“Stay here,” I say to Attis, and gesture with my head towards Horin.
Nodding, he gets up and follows me into the dark. Siri remains unaware, and Kay goes on snorting. Hanna opens one eye and then sighs and snuggles into Joseph’s arms.
“The Warrior talent is not as extensive as yours is,” I murmur when we are alone and beyond hearing.
“I know,” Horin responds.
“Talk to me, lad. I have known you since you were born.”
Horin shakes his head. “Damin, you left Grenmassin when I was three. You cannot claim familiarity, not anymore.”
Closing my, eyes, I realise how right he is. I have made mistakes and cannot now alter the result of them.
Horin continues, “But now I understand why you left. I remember how hurt Lyra was and wanted to stab you with my little fork for doing that to my beloved sister, and yet it had to happen.”
“Are we talking fate again? I have had my fill of fate,” I growl.
“This isn’t about fate. You made a choice, as Lyra chose to let you go, but those choices led to where we are now.”
“What is your point exactly?”
“This is where we shape new futures. How do we change ourselves unless know choice is able to shape who we are.”
I stare at the boy. “I hear you. I even agree with you. But, Horin, that is an older man’s words of wisdom. While you may be growing a body to keep pace with the talent inside you, it should not alter the boy I rediscovered in Porlese, not to this degree. I left, yes, but I was there the day you were born, a mere eight years, my friend. Please talk to me.”
Horin gives me the strangest smile. “I wanted to stab you with my little fork, for my body was small. I remember, though, staring in the direction you took when you left, and wondered how to grow fast enough to challenge you to a duel. My mind was not three years old, Damin. My mind, my soul, is far older.”