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Book Three: Broken Sword

The darkness shuddered.

An icy breeze sighed through the heart of its warmth, and she shuddered. She tasted fire and slaughter, the sweet copper of blood, and the heady harshness of smoke, and almost-almost-she awoke.

It was there, her sleeping thought knew. It was coming closer. The echo she had sensed twice before was stronger than ever, sure in the strength of its self-knowledge, of its discipline … of its deadliness. And the potential of its futures narrowed, narrowed, narrowed … .

The constellations of potentialities were disappearing, folding in on themselves, resolving. The choices became starker as they became fewer, the alternatives more wrapped in pain.

And yet still the echo knew nothing, sensed nothing, of what awaited it. With all the dauntless courage of mortal kind, it advanced into that unknown void, prepared to accept whatever was.

But would it have been so brave if it had been as she was? Able to sense the dwindling futures which lay before it?

The time will come, she thought at it from her sleep. The time will come, Little One, when you must choose. And what will your choice be then? Will you give yourself to me? Make your purpose and mine one? And how much pain will you embrace in the name of choice?

But the void returned no answer, and the icy breeze sighed away once more into stillness.

Not yet, her sleepy thought murmured. Not yet.

But soon.


* * * | In Fury Born | Chapter Twenty-Nine







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