The Achievement Junkie - chapter 680
Sterfen was a first-hand witness to Halmut’s mental decline. He personally saw Halmut torch his entire conference room in paranoia, albeit Halmut nearly caught Sterfen off guard with such an act. The Assassin God was astounded to see the great Sun God constantly on edge and do every little thing to guarantee his safety. Halmut’s cautiousness went far beyond extreme when there were supposedly no eyes to witness his acts, not to mention the unusual and sporadic conversations Halmut had with himself when alone.
Patient as ever, Sterfen was sure that such a decline would eventually prove useful for him and offer an opportunity. Now, Sterfen’s patience paid off.
But Sterfen wasn’t going to take Halmut’s sudden change of attitude lightly. As the best assassin would, Sterfen made sure that all his ducks were in a row before stabbing them all through the throat with a single strike. That’s how he worked and how he was trained.
Sterfen silently and invisibly followed Halmut through the chateau corridors. Whenever Halmut would pause and hesitate to accept rest, Sterfen patiently reassessed the situation. And when Halmut would turn and continue toward his bed, Sterfen would calmly follow.
Immediately after the legendary gods were sent to Glacier Keep, Sterfen combed through Olympic Chateau to verify Halmut as alone. Now that he wasn’t hiding his strength anymore, given the circumstances around Kylon, Sterfen didn’t care if Halmut learned of his abilities to enter the chateau freely like Moranti. Clearly, Halmut had already assumed that. If not, what else would be the purpose of Halmut’s paranoia?
After some time, Halmut found his room and gradually crept toward the only remaining piece of furniture in the entirety of Olympic Chateau, his bed. Not even bothering to assume his dragon form, Halmut tiptoed forward as if he wasn’t welcome in the chateau and didn’t want to get caught.
It was surreal to watch as Halmut cautiously scurried into his bed, hiding from his own shadow. This second side of Halmut, the forever-nervous, self-preserving side of Halmut that he had always hidden from the public eye, left Sterfen almost feeling sad for the dragon. But only almost.
The moment Halmut laid down and began to finally calm down his troubled mind via his long-awaited and very-much-needed rest was the moment Sterfen thoroughly inspected the bedroom. Searching for traps or latent sensory spells came first. After dispelling three stand-by alarm spells around the room, Sterfen got a little closer. He then took the ultimate level of caution. A thin layer of silence formed over Sterfen’s entire body, removing all possible chances to be heard naturally despite his incredible stealth skills.
Sterfen paused at Halmut’s bedside. A layer of illusory energy glazed over Sterfen’s pupils as he inspected the clothing and apparel that Halmut was wearing. He discovered some enchantments on his robe and even an earring to wake Halmut the moment someone came within a meter of the dragon’s body. But Sterfen didn’t fear such precautions.
Carefully, Sterfen retrieved one of his personal throwing knives. It was small and light in his hand but suddenly gained a life of its own as he lobbed it lightly into the air.
Once the knife began to float and move according to Sterfen’s will, he sent it specific orders and controlled it with surgical precision. A faint layer of energy appeared on the knife’s tip as it first neared the earring. Gently, the knife’s tip neared the small looped earring but didn’t come in contact with it. Instead, the energy around the knife’s tip effortlessly scratched through the enchantment carved into the gold ring. This process was repeated as the knife strategically sliced through specific spots on Halmut’s robe to silently destroy all of the repeated enchantments across Halmut’s outfit.
Finding no more enchantments barring him from making his move, Sterfen recalled his knife and stored it away. It was finally time.
Again, Sterfen scanned the room to double and triple-check that he was in the clear as he would never get another chance to do this. Also, Sterfen preferred attacking now before Jack and everyone was about to enter Glacier Keep as he too wanted to join them inside. But he wouldn’t leave until his target was gone and Kylon was freed from her manipulator.
The Assassin God then retrieved a second knife, one perfectly sized to puncture and disconnect a human spinal column from the front of the throat. With slow, controlled steps, Sterfen stepped into the air and hovered over Halmut’s resting soon-to-be corpse.
Holding the blade and positioning his strike, Sterfen quelled all emotion trying to overtake his mind. Though it was a rush to see such filth of a man meet his end, Sterfen’s professionalism and discipline to protocol kept him level-headed. His attention to detail was beyond anything that Halmut’s paranoia could prepare for.
Sterfen took in a single long breath and blinked three times, his small, preparatory routine before any assassination. Ready, Sterfen struck.
The blade stopped. Not even a finger’s length away from its target, the lunging knife came to a complete halt.
Sterfen tried to move but felt his arm completely locked up. Trying the same with his other arm also proved futile. To his utter disbelief, Sterfen found himself ultimately incapable of moving a single muscle apart from his face.
He didn’t understand anything but his tenacity to kill wasn’t stopped at all. A throwing knife appeared from his storage and was hurled at the side of Halmut’s neck via energy manipulation. But that too came to a halt.
“Wake up, Halmut. Take a look.”
Scrunching up his face, Halmut blinked rapidly. “Wha… STERFEN?!”
The Sun Dragon instantly stiffened his spine, pushing his neck as far from the blade as Halmut’s head sunk further into the mattress.
Sterfen, however, was frozen stiff, not only physically but mentally. To his dismay, Sterfen recognized that his invisibility had somehow been dispelled, as was his silence spell. He had lost complete control of his hand-crafted throwing knife as if it wasn’t in existence to begin with. And the calm, casual tone of that completely foreign voice left Sterfen unable to understand anything.