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Chapter Nine

Together, they hedge the eastern coast for eighteen days before Morak feels confident enough to enact their plan, having given himself enough chances to practice his magic. He’s been slipping into Gryka’s skin at dusk to trek across the Shadow Realm, only to reappear a few hours later, spectral and incorporeal and very much in control of his powers.

The sun is still high when Morak brings it up; Thæon having been sat, whittling arrows to replace those he had used over the days to hunt their food on the edge of the Farrows, and with no reason to delay, they decide that tonight, on the night of No Moon, the pair of them will travel to Arkeríon.

With the decision made, what little calm had been keeping Thæon company for the last however many days, leaves him.

He pottered that afternoon, unable to sit still for long; not to whittle arrows or fletch them, nor to cook the grouseling that was roasting on the campfire, nor to entertain Bröder when he comes wandering back from the long grasses, hungry and bored. The Fireheart’s restlessness grew worse when the sun dipped down beneath the Grey Slopes; their time dwindling as the shadows deepen.

Morak must detect his unease, but he knows Thæon well enough not to bring light to it, instead only urging him to eat when Thæon stalls with devouring the grouseling that had been hunted, courtesy of Gryka; Morak not knowing how much the spectral shift would affect him with a second in tow but deciding it was smarter if they were both at full strength for that night’s journey. Thæon hasn’t been home nearing a year and a half, but tonight, he was going to face his mother and tell her the truth.

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