[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]
Seamus reached for my hand and I let him take it, fingers threading through mine as he closed his eyes again. I started to lift my hand again, drawing breath to order the arches to prepare to fire, but Seamus shook his head.
“No,” he murmured. “Don’t waste the arrows.”
“Seamus,” I began. He just shook his head.
“Marin,” he whispered. “You know better. You can feel it the same as I can. Let them run and save the arrows.”
I breathed a curse and squeezed his fingers. He squeezed back, exhaling a shaky breath. My gaze drifted back to the field. The mists were indeed rolling back and there were no more arrows in the air, as if the last few volleys were their parting shot, the last ditch effort to break us.
Of course they were. They didn’t expect Phelan.
I glanced toward him and swallowed hard. His lips moved in some sort of silent mantra, a faint green glow suffusing him. What price was he going to pay for this?
I didn’t want to know—I didn’t want there to be a price, but there always was.
On the other side of the gate from us, still up on the wall, Thordin began to release the storm, the rain turning steady, sullen, the winds calming, though not disappearing. Thunder grumbled more softly, the lightning distant and high above. A shiver crept down my spine. The mists were still rolling back, but still I didn’t believe, couldn’t believe, that it was all over—at least for now.
Despite my silence, despite everything, I didn’t really believe that they were gone, that they’d retreated until the mists faded, revealing bodies strewn across the field, arrows sunk into the mud. Seamus kept clinging to my hand, saying nothing, watching nothing but me.
Beside me, Phelan groaned, slumping against his staff. He swayed, but didn’t fall—not yet.
In Matt’s arms, Hecate gave a weak little gasp, like the sound of a startled infant. Matt made a quiet, comforting sound and buried his face in her hair, saying nothing and seeing no one.
A chill crept down my spine as I stared out at the field, empty except for the dead.
The battle was over, but the war had only just begun.