Chapter 33

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The recurved bow Hiram wielded was borrowed by nomads. A gift after killing a chieftain, the bow flung flinted at faster rates than what Greece was used to seeing. It was his primary weapon for killing deviants, as few could dodge his crystal tipped shots that made aether explode.

Hiram readied his weapon carefully. He followed after the girls at the dead of night. It was midnight, with the gibbous moon being the primary source of light. His eyes lingered within the dark, eying intently at the girls heading away.

Imani tugged Chloe away by the wrists. "Come on," Imani commanded.

Chloe whined as she moved, "no!"

Chloe dropped her weight to the ground, leaving Imani to drag her across the grass. "The hot spring right near here, you won't have to smell like swamp slime anymore!"

Imani dragged her from the ankles while Chloe clutched down at the ground. "No!"

With a hiss, Imani suggested, "if you do as I say, I'll give you something tastier than sugar canes."

Chloe became quiet. Looking back at her, her eyes arched. Imani nodded, "yes, there are tastier things than sugar canes. Which we can get when we arrive to Argos. Of course, I'll only get them for you if you agree to take a bath. So..."

Chloe bit her lip. She crawled onto all fours, and proceeded to follow behind Imani.

Hiram watched the girls move away from the camp. He knew he needed to kill them individually. He wasn't a risk taker, it was far better to wait for them to separate before picking them off slowly.

"Little flowers dancing in the wind," Hiram hummed quietly to himself. "How many sounds do lilies make before whithering?"

It was nighttime. The only lights left were the fireflies and clear night stars reflecting down against the waters. Hiram took his position near the brush clearing. He had a clear shot as soon as either of them moved into the hot spring.

It was Chloe he was most worried about. She scared him. On several occasions he tried assassinating her in Corinth. She was responsible for the death of many scholars and deviants alike. Whenever he got close to her, Chloe would begin chanting his name, like it was a premonition for his death.

He had to settle with observing her. Watching her exploits as she lived aimlessly in Corinth. Until finally, she left. Following a group of strangers. At the very least she was no longer a threat to other scholars in the region. Regardless, she still posed a potential threat. And he decided to follow her and wait for the opportunity to strike.

Hiram waited patiently until they started stripping. Hiram knew the aethiopian girl was a scholar. Her being unarmed would make his mission much easier. As much as he wanted to stay behind to setup a false Charon in Corinth just like they'd done in the other cities, he knew he had to follow these people. Between the Persian scholar and overthrow of the Corinth oligarchy, it was too risky to stay behind and build a base with so many enemies in the periphery.

Imani began tugging away at her tunic. HIram was deeply curious as to why a Nubian decided to visit Greece. But he also knew better than to risk confronting her head on. 'Egyptians are master scholars,' Hiram thought to himself, 'they say all scholar knowledge derives from Egypt... May the Gods forgive me for killing an Egyptian.'

He waited silently. Just as Imani reached for the sash around her shoulder, Chloe clutched at her wrists. Imani looked up and said, "you can't back out now. We're already at the lake."

"Shh," Chloe whispered heftily. Chloe moved forward and embraced Imani for a tight hug. She squeezed tightly as the started mouthing words into her ears.

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