Hey! Venchie are you alright?!” I heard Raven knocking on the bathroom door.

“What happened to her?” that’s Clarrise. I feel so guilty. She has been so kind to me and it turns out I murdered her entire family. She became alone because of me.

“Looks like she feels sick. Her face turned pale and rushed here” Raven explained.

I got out and looked at Clarrise with eyes that want to scream sorry to her.

“Hey…are you okay?” for the first time in my life I had the urge to hug someone. This girl has changed me ever since she came into my life. She has shown so much kindness that no one else ever had. And in return, I gave her pain and hardship.

We headed to the kitchen and ate. I had no appetite and Clarisse noticed this.

“Care to share now?”

“What would you do if I told you who murdered the people of Kornole? Why you become alone” she fell silent. Maybe because I knew about her town “Harry told me when I asked who Gin was” she gave me such a sad smile.

“Why suddenly bring this up? I tried to find out who was responsible for that but never got the answer”

“What if I tell you I have the answer?”

“How would you know?”

“Probably because it was my fault”

“What?”

“I was the one who killed your family. Clarrise I’m an assassin for the Baishin Agency. The top criminal group ran by my adoptive father Ardelle Xenence. My name is Venichie Xenence. I have been a murdered all my life. I have killed thousands of innocent people all over the world. Back in our first mission, that house we were in. I murdered that family. Why I’m on the ran now is because Ardelle questioned my loyalty and now that I’ve betrayed him he wants me dead. If he finds out I’m working with you, he’ll have you killed. You’ve been showing kindness to a killer. And I am so sorry for all the pain I’ve caused you” I closed my eyes expecting her screaming at me and maybe hitting me but I just felt her hand on my hand. When I opened my eyes I saw her smiling at me.

“You don’t need to apologize. All you’re guilty of is being taken in by the wrong person and taught the wrong things. Nothing is your fault. You’re the victim here”

“But…but I’ve killed—“

“Venichie, you’re an adult now. You have to learn to let go of the past and learn to accept your mistakes. You are no longer a child being controlled by somebody. You have your free will. Being an adult means to stop blaming yourself for the mistakes you’ve made as a child”

“Clarrise…”

We heard the alarm and we ran to the hanger. We saw Ardelle’s men and him standing in front of them.

“Time to come home Venichie. Playtime is over. If you want your friends to live, you’ll come with me” I was about to say something when Clarrise stop me.

“She doesn’t belong to you! She’s one us now and we won’t hand her over to a devil-like you!”

“My my. Do you even know who she really is? She the Black Dove. The top assassin in the world. She has killed thousands of people! I’m sure you have heard of her and her works” he smirked.

I looked at Raven and the others. They looked puzzled. Yes, the world knows me as the Black Dove. A merciless killer. It seems like Raven and the others are hesitant about not handing me over. I don’t blame them. I’m the symbol of everything they despise and who they are fighting.

“So what?! That’s all in the past now. She isn’t that person anymore!”

“Clarrise…”

“If you want her, you have to go through me!” she pointed her weapons to them.

The next thing I knew the rest of them backed her up. She’s really a strong leader. And someone anyone would want to follow. She shines brighter than anyone.

“If that’s what you want. Men! Attack!”

The battle was fierce. Eight against 200 men seems impossible. We ran out of ammo and everyone was wounded. Tired and helpless. But Clarrise never gave up until it was only the two of us against Ardelle. The others are knocked out. But thankfully alive.

“Time to surrender my dove. How many more do you want to suffer before you stop this madness?!”

“You’re the mad one here! You’re the one who needs to be stopped!” Clarisse screamed.

Everything happened too fast. The next thing I knew I shot a guy behind us then stabbed Ardelle with my arrow. I ran to Clarrise who was lying on the ground bleeding t death. I held her close to me and let out a scream. My hands were covered in the blood even my clothes. I can’t tell who’s they were. Mine, Ardelle or Clarisse.

A year letter we were gathered in HQ. Raven was playing games and Harry was cooking lunch. Milo and Rio were fixing the computers. Lila was knitting while Sharon was watching.

“Hey leader, the computer is fixed”

“Alright. Thanks, Milo. Rio can you gather everyone so I can start the briefing for the next mission” I smiled at them and he smiled back.

“Aye aye leader!”

After Clarrise died we were all in a slump. But I remembered what Clarrise told me to stop beating myself up. After a month we got our act together and they decided to make me their new leader. I rejected it at first but I didn’t want to put Clarrise’s name to shame. I did everything to make her proud. We flushed every single one of Ardelle’s men and hunted those who got away.

I turned my whole life around and everyone has embraced me whole heatedly. They accepted me even after I came clean to them for who I am.

I’ve been running my whole life. Trying to escape who I was. I hated myself for all the crimes I’ve committed. Who wouldn’t? But Clarrise taught me a valuable lesson. It’s never too late to turn the other way. I need to stop blaming myself and head forward. Yes, my hands are stained by countless deaths. But Clarrise… her light help guided me to escape my past that hunted me for far too long. And I’ll be forever grateful to her.

— END—

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in Adventure, Drama, Fiction

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