29 de outubro de 2018

Capítulo 104

[Em tradução - sabe-se lá porque, estes capítulos estavam faltando. Traduzirei assim que puder...]

CHAPTER 104
The sweat and blood on him quickly freezing, Aedion panted as he leaned
against the battered city walls and watched the encamped enemy pull back for
the night.
A sick sort of joke, a cruel torment, for Morath to halt at each sundown. As if
it were some sort of civility, as if the creatures who infested so many of the
soldiers below required light.
He knew why Erawan had ordered it so. To wear them down day by day, to
break their spirits rather than let them go out in raging glory.
It wasn’t just the victory or conquest that Erawan desired, but their complete
surrender. Their begging for it to be over, for him to end them, rule them.
Aedion ground his teeth as he limped down the battlements, the light quickly
fading, the temperature plummeting.
Five days.
The weapons they’d estimated running out in three or four days had lasted
until today. Until now.
Down the wall, one of the Mycenians sent a plume of flame onto the Valg still
trying to scale the siege ladder. Where it burned, demons fell away.
Rolfe stood by the woman wielding the firelance, his face as bloodied and
sweaty as Aedion’s.
A black-armored hand clamped onto the battlement beside Aedion as he
passed by, grappling for purchase.
Barely looking, Aedion slammed out his ancient shield. A yelp and fading cry
was his only confirmation that the rogue soldier had gone tumbling to the
ground.
Rolfe smiled grimly as Aedion halted, the weight of his armor like a thousand
stones. Overhead, Crochans and Ironteeth flew slowly back across the city walls,
red capes drooping over brooms, leathery wings beating irregularly. Aedion
watched the sky until he saw the riderless wyvern he looked for every day, every
night.
Spotting him, too, Lysandra banked and began a slow, pained descent toward
the city wall.
So many dead. More and more each day. Those lost lives weighed his every
step. Nothing he could do would ever make it right—not really.
“The archers are out,” Aedion said to Rolfe by way of greeting as Lysandra
drew closer, blood both her own and from others on her wings, her chest. “No
more arrows.”
Rolfe jerked his chin toward the Mycenian warrior still setting off her
firelance in sputtering fits and bursts.
Lysandra landed, shifting in a flash, and was instantly at Aedion’s side,
tucked under his shield arm. A soft, swift kiss was their only greeting. The only
thing he looked forward to every night.
Sometimes, once they’d been bandaged and eaten something, he’d manage to
get more than that. Often, they didn’t bother to wash up before finding a
shadowed alcove. Then it was nothing but her, the sheer perfection of her, the
small sounds she made when he licked up her throat, when his hands slowly, so
slowly, explored each inch of her. Letting her set the pace, show him and tell him
how far she wished to go. But not that final joining, not yet.
Something for them both to live for—that was their unspoken vow.
She reeked of Valg blood, but Aedion still pressed another kiss to Lysandra’s
temple before he looked back at Rolfe. The Pirate Lord smiled grimly.
Well aware that these would likely be their final days. Hours.
The Mycenian warrior aimed her firelance again, and the lingering Valg
tumbled away into the darkness, little more than melted bones and fluttering
cloth.
“That’s the last of it,” Rolfe said quietly.
It took Aedion a heartbeat to realize he didn’t mean the final soldier of the
evening.
The Mycenian warrior set down her firelance with a heavy, metallic thud.
“The firelances are done,” Rolfe said.
Darkness fell over Orynth, so thick even the flames of the castle shriveled.
On the castle battlements, Darrow silent at her side, Evangeline watched the
trudging lines of soldiers come in from the walls, from the skies.
Bone drums began to beat.
A heartbeat, as if the enemy army on the plain were one massive, rising beast
now readying to devour them.
Most days, they only beat from sunup to sundown, the noise blocked out by
the din of battle. That they had started it anew as the sun vanished … Her
stomach churned.
“Tomorrow,” Lord Sloane murmured from where he stood beside Darrow.
“Or the day after. It will be done then.”
Not victory. Evangeline knew that now.
Darrow said nothing, and Lord Sloane clapped him on the shoulder before
heading inside.
“What happens at the end?” Evangeline dared ask Darrow.
The old man gazed across the city, the battlefield full of such terrible
darkness.
“Either we surrender,” he said, voice hoarse, “and Erawan makes slaves of us
all, or we fight until we’re all carrion.”
Such stark, harsh words. Yet she liked that about him—that he did not soften
anything for her. “Who shall decide what we do?”
His gray eyes scanned her face. “It would fall upon us, the Lords of
Terrasen.”
Evangeline nodded. Enemy campfires flickered to life, their flames seeming
to echo the beat of their bone drums.
“What would you decide?” Darrow’s question was quiet, tentative.
She considered it. No one had ever asked her such a thing.
“I should have very much liked to live at Caraverre,” Evangeline admitted.
She knew he did not recognize it, but it didn’t matter now, did it? “Murtaugh
showed me the land—the rivers and mountains right nearby, the forests and
hills.” An ache throbbed in her chest. “I saw the gardens by the house, and I
would have liked to have seen them in spring.” Her throat tightened. “I would
have liked for that to have been my home. For this … for all of Terrasen to have
been my home.”
Darrow said nothing, and Evangeline set a hand on the castle stones, gazing
to the west now, as if she could see all the way to Allsbrook and the small
territory in its shadow. To Caraverre.
“That’s what Terrasen has always meant to me, you know,” Evangeline went
on, speaking more to herself. “As soon as Aelin freed Lysandra, and offered to
let us join her court, Terrasen has always meant home. A place where … where
