She knew who he looked for. Whose absence gnawed at him.
So Yrene lingered on the battlements, listening to the bone drums for a while longer.Chaol told himself it was not his last night with his wife. Hed still made the best of it, and they had rested as much as they could stand before they were up, hours before dawn.
The rest of the keep was awake, too, the ruks restless on the tower roofs and battlements, the click and scrape of their talons on the stones echoing in every hall and chamber.The drums kept pounding. Had pounded all night.Hed kissed Yrene good-bye, and shed seemed like she wanted to say more but had opted to hold him for a long, precious minute before they parted ways.
It would not be the last time he saw her, he promised himself as he aimed for the battlements where his father, Sartaq, and Nesryn had agreed to meet at dawn.The prince and Nesryn had not yet arrived, but his father stood in armor Chaol had not glimpsed since childhood. Since his father had ridden to serve Adarlans wishes. To conquer this continent.
It still fit him well, the muted metal scratched and dented. Not the finest piece of armor from the family arsenal beneath the keep, but the sturdiest. A sword hung at his hip, and a shield lay against the battlement wall. Around them, sentries tried not to watch, though their fear-wide eyes tracked every movement.
The drums pounded on.And yet this …
Aelin clawed at the mist-shrouded ground-that-was-not-ground as the last of them vanished. Until only one remained.A pillar of light and flame. Shining in the mists.
Mala lingered on the threshold of her world.As if she remembered.