An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington

An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington

Author:James Islington [Islington, James]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: BA
Publisher: Orbit
Published: 2017-06-12T23:00:00+00:00

Chapter 25

Caeden wandered slowly toward the palace, his hesitation growing with each passing step.

It had taken him a few hours to traverse the catacombs in which he’d found himself, a thin trail of kan leading him out to the hidden entrance at the base of Ilin Tora, just as Alaris had said it would. It had taken another two to skirt the base of the mountain and enter the city via Fedris Idri. That had all given him time to think about everything he’d learned since the Wells, about the things Alaris had claimed. About his best course of action.

Deilannis, he knew, was it—in fact, it was realistically his only option. He’d vacillated several times on whether he should trust what Alaris had told him; part of him wanted to ignore every word that the man had uttered, but another part—the stronger part—was confident that it was the truth. Alaris didn’t want the Lyth to get Licanius. If nothing else, Caeden felt that he could trust that.

What he had yet to decide, though, was whether to see his friends before he went there. It was probably better just to leave, to keep everyone else out of it. Wirr, Davian, Taeris. Karaliene. None of them needed to be involved. None of them needed to know that he’d even been here.

He idly kicked a stone along in front of himself. He could be putting them in danger by making contact. Isiliar was probably still hunting him, and he doubted in her current state that she’d bother waiting until he was alone.

But he knew that wasn’t the real reason he was hesitating—not the only one, anyway.

Alaris’s words had shaken him more than he cared to admit, more than even the brutality of Isiliar’s attack.

Neither of us can claim to be on the side of what’s right.

It was easy for him to say, an easy lie. It should have been equally as easy for Caeden to dismiss.

But it wasn’t.

He had been the one to imprison Isiliar—his friend. He remembered doing great things with these people, fighting side by side and defending what was right with them. And far from the enemy that Caeden had once envisaged, Alaris had seemed genuine in his regret over the invasion, over what had happened.

Worse—though it still sickened him—Caeden even understood the motivation for it now. The Venerate thought that by agreeing to the Lyth’s bargain, Caeden was risking everything.

And, perhaps, he was.

He stared morosely at the sword hanging by his side. The only thing in the world that could kill Alaris, and the man had given it to him as if it were nothing. Given it to him because he believed that it was more important for Caeden to deal with the Lyth … and because he believed that Caeden was truly his friend.

Perhaps he’d been confident that Caeden couldn’t beat him, even with Licanius. Perhaps it was a bluff. Alaris was thousands of years old; Caeden doubted that it would be easy to spot if he were lying.



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