The usually bustling port of Hargeon had settled into a tranquil quiet at this hour. The only people out and about were a few sailors working late shifts were hauling boxes back to their respective warehouses, and young men and women venturing out to their favourite taverns for a drink. On any other day, Darius would happily be in one of those taverns, drinking away his troubles and ending the night with a nameless woman in his bed. But tonight was different, this job was different. Darius sat upon an empty box by the harbour, silently smoking his pipe, letting it fill his lungs before gently exhaling. The pipe was a smooth calm that the mercenary so desperately needed before he sought out to do what he was paid to do: kill.
The golden-eyed mercenary rarely took things seriously, and always enjoyed lacing his words with his playful sarcasm and flirtatious teasings. A smirk rarely left the man's face whenever he was out and about. Yet, Darius' eyes, on this moonlit night shone with a traces of sadness and melancholy. Despite his eyes looking towards the ocean, the only thing he could see was his past. A past tainted with the atrocities that slavery had wrought upon his life, where he was beaten, humiliated, and starved for more than half his life. It's been more than ten years since I left Desierto...and yet, I always end up having to face something like this. He bit his lip harshly, almost enough to break the skin, but snapped out of his trance. Darius sighed before taking another hit from his pipe, letting out another long smoke-filled exhale.
The mission to most others would be simple: take down a slaver operation that was happening a little ways off Hargeon Port and kill or capture the captain. To Darius, though it was more than that. The mere mention of being the property to another brought chills down his spine, caused images to flash in Darius' mind that he so desperately wanted to forget. But when the notice came to shut down a slavery operation, he didn't even notice to snatch the mission off the board and take it. Of course you have to go and be the fucking hero, Darius...of course you have to go and see slavery first hand again...good fucking job, asshole.
Despite wanting to go on this mission alone, however, Darius had found himself accompanied by the headstrong Yona Hisamori, a woman that the mercenary had somehow ended up working with on several occasions. He was supposed to be meeting her at this spot around this time, and travelled separately, using the meager excuse that "if they rode together from HQ for too long together, she wouldn't be able to keep her hands off him". In reality, however, Darius did not want Yona to see him as he was now: pensive, upset, and vulnerable. Even when he said his excuse, any idiot with a trace of empathy could tell that there was something bothering him.
And so, the mercenary sat there, trying to smoke away all the damage and pain that the mere thought of slavery had wrought upon him, waiting for his partner to snap him out of the trance.
Word Count: 541/3,750