Home > A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)(6)

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)(6)
Author: Sarah J. Maas

One soul in two bodies. And from the way they glanced to each other in wordless exchanges, I wondered if they were perhaps … perhaps like me. Daemati.

My mental shields had been a wall of black adamant since arriving. But as we dined, beats of silence going on longer than conversation, I found myself checking them over and over.

“We will set out for the wall tomorrow,” Brannagh was saying to Tamlin. More of an order than a request. “Jurian will accompany us. We require the use of sentries who know where the holes in it are located.”

The thought of them so close to the human lands … But my sisters were not there. No, my sisters were somewhere in the vast territory of my own court, protected by my friends. Even if my father would return home from his business dealings on the continent in a matter of a month or two. I still had not figured out how I’d tell him.

“Lucien and I can escort you,” I offered.

Tamlin whipped his head to me. I waited for the refusal, the shutdown.

But it seemed the High Lord had indeed learned his lesson, was indeed willing to try, as he merely gestured to Lucien. “My emissary knows the wall as well as any sentry.”

You are letting them do this; you are rationally allowing them to bring down that wall and prey upon the humans on the other side. The words tangled and hissed in my mouth.

But I made myself give Tamlin a slow, if not slightly displeased, nod. He knew I’d never be happy about it—the girl he believed had been returned to him would always seek to protect her mortal homeland. Yet he thought I’d stomach it for him, for us. That Hybern wouldn’t feast on the humans once that wall came down. That we’d merely absorb them into our territory.

“We’ll leave after breakfast,” I told the princess. And I added to Tamlin, “With a few sentries as well.”

His shoulders loosened at that. I wondered if he’d heard how I’d defended Velaris. That I had protected the Rainbow against a legion of beasts like the Attor. That I had slaughtered the Attor, brutally, cruelly, for what it had done to me and mine.

Jurian surveyed Lucien with a warrior’s frankness. “I always wondered who made that eye after she carved it out.”

We did not speak of Amarantha here. We had never allowed her presence into this house. And it had stifled me for those months I’d lived here after Under the Mountain, killed me day by day to shove those fears and pain down deep.

For a heartbeat, I weighed who I had been with who I was now supposed to be. Slowly healing—emerging back into the girl Tamlin had fed and sheltered and loved before Amarantha had snapped my neck after three months of torture.

So I shifted in my seat. Studied the table.

Lucien merely leveled a hard look at Jurian as the two Hybern royals watched with impassive faces. “I have an old friend at the Dawn Court. She’s skilled at tinkering—blending magic and machinery. Tamlin got her to craft it for me at great risk.”

A hateful smile from Jurian. “Does your little mate have a rival?”

“My mate is none of your concern.”

Jurian shrugged. “She shouldn’t be any of yours, either, considering she’s probably been fucked by half the Illyrian army by now.”

I was fairly certain that only centuries of training kept Lucien from leaping over the table to rip out Jurian’s throat.

But it was Tamlin’s snarl that rattled the glasses. “You will behave as a proper guest, Jurian, or you will sleep in the stables like the other beasts.”

Jurian merely sipped from his wine. “Why should I be punished for stating the truth? Neither of you were in the War, when my forces allied with the Illyrian brutes.” A sidelong glance at the two Hybern royals. “I suppose you two had the delight of fighting against them.”

“We kept the wings of their generals and lords as trophies,” Dagdan said with a small smile.

It took every bit of concentration not to glance at Tamlin. Not to demand the whereabouts of the two sets of wings his father had kept as trophies after he’d butchered Rhysand’s mother and sister.

Pinned in the study, Rhys had said.

But I hadn’t spotted any trace when I’d gone hunting for them upon returning here, feigning exploration out of sheer boredom on a rainy day. The cellars had yielded nothing, either. No trunks or crates or locked rooms containing those wings.

The two bites of roasted lamb I’d forced down now rebelled against me. But at least any hint of disgust was a fair reaction to what the Hybern prince had claimed.

Jurian indeed smiled at me as he sliced his lamb into little pieces. “You know that we fought together, don’t you? Me and your High Lord. Held the lines against the Loyalists, battled side by side until gore was up to our shins.”

“He is not her High Lord,” Tamlin said with unnerving softness.

Jurian only purred at me, “He must have told you where he hid Miryam and Drakon.”

“They’re dead,” I said flatly.

“The Cauldron says otherwise.”

Cold fear settled into my gut. He’d tried it already—to resurrect Miryam for himself. And had found that she was not amongst the deceased.

“I was told they were dead,” I said again, trying to sound bored, impatient. I took a bite of my lamb, so bland compared to the wealth of spices in Velaris. “I’d think you’d have better things to do, Jurian, than obsess over the lover who jilted you.”

His eyes gleamed, bright with five centuries of madness, as he skewered a morsel of meat with his fork. “They say you were fucking Rhysand before you ever jilted your own lover.”

“That is enough,” Tamlin growled.

But I felt it then. The tap against my mind. Saw their plan, clear and simple: rile us, distract us, while the two quiet royals slid into our minds.

Mine was shielded. But Lucien’s—Tamlin’s—

I reached out with my night-kissed power, casting it like a net. And found two oily tendrils spearing for Lucien’s and Tamlin’s minds, as if they were indeed javelins thrown across the table.

I struck. Dagdan and Brannagh jolted back in their seats as if I’d landed a physical blow, while their powers slammed into a barrier of black adamant around Lucien’s and Tamlin’s minds.

They shot their dark eyes toward me. I held each of their gazes.

“What’s wrong?” Tamlin asked, and I realized how quiet it had become.

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