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Someone would die tonight. Jon felt it deep in the pit of his stomach. It was something he felt before in the north as a young man when he and a thousand soldiers of the emperor faced an army of five thousand bewitched devil worshiping Voth. He lost his two best friends that night. Sket fell under a Voth axe that split his head in two and Daniel took four arrows in the chest when he ran to help. Daniel had died with blood pouring out of his mouth trying to say Jon’s name. Jon had felt it when they had all joked before the battle of the things they would do to the young Voth women afterward. Instead they died in pools of blood. They were all children back then. But not now.

Jon knew it now too. There was no boasting. Each of the Seven Swords was a veteran of battle. They knew the truth of combat. In any battle, regardless of the skill, there are only three options. Either your opponent dies, you die, or you both die. A good sword, high ground, or exceptional skill may push the odds but never by much. Jon had seen the best musketeers fall and cowards survive duels with masters lying in the dirt. Combat wasn’t about skill, it was about luck.

The Seven Swords knew that. Even Adrin had picked it up by now. Jon wondered if the northern boy would be the first to fall. Someone would.

Rain fell on Jon’s head and shoulders. It rolled over his eyes and from his lips. It ran down his arm and the shining steel edge of his rapier. He smelled the air and watched the burning dots of torchlight in front of him.

The Seven Swords had done well the night before but that was to be expected. Now the Sticks knew they were here and things would be much harder. Jon felt his stomach turn and felt lines of tension tighten in the back of his neck. He turned left and saw the Kal standing on another small hill, his huge war club resting on his shoulder. The Kal saw him and grinned, if one could call it a grin with that thing on him. Jon turned right and saw Vrenna under her cloak, rivers of rain running off of the hood. He knew she was aware of his stare though she showed no sign.

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- Hỗ trợ Dân tộc King -

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