The setting sun casts dark shadows on the walls of the canyon. Meah walks to the Great Hall in silence. She wonders how long the fighting has been going on, knowing they must’ve reached Klaeon’s lands. How many have already died and how many more will have to die before the war is over?
Passing citizens greet and say words of comfort to her. She appreciates each word, but can’t help feeling their pity growing as the days go on.
Cal and Bon have tried to keep her occupied, having her join them in exploring the parts of Kellahn they haven’t visited, but today Meah told them she wanted to be alone.
She went down to the burial site to pay her respects to Daniil and Kylii, remembering their time in the Arena and the long journey to Kellahn. Being alone in the burial site only reminded her of her inability to bring anyone back. In order to distract her from these thoughts she decides to see Altan. Perhaps he’s received news from the army.
The Great Hall is dark when Meah enters. She walks to the center, where the table is still set up. She stops. Altan is seated in his throne at the head of the table. He’s collapsed on the table, his eyes wide in shock, but there is no life left in them. Blood pools around the slash in his throat.
Meah doesn’t move or react. She only stares at the figure leaning against Altan’s throne, spinning the knife in her hand.
“You don’t look surprised, Life Healer,” Seera says, smiling.
“Should I be? You’ve done this before. Betrayal isn’t new to you. Did Klaeon even really torture you or did you have one of your men cut your arm off to make it more believable?” Meah asks.
Seera’s lip twitches with a painful memory. “Klaeon did torture me, Life Healer. He enjoyed every second of my pain, but he offered me a deal and I’m not stupid. Only stupid people side with the smaller army.” She puts her only arm on her hip. “I thought for sure you would at least cry more. Are you going to call for help?”
Meah doesn’t respond.
“No? Why not?”
“Because she doesn’t want them to kill me,” a voice says behind Meah.
Closing her eyes, Meah takes a shaky breath in to fight the tears back as she listens to the footsteps growing louder behind her. “Why?”
Jaxon presses himself against her back, leaning his head over her shoulder to speak into her ear. “To survive.”
“I forgive you.”
Confusion fills Jaxon’s face and his brow lowers. “Forgive me for what, exactly? I’ve done a lot and none of it deserves forgiveness.”
A smile forms on his lips. “I’m glad.” He places a strange smelling cloth over Meah’s mouth and her eyes droop. She sways and Jaxon lifts her off the ground as she falls unconscious. He looks at Seera. “Let’s go.”
“What should I do with the body?”
“Leave it for the guards to find. We have a time limit and if we’re late, we’re both dead.”
Seera nods and walks to the door. Jaxon follows, but pauses next to one of the pillars. He waits for Seera to exit the Great Hall before turning his head enough to eye the pillar.
“Tell Ime.” He continues walking and stands next to Seera outside the doors. A shadow overtakes them and all three are gone.
Stepping out from his hiding spot, Lyrrel watches with a blank look, his eyes glowing a light blue.