Queen of Shadows Chapter 84 Read Online

Full Read the Online Chapter 84 of Queen of Shadows novel by Sarah J. Maas for free.

Chapter 84 Part 2 (Queen Of Light) of Queen of Shadows: Dorian Havilliard had awoken alone, in a room he didn’t recognize.

But he was free, even though a pale band of skin now marred his neck. For a moment, he had lain in bed, listening.

No screaming. No wailing. Just a few birds tentatively chirping outside the window, summer sunshine leaking in, and … silence. Peace.

There was such an emptiness in his head. A hollowness in him. He’d even put a hand over his heart to see if it was beating.

The rest was a blur—and he lost himself in it, rather than think about that emptiness. He bathed, he dressed, and he spoke to Aedion Ashryver, who looked at him as if he had three heads and who was apparently now in charge of castle security.

Chaol was alive but still recovering, the general said. Not yet awake— and maybe that was a good thing, because Dorian had no idea how he’d face his friend, how he’d explain everything. Even when most of it was mere shards of memory, pieces he knew would further break him if he ever put them together.

A few hours later, Dorian was still in that bedroom, working up the nerve to survey what he’d done. The castle he’d destroyed; the people he’d killed. He’d seen the wall: proof of his enemy’s power … and mercy.

Not his enemy. Aelin.

“Hello, Dorian,” she said. He turned from the window as the door shut behind her.

She lingered by the door, in a tunic of deep blue and gold, unbuttoned with careless grace at the neck, her hair loose at her shoulders, her brown boots scuffed. But the way she held herself, the way she stood with utter stillness … A queen looked out at him.

He didn’t know what to say. Where to begin.

She prowled for the little sitting area where he stood. “How are you feeling?”

Even the way she talked was slightly different. He’d already heard what she’d said to his people, the threats she’d made and the order she’d demanded.

“Fine,” he managed to say. His magic rumbled deep inside him, but it was barely more than a whisper, as if it was drained. As if it was as empty as him.

“You wouldn’t be hiding in here, would you?” she said, slumping into one of the low chairs on the pretty, ornate rug.

“Your men put me in here so they could keep an eye on me,” he said, remaining by the window. “I wasn’t aware that I was allowed to leave.” Perhaps that was a good thing—considering what the demon prince had made him do.

“You can leave whenever you please. This is your castle—your kingdom.”

“Is it?” he dared ask.

“You’re the King of Adarlan now,” she said softly, but not gently. “Of course it is.”

His father was dead. Not even a body was left to reveal what they’d done that day.

Aelin had publicly declared she’d killed him, but Dorian knew he’d ended his father when he shattered the castle. He had done it for Chaol, and for Sorscha, and he knew she’d claimed the kill because to tell his people

… to tell his people that he’d killed his father—

“I still have to be crowned,” he said at last. His father had stated such wild things in those last few moments; things that changed everything and nothing.

She crossed her legs, leaning back in her seat, but there was nothing casual in her face. “You say that like you hope it doesn’t happen.”

Dorian stifled the urge to touch his neck and confirm that the collar was still gone and clenched his hands behind his back. “Do I deserve to be king after all I did? After all that happened?”

“Only you can answer that question.” “Do you believe what he said?”

Aelin sucked on her teeth. “I don’t know what to believe.”

“Perrington’s going to war with me—with us. My being king won’t stop that army.”

“We’ll figure it out.” She loosed a breath. “But your being king is the first step of it.”

Beyond the window, the day was bright, clear. The world had ended and begun anew, and yet nothing at all had changed, either. The sun would still rise and fall, the seasons would still change, heedless of whether he was free or enslaved, prince or king, heedless of who was alive and who was gone. The world would keep moving on. It didn’t seem right, somehow.

“She died,” he said, his breathing ragged, the room crushing him. “Because of me.”

Aelin got to her feet in a smooth movement and walked to where he stood by the window, only to tug him down onto the sofa beside her. “It is going to take a while. And it might never be right again. But you …” She gripped his hand, as if he hadn’t used those hands to hurt and maim, to stab her. “You will learn to face it, and to endure it. What happened, Dorian, was not your fault.”

“It was. I tried to kill you. And what happened to Chaol—”

“Chaol chose. He chose to buy you time—because your father was to blame. Your father, and the Valg prince inside him, did that to you, and to Sorscha.”

He almost vomited at the name. It would dishonor her to never say it again, to never speak of her again, but he didn’t know if he could let out those two syllables without a part of him dying over and over again.

“You’re not going to believe me,” Aelin went on. “What I’ve just said, you’re not going to believe me. I know it—and that’s fine. I don’t expect you to. When you’re ready, I’ll be here.”

“You’re the Queen of Terrasen. You can’t be.”

“Says who? We are the masters of our own fates—we decide how to go forward.” She squeezed his hand. “You’re my friend, Dorian.”

A flicker of memory, from the haze of darkness and pain and fear. I came back for you.

“You both came back,” he said.

Her throat bobbed. “You pulled me out of Endovier. I figured I could return the favor.”

Dorian looked at the carpet, at all the threads woven together. “What do I do now?” They were gone: the woman he’d loved—and the man he’d hated. He met her stare. No calculation, no coldness, no pity in those turquoise eyes. Just unflinching honesty, as there had been from the very start with her. “What do I do?”

She had to swallow before she said, “You light up the darkness.”

Chaol Westfall opened his eyes.

The Afterworld looked an awful lot like a bedroom in the stone castle.

There was no pain in his body, at least. Not like the pain that had slammed into him, followed by warring blackness and blue light. And then nothing at all.

He might have yielded to the exhaustion that threatened to drag him back into unconsciousness, but someone—a man—let out a rasping breath, and Chaol turned his head.

