A Court of Mist and Fury Page 131

Until the screaming of my people stopped, and the screams of the soldiers became a song in my blood. One of the soldiers rose up above the brightly painted buildings … I knew him.

The Attor was flapping, frantic, blood of the innocent coating his gray skin, his stone gauntlets. I sent an eagle of water shooting for him, but he was quicker, nimble.

He evaded my eagle, and my hawk, and my falcon, soaring high, clawing his way through the air. Away from me, my power—from Cassian and Azriel, holding the river and the majority of the city, away from Amren, using whatever dark power she possessed to send so many droves of them crashing down without visible injury.

None of my friends saw the Attor sailing up, sailing free.

It would fly back to Hybern—to the king. It had chosen to come here, to lead them. For spite. And I had no doubt that the golden, lioness-queen had suffered at its hands. As Clare had.

Where are you?

Rhys’s voice sounded distantly in my head, through the sliver in my shield.

WHERE ARE YOU?

The Attor was getting away. With each heartbeat, it flew higher and higher—

WHERE—

I sheathed the Illyrian blade and fighting knife through my belt and scrambled to pick up the arrows that had fallen on the street. Shot at my people. Ash arrows, coated in familiar greenish poison. Bloodbane.

I’m exactly where I need to be, I said to Rhys.

And then I winnowed into the sky.

CHAPTER

59

I winnowed to a nearby rooftop, an ash arrow clenched in either hand, scanning where the Attor was high above, flapping—

FEYRE.

I slammed a mental shield of adamant up against that voice; against him.

Not now. Not this moment.

I could vaguely feel him pounding against that shield. Roaring at it. But even he could not get in.

The Attor was mine.

In the distance, rushing toward me, toward Velaris, a mighty darkness devoured the world. Soldiers in its path did not emerge again.

My mate. Death incarnate. Night triumphant.

I spotted the Attor again, veering toward the sea, toward Hybern, still over the city.

I winnowed, throwing my awareness toward it like a net, spearing mind to mind, using the tether like a rope, leading me through time and distance and wind—

I latched onto the oily smear of its malice, pinpointing my being, my focus onto the core of it. A beacon of corruption and filth.

When I emerged from wind and shadow, I was right atop the Attor.

It shrieked, wings curving as I slammed into it. As I plunged those poisoned ash arrows through each wing. Right through the main muscle.

The Attor arched in pain, its forked tongue cleaving the air between us. The city was a blur below, the Sidra a mere stream from the height.

In the span of a heartbeat, I wrapped myself around the Attor. I became a living flame that burned everywhere I touched, became unbreakable as the adamant wall inside my mind.

Shrieking, the Attor thrashed against me—but its wings, with those arrows, with my grip …

Free fall.

Down into the world. Into blood and pain. The wind tore at us.

The Attor could not break free of my flaming grasp. Or from my poisoned arrows skewering its wings. Laming him. Its burning skin stung my nose.

As we fell, my dagger found its way into my hand.

The darkness consuming the horizon shot closer—as if spotting me.

Not yet.

Not yet.

I angled my dagger over the Attor’s bony, elongated rib cage. “This is for Rhys,” I hissed in its pointed ear.

The reverberation of steel on bone barked into my hand.

Silvery blood warmed my fingers. The Attor screamed.

I yanked out my dagger, blood flying up, splattering my face.

“This is for Clare.”

I plunged my blade in again, twisting.

Buildings took form. The Sidra ran red, but the sky was empty—free of soldiers. So were the streets.

The Attor was screaming and hissing, cursing and begging, as I ripped free the blade.

I could make out people; make out their shapes. The ground swelled up to meet us. The Attor was bucking so violently it was all I could do to keep it in my forge-hot grip. Burning skin ripped away, carried above us.

“And this,” I breathed, leaning close to say the words into its ear, into its rotted soul. I slid my dagger in a third time, relishing the splintering of bones and flesh. “This is for me.”

I could count the cobblestones. See Death beckoning with open arms.

I kept my mouth beside its ear, close as a lover, as our reflection in a pool of blood became clear. “I’ll see you in hell,” I whispered, and left my blade in its side.

Wind rippled the blood upon the cobblestones mere inches away.

And I winnowed out, leaving the Attor behind.

I heard the crack and splatter, even as I sifted through the world, propelled by my own power and the velocity of my plummet. I emerged a few feet away—my body taking longer than my mind to catch up.

My feet and legs gave out, and I rocked back into the wall of a pink-painted building behind me. So hard the plaster dented and cracked against my spine, my shoulders.

I panted, trembling. And on the street ahead—what lay broken and oozing on the cobblestones … The Attor’s wings were a twisted ruin. Beyond that, scraps of armor, splintered bone, and burned flesh were all that remained.

That wave of darkness, Rhysand’s power, at last hit my side of the river.

No one cried out at the star-flecked cascade of night that cut off all light.

I thought I heard vague grunting and scraping—as if it had sought out hidden soldiers lingering in the Rainbow, but then …

The wave vanished. Sunlight.

A crunch of boots before me, the beat and whisper of mighty wings.

A hand on my face, tilting up my chin as I stared and stared at the splattered ruin of the Attor. Violet eyes met mine.

Rhys. Rhys was here.

And … and I had …

He leaned forward, his brow sweat-coated, his breathing uneven. He gently pressed a kiss to my mouth.

To remind us both. Who we were, what we were. My icy heart thawed, the fire in my gut was soothed by a tendril of dark, and the water trickled out of my veins and back into the Sidra.

Rhys pulled back, his thumb stroking my cheek. People were weeping. Keening.

But no more screams of terror. No more bloodshed and destruction.

My mate murmured, “Feyre Cursebreaker, the Defender of the Rainbow.”

I slid my arms around his waist and sobbed.

And even as his city wailed, the High Lord of the Night Court held me until I could at last face this blood-drenched new world.

CHAPTER

60

“Velaris is secure,” Rhys said in the black hours of the night. “The wards the Cauldron took out have been remade.”

We had not stopped to rest until now. For hours we’d worked, along with the rest of the city, to heal, to patch up, to hunt down answers any way we could. And now we were all again gathered, the clock chiming three in the morning.

I didn’t know how Rhys was standing as he leaned against the mantel in the sitting room. I was near-limp on the couch beside Mor, both of us coated in dirt and blood. Like the rest of them.

Sprawled in an armchair built for Illyrian wings, Cassian’s face was battered and healing slowly enough that I knew he’d drained his power during those long minutes when he’d defended the city alone. But his hazel eyes still glowed with the embers of rage.

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