Assassin's Creed Wiki
Assassin's Creed Wiki

Assassin's Creed: The Golden City is a novel by Jaleigh Johnson. It was published by Aconyte Books in May 2023.

Publisher's summary[]

A young emperor's life hangs in the balance, and only the Brotherhood of Assassins can save him, in this action-packed historical adventure from the award-winning Assassin's Creed universe.

Constantinople, 867 – A murderous plot is afoot. Assisted by the Order of the Ancients, the emperor schemes to assassinate his son and throw the city into chaos. In response, the Hidden Ones have dispatched Assassin acolyte Hytham to join his mentor, Basim Ibn Ishaq, to infiltrate the palace and foil the emperor's plan. But that is not his only mission... Hytham's brotherhood have entrusted him with uncovering where Basim's true loyalties lie and whether the master Assassin's personal obsessions outweigh his sense of duty. For Hytham to succeed, he must tread carefully, for Constantinople is a city of shadows, and danger hides in all of them.[1]


Chapter One[]

Hytham takes in a peaceful sight of a sunrise illuminating the city of Constantinople as the Master Assassin Basim comes towards his apprentice. Basim and Hytham talk about how the city's security is an illusion. Instantly, Basim begins their training, hiding in the mist while Hytham carefully acknowledges his surroundings. Within seconds, Hytham dodges Basim's attack but is later knocked down. Their sparring leads Hytham to an inclined muddy hill, right where Basim wants him. Fighting in the mud, Basim immediately stops the lesson and talks about the city's walls.

Lecturing about the Attila the Hun's impending attack on the city during Emperor Theodosius II's reign, Basim details how both the emperor and his prefect Constantine Flavius were unimpressed by the workers' lack of desire to rebuild their damaged walls. Basim recalls how both men offered teams a section of wall and a grand prize, which led to the walls build over tens of years being reconstructed in a matter of months. Back to sparring, Hytham recalls his other mission of spying on Basim's true intentions within the Hidden Ones. However, his loss of focus leads Basim to win their match. Afterwards, they both discuss the information of the recently crowned Emperor Basil I being aided by the Order of the Ancients, who worked to control the city from the inside. Together, Basim and Hytham are tasked to root them out by any means possible.

Chapter Two[]

Touring the Golden City, Basim and Hytham walk across the streets and enter a wine bar to observe the people. Seeing the literal fruits of the city's agricultural system, Hytham notes that Constantinople stands tall against any external invasion, but Basim reiterates the Order's influence over the emperor as their tactic. They discuss the emperor's Varangian guards, comprised of former Vikings who used to raid coastal settlements but were offered wealthy jobs by the emperor. Although Hytham wondered about the Varangian guards, Basim stopped the conversation and wanted to go elsewhere. Meanwhile, Hytham continued to investigate Basim's true motives.

Chapter Three[]

Venturing the markets of Constantinople, Hytham walks through the flow and eventually stops a young thief. Continuing through the markets, Basim shows Hytham a female buyer and her two warriors, surmising they are Norse. Basim reveals that he had made his presence and name known to both the Order, in hopes to draw them out, and to the Norse warriors before them. While Hytham looks around for any issues, Basim notes two more warriors are waiting for them further ahead. Hytham climbs to the roofs while Basim engages the warriors. Another warrior on the roofs watches his comrades and does not notice Hytham.

Hytham waits as his target comes closer and readies his Hidden Blade. Seeing the man's neck and its faint scar, Hytham lunges and stabs the man, but the warrior fights back despite his fatal wound. Pushing the man off, Hytham tries to help Basim but is stopped when arrows fly at him. More warriors arrive and Hytham is pinned down, but he looks back and sees one archer killed by a hand-axe. Below, Basim is aided by the female Varangian guard from earlier as she kills the warriors. After hiding the bodies, she introduced herself as Thyra, leader of the Eagle Clan and a Varangian guard.

Thyra asks if they can meet elsewhere away from prying eyes and Basim advises to meet at his ally Demetrios Hestiun's house. She agrees as they all accompany each other to the house. Hytham and Basim talk about their newfound ally while Hytham wonders why Thyra wants their help.

Chapter Four[]

At Hestiun's house, all arrive as Demetrios tends to his guests and ensures the courtyard's privacy. Thyra asks Basim to confirm if he is the fool from Baghdad intent moving against the emperor. Basim explains his duties and their creed while Hytham informs them of their knowledge of Basil's murder of his former co-emperor, Michael III. In the midst of their conversation, Empress Eudocia Ingerina enters the courtyard, stunning everyone with her presence except Basim. As they all sit, tensions fluctuate but Eudocia explains that she is not well-liked in her palace and wishes to serve the prosperity of her city. Hytham wonders why she has come here while the empress explains that she believes the emperor intends to kill his son, Leo VI.

Chapter Five[]

Empress Eudocia explains that although Leo is a boy, he is technically co-emperor with his father. Basim surmises that the Varangian guard are then split between their loyalties to both emperors. Thyra then asks Basim and Hytham to be the boy's protectors as the empress promises an alliance between the Hidden Ones and the future emperor. Basim asks if there are other incidents and the empress admits to other attempts on Leo's life. The Master Assassin asks if the palace has anyone else against Leo, but Thyra admits she does not know.

Basim offers that Hytham portray a new Varangian guard as Thyra helps by having him address himself as an adopted member of the Eagle Clan. The empress agrees to approve his position while the emperor is busy. Basim later asks from both women the promise of an alliance with the Hidden Ones and the Eagle Clan. Thyra and Eudocia speak privately before Thyra agrees to the alliance if Leo is kept safe. Basim agrees as Eudocia takes her leave. Before leaving, Thyra informs Hytham of the arrangement plans while Basim promises to investigate the accidents that almost befell Leo.

