Let go, I’d told my dead. I finally understand. It’s okay. It’s going to be okay.
The valley, I decided, was delightful after all. Streaked, smeared, fractured, earth torn black by the wars of men, each detail an anguish mirroring our own. Yet the remaining grass was emerald, the river cerulean to match the sky, the jewel city still jade before our valkyries hit.
Let go, I’d said. It’s okay. You can lay it all down.
Astonishing detail. The river rushing up, dapples glinting golden in the sun. The city walls upon tiny cliffs clawing up toward me. The first few blasts blooming up like orange and red and yellow flowers beneath my feet. Jerem Cozak would understand. The wind blew me southward, toward the river.
Let go. I understand.
The explosions built into a wall of flame roaring up if I looked back, an inferno barreling through the northern part of town. Forward, pebbles in the river grew to rocks then boulders to crash into. Everything got bigger. I’d hit just before the ford. The men marching like ants toward the city, then like silver toys toward their doom.
But they were free. I’d set everyone free. Nogilian was free, falling somewhere beside me. He could finally put it down. We could all put it down.