Métius yanked on the chained once again, forcing him onto his knees. “Now, before I kill the woman my worshiper has pledged his life to– swear your oath to me!”
Zarrek breathed hard, gasping through the pain and the bewilderment that it sent through him. Perhaps it was his blood loss. Or was that the poison? Elezar was so sure that the Night Piercer Owl had poisoned him. He was shouting at the prince now, but he could not understand him words. They were probably about his k’haarana.
How was he going to preserve her life while not swearing his own in the service of that foul god? This was not what he wanted; he could not reign as king of Onsira if he obeyed Métius, could not ask Starshine to stay with him if he gave in to the darkness.
“She is my light,” he choked out. His words came out garbled, more like labored breathing than something intelligible.
Above him, Métius was talking, commanding him. Zarrek was not paying attention. The chains rattled again, but they sounded distant. He felt too weak to hear. It seemed pointless to him to even register the pain. Then something fell from the collar of his shirt. A pendant swung back and forth, in and out of his field of vision. It took him a moment to realize what it was. When he remembered, he glanced up at Métius.
“Answer me!” the Dark Lord commanded him.
The chains pulled him lower down. With a weak arm, shaking to badly that he could hardly control it, he reached for the wing pendant that Starshine had given him. When his fingers wrapped around it, his eyes closed, and his mind filled with light. Warmth washed over his body, and he felt the words well up from deep within him.
“Staa, vah-iith,” he began, though he could not understand what he was saying.
Métius stopped, staring down at him. He called out for his wraith to return, but Zarrek when on chanting, He managed to sit up on his knees, grasping the wing in both hands. Neither Lilith nor Sasha dared approach him, wary of the sphere of light that was expanding out from his body. Still the prince went on chanting, too full of energy to even give in to the Destroyer’s chains.