Hytham and Basim later discuss how the emperor's thoughts changed about Leo's parentage once the Order began to aid him. Hytham questions why Basim wants to partner with Thyra and her clan and cautiously ponders on whether Basim senses something amiss. He directly asks Basim for the quick alliances. Basim states that the Vikings could be strong allies and wants to learn their culture. They also agree on playing the long game rather than a quick assassination of the emperor. Basim tells Hytham to plan some regular meetups and to ready himself to be a Varangian guard.

Chapter Six[]

Basim and Hytham talk about their plan and learning Leo's routine before Hytham starts his day in the palace. Hytham blurts out that he knew he could not be a father due to the world and path he chose. He later asks Basim about his choice. Basim states that he knew a long time ago of what he could have and not have. Basim vanishes within the palace's ground while Hytham is escorted to the empress' throne room. There, he meets with Eudocia and Thyra as planned. However, the young boy Leo enters alongside Justin, another Varangian guard and former head of Leo's security detail.

Being pushed forward by Justin, Leo faces Hytham, who introduces himself to the young boy. Impressed, Eudocia takes her son to his room as Thyra follows them. Justin shows Hytham around and patronizes him about needing help around the palace. Passing the emperor's chambers, Hytham notices the change in noise as the numerous guards around the room add to the silence. They soon find a training ground, to which Hytham invites Justin to spar. Hytham starts to interview Justin and even enrages him about the change in leadership. Justin relays his dislike of the boy and how Leo may die due to his frailness. Knowing Justin was done talking, Hytham ends the sparring match while Justin realizes he was tricked. Hytham compliments Justin's skill as Justin shows Hytham to his first post.

Chapter Seven[]

At the children's wing of the palace, Hytham and Justin walk into a reading room, where Thyra and Leo are. Besides Leo, his tutor Theodore stands besides him over their agricultural lesson. Theodore disrespectfully dismisses Leo from their session when he voices a desire to show Justin his book while Hytham again thanks Justin for their conversation and training from earlier, aggravating him. Thyra smiles thinly, feeling the power tension between the two. Hytham asks Leo to show him his book and the boy suggests that Hytham quiz him on what he has learned. Hytham asks him how Leo would feed a city low on food supply. Stuck, Leo freezes, but Theodore advises that it is a fair question.

Pivoting, Hytham reminds Leo that it is time for dinner and asks Leo to show him where the dining hall is. With Theodore's permission, Leo begins to show Hytham the path and nearly holds his hand, but withholds at the last moment. At night, Hytham observes the palace servants moving while he watches Leo at a different dining room along with his nurse, Anna. Not knowing much about Anna, Hytham considers her a prime suspect because she spends most of her time with Leo. Soon, Hytham catches Anna off-guard while Basim appears behind him in the shadows. Together, they discuss their days and Basim advises Hytham to make contact with Anna.

Wanting more questions, Hytham tries to suggest they both spend the night there, but Basim has disappeared. With dinner almost over, Hytham sees Anna coming towards him and compliments her work. However, she warns that if Leo is harmed, Hytham will suffer the consequences. Impressed, Hytham states he does not intend to harm or abandon the boy. Nevertheless, Anna reveals her disgust of Leo's lack of security. Intrigued, Hytham asks about Justin's work. Anna details how people notice Justin leaving the palace on odd nights before taking Leo from dinner.

Chapter Eight[]

Hytham guards Leo's door, senses alert for any noise different than the silence. His vigil is interrupted when Leo has a nightmare. Leo wakes in a sweat while Hytham tries to calm him down. Scared, Leo hugs and cries into Hytham, who comforts him as best as he can. Hytham and Leo talk about the nightmare while Hytham concludes Leo has bested his dream and that he will be there for the boy. However, Leo blurts that he is paid to protect him, nothing more. Hytham gently corrects him, saying that although his skills mean he may be paid for Leo's protection, his personal ethics bind him to protect the people's freedoms even at the cost of his own life.

Tucking Leo back into bed, Hytham notices a viper slithering by the foot of the bed. Before Leo can cry out, Hytham grabs and muffles him then slowly pulls Leo from the bed, but startles the viper more with the blanket. Leo falls out of Hytham's grasp but the Hidden One pushes the boy away as the snake attacks Hytham, who slices the viper in half with his Hidden Blade. He checks Leo and does not see any bites, but the boy questions what Hytham's weapon is. Hytham wakes Thyra up and tells her to guard Leo while he investigate the halls for any culprits.

He soon finds an old woman, Drina, lying motionless. On closer inspection, he sees another viper on her breathless body. Telling Thyra and Leo to stay back, Hytham engages and kills the second viper, then orders Thyra to find the other guards and scout the grounds. Hytham hears another noise and readies his Blade, but the source is Justin approaching and Hytham lowers his guard. Justin asks about Leo and wants to check on the boy, but Hytham stops him, calmly and strongly ordering Justin to stay with the incoming soldiers while he goes to check on Leo himself.

Chapter Nine[]

The servants quickly remove the dead bodies of Drina and vipers while Hytham waits for Basim to contact him. While Hytham looks through the garden, Basim finds him and they discuss whether the assassination attempt may be an inside job hired by the Order, but no direct part from them. Basim infers that Hytham may be called on by the emperor for saving Leo. Although Hytham requests he be taken off the assignment to hide and watch from the shadows, Basim says it is too late and advises his student to use his new reputation as an advantage, cautioning that the emperor will give a threatening praise of his deeds. Hytham relays to Basim what Anna had told him about Justin.

