[This post is from Hecate’s point of view.]
They lapsed into silence. Hecate stared silently into her mug, half losing herself in thought. Somehow, somewhere deep down, she’d known as well as Marin or Thom ever had that this day would come, no matter how much she would have wanted to deny it.
There are cycles to this world. Her fingers momentarily tightened around the mug. Darkness comes. Light chases it away. Things get better.
But before they get better, they get worse.
She stifled the urge to exhale a sigh. She could feel the weight of Thordin’s gaze settling on her again, knew that there was a question rising to his lips.
You likely even know the question.
“Do you think it echoes that far back? To—to the old, old days?” Thordin’s quiet question wasn’t exactly the one that she’d expected, though it was close. His memories of that time were vague and fragmented, more like those of Matt and the others who could remember past lives. Thordin’s own return was far closer to the reincarnation of those souls than it was any sort of survival, even if his memories—and power—was stronger.
“I think so,” she said after a momentary silence. “They feared it, this turn. I can remember that. It’s part of why they wanted to ensure that the Hunt couldn’t be used by any of the sides—they felt like the use of Cíar would have soured that pot. I’m not certain how much of that I believed, you know? I just—I tried—” her eyes stung. It was so long ago. Why did it still hurt so much?
“I’m sorry,” Thordin said. “I didn’t—”
“It’s all right,” she said, even as her stomach knotted. “It just—it just hit me all of a sudden, that’s all.”
“It’s been a long time.”
He didn’t mean that it had been a long time since the events she was recalling. She knew what he meant, though, and nodded slowly. “It has. It doesn’t happen very often anymore—mercifully. I don’t know what Matt and I would do if it did.”
“Manage,” Thordin suggested with a wry smile. “As always.”
That made her laugh. “Aye. We would. One way or another.”
He nodded. “So Olympium feared it, then. Feared the Once and Future King—and feared his eventual return.”
Hecate shot him a wry smile. “Wouldn’t you, if you were them? The whisper of it had them quaking in their sandals. I wish I’d had more time and wits to enjoy it.”