23 Aurorsmoon 459
Pixis knew that something wasn’t right as soon as the door began to open. She was careful not to react. Her movements were smooth and steady as she continued through the doorway, casually pushing it to and flicking the lock.
Whomever had made the unwise decision to invade her domicile in her absence would not be leaving the way they came in.
There was no hesitation. The intruder was somewhere to her left. Pixis sprang into motion, tumbling the opposite direction and pulling a small loaded crossbow as she dove for cover. Two seconds… perhaps three… If it had been her, she’d never have made it. A smile touched her lips as she spun in her crouch with the weapon leveled firmly at her uninvited guest.
Jasmine hadn’t moved.
Pixis knew her. The woman and her friends had just dethroned the mad Dasseni king. All of Bresk was abuzz with their mighty deeds. Unlike her companions, however, Jasmine kept a very low profile… Pixis knew her far too little about her. Particularly given their current situation.
Jasmine was seated casually near the window, not a line of her body betraying the coiled serpent within who was obviously prepared to strike. Given the assassin’s role in Joshua’s earlier abduction and delivery into the hands of a Ragesian inquisitor, Pixis had little doubt that the next few breaths might be her last. She wasn’t prepared to underestimate the woman. To make matters worse, the light from the chamber’s lone lantern glinted off the head of an arrow lurking in the deeper darkness behind her. The swordswoman wasn’t alone.
Jasmine watched the assassin warily. She’d learned everything she needed to know about her, about her loyalties, and had made a decision. The woman’s service to Nina Glibglammer had been a service to her king, not to the Ragesian ambassador. Of course Jasmine might still end up having to kill her, but there were better uses for people with Pixis’s unusual skillset. Since the crossbow in her hands hadn’t loosed, Jasmine signaled Arlyn to relax and addressed her quarry directly.
“We need to talk.”
After a short rest in Bresk, during which the heroes lend their aid to Dassen’s new king, the party returns to Seaquen. At the Lyceum, Joshua delivers his report to Simeon regarding the events in Dassen and the headmaster outlines the party’s next mission. In two days’ time, they will be teleporting to the Ostaliner city of Yen-Ching and making their way northward to the Monastery of Two Winds.
It is time to retrieve the Torch of the Burning Sky.