Hytham also reveals Leo's nightmare and a voice that terrorizes him in his nightmare. Basim believes it might be a djinn, but backtracks when Hytham asks a follow-up question. Afterwards, Hytham is escorted by two of emperor's guards and stands before Emperor Basil I. While both assess each other, Basil calmly thanks Hytham for saving Leo. Keeping a professional demeanor, Hytham states his gratitude at being honored as a Varangian guard and explains how Thyra recently recruited him. During their conversation, Leo and Thyra arrive, but Basil quickly dismisses the woman.

Basil instructs Leo to thank Hytham for saving him. Scared, Leo stutters a reply and looks down. Basil angrily orders him to repeat it with proper etiquette. Leo does so, then Basil orders Leo to apologize for his earlier blunder. Confused, Hytham asks what Basil means. Basil stands over Leo, who miserably admits he had left the outside door open for snakes to enter, bewildering Hytham. Basil says Hytham's work does not go unnoticed and how silly mistakes can befall anyone, then dismisses Hytham and mockingly tells him to keep doing well and how many eyes are watching.

Chapter Ten[]

After Hytham escorts Leo out of the throne room, a grief-stricken Leo erroneously concludes that he killed the servant Drina by leaving the bedroom door open. Hytham, choosing his words carefully, reminds him that the snakes are not Leo's fault and the emperor is mistaken. Basim soon drops in and Hytham introduces them to each other. Looking at Leo, Basim hands him a healing salve for his shoulder. While the boy is occupied, Basim and Hytham privately discuss Basil. Before Hytham can ask Basim about letting himself be seen, Leo finishes tending to himself.

Basim asks if Leo wants to see a magic trick and Leo skeptically agrees. After closing his eyes, Leo opens them to see Basim has vanished, though his disembodied voice asks to keep his presence a secret. Leo agrees before he and Hytham walk towards his library. Walking back, Hytham sees Leo eyeing his arm with the Hidden Blade. Leo asks about it and Hytham requests that he keep the blade a secret as well. At the library, Leo shows Hytham a book on weaponry and tells him that there is no proof of such a weapon existing; Hytham corrects him, saying that not everything is written in books. Realizing Leo's interests, Hytham makes sure they are alone and shows him his Hidden Blade.

Leo inspects it and asks to be trained to yield it. Hytham rejects the proposal, insisting he is too young and maybe when Leo is older, but Leo angrily retorts he likely will die beforehand due to his father's accidents. Hytham rebukes the statement and promises to protect him. Unconvinced, Leo tells Hytham that he is just one man and explains how he tried practicing archery with Justin to protect himself, but to no avail. Hytham promises to teach Leo how to move quietly like him and Basim, and Leo happily accepts. For a moment, Hytham feels a semi-paternal bond with Leo, but the mission is paramount: he not only wants an ally with Leo, but to teach him about the Hidden Ones' beliefs as well.

Chapter Eleven[]

The next day, Hytham and Leo have a horse-riding lesson next to the hippodrome. At the stables, Justin readies the horse, having replaced Thyra for the time being. Hytham escorts Leo, who waits besides his mare Sky. Soon, the stablemaster readies Leo and Sky to ride but both he and Leo discuss the hippodrome's history while Hytham keeps guard. Hytham talks with Justin and offers a fresh start to their work relationship, but is rebuffed. Justin goes over the fence and tells the stablemaster to hurry their lesson. Hytham observes that they have plenty of time and follows Justin over the fence.

While Justin and Hytham watch Leo, the boy tries to ride Sky but is unable to mount the horse, especially when Justin outright insults him. Embarrassed, Leo stops his attempts while Hytham tells the stablemaster to return Sky to the stables. After Hytham tells Leo to feed Sky and re-establish trust, even if they did not ride, he confronts Justin on his words and attitude towards Leo. Justin spits that Hytham is coddling the child and that it would be better for him if he stops protecting Leo. Perplexed, Hytham wonders if the response was a threat or not.

Chapter Twelve[]

Two weeks have passed. Hytham leaves the palace to meet with Basim while Thyra guards Leo and the emperor's family in the meantime. The Hidden Ones' three suspects are narrowed down to Justin, Anna, and Theodore, and the pair follow Anna through the markets to a fortune teller. Basim heads to a back entrance while Hytham ventures inside. A young girl tells Hytham that the fortune-teller Ursina is busy with a client, but he schemes his way in by saying he is the client's husband and bribes the girl. Having gained entry, he spots Anna and Ursina in a room down a narrow hall.

Anna provides a jeweled hair comb as an offering for a man named Isaac and states there is more for him. Ursina understands and cuts the meeting short. Hytham quickly departs and notices Theodore coming his way as Basim also spots the tutor. Joining Basim atop the roof, they hear the pair meet and Theodore telling Anna to quickly leave. The Assassins determine the two are in a relationship. Although Hytham wants to follow them, Basim reminds him that the new lead of Isaac proves to be important to check. After they talk about Anna and Theodore's true involvement, Basim surmises that he will first look into Isaac first.

Chapter Thirteen[]

At the emperor's palace, Hytham guards Leo, who still wants Hytham to teach him how to move silently. Hytham takes Leo through the palace to a room he organized and knew would be unoccupied. Hytham instructs Leo to move quietly when walking on his toes. Looking at Leo's face, Hytham notices the child hears himself due to his silk attire. Without his garb, Leo tries again but asks why he needs to be silent if he can run away. Hytham responds that running is not always an option and that learning how to hide is necessary. He asks if Leo wants to learn about the Hidden Ones. Leo assures that he does and practices a third time.

