And part of Yrene wondered, as she trudged through the palace, if Lord Chaol had not asked her to stop not just because hed learned how to manage pain, but also because he somehow felt he deserved it.
Darrows face was stone-cold. Hard as the Staghorns beyond the city as he remained blocking the way.Rowan let out a low growl, the sound echoed by Fenrys, a step behind them.
Yet Aelin let go of her mates hand, their crowns of flame winking out as she crossed the last few feet to the castle archway. To Darrow.Silence fell down the illuminated, golden street.Hed deny her entry. Here, before the world, he would throw her out. A final, shaming slap.
But Evangeline tugged on Darrows sleeve—as if in reminder.It seemed to spur the old man into speech. My young ward and I were told that when you went to face Erawan and Maeve, your magic was heavily depleted.
It was. And shall remain so forever.
Darrow shook his head. Why?The Crochans ignored her. And ignored the Thirteen. A few hissed insults as they passed, but one glance from Manon and the Thirteen kept their fists balled at their sides.
The Crochans remained in the camp for a week to tend to their wounded, and so Manon and the Thirteen had remained as well, ignored and hated.What is this place? Manon asked Glennis as she found the crone polishing the handle of a gold-bound broom beside the fire. Two others lay on a cloak nearby. Menial work for the witch in charge of this camp.
This is an ancient camp—one of the oldest we claim. Glenniss knobbed fingers flew over the broom handle. Each of the seven Great Hearths has a fire here, as do many others. Indeed, there were far more than seven in the camp. It was a gathering place for us after the war, and since then, it had become a place to usher in some of our younger witches to adulthood. It is a rite weve developed over the years—to send them into the deep wilds for a few weeks to hunt and survive with only their brooms and a knife. We remain here while they do so.Manon asked quietly, Do you know what our initiation rite is?