Chapter 10: Memory Block 4: Fifth Target: William of Montferrat

"Hey, Nora? Do you want to have a turn?" Jaune asks as he offers the controller to his friend.

"Thanks! I would like that!" Nora happily says as she takes the controller, just as the game now resumes.

After gearing up, Altaïr leaves the study only to be greeted by one of the instructors requesting to teach the novice how to fight. Taking this chance to test his new equipment Altaïr accepts.

"Training time!" Nora cheered.

The scene fades to white, then changes back, showing Altaïr in the training area with another Assassin. They began as they both raised their swords.

'DODGE

Press and hold (button) and press (button) to Dodge an attack. You can follow this up with a regular attack.'

"Aw… so it's just about dodging?" Nora wined, feeling bored already.

"Nora, dodging I just as important in training and combat." Ren lectures his partner.

"Fine…"

The spar starts, Altaïr jumps back from the incoming attack and follows up with an attack towards his sparring partner. He attempts this three times while being praised by the instructor.

"Boring…" Nora says as she finishes training.

"Maybe for you, but at least I got to see something I want." Jaune said.

"Dodging then following up with an attack?" Pyrrha guesses which her partner nodded.

"Yeah. Think you can help me with that Pyr?" Jaune asks

"I'll be happy too."

The training is complete.

The scene fades to white and changes back, showing Altaïr outside of the training ring.

"Okay! Training is done now. Where too?" Nora asks before their Scrolls buzzed.

'Use Fasttrack to go to Acre.' Triscythe messaged them.

"Got it!" Nora chirped as she did what their mysterious friend said.

Using the Fasttrack on the menu, Altaïr is now in Acre as he enters the Bureau and is greeted by its Rafiq, Jabal.

"Let's find out who our target is this time." Ren comments.

"Rafiq." Altaïr greeted.

"Word has spread of your deeds, Altaïr." Jabal said while he tended to his shop. "It seems you are sincere in your desire to redeem yourself."

"That and he's uncovering a conspiracy." Pyrrha added.

"Looks like you don't hate him anymore." Jaune smiled, making the redhead have a tint of red on her cheeks.

"I don't hate him per se, just disapprove, but I'm glad that he is finally maturing through his punishment." Pyrrha corrects her partner.

"I do what I can."

"And sometimes you do it well. I assume it is work that reunites us?" Jabal said as he now focused on the assassin.

"Yes." Altaïr answered. "William of Montferrat is my target. What can you tell me of the man himself?"

"William of Montferrat… No family name?" Jaune titled his head in confusion.

"Maybe he doesn't have one?" Ren guessed.

Jabal knew the question and answer. "William has been named Regent, while the King conducts his war. The people see it as a strange choice given the history between Richard and William's son, Conrad. But I think Richard rather clever for it."

"What's a Regent?" Nora asks.

"A title for someone as acting leader for the actual leader when he or she is absent." Ren explained.

"Oh! Cool." Nora smiled before dropping it before she realized what that meant. "Oh wait, that's bad."

"Bad is right. Knowing that William is one of the nine targets, there's no doubt there is a chance he will abuse his position." Pyrrha narrows her eyes.

"Clever, how?"

"Richard and Conrad do not see eye to eye on most matters." Jabal explained. "Though they are civil enough in public, there are whispers that each intends evil upon the other. And then, there was that business with Acre's captured Saracens. In its wake, Conrad has returned to Tyre, and Richard has compelled William to remain here as his guest."

"Captured Saracens?" Jaune repeated. "Does he mean soldiers?"

"Sounds about right." Ren said.

"You mean his hostage." Altaïr narrowed his eyes.

"Whatever you wish to call it. William's presence here should dissuade Conrad from acting out."

"I've never been one for politics." Altaïr grunted.

"But surely you realize your every action shapes the course of this land's future. You are a politician too, in your own way." Jabal countered.

"Wait, really? Is that how it works?" Nora asks.

"Not… in a normal sense." Ren slowly answered. "I mean, things do change if you take away influential people."

"As you wish." The disgraced assassin said, not really caring. "Now, where would you suggest I begin my search?"

"Richard's citadel southwest of here. Or rather, the market in front of it. You'll find the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in that direction as well. It's a popular place and should be filled with talkative citizens. Finally, try the border to the west, where the chain and Hospitalier districts meet. That should start you on your way."

"Hmm… that seems a bit less this time." Pyrrha comments, noticing how less the information is this time.

A message came from their Scrolls.

'In this one, there won't be any Eavesdropping.' Triscythe explained.

"Oh, I guess that we won't be spying on anyone this time." Nora pouted but quickly brushed it off.

