by Shiroi Yomena (白井嫁菜)
illustrated by jpegasus
Once upon a time, in a very large city in a very rich country, there lived an assassin.
He was a good assassin: competent, discreet, efficient, and highly respected by his peers. A man skilled in the art as well as the science of death, he enjoyed the chase, the hunt, and the satisfaction of the kill. He was a ghost, a man who did not exist, a man who changed addresses and names nearly as often as he changed his socks. To his neighbors and those he passed on the street, he was unremarkable: average of height, build, and face. Nonetheless, he was a happy man, and that showed in his eyes. Many–some to their detriment–thought mistakenly that that meant he was a kind person. He was not, particularly, though he often played at it. He chatted amiably with the old folks that sat on the stoops of the old apartment buildings and could usually be counted on to watch over a neighbor’s plants or cats while they were away.