Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Underlings

This is my fifth flash fic featuring Zento the Mercenary.  You can find the other four via here.

     Zento sighed far louder than he needed to.  “We were instructed to maim the Senator, not kill.  Pay attention to your objectives.”
     The fresh-faced man in old-fashioned Kevlar who Zento addressed frowned.  “Yes, sir.”
     “Now repeat our instructions back to me again.”  Zento paid close attention to his footing as he stalked through a downhill slope coated in foliage.  A manor appeared at the top of the next rise.
     “Wait in the Senator’s garden for him to come outside then maim him.”
     “Good enough.  We’re almost there.”  Zento inspected his crossbow one last time.  Everything was in order.  A pair of quarrels stuck out of the quiver on his back.
     Quintiffer flowers dotted the hillside.  Their yellow petals rose in their centers, forcing them into an odd cone-like shape that seemed to point upward at the pale blue sky.  A sweet aroma wafted all around.
     “Were you nervous on your first mission, sir?”  The younger man asked.
     Zento’s face went blank for a moment.  “My father was a Grand-General of the Verion Army.  Do you expect the son of such a hero to get nervous on his first mission as a mercenary?”
     The younger man blushed.  “No, I suppose not.”
     “Of course I was nervous,” Zento began.  “My father expected me to become a General in the Army, but I ran off and became a freelance.  If I failed my first mission, I would either be dead or dishonored so heavily that I wished I was.”
     They climbed past a buriba tree in silence.  The manor’s nearest wall was almost fully visible.
     “Can you take the first shot, please?”  The younger man swallowed hard.
     Zento sighed again.  “Underlings…”


  1. I love the banter in this one and Zento's attitude toward the younger man. After reading through all of these I feel that I have a pretty good idea of Zento's character but not so much that he is dull. He remains slightly aloof and mysterious.

    1. Thanks. As I write more Zento stories I'm constantly learning more about him. I tried to tailor him to be interesting in many situations.