"Very well. I won't disturb you further." Altaïr nodded in thanks.

"It's no trouble at all." The Rafiq waved off.

"Okay, let's start with the nearest location first." Jaune offered.

"Got it!" Nora chirped as she controlled Altaïr to the nearest source of information.

After getting what he needs, the assassin heads to the Rich District to gather more information.

Altaïr came across a herald in front of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross who spoke to the people. He approached the herald and listened to his speech.

"Let's see what this herald has to say." Pyrrha said as she and her friends carefully listened.

"We are too soft with our enemies. With one hand, we engage them, while the other tries to embrace! What good can come of this when our King cannot decide what he truly wants? But William knows if you would only listen! And what do we have to show for it? Graves and widows and orphans, sons. King Richard promises a better morrow, unspoiled land, and new beginnings, but he's delivered only death! William of Montferrat had a vision. Saw a way to end our pain. It's him we should follow. It's him who'll lead us to victory! Stand up, friends! Do not allow yourselves to be sent to slaughter based on whims and wishes of an uncertain King! We must rely on men, who are stronger in their convictions! Men like William of Montferrat!"

"It sounds like he's trying to make King Richard look bad while painting William as the good guy." Jaune points out.

"Like all corrupt heralds." Ren sighs.

After the speech, the herald walked away.

'Interrogation

Initializing Memory Imprint…'

"Time for a world of hurt!" Nora gleefully said as she made Altaïr stalk his target.

After the speech was over, Altaïr followed the herald to a secluded area and beat him up until he yielded.

"Stop! Enough, enough!" The herald begged as he coward while shielding his face with his arms. "What is it you want? Gold? I've a few pieces on me. Take them! Take them and go!"

"I want information, buddy!" Nora wickedly grins, creeping out the others.

"Should we be worried?" Jaune whispered to Ren in concern.

"She'll be fine… hopefully." Ren answers back while a bit unsurely.

"It's not gold I seek, but information." The assassin corrected.

"I know nothing!"

"You know William." Altaïr pointed out, making the herald flinch. "Tell me how to reach him."

"Can't start an assassination without knowing where to take it." Jaune comments.

"It's impossible! He meets with the King!"

"Makes sense seeing what position William is." Pyrrha points out while recalling the information from the Rafiq.

"It would be catastrophic if Altaïr were to kill him in the presence of a king." Ren points out.

"And when will the King be gone?"

"Today. But it won't help you." The herald said as he began to calm down. "They're sure to argue, and then William will retire to lecture the soldiers, so it always goes. Richard berates William, William berates his men. He won't see you."

"So he takes out his stress on his men?" Jaune narrowed his eyes in disappointment.

"Sounds like the two really disagree a lot." Nora comments.

"Then why did the king make William Regent?" Pyrrha wondered.

"As the Rafiq said, the two have a strange relationship." Ren reminded them.

"I already told you, I need to see William. I never said he needs to see me." Altaïr said.

"At least Altaïr now has the perfect chance to strike." Jaune said.

"Then our business is done." The herald said, slowly feeling relieved.

"Unfortunately not." Pyrrha sighed, knowing what was going to happen next.

"Not yet, I'm afraid. There's one last thing I need from you."

"What is it?" The deadman cautiously asked.

"Your life." Altaïr then stabbed the herald in the stomach with his Hidden Blade, killing him.

The game was saved.

'Memory Block 4

Investigate Complete –

William will be distracted today by Richard's visit.'

"We know how to take him down now." Nora said.

"But where?" Pyrrha points out, needing that crucial information to locate the target.

"We can find out in the next destination." Ren points out.

"On it!" Nora chirped as she guided the assassin to the next destination.

After his integration, the assassin searched the area for additional clues with the markets until he found two civilians speaking with each other. Taking this opportunity, he stood a distance away from them and began to listen to their conversation.

"Looks like we found our guys." Jaune joked.

"Let's see what they have for us." Pyrrha mused.

Altaïr approached the two civilians and listened in.

"They let you come and go as you please? I thought the fortress was closed to all." The first civilian questioned.

"A fortress… perhaps that is where William will be." Ren deduces.

"I wonder why that they allowed civilians in a fortress?" Pyrrha wondered, confused why since they said that the fortress is closed to civilians.

"Aye, but William wishes to have repairs completed as soon as possible. It's been to our advantage." The second civilian said.

"Oh! That explains it." Pyrrha comments.

"I guess even they need repairmen themselves." Jaune mused but raised a brow. "What did he mean by advantage?"

"Most likely for spies to come in and look around." Ren points out.

"The perfect cover. It's clever." The first civilian mused.

