This is the epilogue of Sky of Stone and finishes the first book.
That's how long he'd been sitting in this hole now. At first he had been relieved - it was by no means as terrible as he had ever imagined. But on the second day, on his first morning and noon, he had changed his mind.
He had not known that there were so many pigeons in his tribe.
The holes in the lattice that separated him from the outer world were too small to climb through - if he could reach them at all. The pit was still several meters deep. The unavoidable effervescence of the birds could not be stopped, and the daily bucket of water that had been poured down had to be sufficient for body care.
Which, of course, was not the case. No wonder he stank horribly.
He looked up, knowing that at night he did not have to worry about being hit by anything. Through the grid, he could make out stars, eternities away. At least Lumeon has not completely given me up.
Just then, the lights suddenly disappeared. Something, or somebody, must have gotten between him and the sky.
"Long time no see, old man. How are you?"
Sabazios froze. She is here. He continued to stare upwards without saying a word.
"I asked you something. How are you doing down there?"
He took all his courage together. It couldn't get much worse anyway. "According to the circumstances. I guess you know about the trial? "
"How couldn't I? This very moment, your little friends are sailings towards Zesto, after you were so nice to stand up for them."
"I was never on your side, Shadow. I have always acted only for the benefit of my tribe."
Laughter echoed to him. "And how did your tribe thank you? Look at you. I bet you smell worse than Umbrath in his age-old prison."
Sabazios looked away, though he could not see the shadow anyway. "Caelus has made the right decision. I had to be punished."
"Stop pretending. You hate this hole now, what's it going to be like in a few years?" She paused. "I can get you out there, you know."
A hint of hope stirred in him, but he knew exactly what she meant. "I'd rather stay down here for the rest of my life than become a shadow. Even death would be more honorable."
"Believe me - among the options 'Rot here', 'Immediately die' and 'Become a shadow' the latter is the most honorable. All Elysia believes in the oh so perfect hero who will save the world from Umbrath and that my master is just as bad as Lumeon is good; Not at all true. He is the one to save you from."
"Your lies don't impress me, Shadow. It is widely known what happened a thousand years ago. The light will prevail over the darkness, as it has always been. "
"Empty words," she replied. She sounded contented, completely unsuitable for her conversation. Something here stuck tremendously, not just in the literal sense. He had grown used to that one. "What do you know about Lumeon that you didn't get fed? No one on this planet knows the tribe of light. Even we shadows don't - but we know what he did to Umbrath. And we will take revenge."
Sabazios balled his fists. Here he sat, unable to do anything, and this scum could provoke him all night long. And she would, undoubtedly.
"They will stop you," he said again. "Even before your master returns to this world."
"Oh yeah? Do you really think four children could stop us? Once, maybe, but then we were only two. This time we are ready."
His nails digged into his palms. Not out of anger, but out of fear. "If you only bend them a feather -"
"Then what? What will you do, old man?"
Her tone made it clear to him. She enjoyed tormenting him. Now it was back again, the rage on this vile creature. "I - I will -"
Do nothing. There was nothing he could do.
Not as long as he was down here and she was up there. And even then...
"...I hate you."
"That's all I wanted to hear."
Suddenly he could see the stars again. Before he could wonder, however, hands were around his neck and an icy cold passed through him.
He forced himself to lower his gaze. Piercing pain penetrated every cell of his body. He opened his mouth to a scream, but no sound came out. He trembled, unable to hide the pain.
She'll kill me, he thought. His head, no, his whole body felt like it could explode at any moment.
The pain disappeared as fast as it had come when the shadow took her hands off him. With them, however, his last power also escaped from his body and he collapsed powerless, but not unconscious, on the ground of the sky hole.
"You know how to become a shadow," he heard her say. "The more negative feelings, the better."
He could not see her, but he could feel her grinning.
"Even if they are against us."
|Sky of Stone Chapters|
|One: Earth||1: Summer Solstice • 2: Riders of the Wind • 3: Light and Shadow • 4: Opposites • 5: A Strange Encounter • 6: Across the River|
|Two: Ore||7: Dark Omens • 8: Underground • 9: His Radiance • 10: The Forbidden • 11: A Boy and His Goat • 12: The Story of a Tribe • 13: Keeper of Earth • 14: At the Bottom • 15: Changes|
|Three: Sky||16: Back to the Start • 17: Against the Darkness • 18: Old Acquaintances • 19: Change of Plans • 20: Unexpected • 21: Sky Holes • 22: Wind and Water|