فصل 86

سرفصل: سریر شیشه ای / سرفصل: Queen of Shadows / درس 86

فصل 86

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی درس

CHAPTER 86

“This is the last of your clothes,” Lysandra said, toeing the trunk that one of the servants had just dropped off. “I thought I had a shopping problem. Don’t you ever throw anything away?” From her perch on the velvet ottoman in the center of the enormous closet, Aelin stuck out her tongue. “Thank you for getting it all,” she said. There was no point in unpacking the clothes Lysandra had brought from her old apartment, just as there was no point in returning there. It didn’t help that Aelin couldn’t bring herself to leave Dorian alone. Even if she’d finally managed to get him out of that room and walking around the castle.

He looked like the living dead, especially with that white line around his golden throat. She supposed he had every right to.

She’d been waiting for him outside of Chaol’s room. When she heard Chaol speak at last, she had summoned Nesryn as soon as she’d mastered the tears of relief that had threatened to overwhelm her. After Dorian had emerged, when he’d looked at her and his smile had crumpled, she’d taken the king right back into his bedroom and sat with him for a good long while.

The guilt—that would be as heavy a burden for Dorian as his grief.

Lysandra put her hands on her hips. “Any other tasks for me before I retrieve Evangeline tomorrow?” Aelin owed Lysandra more than she could begin to express, but—

She pulled a small box from her pocket.

“There’s one more task,” Aelin said, holding the box out to Lysandra. “You’ll probably hate me for it later. But you can start by saying yes.” “Proposing to me? How unexpected.” Lysandra took the box but didn’t open it.

Aelin waved a hand, her heart pounding. “Just—open it.”

With a wary frown, Lysandra opened the lid and cocked her head at the ring inside—the movement purely feline. “Are you proposing to me, Aelin Galathynius?” Aelin held her friend’s gaze. “There’s a territory in the North, a small bit of fertile land that used to belong to the Allsbrook family. Aedion took it upon himself to inform me that the Allsbrooks have no use for it, so it’s been sitting open for a while.” Aelin shrugged. “It could use a lady.” The blood drained from Lysandra’s face. “What.”

“It’s plagued by ghost leopards—hence the engraving on the ring. But I suppose if there were anyone capable of handling them, it’d be you.” Lysandra’s hands shook. “And—and the key symbol above the leopard?” “To remind you of who now holds your freedom. You.”

Lysandra covered her mouth, staring at the ring, then at Aelin. “Are you out of your mind?” “Most people would probably think so. But as the land was officially released by the Allsbrooks years ago, I can technically appoint you lady of it. With Evangeline as your heir, should you wish it.” Her friend had not voiced any plans for herself or her ward beyond retrieving Evangeline, had not asked to come with them, to start over in a new land, a new kingdom. Aelin had hoped it meant she wanted to join them in Terrasen, but— Lysandra sank to the carpeted floor, staring at the box, at the ring.

“I know it’ll be a great deal of work—”

“I don’t deserve this. No one will ever want to serve me. Your people will resent you for appointing me.” Aelin slid onto the ground, knee to knee with her friend, and took the box from the shape-shifter’s trembling hands. She pulled out the gold ring that she’d commissioned weeks ago. It had only been ready this morning, when Aelin and Rowan had slipped out to retrieve it, along with the real Wyrdkey.

“There is no one who deserves it more,” Aelin said, grabbing her friend’s hand and putting the ring on her finger. “There is no one else I’d want guarding my back. If my people cannot see the worth of a woman who sold herself into slavery for the sake of a child, who defended my court with no thought for her own life, then they are not my people. And they can burn in hell.” Lysandra traced a finger over the coat of arms that Aelin had designed. “What’s the territory called?” “I have no idea,” Aelin said. “’Lysandria’ sounds good. So does ‘Lysandrius,’ or maybe ‘Lysandraland.’” Lysandra gaped at her. “You are out of your mind.”

“Will you accept?”

“I don’t know the first thing about ruling a territory—about being a lady.” “Well, I don’t know the first thing about ruling a kingdom. We’ll learn together.” She flashed her a conspirator’s grin. “So?” Lysandra gazed at the ring, then lifted her eyes to Aelin’s face— and threw her arms around her neck, squeezing tight. She took that as a yes.

Aelin grimaced at the dull throb of pain, but held on. “Welcome to the court, Lady.” images

Aelin honestly wanted nothing more than to climb into bed that evening, hopefully with Rowan beside her. But as they finished up dinner—their first meal together as a court—a knock sounded on the door. Aedion was answering it before Aelin could so much as set down her fork.

He returned with Dorian in tow, the king glancing between them all. “I wanted to see if you’d eaten—” Aelin pointed with her fork to the empty seat beside Lysandra. “Join us.” “I don’t want to impose.”

“Sit your ass down,” she told the new King of Adarlan. That morning he’d signed a decree freeing all the conquered kingdoms from Adarlan’s rule. She’d watched him do it, Aedion holding her hand tightly throughout, and wished that Nehemia had been there to see it.

Dorian moved to the table, amusement sparking in those haunted sapphire eyes. She introduced him again to Rowan, who bowed his head deeper than Aelin expected. Then she introduced Lysandra, explaining who she was and what she had become to Aelin, to her court.

Aedion watched them, his face tight, his lips a thin line. Their eyes met.

Ten years later, and they were all sitting together at a table again—no longer children, but rulers of their own territories. Ten years later, and here they were, friends despite the forces that had shattered and destroyed them.

Aelin looked at the kernel of hope glowing in that dining room and lifted her glass.

“To a new world,” the Queen of Terrasen said.

The King of Adarlan lifted his glass, such endless shadows dancing in his eyes, but—there. A glimmer of life. “To freedom.”

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