"So they are spies." Nora grinned. "Good thing they did the hard work for us."

"Anyway, I've finished my report and should deliver it."

"For once, it seems things might go our way, and not by accident."

"Well, the Bible does say, "God helps those who help themselves."" The second civilian quote.

"That's a good saying." Pyrrha smiled.

"You do know that's not how it works." Nora comments with a blank expression surprising her and her partner, while Ren just gives a sad face to her understanding of what she meant.

Nora blinked a couple of times before realizing what she had said before quickly going back with a cheery smile. "Oh, sorry! Don't worry about what about I said that was me just being off." The orange head girl quickly says before quickly going back to the game.

Jaune and Pyrrha didn't seem convinced. They turned to Ren, who just gave a sad smile and mouthed, 'explain later.' The two looked at each other, and they both silently nodded, not going to push them for the answer.

"Nah, it doesn't, actually. That's from one of Aesop's Fables." The first civilian corrects his friend. "The Bible says quite the opposite, in fact. Many passages about being patient and faithful, and waiting for the Lord to decide if he wishes to assist."

"That's interesting…" Ren couldn't help but admit to being fascinated by such a variety of religion and their philosophy.

Nora, however, mentally scoffs at that thought while she keeps her temper in check. "Where were the gods when my mother left me when the Grimm attack? Where were they when I was all alone in the streets? Where were they when they attacked Kuroyuri?" Nora held back her tears and was fortunate that no one saw her problematic face but kept it in. The last thing she needed to worry about was her friends getting worried about her

"Well, I say we've waited long enough."

"You'll hear no argument from me." The first civilian agreed.

"Very well, I'm off then." And with that, the conversation is other, and the two went their separate ways.

'Pickpocket

Initializing Memory Imprint…'

"Better follow him, Nora." Jaune said, but Nora didn't respond. "Nora?"

Nora snapped out from her thoughts. "Hm? Oh! Sorry, going to steal stuff now!" The girls quickly said as she began to control Altaïr.

The J and P of JNPR were getting worried for the hammer girl but stayed quiet as they respected Ren's wishes to wait for them to talk about it.

As soon as they both took their separate ways, Altaïr tailed the carrier, and the moment he was close, he stole the letter from him.

The tension lessened as they laughed and watched the guy acting like an idiot when Altaïr stole the documents.

The game was saved.

'Memory Block 4

Investigate Complete –

A forgotten structure can pose as a potential entrance.'

"Looks like we not only know the location but also how to get inside." Jaune comments.

"Let's have a good look at what is inside the documents." Ren said, gesturing to Nora, who now looked back to normal.

"Okay!" Nora chimed as she paused the game and opened the menu to look at the document.

Altaïr acquired a map showing a forgotten structure's position that could serve as a potential entrance.

"Cool! Now we can get in the fortress and out when we need to." Jaune smiled. "Better head back to the bureau."

"You got it!" Nora said as she guided Altaïr back to the Assassin Hideout.

After he had gathered the necessary information, Altaïr returned to the bureau.

"Altaïr! What brings you back so soon?" Jabal asked, a bit surprised at the assassin's quick return.

"There wasn't even much to go through." Nora snipped.

"I've done as asked and armed myself with knowledge." Altaïr said.

"That too."

"Speak, and I will judge." The Rafiq said as he paid attention as he brought out a journal.

Altaïr shares what he learns. "William's host is large, and many men call him master, but he's not without enemies. He and King Richard do not see eye to eye."

"It's true. They've never been close." Jabal agrees.

"The herald did confirm that." Pyrrha comments.

"This works to my advantage." Altaïr continues. "Richard's visit has upset him. Once the King has left, William will retreat into his fortress to brood. He'll be distracted. That's when I will strike."

"Taking out his stress towards his own men." Jaune says in disapproval.

"A good distraction nonetheless." Ren points out.

"You're sure of this?"

"As sure as I can be. And if things change, I'll adapt."

"Then I give you leave to go." Jabal grants the assassin permission as he gives Altaïr a feather. "End the life of Montferrat, that we may call this city free."

"Consider it done." Nora epically said.

Jabal placed a feather on the counter, which Altaïr took.

"I'll return when the deed's been done."

The usual robotic voice is heard.

'Fast-forwarding memory to a more recent one…'

The screen fades from white, and Altaïr is seen getting up from a mat inside the Bureau he was resting on.

'Memory Blok 4

Investigation Complete

Strike after William meets with Richard. He'll be distracted by his meeting.'

"Alright. Let's do this." Jaune said as Nora nodded and guided Altaïr to his target.

