Inan calls after Zélie, looking for her. He feels hopeless—he realizes now that instead of being the one to fix Orïsha, he is seemingly inextricable from the problem. Flooded by visions of Zélie’s memories of the Raid, he remembers the admiration he once had for his King Saran’s strength.
Inan continues to question his father’s ways, realizing that he has been complicit in the pain that his father caused. He believed that being loyal to his father was the same as putting Orïsha’s best interests at heart, but once again, he feels confused about if this is actually the case.
Zélie returns and says, reluctantly, that she thinks they should work together. She reveals the sunstone. Inan says that he hates the way his magic makes him feel—he feels at war with himself, and it hurts him. Zélie says that he’s causing that very pain by fighting who he is. Even the pawn that he carries as a reminder of his father, King Saran, is inflicting more than emotional harm. It’s made of majacite, a special metal that burns maji.
Inan feels that his magic puts him at war with himself when in fact, his adherence to his father’s hatred of magic is what’s causing him pain. The pawn, or game piece, shows how Inan was unwittingly hurting himself by clinging to his father’s hatred for divîners.
Inan remembers how he got the pawn. He and his father, King Saran, used to play sênet every week before the Raid, a special time when his father passed on his wisdom. After the Raid, Inan tried to get his father to play a game of sênet with him. The King threw the board to the ground, scattering pieces. Inan pocketed the pawn. Now, it fills him with shame.
Zélie says that Inan is holding out loyalty to someone who will always hate him for who he is. Inan tosses the pawn aside, realizing Saran’s lies. Though magic is dangerous, the way his father has tried to eradicate it has only brought more danger and violence. He tells Zélie that he won’t stand in the way of their quest to bring back magic.
Inan finally breaks away from his father’s teachings and decides to follow his own sense of what is right and wrong. He recognizes now that his father’s actions were (and still are) motivated by a deeply held prejudice against divîners, which allowed him to dehumanize and demonize them. Inan also sees that Saran has trapped the kingdom in a cycle of fear and destruction. He hopes that by breaking away from his father’s beliefs, he may be able to prevent more pain.