Sometimes, it was difficult to tell apart the kings from the beggars, and vice versa.
Elena had met men as penniless as she had once been, lifetimes ago to her, who likened themselves to the richest of kings. They had barely a cent to their names, but yet they walked with all the confident swagger of an untouchable royal. Even though they were no better than the next beggar, they carried such a strong opinion of themselves, it seemed almost criminal to try and touch them.
However, like two sides of a coin, she had met men richer who nearly were kings in all the sense, and yet were no better than the next panhandler. It was astonishing, to see such confident swindlers and then be brought face-to-face with a cowardly and submissive maestro. They stuttered and stumbled in the face of adversity, and shut themselves away with all their wealth.
Staring at the man she had pinned to the wall, Elena likened him to be much like the latter.
As a bounty hunter, she didn’t question where she went or why, she simply did. Her trip to the Harbor had been for a very different manner, and already that contract had been fulfilled. She could have been in and out of this place days ago, however when she’d learnt about the tyrannical Leonardo De Ville, she hadn’t been able to help staying around a little longer.
“Do you know who I am?” The man sputtered, though it would have perhaps held more threat had his voice not been two octaves far too high, and she not seen the panic in his beady eyes.
“I know exactly who you are” she responded in kind, her tone nothing but calm, “you’re Leonardo De Ville, richer than the likes of the King here, and perhaps crueler too.” She was amused to see him swallow, as if he had expected her not to have looked into him first. Perhaps this wasn’t the first confrontation he’d been faced with, but it was certainly the smartest, she would venture to say.
“T-Then you know what I can do! I’ll have your head!” He tried, but the beginning tones of confidence were swept out when she merely laughed at him.
For the time being, she’d had the flat of her dagger pressed against his throat, but now she turned it in her hand slightly, pressing the blade against the delicate skin of his neck. The flesh here was paper-thin, and most definitely delicate. She barely had to apply any pressure, before it would dig in and draw blood.
She smirked at him, not unlike a predator who had cornered it’s prey and was playing with it. Humming softly, she cocked her head to the side slightly as if she were observing him. “I know all about you, Mister De Ville, or perhaps, should I address you as Lord De Ville instead?” She mocked.
“Now, now, I assumed you were a man of God, Lord De Ville, as you attend Church. Though you go there just to get yourself a cut of what they make, don’t you?” She murmured.
Elena had spent a whole week and then some watching this man, getting to know his habits and mannerisms from afar. She had met some truly despicable men in her lifetime, this man perhaps was a contender for a top place among her personal list. She felt no remorse at choosing to collect a bounty on him, without having any contract or pay in return. This was out of the goodness of her heart.
“I’ve done my research, Lord De Ville, I know all about you” she teased, smiling at him with a little more teeth than necessary. She so often got carried away with the role of interrogator, she couldn’t help it.
“I know that you’ve got a number of people and businesses under your thumb, all of them owing impossible debts to you they’re desperately trying to pay off.” She’d watched him spend nearly every day at one place or another, railing poor, run-down people for his money to be paid back to him in full.
She leaned in close to him, so she could whisper, “and we both know all the money those people could ever make in their lifetime, would be less than what you have now.”
Backing away from him, as if he were some kind of infectious disease, she carried on. “I know that despite being a widower, three times, you hold very little respect for women. In fact, you’ve taken five women to bed just in the past week and some, and only two of them were agreeable. Paid off in full for their time I’m quite sure. The other three weren’t as lucky, I assume. Thrown out as soon as you’d grown tired for them, no doubt” she hissed, voice growing more frigid as she spoke.
Apparently, her intent towards him seemed very clear to the both of them.
It was at this point, Leonardo De Ville began to beg.
“D-Don’t kill me” he stuttered, “how much is a life worth nowadays? I have more money than you will ever even see in your life” he tried. She watched him, boredom painted across her features. “Ten thousand, why I bet that’s more than you’ve ever seen in your life” he burst out.
Rolling her eyes, she scoffed at the offer, “my, my, what a businessman you are, Lord De Ville. That is barely a dent in your pocket, you’ve got millions to your name.”
“Fine, fine! A million dollars! No, two million!” He burst out.
Elena remained impassive, applying the slightly amount of pressure to the dagger at his neck.
“Four million! Doubled! I bet whomever’s hired you isn’t offering that!”
Elena leaned towards him slightly, eyes gleaming like sharp gemstones, “you see, that is where you’re wrong, Lord sir” she murmured, voice low and almost gentle. “No one is paying me a cent. This is something I am doing out of the goodness of my oh-so-blackened heart” she relished in the surprise on his face.
“Nothing you could offer me would be enough to spare your pathetic life. Men like you, they shouldn’t ever be elevated to the status you’ve gained, through no means other than inheritance, I might add. There are beggars in the street with hearts of gold who deserve all you have, and still are kinder despite their worse situations” she told him, voice like ice.
“Since you’re a man of God, I assume you know where the likes of men like you end up” she added, applying more than a little pressure to the dagger at his throat now.
Leonardo De Ville was as rich as a king, but no better than a sticky-fingered beggar to the end.