Altaïr leaves the Bureau and heads to the Acre Citadel to assassinate William of Montferrat.

After a long walk, Altaïr approached the fortress.

"It's huge!" Nora gawked at the size of the fortress.

"Not surprising for a place where the knights are kept." Ren said.

The gates opened, leading countless knights to come out as they gave way for an older man in red armor with a golden lion symbol on his chest with a red cape with red hair and beard. This is King Richard on his horse as he leaves the fortress.

"Whoa! Looks at all those knights." Jaune says in awe seeing all the knights coming out of the fortress.

"And that must be King Richard." Pyrrha says, looking at the dignified man on the horse.

He was followed by an elderly knight wearing red and white armor with a longsword by waist with a black buzzcut hair walking beside the king. This is Altaïr's target, William.

"And that must be William of… of something." Nora narrowed her eyes at the target as they listened as the two began to talk to one another.

"Three thousand souls, William. I was told they would be held as prisoners and used to barter for the release of our men." The King said as he talked to William.

"What? What's he talking about?" Pyrrha questioned as she recalled from the Rafiq that the army did capture three thousand men but was nervous at how the king said it.

Ren carefully looked into what he meant. Then he widened his eyes in horror. "No… he didn't…"

The others looked at him with concern and nervousness. "What… did you learn?" Jaune asked with a hint of fear.

Ren swallowed a bit and answered. "I… I think William killed all of the three thousand captured men."

The others gasped in horror. "He… killed them?" Pyrrha whispered as she covered her mouth in shock.

"But… but why?" Nora also whispered in horror while Jaune wondered as well.

"The Saracens would not have honored their end of the bargain." William argued. "You know this to be true. I did you a favor."

The young teens gasped in disbelief at why Willian ordered the execution of the captured men just to give a favor to the king.

"He killed them because he doesn't believe that the enemy will keep their word?" Jaune silently seethed in rage, seeing the illogical choice seeing that it was at the cost of three thousand lives.

"But why?! What could possibly be worth killing all of those people?" Nora shouted in rage. "Wouldn't that just make the army their fighting against angry?"

"I think that might be what William wants." Ren narrowed his eyes at the thought.

King Richard laughed, filled with sarcasm. "Oh yes, a great favor indeed! Now our enemies will be that much stronger in their convictions, fight that much harder!"

"Yeah! Dumb move you did there!" Jaune snarled in rage.

"What would this possibly achieve?" Pyrrha questioned. Despite looking calm, she was angry, just as everyone was.

"I know our enemy well!" William said in frustration. "They will not be emboldened but filled with fear!"

"And how does he know that?" Ren says suspiciously at how convinced William knows his enemy would think that way.

"Tell me, how is it you know the intentions of our enemies so well? You who forsake the field of battle to play at politics." Richard questioned.

"Even the king is suspicious of his actions." Pyrrha adds.

"At this point, he has to know that this guy is a traitor." Jaune says, hoping that the king would see through William's scheme. Whatever it is.

"I did what was right, what was just!"

"You swore an oath to uphold the work of God, William!" Richard countered as he circles around the knight with his horse. "But that is not what I see here! No, I see a man who's trampled it!"

"Things are getting really heated now." Jaune said, seeing that Richard's trust for the Regent was dropping.

"Your words are most unkind, my liege." William said with growing irritation. "I would hope I might have earned your trust by now."

"You are Acre's Regent, William, set to rule in my stead. How much more trust is required? Perhaps you'd like my crown?"

"You miss the point!" William angrily shouts. "But this is nothing new!"

"This sounds like a daily routine for these two." Nora mused.

"It's really odd that these two haven't had a falling-out yet." Pyrrha comments.

"Much as I'd like to waste my day trading words with you, I've a war to fight. We'll have to continue this another time." Richard says as his horse begins to gallop away.

"Do not let me delay you then, your Grace." William says but without a hint of care in his tone.

King Richard then left with his escort and rode for Arsuf.

"Well, that ended well…" Nora sarcastically said.

"At least this riled up William enough to distract himself." Jaune points out.

"I fear there will be no place for men like him in the New World." William says as he watches the King and his men leave.

"Again, that saying…" Ren muttered.

"What saying?" Jaune asked, hearing what the friend said.

"There has been a lot of mentions of saying 'New World' a couple of times in the game." Ren answered, getting a few thoughts about what he said.

"There have been a few mentions of those two words." Pyrrha said, recalling it a few times.

"Do you think that is what the targets are doing?" Nora questioned.

"I'm not sure… with everything we learned from the previous targets, they do have connections from each other, but it's still too soon to tell how they are doing it." Ren answered, still piecing the pieces together.

