Nix sped through the twisted labyrinth of tunnels. They twisted and turned but he navigated them with ease searching for his target. There was, as always, constant screams and howls, roars and screeches, but his ear blocked out the noise and searched for one voice, one sound through the rest. Nix’s footsteps were silent as he slinked through the caves and he even passed many fellow goblins who didn’t even notice his small and sleek form slip by. At last his ear caught the sound he was searching for.
Nix froze in his steps and focused, ears up like a jack rabbit poking his head up from the grass. The young goblin concentrated. Indeed it was the sound he was searching for. It was the whimpers and growls of the goblin he attacked back at their den.
Nix crept now, no longer sprinting, as he approached cautiously. He honed in on the sounds of his foe. The goblin assassin blocked out everything else, he neither heard nor saw anything; only the voice of his target.
He crawled to the opening of a spur in the cave which was significantly rocky and somewhat removed from the heart of the goblin clan. Even though the footing was treacherous, Nix was lithe enough to avoid so much as disturbing a single pebble. So skilled was silent was his approach that none of the goblins in the cave heard a single sound that might have alerted them to his approach.
Nix could hear the words of the goblins inside, each of them the same ones who were earlier in their home den.
“I kill little whelp!” the wounded one howled.
“He already dead likely. Stabbed in side by spear,” another responded. Nix studied the response and took note of the voice. “I stab him deep!”
There were cheers and laugher from the group; four voices in all.
“Well I kill brother!” the wounded one screamed. The goblins laughed more.
“You wounded. Kill later,” one advised.
“No! I kill now. With dagger from brother,” the wounded one wailed. Nix imagined his dagger in the hand of the goblin stabbing his brother and he felt his blood boil at the thought and his eyes focused in the dark. He reached down and felt the ground carefully before he discovered a sharp and pointed stone nearby. Nix gripped the rock in his hand tightly, a sharp edge protruding from his fist. Then he crept closer to the opening of the cave in order to peer inside.
The spur was very dark. Only one small fire burning in a corner for no apparent reason, some recently stripped bones nearby. It was rather small and narrow without much space beyond that which the four goblins already occupied. Nix spied his target.
The wounded goblin was sprawled on the ground writhing in pain and anger still while the other three sat near him snickering and laughing. If he were wounded worse they would likely kill him themselves and take his meager belonging but as it was the bone dagger Nix stabbed into him merely pierced his shoulder muscle and nothing more serious so if not murdered by his own clan he would indeed recover. Since he was the strongest of the four they respected that he could still kill them if needed and they did not dare harm him. Perhaps if they were more cleaver they would recognize that they could use their combined strength in a coordinated attack to kill him, but goblins are typically simple minded and no such strategy occurred to them.
Nix on the other hand, had a plan. While they argued and laughed and teased he quickly snuck into spur along the jagged wall, half way up in fact as though he were a rat and then leapt over one of the healthy goblins. His flight sent him over one of his foes and he descended directly above his target. The wounded goblin saw Nix just as he crested his friend but could not quite figure out who he was in the flash of Nix’s motion.
Nix gripped his stone with two hands and crashed down on his enemy, crushing his skull with the stone and killing him in a fraction of a moment. The other three goblins fell backwards arms flailing and shrieking as they struggled to keep their balance.
Nix did not hesitate in the least and instead scooped up his bone dagger and leapt onto the goblin who credited himself with stabbing his side. Nix drove his dagger into the throat of his attacker and fell on top of him, riding his dead body to the ground.
The spur was filled with shrieks and screams echoing deep into the goblin caves for all to hear. The other two goblins scrambled to their feet and fled screaming and clawing their way through the caves for the second time in the past hour.
The blood in Nix’s veins cooled and his muscled relaxed as he looked around the spur. Two goblins lay dead. Each of them much larger and stronger than he, yet he murdered them with his swiftness and stealth. He stuck his dagger in his waist and searched the bodies of the slain goblins and the room. Nix grabbed the spear used to stab him and the gear the other two carried. There was a satchel holding some smoothed stones and bones, a leather belt, a loose cloak and a bone necklace with some rodent skulls strung with a leather strip. They were not anything especially valuable but they were more than any other whelp possessed.
When Nix was finished scavenging he paused for a moment above his victims. He glared at their expired corpses, now stripped bare and left for rodents or a starving goblin to devour. His work was done.
“For Rozukg,” he whispered, “for Zyx.”