He spent weeks trying to sniff out her scent. Weeks! until one day he stumbled upon the same scent in a rundown building. He has gone there to pick up some supplies from his supplier who was on the run from the government.

The man was called dart-maker. Which to him, had always sounded like a cute name for a boy-band. But he had always reigned the laughter in. He schooled his features and stepped inside.

The old, bald man was hunched over a boiling pot of metal with a pair of tongs. He had wispy grey hair around the ears and long bony limbs. He had metal over his left arm where he had lost a huge chunk of it. He would never talk about how it happened and everyone knew better than to rile him. He always had a crazed look in his eyes.

After all, the man was a weapon's master. When someone spent their whole life making these things, it's not without knowing how to use them. It's wise to not get on his bad side.

After getting in debt with one of the major mafia groups, he went into hiding and decided to take clients in the black market. Even a weapon's master cannot take on the mafia alone. He chose the wise way to do business and Hunter respected the old man for this. As long as he got his supplies on time, he had nothing to complain about.

"Hello, old pal!"

"Old pal my butt! You owe me money!" He jammed a single metal finger in the middle of his torso.

"Hey, chill! I got your money right here."

He pulled a bag of coins and dropped them into his waiting fingers. The old man counted the coins before pocketing them. And promptly turned around to take care of his previous business. Paper money was of no use in the black market. Silver was the only accepted means of payment. Gold for luxury items or for inside information.

"You know what I'm here for! You got my supplies?"

"Right there..." he pointed towards a corner of the room where there was a big leather bag filled with arrows.

He was almost salivating over the new set. See there were a lot of places he could get these for a much cheaper price and legally. But these beautiful sharp things could pierce anything.

They had a reddish tint to them but had a silvery glow in the light. The first time he had assumed that it was rust and picked a huge fight with the old man. Only to realise later that that wasn't the case. No one knows what metal he uses to forge the arrowheads and many have tried to steal it.

No one ever succeeded.

They all just wound up in the hospital beds with arrows stuck in unsavoury places.


If it was him or if he had hired hitmen to get the job done, he does not know. Neither does he want to know.

it was a well-guarded secret and there were no written documents anywhere. Your best bet was to kidnap the old man and hope he talks.

"You outdid yourself this time eh?!"

"Take your supplies and leave."

"Awww.. don't be like that. I'll pour us both a drink. Whatya say?"

"Shut up and leave"

He grinned. Something about getting on the old man's nerves always put him in a good mood. He walked over to where he kept the bottles in the other room and opened the old oak cabinet. He took a deep breath to smell the whiskey and that's when it hit him.

There it was.

The scent he was tracking for weeks!

He rushed outside "Who else was here? Someone else was here before me, wasn't there?"

"I do not talk about my customers boy. Leave." came the calm reply.

"Don't play with me old man! This is important! Now tell me who was here."

"I said what I said. I do business in the black market, you actually believe I will give out the names of the people who do business with me? Get out now, you're annoying me." He waved a hand to emphasize it.

He stood there fuming. He knew getting the old man to talk was worthless. He was right, you cannot get people to tell on their customers in the black market. That is not how the rules worked. Once they know that you're a snitch they don't leave you alive.

There were a different bunch of people who sold information. That was for a different price.

He suddenly stopped breathing.

He flung the bag over his shoulder and rushed outside.

He stood there in the middle of the street in the sweltering sun, trying to contemplate which direction the scent came from. It locked to his right and he took off running.

He solely concentrated on the scent and forgot about the people he was bumping into. He heard curses and yells and kept running. He had to find her.

He found himself in a narrow alley with a few vendors who sold small counterfeit objects but no sign of her. He could recognise that face anywhere. As embarrassed as he was to accept this, he had dreamt multiples times about her. He could feel the scent everywhere... all around him. Yet he could not see her anywhere.

He tried zeroing in on the scent but with all the strong smells of the market he hard a hard time concentrating. The sounds almost caused him to lose his balance. Now, this is why he hunted at night. His senses were not assaulted and he could do things his way.

He decided to give up for now and leave.

"Darn it! Darn it all to hell!" He ran a frustrated finger through his hair and managed to pull a few strands of hair out.

"Oh great... now I'm gonna go bald." He kicked a random stone and went back in.

"I thought you had robbed me, boy. I was getting ready to send a hitman."

"I am a hitman." He grinned wide. "For a price. And I'm the best around old man. Remember that before you hire another one."

"You got a conscience boy. I need one without one." He gave a knowing look to the boy and said "Get out of here now. I have things to do."

He threw the bag of coins that he was carrying and grinned at the old man one last time.

"These are for the new supplies. See ya" He gave a mock salute before leaving.

It was weird that the scent disappeared as fast as it did.

If he was anyone else he would have doubted if he was going crazy. He knew himself and trusted his instincts as a well-trained hunter should and he did. Experience had taught him that no matter how small, instincts never lie. Scents and shadows never lie. He threw his fresh bag of supplies and headed towards a food stand that sold nothing but meat.


Two glowing red eyes watched his every move.

A huge man around 6.7 feet tall was hunched in the corner of the street with a dark sheet over his head. He sat there unmoving watching him walk over to a food stall and waited till he finished.

He had his guard down. If he strikes now, it would be easy. Like killing a puppy. All he had to do was let the arrow go. He waited another 5 minutes before sighing and lowering his arm.

"I guess you live one more day."

He got up and walked back deeper into the darkness.

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