To test Leo's skills, Hytham suggests they play a game of hide-and-seek. After closing his eyes for twenty seconds. Hytham searches after Leo and finds him when he hears a creak from the room's third bookshelf. Amazed, Leo lights up with astonishment and compliments Hytham's skill. Flattered, Hytham immediately goes back to teaching and offers other rooms, but advises Leo to stay hidden when he is danger. Leo asks about Hytham's well-being and Hytham lies, saying that he will be there and, if not, another member of his brotherhood will honor his sacrifice. Hytham compares it to Leo's similar future as emperor, but the boy says his father does not talk about statecraft or any other duties.

Hytham tells that for Leo to be a just ruler, he must surround himself with people who disagree with him and have strengths that he does not. He adds that as long as Leo makes the right decisions, he will not be without allies. Understanding, Leo wants to continue with their practice but takes issue with the idea of an emperor hiding in danger. Hytham responds that for now, he will learn to hide until one day when he can stand in the light.

Chapter Fourteen[]

After leaving Leo in his room to sleep, Hytham finally finds Thyra and they discuss their commitment to the empress. Thyra admits they all walk a fine line of loyalty and betrayal by protecting Leo from harm, especially from Emperor Basil. Hytham states the similarities he has with their plight but asks why they protect Leo due to their culture's incentive from strength. Thyra responds that Leo maintains a different strength and her clan can see that despite others' beliefs. Hytham divulges his findings about Anna and Theodore's relationship and how Basim is looking into the matter.

Thyra mentions that Basim inquired about her clan and other clans, which she surmises to believe that Basim is looking for someone. Confused, Hytham wonders why and who Basim wants. Thyra says Basim would not speak on the matter and tells Hytham to rest. Hytham agrees and later sleeps before his next shift. While sleeping, he has a nightmare where he could not breathe. He struggles awake and finds two men attempting to suffocate him in his sleep. Calming down, he tries to play dead but the men do not relent. Believing Leo is in danger, Hytham screams and throws the men off him. Taking a breath, he sees a huge figure coming towards him. Hytham sweeps his legs and kills him with his Hidden Blade, but this gives time for the other man to flee.

Hytham surmises it was one of three Varangian guards who he had passed in the barracks. He goes to check on Leo, who is secure, since Thyra guards the door and is talking to Basim before they both notice Hytham. Hytham asks her to summon her most trusted guard and says a new problem has emerged. Thyra and Hytham go back to the barracks where they inspect the dead assailant. Thyra confirms it was Steros, a young and quiet Varangian guard. Basim comes and suggests that since Basil could not remove officially Hytham, he secretly asked the Order to kill him. Realizing the next shift is coming, Thyra asks what to do with the body. Basim suggests that they take it, dump it over the wall, and claim Steros abandoned his post.

After dumping the body while Thyra cleans the blood, Hytham and Basim take a moment near the sea. Basim apologizes to Hytham for not being there while Hytham apologizes for not noticing a sign earlier. Basim states he will know in the future after this and that Hytham will return to Thyra for his duties. While walking back, Basim reveals he knows Hytham has begun training Leo in their ways. Hytham explains his reasons and Basim understands, but cautions about growing too close to the boy. Hytham asks if he believes there are complications but Basim reassures him that their relationship is necessary. Although time will make Leo into an asset in their world, Basim cautions that he, Thyra, and others have noticed Hytham's tutelage.

Hytham demands to know if that was what he and Thyra were talking about earlier. Basim admits it came up but their conversation was about Anna and Theodore. Basim believes Anna is not a traitor due to her close nature with Leo but suspects Isaac may be the head of the Order in Constantinople and thus working with Basil. Their new objectives are to find and kill Isaac and the traitor within the palace. Hytham promises to check on Justin, a top suspect on his list. Basim tells Hytham to sleep and promises he will keep watch. Hytham agrees but the night's events compel him to stay awake.

Chapter Fifteen[]

In the palace's garden, Hytham watches Anna and Leo play while he notices Justin coming towards him. Justin quickly asks him about Steros being gone as Hytham neutrally evades his questioning. Despite his injury and his lies, Justin angrily leaves while Hytham continues to suspect him as the traitor. Immediately, he begins to track him while asking Thyra to take over his shift. Following him to the kitchen, Hytham watches Justin receive a note as the guard becomes angry as the message. Seeing him leave, Hytham uses a bird-call to signal Basim, who comes quickly to follow Justin with his apprentice.

Outside the palace, Basim provides Hytham with his Assassin's garb while they continue to follow Justin. During their tail, Basim asks if Hytham believes in his lead but Hytham clearly states his possible misgivings about the lead and his trust in Basim but is determined to see Justin's true motives. Shocked, Basim let Hytham continue his lead. They soon arrive in a dark alley in the impoverished section of the city where they spot Justin talking with a man. The man demands his loyalty and aid in helping the emperor's plan and assures him about caring for his family. In response, Justin states he has an answer as he attacks the man. Although sustaining a head injury, Justin gains an upper hand and kills the man while Basim and Hytham watch from afar.

However, Justin is surrounded by another man and a woman, who take out their weapons. Outnumbered, Justin readies himself to fall but is saved by both Basim and Hytham. Justin asks who they are while Hytham and Basim reveal themselves. Uneased, Justin asks why they followed him and both Basim and Hytham state that they believed Justin to be part of the conspiracy to kill Leo. Justin explains that the emperor's partners found someone he loves and threatened their well-being and that is not the first time they asked. Hytham still claims that his attitude and behavior against Leo may have proved Justin to be willing to kill Leo.

