Nate sharply snapped his head and said, "I was trusted to complete this mission, and I won't fail him. My honor would be in question if I report to him that we are too weak to deal with this small group of Vermilion, I will not be able to show myself at court."

Ashe sighed, "Fine, But if it gets out of hand, promise me, Prince, that you will return to Arcadia and ask for guidance. Now, as for the girl? What are we going to do about her?"

Nate looked at him confused, Eliza followed up and asked, "Shouldn't we try to wipe her memory?

That would not be against the rules, would it?"

"No!" Nate commanded.

"But," started Ashe, and was cut short.

"No!" Nate emphasized, more loudly than he needed. His eyes slowly turned golden as he glared down at Eliza and Ashe from where he stood. "I will deal with her personally. Do not touch her."

Ashe and Eliza felt the weight of his glamour, and immediately fell to their knees. Each placed one fist on the ground the bowed their head, in unison they spoke, "Yes, your highness." They both felt the pressure ease as the Prince left the room.

Eliza plopped on the ground, mussing her blond hair back to flawless locks. "Urgh," she groaned, "I thought he was going to kill us there for a moment." Ashe slowly stood, walking back over to where he left his silk and needle. Ashe tried to cover his concern with humor, "Oh, he still may though we swore to protect him since our births, but that is not the main problem."

Eliza looked up at him and questioned, "It's not?"

Ashe shook his head, carefully placing each item—the oil, the silk and the stars carefully into the satchel bag. Then he responded thoughtfully, "No. It's the blood oath he has with the human woman." Eliza looked astonished and questioned, "I've never heard of a blood oath of where the holder and deliverer are interchangeable. Never have I known the product of the oath to create intense feelings or interest between the players."

Ashe paused, putting the case into his pocket. He walked over to Eliza and helped her to her feet. Ashe continued speaking with a slightly worried look, "It seems our prince might be caught in something beyond of our knowledge. I think you and Neil should study the details of our blood oaths.

They left the room with their thoughts filled with worry for the Prince.

Despite being worried about bumping into Nate later in class, it seemed we both were either too busy playing 'Hide-n-Seek' or staying apart on purpose. If I missed a class, he was there. If he missed a class, I was there. From his desk, Mr. Richardson gave me suspicious looks. I avoided eye contact. I could not be the reason Nate wasn't here. But I was lying to myself, because I most certainly was avoiding him. I mean, what could I say, to someone who appeared to shed skin like broken porcelain, and was stabbed by some monster and lived to tell the tale. Maybe the monster was the animal I heard about on the news? Did I dream it all? Or imagine the entire evening? I mean, the times I had seen Nate, he was walking around campus like nothing had happened.

If this were a movie, I couldn't possibly say anything. Perhaps I should stand somewhere in a forest clearing and guess about what he is, Or ask dramatically. 'What are you?'

Of course I could go for a walk in an area considered dangerous. That's stupid and only done in movies for teenagers. Adults do not intentionally go to dangerous places in the middle-of-nowhere with real or fictitious monsters, and then try to guess what they are for fun.

This was my last hour in the library today. I was reviewing the bio-hazard list for an article that I had to write about dangerous chemicals one shouldn't pour down a toilet. As I read, a shadow fell over my shoulder. I turned around, and sighed my relief when I saw that it was Bethany. She held iced vanilla lattes in each hand. The cups had panda's drawn on them.

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