Inan heads inside to face his father, King Saran, preparing for his wrath. He is intercepted by his mother, who pulls him into the throne room and demands everyone else leaves. She pleads with Inan and the king, saying that it’s too dangerous for Inan to be out fighting as he did today.
Like Amari, Inan’s loyalty to his father is driven by fear. He is also at the whim of his parents, who argue over Inan’s fate without even consulting him. He does not have the ability to exercise his own will or act on his own desires because of his parents’ control.
Inan suddenly remembers Zélie’s face, and feels a sensation like electricity under his skin. The King orders Inan’s mother to leave, and she does so. Both she and Inan fear that he is in for a beating at the hands of his father. Inan, knowing that he failed, expects to hear his father’s familiar refrain: “Duty before self.”
Saran controls his son through violence and fear because he believes that violence is equivalent to strength. Ostensibly a call to selflessness, the expression, “duty before self,” ensures that Inan remains obedient and willing to use violence.
Inan braces himself for punishment. Instead, King Saran tells him that he knows only Inan can catch the fugitive. He reveals the fugitive’s identity: it is his sister, Amari.
Saran is using the control he has over Inan to demand that he go on a quest to capture his own sister. Ironically, he is calling on Inan’s loyalty to one family member, Saran, to justify the hunting down of another family member, Amari.