Taken aback, Justin accuses Hytham of knowing nothing of his relationship with Leo. Justin states his kindness to Leo before Hytham's arrival and how he trained Leo himself. However, he states that Leo tried to show Emperor Basil his archery skill and in response, Basil broke Leo's arm. In Justin's perspective, he sees that the emperor abused Leo every time Leo was happy. Thus, to protect Leo, Justin states he became indifferent and then cruel to Leo to protect him. However, he continues to care for Leo. Hytham looks for any deception but believes Justin. However, they point out that they are away from the palace while Leo is alone. Before Justin could go back, Basim tells him to check on his friend while he and Hytham return to the palace.

Chapter Sixteen[]

Returning to the palace, Hytham begins to blame himself until Basim tells him that any blame falls on Basil and no one else. With his Varangian uniform back on, Hytham questions a female servant, who states the palace has been quiet. Immediately, he tells her to find guards as he knows the silence means no witnesses for Leo's death. He makes his way through the halls and hears a scream. Going into the room, he finds a dead cook and Anna being strangled. Trying to attack the assailant, the attacker thrusts Anna onto Hytham and injured her in the process. Hytham readies his sword but the large assailant knocks it out of his hand and begins to overpower Hytham. Nearly being strangled, Hytham pushes the man off him and fights him.

Looking for Leo, Hytham struggles to fight the man but manages to injure him to the point where he goes for the sword. However, Anna recovers and stops him, only to be kicked in the chest. Yet, Anna pulls on his legs while Hytham strikes a slash. The assailant uses a wooden tray to defend himself while Hytham recovers his sword. Using his blade and sword, Hytham gains an upper hand and kills the assailant with his blade to the chest. Checking on Anna, Hytham asks for Leo but Anna states she could not find him as more assailants took over the children's wing. Hytham orders her to find the other servants and hide while he goes to find Leo.

While going to the children's wing, Hytham struggles to breathe due to his cracked ribs and encounters two more criminals. Without hesitation, he kills one of the criminals silently and continues to Leo's room. Finding more bodies of Varangian guards and more criminals, he soon sees Thyra and Basim fighting off the attackers with more bodies around them. Thyra finds an opening and kills her opponent while Basim is having difficulty against his own attacker. Still, Hytham continues and checks Leo's room but finds it a mess but no Leo. Leaving, he catches Basim's eye as the Master Assassin nods at him to go. Around the palace, he checks the library and the training room but does not find Leo. Soon, he heads to the empress' room.

Hytham soon finds Leo's sandals and walks towards the empress until he stops at an arch to one of the palace's private gardens. In the garden, he remembers they have practiced hiding and goes to the large fountain. He calls for Leo and shows his arm with his hidden blade. Leo grasps and holds onto Hytham with all his might, shivering and wet. Grabbing Leo, Hytham notices two cloaked criminals in front of him. As they ready to attack, Hytham makes Leo climb the tree behind him while he fends off the cloaked assassins. In their fight, Hytham makes sure Leo escaped while sustaining a blow to his knee nearly incapacitated him.

Before one of the attackers could land the killing blow, Basim comes in from behind and kills him, saving Hytham. The other attacker flees while Hytham tries to go after him. However, Basim stops him and states the guards are on alert and will catch him. Leo climbs down the tree and embraces Hytham, still struggling with his wounds. Thyra soon comes and states the area is secure. Hytham asks to find those who escaped as tonight proves that the attackers were too close. Basim states it is his mission while telling Hytham to stay on task with Leo and not be personal.

Angry, Hytham calls out Basim for his own personal goals but Basim tells him that he knows that Hytham was sent to spy on him. When Hytham asks why he let him, Basim states he needs someone less competent to continue the task rather than let Rayhan send another Hidden One. Before he can respond, Hytham realizes that Basim had disappeared. Regardless, despite his injuries, Hytham knows the mission is clear and goes over the garden wall. Tracking the escaped assailant, Hytham leaves to track him and maybe find the mysterious Isaac.

Chapter Seventeen[]

Hytham follows the assailant's trail of blood and goes unnoticed into the energetic crowd while in the markets. Within the crowd, he finds a bruised woman who states a bleeding man pushed her out of his way. Hytham speaks to her as she states he had turned a corner. There, he sees the weary attacker enter a two-story building while he entered through one of its windows. Quietly moving downstairs, he sees the assailant look at his massive axe wound and resign himself to a chair. He calls for the intruder while Hytham slowly reveals himself. Hytham notices the man bleeding out while the assailant wants to meet Basim.

Hytham questions him for the location of Isaac but the attacker laughs before lunging towards Hytham. Hytham quickly kills the assailant and realizes there must be a reason for him coming here. Searching the whole location, Hytham finds a loose rock in the courtyard and a note. The note is written by Theodore, who spelled out the time and location of the assassination attempt and how he would poison the guards near the children's wing. Hiding the parchment, Hytham hears a noise and realizes it is a trap to lure an Assassin. He soon hides the note again and goes to find an opening. Realizing he is trapped, he goes to confront five Order soldiers that surrounded him on the streets. Despite stunning two of them, one of Order members hits his knee as he falls quickly. The other Order members hold him at knifepoint and immobile. Laughing, Hytham tries to escape but he is knocked out unconscious.

Chapter Eighteen[]

Hytham goes in and out of consciousness while his captors take him. After some time, he wakes up restrained but his knee feels broken and all he sees is darkness. Needing to escape, he hears two Order members talk about Hytham's status. Arman asks how well Hytham needs to be for Isaac. Hytham begins to worry as he knows they intend to capture Basim but Leo is now alone. Soon, both a female member and Arman set up the room while Arman begins to interrogate Hytham alone. Organizing and making Hytham sit up, Arman sits back while Hytham assesses Arman's wound he sustained. Arman discloses Leo hit him while escaping and gave Hytham his regards of teaching the boy.

