She has us follow her around the school for a tour, telling school history on the way. It was damaged and rebuilt after the riots. Keswick Primary used to be called St Herberts Church of England School, but the name changed after church schools were banned thirty years ago. We see children through windowed classroom doors, playing a noisy game of basketball in a gym, heads bent in a library. Then finally we reach an art studio, and I peer through the door. Reception, she said? Theyre tiny. Four years old. All sat cross-legged on the floor listening to their teacher.
Amren traced a finger along the rim of her goblet, her red-tinted nail gleaming as bright as the blood inside. They never dared ask me that, either.Because it is not polite to ask—and they are afraid.
Amren held Nestas stare, and my sister did not balk. Did not flinch.We are the same, you and I, Amren said.I wasnt sure I was breathing. Through the bond, I wasnt sure Rhys was, either.
Not in flesh, not in the thing that prowls beneath our skin and bones … Amrens remarkable eyes narrowed. But … I see the kernel, girl. Amren nodded, more to herself than anyone. You did not fit—the mold that they shoved you into. The path you were born upon and forced to walk. You tried, and yet you did not, could not, fit. And then the path changed. A little nod. I know—what it is to be that way. I remember it, long ago as it was.Nesta had mastered the Faes preternatural stillness far more quickly than I had. And she sat there for a few heartbeats, simply staring at the strange, delicate female across from her, weighing the words, the power that radiated from Amren … And then Nesta merely said, I dont know what youre talking about.
Amrens red lips parted in a wide, serpentine smile. When you erupt, girl, make sure it is felt across worlds.
A shiver slithered down my skin.I was on my feet again, reaching for a weapon I did not have. My daggers had been lost forty feet away.
Cassian got past Eriss guard with brutal efficiency. And Eris screamed as the Illyrian blade punched through his gut.Blood, red as rubies, stained the ice and snow.
For a heartbeat, I saw how it would play out: three of Berons sons dead at our hands. A temporary satisfaction for me, five centuries of satisfaction for Cassian, Azriel, and Mor, but if Beron still debated what side to support in this war …I had other weapons to use.