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Chapter Thirteen

It’s around about the time when Eidan launches into singing a fourteenth rendition of “fill up my cup, my darling my dear,” that Thæon feels like he’s starting to lose his grip on his patience.

There’s been something building for a while now; the last few weeks having found him without much of an appetite each time he’s been handed skewered meat or a splay of fruits to satiate his hunger; a restlessness coursing through his body when he’s meant to be sleeping or when he sits in Bröder’s saddle and finds himself internally cursing at the slow pace, the too-fast pace, the inexplicable desire to jump off and walk under his own steam and the voice in his head that thinks walking in the opposite direction seems like just as good of an idea.

Thæon isn’t an idiot. He knows what it is.

He knows why he wakes every morning to a touch of cold underneath his skin where no amount of his magic can warm him; why Morak and Torra keep giving him looks when the others laugh and joke and he remains to sit, arms folded, scowl upturned and his eyes distant in deep thought; why the long-ears he hunts and the fruits he forages are as tasteless as palfri, all because the meadow is no more than a day’s hike up the mountainside and Thæon is returning without news or knowledge of the whereabouts of Obí’s family.

The promise remains unfulfilled.

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