Part 19: Silence
Ishar made not a sound. She stared in glazed wonder and confusion at the blade embedded in her body, moving as if in a dream. Slowly the light of revelation dawned in her eyes and she knew that the prophecy of the soul bond between her and the last son of House Dissan, the one she put so much pride in, was a fake, that the young seer had tricked her...
And then, Ishar the Witch Queen was no more. All that remained was a corpse.
Rinn stood swaying slightly, barely believing what he saw. Then his weakened legs began to betray him and he sat down heavily, leaning against a bookcase as he tried to catch his breath. All he could hear was his own heartbeat pounding in his ears. Everything still hurt, but the sense-numbing pain was fading in his limbs with each passing second.
Ishar was dead.
All that she had done was avenged.
By rights, he should feel something: happiness or satisfaction or elation or... something. But instead he felt hollow as he looked at the dead body of the witch queen, almost expecting it to rise up against him at any moment.
He didn't know how long he sat there, waiting for his heart to stop racing as the sight of the phantom Jessa being torn in two played over and over relentlessly in his mind.
I should have done something, should have acted faster, been more careful.
And now Jessa's gone. Nothing left. Not even a shadow...
His thoughts paused a moment. The girl had said something about her shade being only a "shadow" of herself.
She was Ishar's prize - her secret advantage over the lords. Would the witch have been so quick to throw that away?
Could Jessa be..?
His eyes absently wandered about the room, settling on a heavy wooden door set with iron fastenings.
He didn't know why, but something in his heart told him his answers were there.