However, Hytham remains silent to the questioning but Arman starts to torture him slowly. In the midst of the interrogation, Hytham finds an opportunity and bruises Arman's fingers with his knees before lunging at him. Both men on the floor, the female Order member looks at the situation and dismisses Arman from the room. The woman soon realizes that his silence and desire to leave makes this mission personal and thanks him for the information. While Hytham tries to leave, the woman holds him down and chokes him out while stating Isaac will have much to do with him.

Chapter Nineteen[]

Chained up from the floor, Hytham's injuries and dehydration starts to take its toll as he barely sees the woman enter. Soon, she gives him enough water to speak but throws the rest away. Telling him Isaac wants to talk, she states her goodbye to Hytham, who believes he will die after the meeting. Isaac enters the room and Hytham slowly recognizes him to be server at the wine bar. Soon, they discuss the emperor's succession but then turn the conservation towards Basim and a deal. Hytham states of a possible deal by having the Order stay away from Leo. Yet, Hytham asks why Isaac is inclined to meet with Basim. Isaac responds that Hytham does not really know who Basim really is.

Hytham admits to his possible distrust of Basim while Isaac gives a proposal of faking Leo's death and having him escape the emperor's family. Feeling tempted, Hytham finally recognizes how close he became to Leo and how Basim was right. Looking at Hytham, Isaac sees Hytham's facial expression and deduces his rejection of the offer. Instantly, Isaac starts to assault a bounded Hytham but the Assassin dodges his abuse. Hytham begins to fight back and they both engage in their scuffle. However, Isaac has the upper hand with his knife but they soon hear a noise. Leaving, Isaac vows to continue their conversation before closing the door on Hytham, who is back in the dark.

Chapter Twenty[]

Hearing the fight above him, Hytham tries to free himself from his ropes but feels too worn. Noticing footsteps coming down, Hytham finally loosens the ropes and readies for an attack. Falling to the floor, Basim enters the room and helps him up. Providing his sword, both Assassins leave the interrogation room as they pass by multiple rooms. In one of the rooms, they pass Thyra fighting off Isaac and another man while Hytham notices Arman dead on the floor. Assisting Thyra, Basim and Hytham attack Isaac, who realizes the situation. Isaac tosses a knife to the other Order member and escapes while the man guards the exit afterwards.

Basim fights the injured Order member swiftly and injures him more. However, Hytham notices a dagger thrown at Basim, who dodges it, while Hytham sees it hit the wall near him. Seeing the female Order member again, Hytham takes the dagger and kills the injured man. Thyra attacks and lodges her axe into the woman's chest. After Basim finishes the job, he drags the bodies inside the building. Meanwhile, Thyra looks to a corner of the room and helps Leo, who was hiding among all the combat. Hytham asks why Leo is here but Basim states the palace was not safe until Thyra verifies who can be trusted and stating guarding Leo is his duty, not theirs. Realizing his mistake, Hytham agrees as they travel back to the palace. Assessing his wounds, Hytham sees nothing broken but remains sore all around.

Thyra has Leo go with Hytham, who guides Leo outside, while she and Basim investigate the abandoned Order compound. Incognito, Leo states that Basim told him that Hytham might be dead but he was going to save him nevertheless. Realizing Basim risked the mission himself, Hytham thanks Leo for being brave and coming to find him. Leo admits being glad Hytham is alive and then immediately hugs him. With a rush of emotion, Hytham hugs him back. Realizing the events, Hytham surmises that their strength may not be enough but he may be able to condemn Theodore. When Thyra and Basim walk outside, they all begin to leave for the palace.

Chapter Twenty-One[]

Telling Thyra and Basim of the parchment, they progress back to the tavern and found the note. However, although Theodore will be the subject of Basil's wrath, Hytham worries about the next step. Thyra states she is culling the Varangian guard of any traitors while Basim promises to think of their next steps. Meanwhile, they all go walking back to the palace while Basim scouts their path of any dangers. Hytham explains his worries of Leo witnessing such death but Thyra admits that Leo will hopefully learn. She recounts his childhood about a rival clan raiding her own clan and how she heard the chaos that came from it. The lesson is that is to learn how to protect oneself and the people they love. Hytham begins to ponder on the fact of his disobedience to Basim's orders and how it affected Leo's safety. However, no matter the cost within the Hidden Ones ranking, he promises to protect the boy from any danger.

Chapter Twenty-Two[]

Upon their arrival, Thyra tells Empress Eudocia of the events that transpired and Theodore's role in the matter. An enraged Basil immediately calls for Theodore's execution, much to Hytham's expectations. Hytham later rests and tries to recover, yet he is called into the empress' room. Inside, he meets with Eudocia and Anna. While Eudocia sees his wounds, Hytham asks about Anna's well-being. However, he questions her involvement with Theodore and the fortune teller. Shocked, Anna states her own mission to detect any traitors within Justin or Theodore. Starting with a relationship with the tutor, Anna admits to trying to bribe Isaac with a gift in exchange for Leo's life.

The empress scolds Anna but admits to not being forthcoming to her as well. Hytham states that it is best for her and Anna to be guarded as the Order is not done but that the emperor may pull back his transgression due to the failure of the assassination attempt. Eudocia thanks Hytham for all he has done before Hytham leaves her room. Hytham soon makes his way to the training grounds as he waits for him and Justin to be alone. Talking to Justin, Hytham apologizes for judging him too quick but Justin blames himself for not being at the palace during the attack and for being cold to Leo.

Hytham relays that he must tell Leo the truth and that Leo is strong enough to take it. Reluctant, Justin considers the option. Hytham further pushes the notion and reveals that while he was tortured yesterday, he sees that such misery one inflicts is not needed for others and oneself. He also provides a proposal for Justin to join the Hidden Ones. Justin thanks him for his words and promises to spar another time. Hytham agrees once he is healed.