William turned to one of his men. "Send word that I wish to speak with the troops. We must ensure that everyone is doing their part. Warn them that any negligence will be severely punished. I am in no mood to be trifled with today!"

"There's that temper of his." Jaune frowned.

"I can't help but feel sad for the men." Pyrrha comments.

"Yes, my lord!" The knight said as the two walked back inside the fortress.

"The rest of you, follow me!" William and his men retreated into the fortress.

'Checkpoint Reached.'

"Okay! Time to get to work!" Nora chimed as she guided Altaïr inside the fortress thanks to memorizing the guide Altaïr stole not too long ago.

After seeing that his target has now entered back in the fortress, the assassin could get inside the fortress by climbing through the walls with the information he has obtained.

"He's in." Jaune said. "Watch out for the guards."

"Got it!" Nora nodded as she guided Altaïr through the fortress.

Altaïr made his way inside, stayed up at the fortress's higher levels. Making sure he was not spotted, killing a few archers, up on roofs until he managed to catch William in the middle of lecturing his men inside a secluded area most likely where they gather for meetings.

"Found him!" Nora said.

"Hang on, Nora, it looks like he's about to make his speech." Jaune points out.

"And besides, I doubt Altaïr can handle all those guards by himself." Pyrrha adds.

"Men! Gather round!" William shouts as his faithful knights listen. "Heed well what I have to say! I come from speaking with the King, and the news is grim. We stand accused of failing in our duties. He does not recognize the value of our contributions to the cause."

"For shame!"

"He knows nothing!"

"He is wrong!"

The knights shouted in anger.

"Doesn't sound like he's taking his anger out on his men." Nora tilted her head in confusion.

"And his men don't sound trouble at all." Pyrrha said, surprised that the men sound loyal to William despite the information on how the target treats his men.

"Peace, peace! Hold your tongues!" Willian announced, calming them down. "Aye, he speaks falsely, but his words are not without some merit. To tour these grounds, it is easy to find fault, to see imperfection. I fear we have grown slack, and lazy!"

"Never!"

"We are committed!"

"Why do you say this?"

The knights shouted in shock and confusion.

"There's the trouble." Jaune deadpans expecting this part.

William continued as he began to accuse them. "I see the way you train. You lack conviction and focus. You gossip and gamble. Tasks set to you are left unfulfilled, or poorly performed. This ends today! I will not suffer further degradation at his hands! For whether or not you see it, and you should, this is your fault! You've brought shame upon us all! Skill and dedication are what won us Acre, and they will be required to keep it! I have been too lenient, it seems, but no more! You will train harder and more often! If this means missing meals, missing sleep, so be it! And should you fail in these tasks, you will learn the true meaning of discipline. Bring them forward."

"Okay… between taking out your temper at them. This is just straight-out torture!" Nora shouted. She liked the training and all that, but she knows that this is too much even for a group to handle.

"Yeah… I doubt the Atlas Military does this to its men." Jaune comments.

Two of William's soldiers were brought forward for questioning both of their armors were stripped off.

"I don't like the looks of this." Pyrrha narrowed her eyes as she felt a growing dread.

"If I must make examples of some of you to ensure obedience, so be it. The two of you stand accused of whoring and drinking while on duty. What say you to these charges?"

"M-my lord, please, w-we meant no harm by it." The first soldier said fearfully.

"We... we forgot ourselves. It will not happen again." The second soldier said, trying to be reasonable.

"No, it won't." Without warning, two other knights executed the two.

"Disregard for duty is infectious." William continued unaffected by the two dead bodies before him. "It shall be rooted out and destroyed. In this way, we may prevent its spread. Am I understood?!"

Team JNPR made a few gasps after what they had witnessed.

"Yup. Saw that coming…" Jaune sighed, already getting used to seeing this kind of violence.

"Monster…" Pyrrha narrowed her eyes. "Killing your men for insubordination."

"Another reason to take this guy out." Nora growled.

"Agreed." Ren calmly said but was also angry.

"Yes, my lord!"

"Of course!"

"By your command!"

"Are they saying that out of respect or fear?" Jaune wondered, hoping that it was the latter.

"Good, good." Willaim said, pleased by the loyalty of his men. "Return to your posts, filled with new sense of purpose. Stay strong, stay focused, and we will triumph. Falter, however, and you will join these men, be sure of it. Dismissed!"

The team watches the men slowly leave, seeing that this was an excellent opportunity for Altaïr to strike.

"Wait until William is all alone, Nora." Ren told his partner.

"I'm waiting as best as I can." Nora said as she patiently waited.

