Nova was having a dream.

They were in the West Wing's garden, and he was sitting in Ifrit's lap, though embarrassed to do so. He was getting too old for that, but Ifrit always insisted, anyway; winding his arms around him, and singing his praises in a childish little tune.

Ifrit set his head on Nova's shoulder, and his hands were on his sides-

" I won't let you forget about me," he said, as though it was meant to be a c

I won't let you forget about me I won't let you forget about me I wo wo wont let vuljtrffbmkiiikmfs we u I b hi l to agb ftjknvc

Ifrit was outlined in blood, and soaked in blood, and made of blood.

And as Nova was dying on the floor, he could see them all standing around him, laughing; they were all laughing at him; Kaama, Mordau, Ifrit.

And when he pulled himself away y to look up at every face in the arena they were all full of n nobilllll

nobility that was disgusted by him. They were all disgusted by him.

Fausta stood up from his seat and looked down at him to speak and as his mouth wordlessly opened, his left eye fell out of its socket, landing on the dueling arena's floor and busting open, a half-formed fetal thing inside crying weakly.

Blood that was his and wasn't his thick and pungent on night air he couldn't breathe and he couldn't hold anything and he couldn't find his sword for the

His father stood in front of him and Ifrit in the garden.

" Lyena, I would like to request a formal audience with you this evening," he said, looking only at Ifrit.

" I will be busy," Ifrit replied.

" The thirteenth fleet of the DASS is advancing on us," Bellam said. " We could lose the capital."

" Is William there?" Nova tried to ask. No one paid him any mind.

" You say that, but haven't you already lost a daughter but a son for a daughter for a thing that I only love is the son is the son is the son?"

His arms were like a cage.

" You're right. I suppose I am worthless. I shall see to it that Lorhe has a proper daughter this time," Bellam said, and he melted in his boots.

" I miss Cascur," Ifrit cried. " I miss Irdat. I miss my mother. You're my only-"