Chapter Twenty-Three[]

Failing to reach Basim, Hytham receives a note from Thyra to go to Hestiun's house again. Going alone, he sees Empress Eudocia only as she grabs her bow and shoots an arrow straight into a dummy's neck. Although he approaches quietly, she notices his presence and offers to talk. However, she makes a challenge with an arrow contest with some wagers. If she wins, he offers to advise her on a moral dilemma. If he wins, he wants the privilege to tell the story of him and the empress shooting arrows. After four shots from each of them, Hytham loses after his arrow hits a dummy's ribs. Eudocia soon asks whether the Hidden Ones killed any monster.

Hytham explains that the circumstances depend on the situation. The empress further asks if the monster is only evil in one way but not the rest. Realizing the vulnerability of the empress, Hytham honestly answers that removing such a monster may prove to be dangerous than helpful. Thanking him for the truth, Eudocia leaves while Hytham wonders where Basim could be. Scared, Hytham needs to find Basim before Isaac could muster up another plan against Leo.

Chapter Twenty-Four[]

At Philopation, a vast park outside the palace's walls, Basil and his family setup a event away from the rumors and questions surrounding the palace's attack. There, Hytham stands guard while Basil and his favorites hunt for wolves. He soon talks with Thyra as he discloses he wants to know where he stands after his failure. Thyra reassures that he should not blame himself harshly as she states Basim has also let his personal goals and decisions affect his choices. Instantly, Hytham hears Basim's bird-call and goes to meet him while Thyra stands watch. Making his way to Basim, Hytham catches sight of him besides a wolf in a calm nature.

Once the hunters call it a day and their voices lessen, the wolf runs away while Hytham goes to Basim. Talking to each other, Basim explains his distance was not a punishment but a way to cool down as Hytham recuperated. However, Basim admits he is still angry and the tension builds. Hytham readies his sword as Basim unsheathes his weapon. Alone, the two Assassins are alone with no one to hear them.

Chapter Twenty-Five[]

Basim and Hytham engage in combat with each other while Hytham subtly relents to his injuries. Nevertheless, Hytham controls his pain and gains some blows against Basim. Basim soon attacks with the same pattern he used when they sparred and trips Hytham on his back. When Basim tries to use his hidden blade, Hytham dodges it and tries to attack but Basim disarms him. Using a rock, Hytham tries to hit Basim but he dodges it. Basim sees the grace and violence Hytham has in this fight. Seeing his taunt, Hytham attempts to die fighting to his last breath against Basim.

Despite the consistence blows, Hytham slows down while Basim corners him again and put his blade against his neck. Basim lets Hytham go and reprimands him for not following his orders. Hytham apologizes for his choices while Basim reiterates to Hytham of not becoming close to Leo. Hytham tries to explain but Basim states a father would commit any mishaps for their child and how he must not be blind like he was. Hytham responds that he did what he was asked and even explains his creed to Leo. He does not want Leo to be a pawn in their game as Basim had stated.

Basim reveals that his father was a cruel man and all he knew was violence. He admits that he was jealous and angry over the connection and care Hytham shows to Leo and how he wanted that as a child. Hytham asks why Basim risked his life to save him. The Master Assassin states that Hytham is too important for both the Hidden Ones and to him as well. Hytham states he values their friendship, too. As the sun begins to set, Hytham begins to leave but Basim states he must leave the city. Hytham declares he needs to see the mission through, no matter the cost.

Basim asks what Hytham intends to do. Hytham states that he knows the emperor will try again to kill Leo but there must be a permanent way to discourage him. Basim adds that Isaac has no qualms and that killing Leo is the least he must do to regain faith from the Order. Basim states of a plan to use Leo as bait and bring Isaac to him, with the risk of losing the boy. He explains that it is better than the alternative of Leo growing up in constant fear and terror from Basil. Understanding, Hytham agrees. Basim asks for Hytham's word and if he trusts him. With everything he has learned, Hytham agrees to follow him.

Chapter Twenty-Six[]

Basil plans to hold a chariot race in the Hippodrome as the people hear rumors of him racing in the event. Meanwhile, Thyra takes precautionary measures to ensure no one could enter with weapons. Although Justin wants to setup defenses around Leo, Hytham and Thyra come up with putting up shades while Hytham knows Leo must be a target for the Order to reveal themselves. Justin does not know the plan while Thyra feels the same upset as Hytham about it. Keeping the plan known to few, Hytham waits with Thyra as he assures Justin that another ally will be near to protect Leo. Before continuing their duties, Hytham brings Justin to the stables as well as Leo.

While Justin retrieves Sky, Hytham tells Leo that he must try again to ride despite the other day. Leo says he knows Justin would not help him since that day with the emperor. Hytham explains that his cruel nature was a mistake due to the emperor's influence and says Justin cares about him. Leo hesitantly steps towards Justin and Sky while Hytham informs Justin to be himself as no one else is watching. Justin lifts Leo onto Sky and soon begins to teach Leo how to ride. Within minutes, the two laughs as they ride Sky while Hytham smiles at the two. Before leaving for the preparations, Hytham stays to watch them a moment longer.

Chapter Twenty-Seven[]

The next day, Hytham prepares himself for the Hippodrome race but is met by Thyra, who states that Basim never came for a quick meeting. She informs that she found a blood spatter on a wall but no evidence of bodies. Hytham goes to the training yard and calls for him three times but to no response. Thinking the worse, Hytham forgoes the notion of Basim being taken or abandoning them and continues with the mission. Along with Thyra, Justin and the other Varangian guards, they escorted the imperial family to the Hippodrome. Entering the Hippodrome, Basil addresses the crowd while they all make their way to their chambers.