Once William was finished, men left the area, leaving him alone as he focused on the map. Of Holy Land on the table, leaving open and defenseless.

"Now's your chance!" Jaune said.

"On it!" Nora chimed as she controlled Altaïr, as stealthy as she could take him.

Seeing this chance, Altaïr silently climbed down behind his target from the upper levels. The moment he was behind William, he used his Hidden Blade and stabbed him in the back, killing him.

"And… done!" Nora sighed in relief, glad that another target was down for the count.

"Now, let's see what this guy has to say." Jaune said as he and the others carefully listened for the deadman's last words.

The screen quickly fades to white as Altaïr carefully lays him to the ground showing another Memory Corridor.

"Rest now. Your schemes are at an end." Altaïr calmly says.

"What do you know of my work?" William questioned as he barely hung on.

"I know that you are going to murder Richard, and claim Acre for your son, Conrad." The assassin said, but to his surprise, William laughed.

"That does sound about right when you put it that way." Ren commented when they heard about Altaïr's conclusion for William's recent actions. But that idea was thrown when they heard William's laugh.

"W-Why is he laughing?" Nora asked, confused about his sudden laughing.

"For Conrad? My son is an arse, unfit to lead his host, let alone a kingdom!" The dying man confessed, seeing that he did not see any potential towards his spouse. "And Richard, the all-see-know is no better, blinded as he is by faith in the insubstantial. Acre does not belong to either of them."

"He doesn't see anything special towards his own son…?" Jaune was having a mix of emotions the moment he heard all that, and instead of being angry towards the father, he couldn't help but feel sad for the son.

"If it's not for himself or his son… then for who?" Nora questioned.

"It's probably for the others that he was working with." Pyrrha answers suggesting that it was part of the plan that the nine targets have been working on.

"Then who?"

"The city belongs to its people."

This answer completely caught the team off-guard. Not expecting William to make that answer,

"The… people…?" Jaune questioned, confused at how this would make sense. "But… that… doesn't make any sense."

"Let's hear his explanation before we jump to a conclusion." Ren suggested he was also confused like the rest. Hopefully, William will explain it more appropriately.

"How can you claim to speak for the citizens?" Altaïr questioned, confused after everything he had done. "You stole their food, disciplined them without mercy, forced them into service under you."

"He stole food!?" Nora shouted rage but turned into confusion. "When did he steal food?"

'Out of context information, don't worry about it.' Triscythe texted in their Scrolls.

"Everything I did, I did to prepare them for the New World." William simply answered as he coughed in pain. "Stole their food? No. I took possession, so that when the lean times came, it might be rationed properly. Look around. My district is without crime, save those committed by you and your ilk. And as for the conscription, they were not being trained to fight. They were being taught the merits of order and discipline. These things are hardly evil."

"That's… he's… not wrong…" Ren mutters while having a conflicted look on his face along with the others.

"None of that does sound evil, but that doesn't change the fact that how he's doing it is wrong even its for this New World they keep saying." Jaune says with a determined face making the others feel relieved.

"Right." Pyrrha nodded with a smile. "They may sound noble, but his methods like the others are wrong."

"Yup! It doesn't change the fact that they're making everyone suffer for it." Nora added.

"No matter how noble you believe your intentions, these acts are cruel and cannot continue." Altaïr countered.

"See! Even Ice King agrees."

William laughed once more. "We'll see how sweet they are, the fruits of your labors. You do not free the cities as you believe, but rather damn them. And in the end… you'll have only yourself to blame. You, who speak of good intentions."

"Wow… ominous much?" Nora winced at the final parting words of William others felt the same.

"I can't help but shudder at those final words…" Jaune shivered after hearing those words, and it didn't help that William was confident in his comments before his death.

With his last breath, William dies. Altaïr gently lays him down to the ground, then he follows by staining the feather of the dead man's blood.

"Another sample collected." Pyrrha sighs.

"Hopefully, Altaïr will escape without a problem." Ren comments.

'Checkpoint Reached.'

The screen quickly fades into white again and out rapidly, showing Altaïr back in the fortress. However, the guards are all in alarm after what the assassin did.

"Close the gate!" One of the soldiers shouted.

"Spoke too soon…" Ren sighs.

"Time to book it!" Nora cheered as she made Altaïr escape through the same route he took and did the same routine, either fighting or avoiding guards or hiding in a hiding spot.

The assassin begins his escape through the same route he first entered the fortress without a second thought.

Fortunately, he was able to avoid any guards and archers on the way. He temporally hid in a hiding spot until he was temporarily incognito.

'Reinitializing…'

"Now to head back to the Bureau and report the deed." Jaune said as Nora nodded and did that.

