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Copper stench burned Erin’s nostrils with fetid undertones she couldn’t bear to consider. The clash of blades and the anguished roar of battle were more felt than heard. Unseelie defenders rallied around her, turning the tide back on the rebels. But it was too late. The Nightwall had been sundered, and the sight assaulted Erin’s mind as if she were the one who had touched The Dark.
“Why?” Erin emptily asked her Unseelie sister, Morrigan.
Morrigan was still catching her breath from breaching The Nightwall by singing at it. A fortification from before time, left by the First Gods to protect the world, and Morrigan broke it with a song.
“It had to be done,” Morrigan’s hoarse voice was harsher than usual. “The world gave me the power to end its suffering. I had to use it.”
“No,” tears blurred Erin’s vision and washed her cheeks. “I can’t believe that. I won’t.”
With a prayer of apology to the plants she knew wouldn’t survive the twilight, Erin called The Green to grow around them—cutting Morrigan off from her rebels.
The Seelie sorceress implored her sister, “You’re not well; come back with me, and we’ll find a way to heal your mind.”
Fatigue, and possibly sorrow, flashed in Morrigan’s eyes. Her response was soft as she only ever was for Erin.
“I’m not mad. And even if I were, it is too late for me to be forgiven.”
“On that, we agree, traitorous bitch!” the Unseelie King entered the flowered dome, obsidian greatsword in hand.
Morrigan saluted her monarch with her longsword. He spat and charged her. Even exhausted, Morrigan would have defeated any other foe. Instead, Erin fell to her knees as the King kicked her mortally wounded sister off his blade through the breach into The Dark.