Ornstein called him to his room, alone.

He sat up in bed, coughed weakly.

" Henry," he said.

" I'm here, Master," Henry said.

" I have something I want to ask of you before I pass," he said.

" Anything," Henry replied. His chest was tight, and he wanted to cry. He did not want to look his master in the face after what he had been told.

" You've met Aislin?" Ornstein asked.

" Yes."

" What did you think of him?"

" I cannot say."

Ornstein gave him a sad look.

" Henry, you must protect him," he said.

" Why?" Henry asked sharply. " Master, I don't understand."

" He's a very important person to all of Annwn," Ornstein said. " He has yet to realize it himself. He's too naïve, and soft. I need to know he'll be looked after. Promise me, Henry Merrow."

Henry stared down at his lap, at the floor. He bunched his hands into fists.

" Master, I cannot," he said.

" Why? Why, Henry?" Ornstein asked.

Henry sank down, tears welling in his eyes.

" Master, I cannot," he said.

" Please, Henry. This is my la-"

He broke into a loud coughing fit, shaking violently from the strain.

" Master-!"

He reached out to steady him.

Ornstein continued coughing, hacking up blood into his hand.

" Please, Henry- I know you might have some differences- but Aislin is... Aislin is..."

" You don't have to speak anymore," Henry said. " I know."