The King of the Assassins appears to regret his brutal beating of Celeana Sardothien a few months back, and welcomes her back from her training in the desert with open arms. He keeps trying to buy her forgiveness with expensive gifts, and offers her a very lucrative contract, which will also allow Celeana to help prevent slavers from establishing.
Her fellow assassin Sam Cortland appears to have spent the months she was away escorting a promising young courtesan, a girl Celeana always hated. Trying to deny her blatant jealousy, the teenage assassin initially lashes out at him, but later apologises and includes him in her mission.
During the planning and execution of the mission, Celeana is convinced by Sam that their master in no way has their best interest at heart, and that they'd be much better off paying off their contracts with him and leaving the Guild of Assassins.