The crowd quiets slowly as the first race begins between the blue and green teams. While Hytham and Thyra stand as guards and watch the race, Justin makes his way around the crowd and searches certain people's bags for any weapons. Hytham asks Thyra to stay as he checks outside for signs of Basim. Outside the Hippodrome, Hytham sees no sliver of Basim and wonders if Basim had been taken or worse. Realizing they are mostly likely on their own, Hytham goes back towards the tower he and Basim saw earlier and looks for the nearest stairs.

Chapter Twenty-Eight[]

Realizing the tower is locked, Hytham starts to climb the tower and notices another patch of blood upon a ledge. Nearing the birds atop the tower, Hytham finds Basim bleeding and treating himself. Basim admits that he strayed too far from the palace and was attacked by two Order members. Although killing one, a dagger hit him and thus he climbed to the top to isolate himself. After treating Basim's wound, Hytham helps the Master Assassin back to the Hippodrome. Hytham explains that the birds were the reason of him climbing the tower but Basim gives a concerned look about the idea.

Back at the Hippodrome, Hytham and Basim witness the crowd being too hostile after two upsets. However, Basil does nothing to control the crowds as he wants everyone to see him race. However, when Basil entered the race, his competitors give too much space and crowd each other. With Basim vanishing again, Hytham sees everyone in the place and tells Justin to continue his work. The emperor is in the lead as his competitors are far behind. However, at the second lap, he turns too early and causes a mishap on the race. As parts of the crowd fall into the race to see the emperor, an arrow is shot into the emperor's box.

Thyra holds the empress down as Leo remains alone in the box. Trying to go to Leo, Hytham notices Justin fighting and surmises the Order is here. Still, Hytham waits to see anything and notices a woman and a man go towards Leo. Hytham shouts and readies his sword against them. The woman takes Leo as the man tries to stop Hytham. Hytham trips the man and kills him but sees the woman escaping with Leo. Moving fast, Hytham follows the woman while Thyra and Justin race behind him. Basim tries to intercede the woman but she uses Leo as a shield. She later calls two more men to join her. Before anyone moved, the woman and her men jumped out of the window with Leo as Hytham and his allies pursue them.

In the waves of the crowd's panic, the Order assassins move through the people while Basim and Hytham run after them. However, Basim leaves Hytham to pursue them at one side while Hytham awaits for Thyra and Justin. Moving as the Varangian guards, the three warriors move around the street, in order to corner the abductors. Quickly, they corner them into an alley while Basim cuts their exit. A man in the crowd joins the assailant and reveals himself to be Isaac.

Chapter Twenty-Nine[]

While Thyra and Justin engage two Order soldiers, Basim and Hytham attack Isaac while the woman holds Leo. While engaging Isaac, Hytham throws a knife at Justin's attacker to give Justin more time to respond. The woman brings out a knife to kill Leo but the boy bites her wrist hard enough and frees himself. Leo tries to run to Hytham while the woman chases after him. In a swift move, Thyra slashes her opponent and the woman down with her axe. Basim grabs the boy while Hytham fights Isaac. While Basim tells Leo to run into the street, Hytham gains an upper hand on Isaac. However, they soon wrestle with Isaac's knife, intending for Hytham's gut as Basim comes behind Isaac. When Hytham immediately pushes Isaac back, Basim uses his blade and kills Isaac.

Meanwhile, the last Order soldier runs away but goes towards Leo, who remains stuck from going into the crowd. Trying to run to Leo, Hytham is pulled back by Basim while Justin runs full speed and tackles the Order warrior down. While Thyra, Basim, and Hytham make their way, Justin protects Leo and engages with the man again. The crowd makes a circle around them as they cheer Justin and Leo to win. Feeling renewed, Justin overpowers the man and kills him as the crowd cheers louder for both Justin and Leo.

Chapter Thirty[]

Basim reveals that he threw a spike down at Basil's cart and pushed the crowd into a frenzy, while led to the domino effect of the Order attacking. Thus, there are many witnesses to the heroics and loyalty to protect Leo and Empress Eudocia. Basil forgoes his alliance with the Order as he faces many attacks on the political and military standpoints. Leo and Justin are hailed as heroes and Hytham later explains the plan to Eudocia, who thanks both him and Basim. At Hestiun's houses, she asks whether Hytham trusted Basim. He explains that it was the second-hardest thing he has ever done.

Pouring him and herself wine, Eudocia offers a place for Hytham to stay in the Varangian guards permanently. Flattered and tempted to watch Leo grow up, Hytham states his duties lie elsewhere and that Thyra and Justin will protect him well. The empress states it has been days since Hytham has seen Leo. Hytham states he wants Leo to realize his absence but Eudocia states Leo deserves to say good-bye. Quickly, Leo arrives and runs towards his mother until he notices Hytham. Running, Leo hugs Hytham tightly. Leo notices Hytham is about to leave as Hytham states there is a big world outside the city but that Thyra and Justin will watch over him. Leo understands and hugs Hytham one last time. Before leaving with Eudocia, Leo says his goodbye and thanks to his guardian. Hytham watches the boy and his mother leave and stays at the house a bit longer.


Exiting the house, Hytham is met by Basim and tells him the empress is happy with the results. They discuss that the emperor would not reach the Order due to their failure of killing his son but the Order would work on other ways. Their next goals was to gain allies among the Viking clans coming into the city before the Order does. Although realizing it may be part of Basim's personal goals, Hytham knows he can trust Basim and is willing to let him continue if it aligns with the Hidden Ones. Nevertheless, Hytham and Basim continue their path despite time and this war being against them.