Silver and Ash

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He doesn't look too good.

"Your Majesty," I murmur, towards the shaken King as I lower my bloodied knife. "Take the horse. You must make your way back before any other assassin finds you."

I step over the body of the man who had been about to put an arrow through the Asura King.

"I— I cannot." He says. "This man—"

"I'll bring him back." I say, leashing the horse to a nearby tree. "Please, Your Majesty. Go. I swear on my life that I will return him back to you alive."

He hesitates for a long time. But finally, he takes his hand off the bloodstained Taraka, slumped unconscious against the tree. I quickly scan over him— the blood is deep on him, in at least five places. He would die in a couple minutes, maximum.

My silver eyes narrow.

But the King finally leaves. And the moment he does, I kneel in front of him. Already, the edge of my body has taken on a soft glow of white.

"Taehyung." I whisper.

"Can you hear me?"

He doesn't respond, head hung forward and completely motionless. The mask he has over his lips— the hunger he had always been so worried about must've finally descended on him.

The spot of scarlet on his chest.

"Foolish idiot." I utter quietly as I tear open the front of his scarred armor. It comes apart easily, and underneath is the head of an arrow, buried inches from his heart. The shaft is broken messily, jagged from the end. He must've tried to pull it out.

My eyes flicker.

Corpses scatter the leaves. Four. And I see a trail of thick blood leading into the woods.

"Why?"

I place both my hands against his chest. Then I close my eyes, feeling the surge of warmth pour from my fingertips to spread across his body. It hadn't only been the five spots I'd estimated from just looking.

Another arrow he'd broken in his calf. A knife wound down his back. One of his shoulders have dislocated, from impact.

I sigh quietly.

The silver pours. And the sweat that trickles down the curve of my neck soon covers my back as I go through each wound. I feel a thin rivulet of blood cascade from my nose, tracing down to my lips before falling to the ground in a dark spot of red.

It takes me longer than I expect.

I stumble up to my feet, grazing my bloody nose with my sleeve as I look down at the unconscious Taraka. The blood he'd lost pools around him.

When he woke up, he would be hungry.

I needed to kill a deer. Or even a rabbit, for him to eat. If I didn't and he woke up with nothing in front of him—

I sway. My hand flies to my temple.

Damn it.

Then I hear someone.

"Taehyung!"

My head jerks, sweat still pouring down the side of my face as I look towards the direction that the King had gone. I hear the sound of hooves. And its rider, calling his name.

A woman.

I recognize her voice. From the auction.




The Asura Princess.




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