Without hesitation, Rose stepped as close as possible and pitched the baby into the burning belly. Into the heart of heat he went, soundless. All that could be heard was the happy clap of flame.
She’d staggered back and then fallen when the stones began moving beneath her feet. When she looked up, eyes watering, gasping for air, she saw the Tu’el picking himself up from the floor. His face was shining with sweat and his eyes with excitement, and she knew then that the Dark One had been pleased with her gift.
“The Dark One is made happy by the taste of our little soul.”
For the first time she dared to look at him, really look at him, without the haze of fear. A man with a harsh planed face, nothing striking about him but for the severity of his features. She noticed that his eyes were the same slate color as her son’s.
She’d followed him out of the sacrifice room, casting only a glance behind at the enormous statue that had consumed flesh of her flesh, and knew she’d earned her reward.
Her reward came later when she was alone. She’d been born again into invulnerability. A hard shell had come down about her spirit, shielding her from her past, her hurts, and also from a sense of right and wrong. For the first time in her life, Rose had felt no pain. The hungry orphan greeted with kicks, the backbreaking work in the fields set to digging crops, then pulling weeds when the crops were gone, the beatings, the rapes, none of that existed. It was all a blur, unrelated.
Along with that invulnerability came power.
She was given to Suga — or rather they were given to each other– a fat man who, rather than his life, had given his stones to the Tuel. He was adept at poisons, gathering information, and disguise. A valuable servant, perhaps too much so because he’d been denied the ability to fly nor could he shape-shift. Suga’s travels had always been laborious and mostly over land (he hated the sea) but as the years had passed, traveling times were their only times apart, and together the two of them had unleashed horrors outside of the Nevers, although never directly in Casoria itself. Of course, there were the entities, both she and Suga had hundreds at their command, but the most they could do was cause mischief: riots, plagues, murders, nothing grand.
Yes, the day she’d been reborn, she’d been freed from all natural feelings.
There was not a drop of regret in her.
Had she been able, she would have fallen on her face to give thanks.
Now, as she traveled the unseen path in the Wheel of Wings, she could feel her power building. The Wheel stopped just outside the castle, and she stepped from within its circle, kicking the castle wall. She felt the foundation shake, she let the rain pour. She knew where to find Elymas. She’d tracked him in the glass ball before leaving.