Chapter no 62

A Court of Mist and Fury

The Cauldron was absence and presence. Darkness and … whatever the darkness had come from.

But not life. Not joy or light or hope.

It was perhaps the size of a bathtub, forged of dark iron, its three legs

—those three legs the king had ransacked those temples to find—crafted like creeping branches covered in thorns.

I had never seen something so hideous—and alluring.

Mor’s face had drained of color. “Hurry,” she said to me. “We’ve got a few minutes.”

Azriel scanned the room, the stairs we’d strode down, the Cauldron, its legs. I made to approach the dais, but he extended an arm into my path. “Listen.”

So we did.

Not words. But a throbbing.

Like blood pulsed through the room. Like the Cauldron had a heartbeat.

Like calls to like. I moved toward it. Mor was at my back, but didn’t stop me as I stepped up onto the dais.

Inside the Cauldron was nothing but inky, swirling black. Perhaps the entire universe had come from it.

Azriel and Cassian tensed as I laid a hand on the lip. Pain—pain and ecstasy and power and weakness flowed into me. Everything that was and wasn’t, fire and ice, light and dark, deluge and drought.

The map for creation.

Reeling back into myself, I readied to read that spell.

The paper trembled as I pulled it from my pocket. As my fingers brushed the half of the Book inside.

Sweet-tongued liar, lady of many faces—

One hand on half of the Book of Breathings, the other on the Cauldron, I took a step outside myself, a jolt passing through my blood as if I were no more than a lightning rod.

Yes, you see now, princess of carrion—you see what you must do …

“Feyre,” Mor murmured in warning.

But my mouth was foreign, my lips might as well have been as far away as Velaris while the Cauldron and the Book flowed through me, communing.

The other one, the Book hissed. Bring the other one … let us be joined, let us be free.

I slid the Book from my pocket, tucking it into the crook of my arm as I tugged the second half free. Lovely girl, beautiful bird—so sweet, so generous 

Together together together

“Feyre.” Mor’s voice cut through the song of both halves.

Amren had been wrong. Separate, their power was cleaved—not enough to take on the abyss of the Cauldron’s might. But together … Yes, together, the spell would work when I spoke it.

Whole, I would become not a conduit between them, but rather their master. There was no moving the Cauldron—it had to be now.

Realizing what I was about to do, Mor lunged for me with a curse. Too slow.

I laid the second half of the Book atop the other.

A silent ripple of power hollowed out my ears, buckled my bones. Then nothing.

From far away, Mor said, “We can’t risk—” “Give her a minute,” Cassian cut her off.

I was the Book and the Cauldron and sound and silence.

I was a living river through which one flowed into the other, eddying and ebbing, over and over, a tide with no end or beginning.

The spell—the words—

I looked to the paper in my hand, but my eyes did not see, my lips did not move.

I was not a tool, not a pawn. I would not be a conduit, not be the lackey of these things

I’d memorized the spell. I would say it, breathe it, think it—

From the pit of my memory the first word formed. I slogged toward it, reaching for that one word, that one word that would be a tether back

into myself, into who I was—

Strong hands tugged me back, wrenching me away.

Murky light and moldy stone poured into me, the room spinning as I gasped down breath, finding Azriel shaking me, eyes so wide I could see the white around them. What had happened, what—

Steps sounded above. Azriel instantly shoved me behind him, bloodied blade lifting.

The movement cleared my head enough to feel something wet and warm trickle down my lip and chin. Blood—my nose had been bleeding. But those steps grew louder, and my friends had their weapons angled as a handsome brown-haired male swaggered down the steps. Human—

his ears were round. But his eyes …

I knew the color of those eyes. I’d stared at one, encased in crystal, for three months.

“Stupid fool,” he said to me. “Jurian,” I breathed.

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