A princess who was to live for a thousand years. Longer. That had been her gift. It was now her curse.
But Aedion kept his attention fixed on Lysandra. "Please. I am begging you. I am begging you, Lysandra, to go."
Her chin lifted. "you are not asking our other allies to run."
"Because i'm not in love with our other allies."
She would not go quietly. She was not afraid.
" I promise to always find you. I promised you, and you promised me. I came for you because of it; I am here because of it. I am here for you, do you understand ? And if we don't get onto that horse now, we won't stand a chance against that dam. We will die."
" For those we love, we can rise above that fear."
" I have loved you," she went on, "from the moment you came fight for me against Vernon and the Ilken" The light in her eyes stole his breath. "And when I heard you were somewhere on that battlefield, the only thing I wanted was to be able to tell you that. It was the only thing that mattered. "
" I love you," he whispered in Elide's ear. "I have loved you from the moment you picked up that axe to slay the ilken." Her tears flowed past him in the wind, "And I wil be with you..." His voice broke, but he made himself say the words the truth in his heart. "I will be with you always."
They had taken her scars.
Maeve had taken them all away.
It told Rowan enough about what had been done. When he’d seen her back, the smooth skin where the scars of Endovier and the scars from Cairn’s whipping should have been, he’d suspected.
But kneeling, burning in nothing but her skin … There were no scars where there should have been. The almost-necklace of them from Baba Yellowlegs: gone. The shackle marks from Endovier: gone. The scar where she’d been forced by Arobynn Hamel to break her own arm: gone. And on her palms …
It was upon her exposed palms that Aelin now gazed. As if realizing what was missing.
The scars across her palms, one from the moment they had become carranam, the other from her oath to Nehemia, had disappeared entirely.
Like they had never been.
Her flames burned brighter.
Healers could remove scars, yes, but the most likely reason for the lack of them on Aelin, on all the places where he’d once traced them with his hands, his mouth …
It was new skin. All of it. Save for her face, since he doubted they would be stupid enough to take off the mask.
Nearly every inch of her was covered in new skin, unvarnished as fresh snow. The blood coating her had burned away to reveal it.
New skin, because they’d needed to replace what had been destroyed. To heal her so they could begin again and again.
He had been hunting for her since the moment she was taken from him.
He barely remembered his own name. And only recalled it because his three companions spoke it while they searched for her across violent and dark seas, through ancient and slumbering forests, over storm-swept mountains already buried in snow.
Remember that we have something to fight for, and it will always triumph.
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