the sort of people who hurt us don’t get to live. Where anyone, regardless of who
they are and where they came from and what their rank is can dwell in peace.
Where we can have a garden in the spring, and swim in the rivers in the summer.
I’ve never had such a thing before. A home, I mean. And I would have liked for
Caraverre, for Terrasen, to have been mine.” She chewed on her lip. “So I would
choose to fight. Until the very end. For my home, new as it is. I choose to fight.”
Darrow was silent for so long that she peered up at him.
She’d never seen his eyes so sad, as if the weight of all his years truly settled
upon them.
Then he only said, “Come with me.”
She followed him down the battlements and into the warmth of the castle,
along the various winding hallways, all the way to the Great Hall, where a toosmall
evening meal was being laid out. One of their last.
No one bothered to look up from their plates as Evangeline and Darrow
passed between the long tables crammed with drained and injured soldiers.
Darrow didn’t look at them, either, as he went right up to the line of people
waiting for their food. Right up to Aedion and Lysandra, their arms looped
around each other while they waited their turn. As it should have been from the
start—the two of them together.
Aedion, sensing Darrow’s approach, turned. The general looked worn
through.
He knew, then. That tomorrow or the day after would be their last. Lysandra
gave Evangeline a small smile, and Evangeline knew that she was aware, too.
Would try to find a way to get her out before the end.
Even if Evangeline would never allow it.
Darrow unbuckled the sword at his side and extended it to Aedion.
Silence began to ripple through the hall at the sight of the sword—Aedion’s
sword. The Sword of Orynth.
Darrow held it between them, the ancient bone pommel gleaming. “Terrasen
is your home.”
Aedion’s haggard face remained unmoved. “It has been since the day I
arrived here.”
“I know,” Darrow said, gazing at the sword. “And you have defended it far
more than any natural-born son would ever be expected to. Beyond what anyone
might ever reasonably be asked to give. You have done so without complaint,
without fear, and have served your kingdom nobly.” He extended the sword.
“You will forgive a proud old man who sought to do so as well.”
Aedion slid his arm from Lysandra’s shoulder, and took the sword in his
hands. “Serving this kingdom has been the great honor of my life.”
“I know,” Darrow repeated, and glanced down to Evangeline before he
looked to Lysandra. “Someone very wise recently told me that Terrasen is not
merely a place, but an ideal. A home for all those who wander, for those who
need somewhere to welcome them with open arms.” He inclined his head to
Lysandra. “I formally recognize Caraverre and its lands, and you as its lady.”
Lysandra’s fingers found Evangeline’s and squeezed tight.
“For your unwavering courage in the face of the enemy gathered at our
doorstep, for all you have done to defend this city and kingdom, Caraverre shall
be recognized, and yours forevermore.” A glance between her and Aedion. “Any
heirs you bear shall inherit it, and their heirs after them.”
“Evangeline is my heir,” Lysandra said thickly, resting a warm hand on her
shoulder.
Darrow smiled slightly. “I know that, too. But I should like to say one more
thing, on this perhaps final night of ours.” He inclined his head to Evangeline. “I
never fathered any offspring, nor did I adopt any. It would be an honor to name
such a wise, brave young lady as my heir.”
Absolute silence. Evangeline blinked—and blinked again.
Darrow went on in the stunned quiet, “I should like to face my enemies
knowing that the heart of my lands, of this kingdom, will beat on in the chest of
Evangeline. That no matter the gathering shadow, Terrasen will always live in
someone who understands its very essence without needing to be taught. Who
embodies its very best qualities.” He gestured to Lysandra. “If that is agreeable
to you.”
To make her his ward—and a lady … Evangeline clasped Darrow’s hand. He
squeezed back.
“I …” Lysandra blinked, and turned to her, eyes bright. “It is not my call, is
it?”
So Evangeline smiled up at Darrow. “I would very much like that.”
The bone drums beat all night long.
What new horrors would be unleashed with the dawn, Manon didn’t know.
Sitting beside Abraxos in the aerie tower, she stared with him at the endless
sea of blackness.
It would be over soon. The desperate hope of Aelin Galathynius had flickered
out. Would any be able to escape once the city walls were breached? And where
would they even go? Once Erawan’s shadow settled, would there be any
stopping him?
Dorian—Dorian could. If he had gotten the keys. If he had survived.
He might be dead. Might be marching on them right now, a black collar
around his throat.
Manon leaned her head against Abraxos’s warm, leathery side.
She would not be able to see her people home. To bring them to the Wastes.
Tomorrow—in her wicked, old bones she knew it would be tomorrow that the
city walls fell at last. They had no weapons left beyond swords and their own
defiance. That would only last so long against the endless force waiting for
them.
Abraxos shifted his wing so that it shielded her from the wind.
“I would have liked to have seen it,” Manon said quietly. “The Wastes. Just
once.”
Abraxos huffed, nudging her gently with his head. She stroked a hand over
his snout.
And even with the darkness squatting on the battlefield, she could picture it—
the rolling, vibrant green that flowed to a thrashing gray sea. A shining city
along its shore, witches soaring on brooms or wyverns in the skies above it. She
could hear the laughter of witchlings in the streets, the long-forgotten music of
their people floating on the wind. A wide, open space, lush and evergreen.
“I would have liked to have seen it,” Manon whispered again.

Nenhum comentário:

Postar um comentário

Se você não tem conta no Google e quiser comentar, utilize a opção Nome/URL e preencha seu nome/apelido/nick; o URL pode deixar em branco.

Boa leitura, E SEM SPOILER!