KATAN: Bala! Are you hurt? Bala?
Kami was weak, but she launched herself into the sky, and transformed into a falcon.
She soared high into the the Dark Quarter’s churning azure sky before she plummeted downward. She passed the cliff and swooshed near Avestine. Then she
rose high again and disappeared into the distance.
Avestine watched Kami fly away, satisfied that Bala no longer had her avatar to work her worldly plans.
AVESTINE: Now that you are Essanti again, You will come to me, Child. You always do. And I will remind you why.
In Castlebejel’s dungeon, Gerard held an unconscious Wald...
...and he beheld the young man’s astounding gift. Resurrection.
A man stood where a ghost had shimmered a moment ago. The man had been Essanti in life, and he had carried within him a piece of the god Bala.
His second life would be spent in a harem, his only purpose--to produce Essanti children.
In time, Avestine would scatter those children across the world, forever depriving Bala of the unified power of an avatar.
Avestine and Rook returned to their camp.
ROOK: Your plan worked. Bala is gone. Will Sula be as easy?
AVESTINE: I doubt Wald finds it easy.
Rook sneered at the mention of Wald’s name. He had never liked the boy.
For the same reason, Rook disliked Kami. Both were important to Avestine, and both found pleasure in unnatural ways. Avestine enjoyed Rook’s discomfort.
AVESTINE: It’s too bad you cling to such a petty god. Even now, Kami is close. She will be in my bed again. Just as you will whenever I choose.
The connection they shared needed no words. As always, Rook obeyed.
AVESTINE: You better make it worth my time.
AVESTINE: I have a god to kill.