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THE CURSED BLADES

Snippet, Chapter 2

Seoul, South Korea

I smiled tightly at the elderly couple. They were wealthy patrons of the museum that I’d been introduced to by one of the hosts of the evening. They were also obnoxiously in love.

Love. The most foolish of human inventions. Science already explained it away as brain chemicals, hormones. But people were petrified of being alone, so they bought into the lie. I made a polite excuse and bowed out of the conversation.

Glass of champagne in hand, I circled the perimeter of the exhibit, my eyes never leaving the display in the center of the room. The Spear of Go Seung had yet to be unveiled, but the spotlight was shining brightly on the red velvet covering its case.

The base of my neck itched. I lifted the champagne flute to my lips and discretely scanned the crowd. No one was looking at me, but my instincts told me otherwise.

A woman with a commanding presence, middle-age in appearance but whom I knew to be sixty-two years old, stopped before the display. The spotlight cast a sinister shadow over her face as her eagle eyes took in everyone in attendance. A hush fell over the small crowd. She was of average height, average build, and absolutely brilliant. Song Min Young, CEO of Aeternum Corp, and the current Director General of the National Museum of Korea.

I inched closer, my neck itching something fierce.

“Thank you all for coming tonight. The War of the Three Kingdoms…”

I turned my phone to record in selfie mode and panned the guests behind me.

Something soft brushed my cheek. Every muscle in my body tensed.

“Which actor are you secretly recording?” a deep, masculine voice whispered in my ear, sending phantom fingers creeping down my spine and my heart into the stratosphere.

I relaxed my fingers clenched tightly around the glass as I turned to stare into rich brown eyes that were alight with good humor. Long black lashes framed those eyes. A strong nose, full upper lip with a Cupid’s bow and slightly thinner lower lip that were curved into a smile, wicked sharp cheekbones and jawline, and perfectly styled black hair parted to the side with a tendril that fell forward on his forehead and managed to look sexy instead of cheesy. He was absolutely delectable, and he knew it.

Too bad, I had no time for pleasure. I touched the screen on my phone to flip the camera around.

“Obviously not a third tier like you,” I replied, my voice dry as the Gobi, and moved deeper into the crowd.

“And, without any further ado, I present to you, The Spear of Go Seung.”

A curator removed the red velvet sheet covering the display case. A chorus of gasps rose and swept across the room like a winter storm. My teeth ground together and my toes curled inside my shoes in fury.

The spear was gone.