Thirty-nine – 02

[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]

I forced myself not to run, to just walk, my shoulders straight and head high. Matt was half a step behind, then alongside me a moment later, slinging his warhammer across his back.

Not his warhammer. Cíar’s warhammer.

I wasn’t sure that mattered all that much anymore, though. Either way, it belonged to my brother, and he was at my side. Rain was coming down harder now and it was growing colder—it reminded me more and more of the day we faced Olympium weeks before. The grim expression on Matt’s face told me that he had the same feeling.

People were running back and forth, some of ours and some of the Hunt. The voices calling to each other were distinct, some familiar and others not—I could hear Paul from the watchtower calling back and forth to Seamus, who was probably still out on the wall. Other voices were less familiar, though growing moreso as time wore on—Gilad and Petyr from the Hunt, among others. Lightning lanced through the clouds, thunder rolling in its wake.

Matt took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly. “You think it’s her?”

“Either that or Olympium’s come back,” I murmured. “And I like neither option.”

“But you think it’s her.”

I nodded, stomach twisting. “Yeah. Yeah, I do.”

“It’s not good news,” he said quietly.

“It never is,” I said, voice almost lost to the rolling thunder. We were within sight of the wall. Seamus perched near the gate, shouting direction to the defenders that were filtering in, joining him on the wall. Archers were starting to take their positions. I could see Paul up in the watchtower, his rifle in hand, gaze trained on the field beyond the walls.

“But we can win,” Matt said quietly. He reached over and squeezed my arm. “And we will.”

I managed to smile. “Yeah,” I whispered.

There was no other choice.

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