The Killing Knife (A Tale of the Assassin Without a Name #1-3) by Scott Marlowe by Scott Marlowe - Read Online
The Killing Knife (A Tale of the Assassin Without a Name #1-3)
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Summary

The Assassin Without a Name takes the jobs he wants, dispensing death, or mercy, as he sees fit. His is a life of luxury, with a glass of the finest wine in one hand and a killing knife in the other.

At least until the Jakaree, a group of death-dealing fanatics, arrive with plans to subsume the city of Alchester in permanent darkness. When the Assassin Without a Name's closest friend and former lover finds herself embroiled in their machinations, he sets out to give the death-dealers a true lesson in death that they'll never forget.

***

Enter a world of intrigue, adventure, magic, technology, and, of course, murder, as the Assassin Without a Name finds himself embroiled in a secret war where all is lost no matter who wins.

The Killing Knife is a compilation of the first three Assassin Without a Name fantasy adventure stories, Fine Wine, Killing the Dead, and Night of Zealotry.

Published: Umberland Press on
ISBN: 9781507067055
List price: $1.99
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The Killing Knife (A Tale of the Assassin Without a Name #1-3) - Scott Marlowe

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This is a work of fiction. All characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

THE KILLING KNIFE

Copyright © 2015 by Scott Marlowe

All rights reserved.

scottmarlowe.com

First Edition: January 2015

First Edition (Fine Wine): June 2013

First Edition (Killing the Dead): June 2013

First Edition (Night of Zealotry): February 2014

OTHER WORKS BY SCOTT MARLOWE

scottmarlowe.com/Books.aspx

The Alchemancer series

Book 1: The Five Elements

Book 2: The Nullification Engine

Book 3: The Inversion Solution (forthcoming)

Assassin Without a Name series

Fine Wine

Killing the Dead

Night of Zealotry

The Goddard Affair

Thief's Gambit

Assassin's Justice

Standalone

The Hall of the Wood

Collections

The Killing Knife (Fine Wine, Killing the Dead, Night of Zealotry)

Tales of Uhl (The Five Elements, The Hall of the Wood, The Killing Knife)

WORLD OF UHL

The Killing Knife is a tale of the World of Uhl.

Find out more about the World of Uhl at

worldofuhl.com

Fine Wine

A Tale of the Assassin Without a Name #1

ABELARD ATE A LOT. THAT was why, after I’d slashed my knife across his belly, I half-expected the roast, broccoli, and soft rolls we’d dined on an hour before to come tumbling out onto the floor. Abelard did clench his gut and fall to his knees, as I expected he would, but it almost seemed I hadn’t cut him at all, for not even a single, glistening trickle of gastric juice seeped from between his fat fingers. I had to admit that something about the cut hadn’t felt right. Ordinarily, my blade sliced through flesh like a hot knife through butter. Yet I’d felt resistance and, I thought, heard an unexpected clinking noise when the edge had come into contact with his lardship. Those oddities aside, Abelard certainly looked like someone who’d just been eviscerated: a pallor subsumed his features, his eyes were opened wide, and his jaw all but touched the floor. No sound yet escaped from between his lips, but that was only because his mind hadn’t quite caught up. I didn’t fault his reaction; it’s not every day a man falls prey to an assassin, especially after having just wined and dined such a person at his own table. But Abelard took it a bit far when he fell to his back, curled into the fetal position, and started to moan. There was, after all, such a thing as dying with dignity.

Why have you betrayed me, my friend? Abelard asked between moans.

Abelard and I were not friends. I’d arrived at his home under the guise of a foreign merchant, come to Alchester with an airship full of cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves—all wine spices—from the distant Steel Islands that I needed to sell quickly. As a vintner, Abelard couldn’t help but try to lock in my special, below market prices. But, prior to making our acquaintance during this evening’s dinner party, we’d never met.

I didn’t betray you, Abelard. It’s nothing personal, either. In my line of work, it seldom was. Now, let’s say you make this easy on both of us by getting up. Abelard appeared to have his insides well in hand, so I didn’t think my request entirely out of the question. It would make my job so much easier.

You’ve killed me, my dear, dear friend. I bleed, and soon I shall die.

I sighed. I’d been warned about Abelard’s theatrics.

I started to clean my knife—I’d need both hands to lift him into a standing position—when I noticed there wasn’t anything to wipe off. I held the blade closer to the room’s dim candlelight. Son of a—the damn thing had a nick! My best killing knife, too. I slipped the weapon into its sheath at my belt, then grabbed hold of the front of Abelard’s coat. Grunting, I heaved him to his feet.

Abelard shook, but he remained upright, albeit with eyes closed and face turned from me. Couldn’t blame him for any of that. It’s not a pleasant thought, knowing you’re about to die.

What have I done to provoke your ire, my friend? he asked from between clenched lips.

Shut up. I’m not your friend. I knocked his hands away from his gut and felt at his ‘wound.’ Both coat and shirt were cut, but there was something hard—not soft flesh—beneath it. I ripped the opening wider and raised an eyebrow at the leather money belt—stuffed full of coins—fastened quite snugly above his sagging waistline.

You wear a money belt inside your own home? I asked.

Abelard had been in all day, so there was no reason for him to wear such a thing. Unless he’d been prescient enough of my client’s intentions to prepare himself for a hasty departure. Not hasty enough, it turned out.

One can never be too careful. He took his own turn examining himself. When he realized what had happened, he let out a chuckle that died on his lips as soon as his gaze returned to me.

With shaking hands, he undid the coin-stuffed belt and held it out to me. Take it, my friend. It’s yours. Only…let me live! I beg it of you.

I knocked the money belt away. I’ve already been paid.

Yes, but—

This was supposed to have gone down quick. Kill the mark, then take my leave with no one the wiser. Abelard’s household staff was out until morning, so I had plenty of time, but better to get this over and done with sooner rather than later. That meant no more conversation. I slid my knife from its sheath for the second time. Abelard shrank from it. No more games or missteps now, as I reached out lightning quick to