Chapter 10

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JADE opened her eyes to see Hosun lying next to her. "I love you, Jaden," Hosun said, his comforting smile on his face. They were in their room, and it was dark, with only a few candles lighting up their faces.

"I love you, Hosun," Jade replied, reaching out a hand to touch his face.

She didn't reach, however. As she stretched her hand out, remarkably slowly, Hosun's face morphed into that of the assassin's, currently uninjured.

Jade's scream echoed through the room, as she jumped out of the bed, backing away. The assassin took his time climbing out of bed, turning his back to her. When he turned around again, there was dark blood gushing out of a wound on his neck.

Jade screamed again.

The assassin grinned, approaching slowly. His footsteps were slow, quiet. Like a predator who was sure of his prey. Jade pressed herself against the wall at her back, her eyes fixed on the man. He slowly unsheathed a sword from his belt, white teeth flashing.

The blade flashed in front of her eyes as it approached, nearer and nearer to her throat. And just as it was about to touch her-

Jade's eyes shot open.

She looked around the cabin, heart beating wildly. There was no one there. No one- her shoulders relaxed. It had been a dream. A wildly terrifying dream, but still, a dream.

It would be best if she left this cabin for a while, wouldn't it? Fresh air on the deck seemed like just the thing. She freshened up, not wanting to go out seeming too ruffled, and was glad to see that the evidence of her crying was gone.

She finally opened the door and left the room, quietly steeping up onto the deck. She sighed the instant the wind hit her skin. The salty breeze was cool and just what she needed. She inhaled it, closing her eyes for a moment, before looking around. There were only a few men, and they hadn't noticed her yet.

So, she walked to the side of the boat, where she wouldn't be in their way, and leaned over the railing. She had done this with Hosun, not so long ago. But he wasn't here anymore.

She looked at the now-calmer sea, the waters bright blue and glittering with sunlight. Strange to think that it had been so violent in the night. But weather changed easily over Islamar.

"My Lady?"

She turned to see Edric at a safe distance from her, and gave him a small smile, "Yes?"

"My Lady, you really should eat now," he said, almost apologetically. Jade nodded, feeling the hunger gnawing at her stomach. She took a step away from the railing when Edric's face darkened.

"My Lady, just one moment," he whispered, glancing around the deck. No one was watching them. Jade narrowed her eyes as he looked at her again.

He took a step closer, putting a hand into his pocket. Then, his eyes solemn, he held out his fist to her and opened his fingers slowly. Jade eyes him suspiciously until her gaze fell to his hand.

She gasped.

For in his hand, lay two things. One, a folded-up piece of parchment, and two, a shining bracelet.

She recognized the bracelet instantly. Vibrant, green stones strung onto a shining silver chain. The stones were Jade, and the bracelet was hers.

The one she had given to Hosun all that time ago.

Her eyes wide, she looked up at Edric again, who was offering her a small smile,"The General said to give these to you. He also said to look after you, if you're wondering. So, I'm afraid I must adhere to my General's orders and bring you a meal."

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