🪓 Beware of spoilers down below if you haven’t read the section! You have been warned…🪓
!! MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD !!We begin with Ryon and Dawsyn finally leaving the cabin as night falls. Dawsyn is worried about passing over the open fields that won’t provide any cover, and the pair rush to reach the pastures in time. Just before daybreak, they reach the edge of the forest and Ryon flies them swiftly over the fields just inches from the ground. They reach the line of trees again just in time. As they continue towards Salem’s inn, Dawsyn wonders why the Glacians have seemingly disappeared. Ryon believes that the King is too worried about spilling more pure blood since he just lost another 5 more recently. When Dawsyn questions what the King will do, Ryon tells her of his childhood. By the order of the King’s noblemen, Ryon was often chained to a post in the middle of the Colony and either beaten or burned by a mixed-blood. Instead of dividing Ryon from the colonists, the mixed-bloods became sympathetic towards him. But all in all, the King will not let bygones be bygones. When they reach Salem’s inn, everyone’s happy to see them – and also quickly learn that Ryon and Dawsyn are now “allied” AHEM. 🌚 Baltisse warns Ryon that his plan is folly and that if anything should happen to Dawsyn, that it would destroy him. But Ryon says that it’s Dawsyn’s decision to make and that he won’t make it for her. Esra supplies Ryon with the weapons, and they enjoy a nice meal prepared by Salem. After they’ve eaten, Baltisse has a private word with Dawsyn. The mage reveals that she owes a debt to Dawsyn’s ancestors. The former king and queen ended the witch hunts. She says that Dawsyn was not born for the Ledge and that time will tell what she was born for. Baltisse also gives Dawsyn a beautiful necklace and tells her that she wants Dawsyn to have something of hers when she cuts Vasteel’s heart from his chest. Dawsyn promises her that she’ll make it slow. Ryon and Dawsyn set off that night with as many weapons as Ryon can carry, and he flies them over the Boulder Gate. They begin trudging up the mountain slower than when they went down, but it’s less treacherous than before. Ryon no longer feels like he needs to keep an ear out for Dawsyn slipping. Ryon also tells himself that he’ll never again question the actions of his father who risked everything for a woman of the Ledge. They can be addictive, and his compulsion to touch and be near her cannot be explained anymore than his need for sleep. As they climb, he indeed struggles to keep his hands to himself, finding little ways to touch her in assistance he knows she doesn’t need. At one point, a fog covers them and Dawsyn begs for a break for water and food. She asks if all hybrids have this much stamina, an answer he hopes she doesn’t find out. She questions what he would do if she found another hybrid she liked, and he says he’d do away with them. When she calls that archaic and asks what if he broke her fragile human heart, he pushes her up against a tree (🤭) and says no part of her is fragile. But he does relent that if she did take up interest with another, he’d leave her be and suffocate in his own jealousy. He nearly fulfils his promise again (👀) but they still have a ways to go. Dawsyn tells him not to start what he doesn’t intend to finish and blushes at his deep chuckle. They find the first hideout by nightfall and light a fire in the cave, where they curl up with each other purely for warmth – cough cough. When Dawsyn mentions she’s never slept with another man before, Ryon calls her out. But Dawsyn never slept with Hector; they always parted after coming together. What happened between them was only ever a transaction between friends. The first time she slept with another man was with Ryon on the way down the mountain. Ryon’s hands wander, and there’s no need for the furs to come off – they can have fun in other ways too. (😉😉😉) In the morning, they start back on their trek. Ryon flies them over obstacles and steep inclines, and they only stop for basic needs. The journey only takes them 3 days. At night, as they get closer, they hear wings, and Ryon realises there are now sentries guarding the perimeter. They come across one right next to the Colony and decide they must kill him to get past. Ryon puts a sword through the sentry’s neck before Dawsyn has a chance to spring herself, and they rush into the camp. Ryon leads her into a tent cloth, where she meets Adrik, the highest council elder of the Colony, self-appointed. Here they learn that the King had declared Ryon was killed on the slopes by the human girl. Dawsyn also learns terminology the mixed-bloods use: Brutes are pure-blooded Glacians, and Izgoi is what they call their rebellion. After Ryon hands over the weapons, Adrik fetches the other seven elders to the tent, and they come up with a plan. A woman named Tasheem tells Ryon that Dawsyn can stay in her tent until the fight is over, but Ryon says that Dawsyn will fight too. When others doubt if this is a wise decision, Ryon defends her ability to fight and reveals that Dawsyn is descended from Terrsaw royalty. Dawsyn also points out that they share a common enemy. When asked about the people of the Ledge, Dawsyn says she doesn’t expect the Izgoi to help. Adrik tells her they won’t, and Dawsyn retorts she wouldn’t trust them not to drop her people in the Chasm. Despite the tension, they must wake everyone and prepare for the fight. There is no time to lose if they want to keep the element of surprise. While Ryon and Dawsyn run to the edge of the Colony, they discuss a passage into the palace which was previously the old slaves’ route. Ryon looks Dawsyn in the eyes and tells her not to die, and her response is to grin and say she never does. They kiss and return to running. When they reach the passage, they find it guarded by two Glacians. One of the Glacians mouths off towards Dawsyn, and Ryon kills him, which Dawsyn points out was the one thing he explicitly said they weren’t going to do until they got inside. But before they can do anything about the other guard, they are suddenly swarmed by other Glacians hiding in the spires above. Ryon and Dawsyn are captured by the Glacians and shackled. They watch the Glacians use magic to open the portcullis, and Dawsyn is pleased that their plan appears to be working as the Glacians bring them right inside like they wanted. They’re brought before the King, who believes Ryon was in the valley to convince the Queens to revolt against him. But then he reveals something that strikes at the core of Ryon: His mother died giving birth to him. The King claims that all unions between a Glacian and human end that way, and Ryon is to blame for killing his own mother. Ryon becomes quiet and refuses to look at Dawsyn no matter how much she tries to get his attention. She’s panicked and afraid the plan won’t work if he’s too overwhelmed with this new knowledge. Ryon is tossed into the pool first, and Dawsyn screams to be thrown in too, knowing she needs to get to him as soon as possible. They finally push her in too, and she sinks into the depths… Exciting, right?! Ah!! We’re so close to the end, yet so far! Questions;
- What do you think Dawsyn was born for if not the Ledge?
- Will Dawsyn get the chance to cut Vasteel’s heart from his chest?
- What will happen to them in the pool?
- How will Ryon handle this new knowledge about his mother?