A whisper of fear and wonder ran through the crowd, like venom through the city's veins. But he didn't care for it at the moment. There were more pressing matters at hand: namely, that of the goblet and his pay. He stepped into the dark and musty building, taking in the smells. Rot and undergrowth. What had happened to the majesty of the kingdom? It was all going to ruins ever since the King had been slain by his traitorous Heir-Apparent, the Final Warrior.
But that had little meaning of effect on Talon at the moment. Hidden in the darkness, almost invisible, was a huddled and cloaked form, shivering in the damp. It beckoned to him, a mottled and ancient hand flashing into the light for a mere moment. Talon approached warily, a hand still on one blade. He neared the figure and spoke. "When did I first meet Jeremiah?" The huddled figure replied in a rasping, dry voice, "Nary but two days, four hours, eight minutes, and sixteen seconds ago."
Talon tensed up. "You and I both know that to be a lie," he fingered a shortblade sheathed on his upper arm, beneath his cloak, "but it was a good answer. My pay?"
The mottled, rotted hand appeared again, this time holding two brown bags, tossing down to Talon's feet. They clinked about, sagging on landing. Gold. Talon nodded beneath his hood, and drew the goblet out from underneat his cloak. Despite all the gloom, its jewels glinted, whispering of the blood shed over it in the past centuries. He passed the goblet over, delicately, and stooped to retrieve his pay.
At the same time, he rolled to the side and drew out a shortblade in his left hand, catching a dagger at the hilt. The huddled figure gurgled in fury, angry that it had failed to kill the mercenary in the first blow.
Talon, on the other hand, didn't bother with displays of anger. He pushed off his feet and hurtled forward, tackling down the would-be assassin, smashing into it's throat with his right arm and swining his left arm around its back. The two landed in a pile, struggling amidst their cloaks, but Talon had already won the battle. He extricated himself and danced backwards, a long dagger emerging from his left arm and a sword in his right, watching his foe carefully.
The assassin struggled for a bit longer before noticing the shortsword that had erupted from its chest. It stared for a moment, and then fell back, dead.
Talon approached again, wary that his combatant could still be alive. He kicked the pile of cloth, but only recieved a cloud of ash.
"Ash golem. Damnit." Talon looked about, to see what he could recover, to find any clues about his assailant. Nothing, except for the two pouches of gold and the goblet. He picked up the things and appraised them. The gold was authentic, as was the goblet.
"Why attempt to assassinate the one person you sent to retrieve your family's treasure?" Thoroughly puzzled now, Talon departed, heading back out into the daytime hustle-and-bustle of the city streets.