Talal also spoke of a brotherhood and their designs upon the Holy Land. However, he denied he was selling slaves and insisted he was saving them. Why would a slave trader help anyone other than himself? Al Mualim will help me to make sense of this.
Altaïr made his way over to the Barbican of Jerusalem and entered Talal's warehouse. After dispatching the slave trader's men, the Assassin chased Talal, who attempted to escape the commotion, and assassinated him.
Altaïr entered Talal's warehouse, and the doors shut behind him. As he continued onward, a figure could be seen moving in the shadows, by the window on the upper floor.
- Altaïr: What now, slaver?
- Talal: Do not call me that! I only wish to help them. As I myself was helped.
- Altaïr: You do no kindness imprisoning them like this.
- Talal: Imprisoning them? I keep them safe. Preparing them for the journey that lies ahead.
- Altaïr: What journey? It is a life of servitude.
- Talal: You know nothing! It was folly to even bring you here! To think that you might see and understand!
- Altaïr: I understand well enough! Show yourself!
A door leading further into the warehouse opened, and Altaïr stepped through it.
- Talal: Ah, so you want to see the man who called you here.
- Altaïr: You did not call me here! I came on my own.
- Talal: Did you? Who unbarred the door? Cleared the path? Did you once raise your blade against a single man of mine, huh? No. All this, I did for you. Step into the light then, and I will grant you one final favor.
A ceiling hatch opened, letting a ray of light into the chamber. Altaïr stepped into it, just as Talal moved out of the shadows as well.
- Talal: Now, I stand before you. What is it you desire?
- Altaïr: Come down here! Let us settle this with honor!
Altaïr drew his blade as Talal's guards surrounded him.
- Talal: Why must it always come to violence? It seems I cannot help you, for you do not wish to help yourself. And I cannot allow my work to be threatened. You leave me no choice. You must die.
Altaïr defeated Talal's men, and climbed to the warehouse's upper level. Just as he did, Talal used another hatch to escape the warehouse. After a chase through Jerusalem, Altaïr eventually caught up and assassinated Talal.
- Altaïr: You've nowhere to run now. Share your secrets with me.
- Talal: My part is played. The Brotherhood is not so weak that my death will stop its work.
- Altaïr: What Brotherhood?
- Talal: Al Mualim is not the only one with designs upon the Holy Land. And that's all you'll have from me.
- Altaïr: Then we are finished. Beg forgiveness from your God.
- Talal: He's long abandoned us. Long abandoned the men and women I took into my arms.
- Altaïr: What do you mean?
- Talal: Beggars, whores, addicts, lepers. Do they strike you as proper slaves? Unfit for even the most menial tasks? No. I took them not to sell, but to save! And yet you'd kill us all, for no other reason than it was asked of you.
- Altaïr: No, you profit from the war, from lives lost and broken.
- Talal: Yes, you would think that, ignorant as you are. Wall off your mind, eh? They say it's what your kind do best. Do you see the irony in all this? No, not yet it seems. But you will.
Altaïr escaped Talal's men and returned to the Bureau.
- Malik: Altaïr! Wonderful to see you return to us! And how fared the mission?
- Altaïr: The deed is done. Talal is dead.
- Malik: Oh, I know, I know. In fact, the entire city knows! Have you forgotten the meaning of subtlety?!
- Altaïr: A skilled Assassin ensures his work is noticed by the many.
- Malik: No! A skilled Assassin maintains control of his environment!
- Altaïr: We can argue the details all you'd like, Malik, but the fact remains I've accomplished the task set to me by Al Mualim.
- Malik: Go then. Return to the old man. Let us see with whom he sides.
- Altaïr: You and I are on the same side, Malik.
Altaïr left the Bureau and headed back to Masyaf to report to Al Mualim.
- Al Mualim: Come in, Altaïr. You've done well. Three of the nine lay dead, and for this you have my thanks. But do not think to rest upon your laurels. Your work has just begun.
- Altaïr: I am yours to command, Master.
- Al Mualim: King Richard, emboldened by his victory at Acre, prepares to move south towards Jerusalem. Salāḥ ad-Dīn is surely aware of this. And so he gathers his men before the broken citadel of Arsuf.
- Altaïr: Would you have me kill them both then? End their war before it begins in earnest?
- Al Mualim: No. To do so would scatter their forces, and subject the realm to the bloodlust of ten thousand aimless warriors. It will be many days before they meet, and while they march, they do not fight. You must concern yourself with a more immediate threat - the men who pretend to govern in their absence.
- Altaïr: Give me names and I'll give you blood.
- Al Mualim: So I will. Abu'l Nuqoud, the wealthiest man in Damascus, Majd Addin, regent of Jerusalem, William of Montferrat, liege lord of Acre.
- Altaïr: What are their crimes?
- Al Mualim: Greed, arrogance, the slaughter of innocents. Walk amongst the people of their cities. You'll learn the secrets of their sins. Do not doubt that these men are obstacles to the peace we seek.
- Altaïr: Then they will die.
- Al Mualim: Another of your items is restored. Take it. See that it is put to good use. Return to me as each man falls, that we may better understand their intentions.
Al Mualim then dispatched three carrier pigeons, one for each city.
- Al Mualim: And Altaïr, take care. Your recent work has likely attracted the attention of the city guard. They'll be more suspicious than they've been in the past.
If Talal was assassinated before Garnier de Naplouse, a different dialogue occurred.
- Al Mualim: I trust you were successful?
- Altaïr: The slave trader is dead.
- Al Mualim: Yes, the birds brought word to me. War is a dirty business. Labor and soldiers seem to be in short supply. Killing that man has saved countless lives. You’ve no doubt deprived the Crusaders and Saracens of additional troops. These are dark days, when men's lives are valued in gold, and such small amounts at that.
- Altaïr: He saw it differently. Claimed that they were not slaves at all. That he was helping them.
- Al Mualim: Do you know how it is you can tell a man is mad?
- Altaïr: They speak to air, claw themselves.
- Al Mualim: No. They are the ones who speak and act, as if there is nothing wrong.
- Altaïr: I don't understand.
- Al Mualim: Few are the men who would admit to evil. Always rationalized, always explained.
- Altaïr: So he lied.
- Al Mualim: I was not there. Did not hear his words myself, but yes, if you speak truly, I think he was simply trying to excuse his deeds.
- Altaïr: I saw them, though. The men and women who would be slaves. They were a strange sort - old, mad, sick.
- Al Mualim: Weak, yes. What better way to make a soldier than to take a broken man and rebuild him? Give him all he's been denied with the promise of more.
- Altaïr: It seems a lot of work.
- Al Mualim: It is. But what you get in return is loyalty. Knowing what it was they stood to lose, such men would be loathe to betray their savior.
- Altaïr: An interesting theory.
- Al Mualim: See? There is still much I can teach you. Everyone deceives - each other, themselves. Learn to pierce the veil, and know that nothing is true. Go, it is time you continue with your work. Another rank is restored to you, as is a piece of your equipment. We'll speak again when the next has fallen.
Altaïr assassinated Talal, and returned to Masyaf for further instructions.