“The Unlikely Assassin: League of Supernatural Assassins” Excerpt

Meet Likely, known as “It” among those who fear her unfathomable power. Even the creators of monsters are baffled by her existence. From birth, Likely has endured relentless scrutiny and experimentation, always kept at arm’s length due to the terror she instills. She’s heard every conjecture about her nature, but the truth remains elusive – she’s a puzzle, a failed experiment spiraling out of control.

Enter Rake, an outsider with unconventional techniques and a mysterious origin, yet unmatched in his ability to heal. With a chip on his shoulder and everything to prove, he’s tasked with capturing the ultimate weapon – Likely. Enthralled by her enigmatic allure, he finds himself drawn to her, only to be met with her instinctive recoil. Still, he’s determined to earn her trust, even if it means concealing his true motives. The less she knows, the safer they both are, but one misstep could end them both.

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Rake’s fist connected with the snarling werewolf’s face, the force of the impact sending his opponent flying across the abandoned warehouse. The beast crashed into a pile of wooden crates, splinters exploding in every direction. Rake didn’t have time to revel in his victory, as another attacker charged at him from behind, this one a vampire assassin with fangs bared. Daywalker, nightwalker, they were all the same to him.

He spun, delivering a powerful kick to the assassin’s mid-section and simultaneously summoning a bolt of fire – a gift he assumed he’d inherited from the volatile combination of his mage mother who’d raised him, his Nephilim father who had been killed in battle before Rake was born, and a mix of something else yet to be identified.

He unleashed the fire, the sound and stench of burning flesh filling the air the same moment the vampire’s eyes glazed over in shock. The assassin crumpled to the ground, skin sizzling from the divine energy. Rake’s chestnut brown skin glistened with sweat as he surveyed the battlefield, scanning for any remaining threats. He gave a momentary glance to his glamour magic, ensuring that his true identity remained concealed under the guise of a nondescript mercenary. He did not want to be identified. Magic had little to no effect on him, but bullets hurt like hell.

“Is that all you’ve got?” he taunted, a wicked grin spreading across his face. He hated this realm. One step from Hell, Soulgrim was filled with creatures who enjoyed nothing more than fighting, killing, and creating chaos. They always had a fight for him. Not that he minded fighting. He actually rather enjoyed it. It was just that he had no time for it today and the Illyium witch who’d contacted him hadn’t even bothered to show.

As the last of his foes retreated, Rake felt a sudden chill run down his spine. A whispering voice echoed throughout the warehouse, unmistakable and sinister. Vida, the Illyium witch, was reaching out to him.

“Rake, it appears that your reputation, as impressive as it is, does not do you justice. I thought it best to wait until you creatures finished your skirmishes before introducing myself,” her voice hissed, slowly materializing out of thin air, “I have a mission for you. There’s a girl, a young woman, actually, an experiment of the League. Her name is Likely.” Vida’s rake thin frame was covered in long, silk, midnight blue chiffon. The lightweight fabric flowed around her perfect figure as she moved, as if she was on her way to a ball instead of this clandestine meeting with an assassin.

Jet black hair pulled into a severe knot atop her head was accentuated with four ancient runes shaped like sticks, each one set with a precious jewel, each one pointing in a different direction – North, East, South, and West. Rake knew the runes harnessed her power, giving her ultimate control. If this agreement went south, the only way he’d stand a chance of defeating her would be to catch her without the runes. He made a note to do some research, put out feelers to find out if she ever removed them. Rake had lived a long time – long enough to know it was always best to be prepared for the worst.

As Rake listened, footsteps echoing through the now empty warehouse, Vida outlined the details of his task. He was to infiltrate the League compound on Icarus, capture Likely, a female assassin with unimaginable power, and convince her to use her unique abilities to bring the organization to its knees.

“Once the compound lies in ruins,” Vida continued, her voice dripping with venom, “you are to dispose of the girl. She cannot be allowed to survive.”

Rake processed the information, his mind hardening with determination. It wasn’t his place to question the motives of those who employed him – he was a professional, after all. But something about this mission piqued his interest, and he couldn’t help but wonder what made this girl, Likely, such a threat to the League and Vida. They were natural enemies, after all. He wanted to ask, but settled for a simpler question instead. “Why me?”

“The girl has powerful magic as well as other abilities. You are the only one I know who can get close to her. Half now, half when the job is done,” Vida hissed, her sickening voice nearly drawing a frown from him.

A silver bag appeared in front of him. When he opened it, the amount they had agreed upon filled the bag in Nackrimodian coins. Over the years, Rake had amassed a fortune. After all, his kind lived for centuries. He didn’t do what he did for the money, but it was still nice to get paid for doing what he was born to do.

“Consider it done,” he replied, his voice resolute. And with that, Rake began his preparations for the daunting task ahead. Little did he know that this mission would be unlike any other, and the enigmatic woman named Likely would change his life forever.

Standing on the rooftop of a desolate building, Rake overlooked the city’s dark skyline. The wind tousled the center of his long hair, brushing against the braided sides as he contemplated the mission ahead, feeling no more than a flicker of curiosity about the girl named Likely. He had been sent to capture and kill countless times before, and this task would be no different. Or so he thought.

“First things first,” he muttered under his breath, his mind turning to the intricate web of information and resources he would need to weave in order to infiltrate the League compound. The place was a prison fortress.

“Vida,” Rake called out to the Illyium witch, well aware that she was still watching him even though he could no longer see her, “I need intel on Likely. What she looks like, her routine, any weaknesses.”

“Very well,” Vida replied, her voice cold and distant. Within moments, images flooded Rake’s mind – a tall, athletic woman with chocolate brown skin, long black hair in braids, and piercing amber eyes.

“Interesting,” Rake mused, studying the image carefully. He hadn’t expected his target to be such a beauty. He knew that his glamour abilities would grant him the perfect disguise to blend into the League’s ranks, but he needed to choose his form wisely.

Effectively shutting Vida out of his mind, he mulled over the possibilities. The fewer details Vida knew, the better. He didn’t trust her, but there were very few beings he trusted, and they had proved themselves time and time again. He finally settled on adopting the guise of a security guard. It would offer him access to restricted areas without raising suspicion. Satisfied with his decision, Rake shifted his focus to the necessary supplies and weapons for the mission.

Using his preternatural senses to ensure he was alone, Rake used his rare teleporting ability to return to his home on Nackrimoda. In an abandoned warehouse, Rake’s personal armory was hidden behind a magical barrier, as was his home. He had programmed his accommodations to be activated by his body chemistry, a skill he’d learned while living with his mother’s friends on Yara. He strode confidently through the invisible wall, revealing shelves lined with an array of lethal instruments. His fingers passed over various blades and firearms, selecting only the most effective and discreet options.

“Knives and tranquilizers should do the trick,” he thought, tucking the sleek weapons into concealed pockets within his coat. “No need for anything too flashy or noisy.”

With his equipment secured, Rake turned his attention to gathering further intelligence on the League compound. He reached out to his network of informants, piecing together a detailed map of the facility’s layout, security measures, and personnel. He also gathered details on Vida.

“Alright,” he said to himself, taking a deep breath as he reviewed the information one last time. “Time to get to work.”

Rake focused his glamour ability, feeling the tingling sensation as his appearance shifted into that of an unassuming security guard. Satisfied with his disguise, he stepped off the rooftop, hovering a few seconds before vanishing into the shadows below.

As he moved through the city, Rake couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that this mission would be different from the others. But he pushed those thoughts aside, reminding himself that he was a professional – detached and efficient. Now was not the time to start second guessing himself.

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