Chapter no 54

Crown of Midnight

When the council meeting was over, Chaol did his best not to look at his father, who had been watching him so carefully while he’d announced his plans to the king, or at Dorian, whose sense of betrayal rippled off of him as the meeting went on. He tried to hurry back to the barracks, but he wasn’t all that surprised when a hand clapped on his shoulder and turned him around.

“Wendlyn?” Dorian snarled.

Chaol kept his face blank. “If she’s capable of opening a portal like she did last night, then I think she needs to get out of the castle for a while. For all of our sakes.” Dorian couldn’t know the truth.

“She’ll never forgive you for having her shipped off like that, to take down a whole country. And in such a public way—making a spectacle out of it. Are you mad?”

“I don’t need her forgiveness. And I don’t want to worry about her letting in a horde of otherwordly creatures just because she’s missing her friend.”

He hated each lie that came out of his mouth, but Dorian drank them up, his eyes seeming to glow with rage. This was the other sacrifice he’d have to make; because if Dorian didn’t hate him, if he didn’t want Chaol gone, then leaving for Anielle would be that much more difficult.

“If anything happens to her in Wendlyn,” Dorian growled, refusing to back down, “I’ll make you regret the day you were born.”

If anything happened to her, Chaol was fairly certain he’d forever regret that day, too.

But he just said, “One of us has to start leading, Dorian,” and stalked off.

Dorian didn’t follow him.



Dawn was just breaking as Celaena arrived at Nehemia’s grave. The last of the winter snows had melted, leaving the world barren and brown,

waiting for spring.

In a few hours, she’d set sail across the ocean.

Celaena dropped to her knees on the damp ground and bowed her head before the grave.

Then she said the words she’d wanted to say to Nehemia last night. The words that she should have said from the beginning. Words that wouldn’t change, no matter what she learned about Nehemia’s death.

“I want you to know,” she whispered to the wind, to the earth, to the body far beneath her, “that you were right. You were right. I am a coward. And I have been running for so long that I’ve forgotten what it is to stand and fight.”

She bowed deeper, putting her forehead against the dirt.

“But I promise,” she breathed into the soil, “I promise that I will stop him. I promise that I will never forgive, never forget what they did to you. I promise that I will free Eyllwe. I promise that I will see your father’s crown restored to his head.”

She raised herself, drawing a dagger from her pocket, and sliced a line across her left palm. Blood welled, ruby-bright against the golden dawn, sliding down the side of her hand before she pressed her palm to the earth.

“I promise,” she whispered again. “On my name, on my life, even if it takes until my last breath, I promise I will see Eyllwe freed.”

She let her blood soak into the ground, willing it to carry the words of her oath to the Otherworld where Nehemia was safe at last. From now on, there would be no other oaths but this, no other contracts, no other obligations. Never forgive, never forget.

And she didn’t know how she would do it, or how long it would take, but she would see it through. Because Nehemia couldn’t.

Because it was time.

You'll Also Like