Chapter Eight: Ignite
The terrain around me was flat and sloping and pine needles covered the ground, quieting our tread. That bloke Demetre was right ahead of me, still smelling intoxicatingly like the sea. I resisted the urge to plug my nose; I had work to do. Especially now that I had gotten the letter, one I had been waiting for. He had it, the book, and it was only a matter of time before it was in my hands. All that was left to do was wait for the book, and wait for those stupid Greeks to meet up. Then, all we had to do was intercept their little meeting. One flame at a time.
The tent was completely black as I awoke, the only dim light our dying fire outside. Dana was asleep beside me, sharing what little warmth our cots gave us. It wasn’t extremely cold, but it was cold enough, especially at this time of night. A light tremor traveled down my spine and I resisted the urge to rattle my teeth. It shouldn’t have been this cold; we were only a few miles from Athens, and that was a fairly “summertime” city. Although Dana didn’t look very cold, she was radiating with heat. Maybe it was just me.
It is Anastasia, only you. It’s me, I must have a word with you. The voices were speaking to me again, this one had a cold female tone that I disliked, it terrified me. The tone reminded me of my nightmares, the feral screams and blood lapping at my ankles.
“What do you want?” I whispered, afraid to raise my voice. If Dana heard me, there wouldn’t be a chance for us to be friends. She would think I was crazy, and know whom my father was. I could tell others knew, it wasn’t a secret, but once someone knew that about me, I was treated differently. I was treated like a trap that might spring.
I have a task for you, little girl. Are you willing to accept? The tone was chilling, unreal; I swear I could feel the woman’s breath ruffle my dark hair. “Uh… yes? Just tell me what you want, now.” Dana was beginning to stir, and the light of dawn had begun to paint the horizon. Once the others woke up, we would proceed to meet the other warriors near the center of Athens. If any of them awoke while I was talking to some spirit… I didn’t really want to deal with that, no matter my parentage.
You must find the owner of the Dark Book, and kill them. They will come to you soon enough, if you wait. With that last word, I felt it lingering on my skin as she disappeared, her presence gone. Why hadn’t she shown her face? What was meant by the Dark Book? Killing someone, only to get a single item, that wasn’t fair, was it? Unless they were evil, that is. Evil like the Romans. I could kill a Roman, that’s for sure. I could barely take a breath before our tent was covered in flames.