30: The Price of Glory

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Before long, Edward made a small fire by the entrance to the Jewel River, and Anna began making a torch. Anna watched Edward pour a small tube of whale oil on top of the rag of the torch.
He ignored her as he worked.

One minute Edward was cold, the next he was hot. Now, he seemed to be playing a game with her. His personality had gone from completely mad to a simply confusing. Anna's tolerance was nearing its edge.

She nervously chewed her lip,

"When I first came here, I tried to fight off my feelings for you." She said.
Edward momentarily stopped working at the shock of her quiet words. Anna could see why he was stunned. She would bet all of her coin that she was the first woman that could ever resist his charm.

Anna took a breath and continued,

"I told myself that you were a pirate. You steal things for yourself then toss them away when you get bored of them. It's your occupation to be cruel. I told myself you would do the same work on my heart... You're proving me right, Edward." She said tenderly.

Edward pretended to not pay attention, but Anna could tell from the smallest details on his face that every word was cutting into his bones.

She sighed,
"For a minute, ya had me fooled, Kenway."

"It's not like that, Anna!"

He defended loudly,
"I promise it's not like that."

Anna stood up,
"Edward, what happened between us? Either your cutting me off as your toy or you've gone completely mad!" Anna yelled with concern.

"I am mad!" Edward yelled as he dug the prepared torch into the ground and began walking towards her.

However, he froze when his sharp hearing registered Adawalé right before he ran out of the shrubs. His dark forehead was covered in sweat, and for the first time in Anna's life, she saw the quartermaster out of breath.
Adawalé handed Edward the rest of the charts which the captain instantly snatched.

Edward laid them all on the jungle floor. There was nine of these decoy maps, all with the clue 8126,4339 scribbled on them. However, nothing seemed to be special about them. Nothing appeared in the pirate's Eagle Vision.

Adawalé tenderly held the maps up to the light,

"Why ya so sure these maps are the key, Kenway?" He asked.

Edward retorted,
"If they weren't, then they would have no use at all." He said sourly.

Anna cocked her head,
"Why would they make nine?" She thought out loud.

They searched the stone door for anything that appeared in the number nine. Edward rubbed his temple as he examined the stone door again.

"Maybe we missed something back in Tullum." Adawale suggested.

Edward shook his head as the feeling sat ill with his gut. Anna felt the same.

Eventually, the sun crawled past their backs and into their faces as the unfruitful hours continued.
Edward's temper began to rise like a summer tide.

"This is bloody useless!" He said as he grabbed a dudd map and stood up,

"Do you see anything special? They all lead to the same goddamn place and are the exact goddamn same! This quest is fucking USELESS!" He screamed.

Anna put a reassuring hand on his shoulder,
"It will be all right, Edward! We'll figure this out! W-"

"No. We won't. We're leaving." He spat as he threw one of the maps into the fire.

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