Now that the guards had lost him, he escaped the citadel and headed to the Bureau while avoiding as many guards as possible until he finally reached his destination and met up with the Rafiq.

"What news?" Jabal questions.

Altaïr presents the bloodstained feather to Jabal. "William of Montferrat is dead. And with him, his plans for betrayal."

"And that makes five out of nine." Ren comments.

"You've done well, keeping Acre from his hands." Jabal praised the assassin's achievement as he took note of it in his journal.

But Altaïr was confused even after his achievement. "But why now, when the Crusaders require unity most? Could have waited."

"That's what I don't understand." Ren shook his head. "William's action only prolonged the war."

"I think that's what he wants." Jaune narrowed his eyes as he made his guess. "I think it's their own way in making a New World by weeding out the problems."

"That's… that's sick!" Pyrrha narrowed her eyes in disgust, seeing that it did fit terribly.

"That's truly dark." Ren narrowed his eyes.

"I'm really not liking these guys at all!" Nora shouted in rage.

"Waited for what? For Richard to return and discover his schemes? No, it was the perfect time for him to strike."

"Perfect for madmen like him." Jaune spat.

"Strange… I was sure he meant to take Acre for Conrad, yet he claimed this was not his plan."

"You cannot trust the words of snake, which even in death, produces venom." Jabal points out.

"Despite everything that's happened, it's honestly hard not to believe them." Ren admits with a hint of shame.

"I know! So far, every single target was convinced to their own beliefs till the end." Pyrrha also admitted with a sad sigh.

"A real shame that these are the bad guys." Jaune added.

"I should discuss this with Al Mualim."

"Yes, my friend." Jabal agrees with Altaïr's choice. "Make haste for Masyaf. I am sure he is eager for news."

'Fast-forwarding memory to a more recent one…'

The screen fades out from the white, and Altaïr is seen getting up from a mat inside the Bureau he was resting on.

'Memory Block 4

Assassination Complete –

Target has been eliminated. Return to Al Mualim.'

"Time to go back to Masyaf." Nora said as she paused the game and used Fasttrack to head back to Masyaf to meet Al Mualim.

Altaïr left the Bureau and traveled back to Masyaf.

The screen fades back to white while the screen shows that the game is being saved. The screen fades out from white, showing Altaïr in Masyaf. He is in front of Al Mualim in his studies.

"Come, Altaïr. I would have news of your progress." Al Mualim said.

"I wonder what Altaïr will talk about with Al Mualim?" Jaune wondered.

"Probably about William and the previous targets." Pyrrha guessed.

"If it were me, I would definitely confront him about who these people really are." Nora huffed as she crossed her arms.

"I've done as you've asked." Altaïr said as he approached his Mentor.

"Good, good." Al Mualim said but could tell that there was something wrong with the young assassin. "I sense your thoughts are elsewhere. Speak your mind."

"Here it comes…" Jaune said as he and the others braced themselves for this interaction.

"Each man I'm sent to kill speaks cryptic words to me." Altaïr while his confusion and frustration became visible. "Each time I come to you and ask for answers. Each time you give only riddles in exchange. But no more!"

"He has been avoiding the subject every time Altaïr questions him." Ren nodded in agreement.

"Who are you to say "no more"?" Al Mualim questioned.

"I hope Altaïr knows what he's doing…" Pyrrha winced as she recalled the times that the disgraced assassin made the Mentor angry or disappointed.

"I'm the one who does the killing." The disgraced assassin snapped. "If you want it to continue, you'll speak straight with me for once!"

"Tread carefully, boy. I do not like your tone." Al Mualim said, calm yet edge in his voice.

"Ooh! Things are getting tense!" Nora shuddered, being both nervous and excited at what would happen next.

"And I do not like your deception!" Altaïr snapped back still.

"I have offered you a chance to restore your lost honor." The Mentor countered.

"Not lost! Taken! By you!" Altaïr accused. "And then you've sent me to fetch it again like some damned dog!"

"Okay! That was crossing a line!" Jaune said, now getting nervous.

Al Mualim took up the sword lying on his desk. "It seems I'll need to find another! A shame, you showed great potential."

The others gasped. "Not again!" Nora wined.

"I think if you had another, you'd have sent him long ago." Altaïr said, not feeling threatened at all by Al Mualim's action. "You said the answer to my question would arise when I no longer needed to ask it. So I will not ask. I DEMAND you tell me what binds these men!"

"Whoa…" Jaune says in awe.

"Man, he has balls of steel." Nora chimed.

"Nora!" Pyrrha lightly blushed at the crude saying.

