I dont know, he admitted.
Elain had been told—by Amren. She now sat at the table, more straight-backed and clear-eyed than Id seen her. Had she beheld this, in whatever wanderings that new, inner sight granted her? Had the Cauldron whispered of it while wed been away? I hadnt the heart to ask her.Rhys was saying to Nesta, We can go to your estate tonight—evacuate your household and bring them back here.
Then they will likely die.Nesta straightened her fork and knife beside her plate. Cant you spirit them away somewhere south—far from here?That many people? Not without first finding a safe place, which would take time we dont have. Rhys considered. If we get a ship, they can sail—
They will demand their families and friends come.A beat of silence. Not an option. Then Elain said quietly, We could move them to Graysens estate.
We all faced her at the evenness of her voice.
She swallowed, her slender throat so pale, and explained, His father has high walls—made of thick stone. With space for plenty of people and supplies. All of us made a point not to look at that ring she still wore. Elain went on, His father has been planning for something like this for … a long time. They have defenses, stores … A shallow breath. And a grove of ash trees, with a cache of weapons made from them.Maybe she has come to demand to know what happened to Ben, what I did. Maybe she is going to tell Mum I was there before the Lorders took him away. It flashes painfully in my mind: Ben in agony; the rattle of the door when his mum came in. Id told her I found him with his Levo cut off, and—
The rattle of the door. She had to unlock the door to get in. Id told her I found him like that, but she must know I lied. How else could it have been locked when she got there?The door opens downstairs; there is a faint murmur of voices.
I slip quietly across the room and out to the landing, then take one careful step at a time down the dark stairs. I listen.There is the faint whistle of the kettle, low voices; they are in the kitchen.