Antras had all the lights lit but I didn’t want them. I wanted darkness. I managed to cross the room to my chapel and lie down on the floor there. It was almost dark enough.
I’d been surrounded and escorted back to my quarters. “What’s happened to my guards? Joras… is he all right? I saw Ilinaras and Ruboras die. Boras, Skorsas, Finaras, Tirias and Riodas… Are they all right? Are they?”
“Please Spark… we will let you know… Akminchaer… please check him…”
The healer got me to clean up and checked me and I said I wanted to rest. Gannara and Farasha were at Ky’s at one of her salons and they’d be back after the evening meal. The Lesser baths were a place full of horror again, with the echoing bringing back the red of when my sire had made me cut a Yeoli’s throat. The pink river.
Blood dripping and clotting along the railing and stone mane of one of the Lions.
Even the vote wasn’t stopping the insane bloodshed, the loss of my people.
There had been solas in the street, who had come to my defense. I put my arms over my head and put my forehead on the floor. It hadn’t changed yet. It hadn’t stopped. The arguing in the Assembly of Arko, my own winning the vote, the war, my father’s death, it hadn’t stopped the bloodshed.
I lay in the silence of the chapel and heard my own breathing echo back to me from the painted, gilded faces of the Ten. Honestly… I had to add, out loud, ‘not yet’. “It hasn’t changed Arko, YET,” I said. But my voice rang hollow to me, rattling in my head and heart. I felt as empty as a broken bottle.