"But he does have a point." Ren comments ignoring what Nora said. "At this point, Altaïr has every right to know what is going on."

"But the question is how will Al Mualim will respond?" Jaune questions.

There was a moment of silence Al Mualim spoke. "What you say is true. These men are connected, by a blood oath not unlike our own."

There was a sigh of relief from everyone in Team JNPR. Both relieved and happy that they are finally getting answers.

"Who are they?!"

"Non nobis Domine, non nobis. (Not unto is, O Lord, not unto us.)" Al Mualim answers as he places the sword back on the desk.

"…huh?" Everyone in JNPR said in confusion.

"Templars." Altaïr answered immediately, understanding it now.

Nora dramatically gasps. "I knew it!"

"So Robert is the ringleader." Jaune narrowed his eyes.

"And probably the Templars at whole." Ren added.

"Now you see the true reach of Robert de Sablé."

"All of these men… leaders of cities… commanders of armies…"

"All pledge allegiance to his cause." The Mentor finished.

"Their works are not meant to be viewed on their own, are they? But as a whole. What do they desire?" Altaïr asks.

"A New World?" Pyrrha guessed, seeing that they have mentioned it countless times before.

"Conquest! They seek the Holy Land not in the name of God, but for themselves!" Al Mualim answers.

"What of Richard? Salā ad-Dīn?"

"Any who oppose the Templars will be destroyed." The Mentor answers. "Be assured they have the means to accomplish it."

"They've already shown that in the past." Nora spat as she recalled all the horrors the past targets had done.

"Then they must be stopped."

"Fully agree with you there, buddy." Jaune said as the others agreed.

"That is why we do our work, Altaïr… To ensure a future free of such things."

"Why did you hide the truth from me?" Altaïr asks.

"Probably because he wasn't at his best behavior during the time." Pyrrha comments with a tiny hint of snark.

"Yeah… with everything that Altaïr did and done, it doesn't reflect well for his allies." Jaune winced.

"That you might pierce the veil yourself." Al Mualim answers. "Like any task, knowledge precedes action. Information learned is more valuable than the information given. Besides, your recent behavior had not inspired much confidence."

"I see…" Altaïr says, with his previous actions, he understands why he was kept in the dark.

"Altaïr, your mission has not changed. Merely the context within which you perceive it."

"And armed with this knowledge, I might better understand those Templars that remain." Altaïr finishes now, determined to see his mission done.

"Well, he's certainly determined now." Ren said with a small smile.

"Hopefully, he will mature through this." Pyrrha adds.

Seeing that their conversation is almost done, Al Mualim asks Altaïr for one more question. "Is there anything else you want to know?"

"What about the treasure Malik retrieved from Solomon's Temple? Robert seemed desperate to have it back."

"Right… almost forgot about that." Jaune blinked.

"Still don't know what that treasure will do." Nora tilted her head.

"In time, Altaïr, all will become clear." Al Mualim answers. "Just as the role of the Templars has revealed itself to you, so too will the nature of their treasure. For now, take comfort in the fact that it is not in their hands, but ours."

"Still dodging questions." Pyrrha comments with a bit of disappointment.

"You think he also knows what it really is?" Nora asks.

"I'm betting he does if he's still hiding some secrets from Altaïr." Jaune comments.

"If this is your desire…"

"Even Altaïr notices it." Ren comments, seeing how the disgraced assassin answered.

"It is." The Mentor said, ending the conversation there. "You are restored another rank. Take back your weapon. Use it to bring honor to the Brotherhood."

"Yay! More upgrades!" Nora cheered.

As Altaïr was about to leave, Al Mualim stopped him. "Altaïr, before you go?"

"Yes?"

"How did you know I wouldn't kill you?" The Mentor asks curiously to how he knew.

"Yeah… how did he know?" Jaune wondered while the others agreed with him.

"Truth be told, Master… I didn't. I took a Leap of Faith."

"He took a Leap of Faith?" Pyrrha widened her eyes in shock that Altaïr did it out of pure chance.

"Like I said. Balls of steel!" Nora grinned.

"Talk about daring." Ren comments while his respect for the assassin grows.

"So cool…" Jaune mutters in awe.

'DNA Synchronization Augmented.'

The scene fades to white, then returns to the assassin.

Altaïr adds additional throwing knives to his arsenal.

'Synchronization Rank 6 Memory

New Weapon Gained –

Extra Throwing Knives

You can practice in the courtyard.'

"Alight! Time for the next one!" Nora cheered as she and her friends waited for the game to start.

To be continued…


Next Update: Remnant's Riders (Then I'll go back to working on RWBY Watches Hunters of Justice.)