There were no sounds, no words in him as he found Dorian seated in a chair beside the bed. Bruised shadows were smudged beneath his eyes; his hair was unkempt, as if he’d been running his hands through it, but—but beyond his unbuttoned jacket, there was no collar. Only a pale line marring his golden skin.

And his eyes … Haunted, but clear. Alive. Chaol’s vision burned and blurred.

She had done it. Aelin had done it. Chaol’s face crumpled.

“I didn’t realize I looked that bad,” Dorian said, his voice raw. He knew then—that the demon inside the prince was gone.

Chaol wept.

Dorian surged from the chair and dropped to his knees beside the bed. He grabbed Chaol’s hand, squeezing it as he pressed his brow against his. “You were dead,” the prince said, his voice breaking. “I thought you were dead.”

Chaol at last mastered himself, and Dorian pulled back far enough to scan his face. “I think I was,” he said. “What—what happened?”

So Dorian told him. Aelin had saved his city.

And saved his life, too, when she’d slipped the Eye of Elena into his pocket.

Dorian’s hand gripped Chaol’s a bit tighter. “How do you feel?”

“Tired,” Chaol admitted, flexing his free hand. His chest ached from where the blast had hit him, but the rest of him felt—

He didn’t feel anything.

He couldn’t feel his legs. His toes.

“The healers that survived,” Dorian said very quietly, “said you shouldn’t even be alive. Your spine—I think my father broke it in a few places. They said Amithy might have been able to …” A flicker of rage. “But she died.”

Panic, slow and icy, crept in. He couldn’t move, couldn’t—

“Rowan healed two of the injuries higher up. You would have been … paralyzed”—Dorian choked on the word—“from the neck down otherwise. But the lower fracture … Rowan said it was too complex, and he didn’t dare trying to heal it, not when he could make it worse.”

“Tell me there’s a ‘but’ coming,” Chaol managed to say. If he couldn’t walk—if he couldn’t move

“We won’t risk sending you to Wendlyn, not with Maeve there. But the healers at the Torre Cesme could do it.”

“I’m not going to the Southern Continent.” Not now that he’d gotten Dorian back, not now that they’d all somehow survived. “I’ll wait for a healer here.”

“There are no healers left here. Not magically gifted ones. My father and Perrington wiped them out.” Cold flickered in those sapphire eyes. Chaol knew that what his father had claimed, what Dorian had still done to him despite it, would haunt the prince for a while.

Not the prince—the king.

“The Torre Cesme might be your only hope of walking again,” Dorian said.

“I’m not leaving you. Not again.”

Dorian’s mouth tightened. “You never left me, Chaol.” He shook his head once, sending tears slipping down his face. “You never left me.”

Chaol squeezed his friend’s hand.

Dorian glanced toward the door a moment before a hesitant knock sounded, and smiled faintly. Chaol wondered just what Dorian’s magic allowed him to detect, but then the king wiped away his tears and said, “Someone’s here to see you.”

The handle quietly lowered and the door cracked open, revealing a curtain of inky black hair and a tan, pretty face. Nesryn beheld Dorian and bowed deeply, her hair swaying with her.

Dorian rose to his feet, waving a hand in dismissal. “Aedion might be the new head of castle security, but Miss Faliq is my temporary Captain of the Guard. Turns out, the guards find Aedion’s style of leadership to be … What’s the word, Nesryn?”

Nesryn’s mouth twitched, but her eyes were on Chaol, as if he were a miracle, as if he were an illusion. “Polarizing,” Nesryn murmured, striding right for him, her gold-and-crimson uniform fitting her like a glove.

“There’s never been a woman in the king’s guard before,” Dorian said, heading for the door. “And since you’re now Lord Chaol Westfall, the King’s Hand, I needed someone to fill the position. New traditions for a new reign.”

Chaol broke Nesryn’s wide-eyed stare to gape at his friend. “What?”

But Dorian was at the door, opening it. “If I have to be stuck with king duty, then you’re going to be stuck right there with me. So go to the Torre Cesme and heal fast, Chaol. Because we’ve got work to do.” The king’s gaze flicked to Nesryn. “Fortunately, you already have a knowledgeable guide.” Then he was gone.

Chaol stared up at Nesryn, who was holding a hand over her mouth. “Turns out I wound up breaking my promise to you after all,” he said.

“Since I technically can’t walk out of this castle.” She burst into tears.

“Remind me to never make a joke again,” he said, even as the crushing, squeezing panic set in. His legs—no. No … They wouldn’t be sending him to the Torre Cesme unless they knew there was a possibility he would walk again. He would accept no other alternative.

Nesryn’s thin shoulders shook as she wept. “Nesryn,” he croaked. “Nesryn—please.”

She slid onto the floor beside his bed and buried her face in her hands. “When the castle shattered,” she said, her voice cracking, “I thought you were dead. And when I saw the glass coming for me, I thought I’d be dead. But then the fire came, and I prayed … I prayed she’d somehow saved you, too.”

Rowan had been the one who’d done that, but Chaol wasn’t about to correct her.

She lowered her hands, at last looking at his body beneath the blankets. “We will fix this. We will go to the Southern Continent, and I will make them heal you. I’ve seen the wonders they can do, and I know they can do it. And—”

He reached for her hand. “Nesryn.”

“And now you’re a lord,” she went on, shaking her head. “You were a lord before, I mean, but—you are the king’s second in command. I know it’s—I know we—”

“We’ll figure it out,” Chaol said.

She met his stare at last. “I don’t expect anything of you—” “We’ll figure it out. You might not even want a crippled man.”

She pulled back. “Do not insult me by assuming I’m that shallow or fickle.”

He choked on a laugh. “Let’s have an adventure, Nesryn Faliq.”

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