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Chapter 56

My knives were sliding and sweat was beginning to bead on my forehead. My arms shook as I kept trying to hold the sword blade away from me. As my grip began to slip on my knives, I saw the blade getting closer and closer to my head.

“Serves you right, rebel,” the guard spat, sweat beginning to dampen his hair.

“Who are you calling a rebel?” I panted in reply, pushing back with a new spurt of energy.

“Why only the girl who’s the cause for the rebellions inside the castle,” the guard grunted in reply, pushing back with more of his weight.

I stared at him for a moment, feeling a sort of strength rise up inside of my chest. “Well,” I breathed, “that sounds like a personal problem.”

With that last little word, I ducked out of under the sword, letting my crossed daggers fall to the side and watching the sword sink into the dirt, the guard falling onto the hilt with a grunt.

A foul name left his mouth, but I smirked as I rounded on him, my daggers still held at the ready. His only weapon was the sword that was buried inches into the ground and he didn’t have enough time to pull it out.

“Why, you sound almost bitter that you were beaten by me.” I smirked, leaning in and savoring the tiny bit of alarm that flashed in his eyes. I pulled away, watching that fear dull a bit. “You fought for the wrong side.”

My hand flicked out and hit the back of his head with the hilt of my dagger, hitting the small point right at the top of his neck. His eyes rolled slightly and he fell to the ground, unconscious.

I looked up from him and glanced around. The girls were still nowhere to be seen, which was concerning, but I focused on the area where the original guard had been. He was gone, which could mean that either the girls had taken care of him, or I was in trouble because he called in help.

“Your friends went around the back,” a soft voice said cautiously.

I turned towards it to see the maid standing behind the clothesline, her eyes wide with relief rather than panic.

I nodded at her, moving in that direction before pausing. “Did you watch that whole thing?” I asked her, gesturing towards the unconscious guard.

She smiled slightly, hidden steel deciding to make her eyes glint briefly. “I did,” she said, “and I can tell you that your friends tripped the other guard up and are having fun with him in the back.” She seemed quite pleased with that.

I smiled slightly at her, tilting my head. “Thanks.” I let my eyes glance over her for a moment. “In case you ever want to join us, my name is Calypso,” I smirked, “but you may eventually know me by a different name.”

Without letting her reply, I ran around back and began searching for Marlee and Amaya. With some surprise, I found them with no real searching at all. As soon as I rounded the corner, I found them both huddled around a guard who was against the wall, staring up at them with wide eyes.

“Please, no,” he begged. “I won’t tell a soul, I swear.”

I paused where I was and watched the exchange with some intrigue.

“How do we know you won’t do that, though?” Amaya asked, bringing her hand towards him.

I wasn’t sure why, but he shrunk away from her with horror.

“Please,” he whimpered. The noise was oddly childish coming from such a big man. “I can leave right now, I swear. You can watch me run all the way across the river and into the woods and I won’t come back, just don’t touch me.”

Marlee looked genuinely amused. “Thank you for your cooperation,” she said.

The man relaxed against the wall, relief flooding his features. “Thank you, oh thank you,” he breathed.

What he didn’t see coming was Marlee’s quick squeeze on the neck. His eyes widened as he arched away from the finger that jabbed into a specific point on his neck and he slumped against the wall, his eyes flittering shut.

As Marlee pulled her hand back, Amaya and Marlee exchanged a glance, an unspoken exchange passing between. From a short distance away, I began clapping a slow clap.

“Well, that was nicely executed,” I commented, smirking at them as they turned around quickly, staring at me in surprised relief.

“Calypso,” Marlee breathed out, smiling slightly.

I raised an eyebrow at her. “Were you worried about me? How cute.” I glanced between them. “The maid is letting us pass. Maybe recruit her later if she wants. For now,” I glanced back at the building, my neck craning to see the top of it, “we should get inside this place.”

“This place’ is a castle you’ve been in multiple times,” Marlee smirked, approaching me only to brush right past, “but you’re right, let’s get a move on.”

Amaya laughed at my surprised face as she approached. “Let’s go,” she walked past me just as Marlee had, only she skipped the shoulder brush. However, she paused before she followed Marlee around the corner. She turned back and smirked at me, “slowpoke.”

My eyes narrowed in her direction as she disappeared around the corner.

She was going to regret that.

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