Roën’s ship cuts across the water. Zélie raises a prayer to the gods, but still can’t feel them. Still, she thinks of all she’s learned since she left home.
Zélie wants to be able to rely on the gods in difficult times, but it can be hard to feel their presence. She can draw on them in concert with other strengths and experiences she has gained since leaving home.
Suddenly, a fleet of warships appear on the horizon. Zélie squeezes Amari’s hand in fear. Under Roën’s advice, Zélie says they should try to take the nearest warship and keep heading for the island. Zélie prepares to fight, but Roën assures her that the mercenaries can handle it on their own. Looking to the large, armored ship, Zélie and Amari are skeptical. Roën asks what limit he and his men can go to—that is, if they can they kill the crew of the warship. Zélie holds them back. Too much blood has already been spilled.
Throughout their quest, Zélie and her friends have had to fight and, all too often, kill. Even though they fight in the service of bringing a more widespread and lasting peace, it still feels wrong that so many have died by their hands. Where previously Zélie might not have batted an eye at the thought of dispensing of some guards, now, she only wants to make sure that no more blood is shed than necessary. While violence may be necessary to a just revolution, that does not necessarily make it easier to stomach. And, not everyone who serves on the other side is necessarily a just target of violence.
Working quickly and quietly, Roën launches a rope line to the ship via crossbow and he and his men shimmy aboard. Within minutes, they’ve bound the crew of the ship. Roën jokes that he’s simply carrying out the will of the gods. They speed on towards the island.
Roën likes to be lighthearted about his belief in the gods. But, telling himself that he has been chosen by them, even with apparent humor, seems to be a source of confidence and strength, just as turning towards the gods is a source of comfort for Zélie and others.