I struggle to get away from Nedac, to help in some way, but he’s got an iron grip around me and at the same time I’m conscious of Emmalis in my arms.
I’m screaming but I can’t make out what I’m saying. Things seem to be moving slowly. I can see everything.
Emmalis is sobbing uncontrollably in my arms. We’re climbing up the hill behind the house, up a well-worn path toward the woods. We’re so far away. I’ll never be able to get there in time.
Nerits never sees it coming. The master lifts his sword above his head and uses the pommel as a club, striking Nerits hard in the back of the head.
Nerits’ hands lose the glow and he drops to his knees. The yellow glow around us flickers before disappearing. The master has him by the hair, pulling his head back and exposing his neck.
“NO!” I scream, struggling harder. But it’s no use. Emmalis is clinging too hard, Nedac gripping too tightly. I can’t get away. I can’t help.
The master lifts his eyes, searching, and they find mine. He’s looking directly at me, staring hard into my eyes. Then, without emotion, without a single care, he brings his sword down toward Nerits’ exposed throat.
The last thing I see before we crest the hill and are lost in the trees, is the pull of the master’s blade, the sudden burst of red, and Nerits’ lifeless body, slumping to the ground.
[End of Chapter Ten]