Zélie, Tzain, and Amari travel through the lush Gombe River Valley. They come upon a river and take a moment to splash in it, laughing and playing. Suddenly, the river is gone—for just a moment, Zélie is in Inan’s dreamscape. When she returns to reality, she tries to warn her friends that Inan is near.
When Zélie, Tzain, and Amari experience just a moment of lighthearted fun, it emphasizes how miserable and afraid they have been for so long. The prejudice and inequality in Orïshan society generates fear and prevents people from leading normal, happy lives.
Zélie’s warning comes too late: Inan is speeding towards them on a panthenaire. They prepare to escape, but Zélie suddenly realizes he has no guards. He’s alone, and she can fight him. She realizes that trying to suppress his powers has weakened him.
Zélie sees that placing his loyalty to his father above his new identity has taken a toll on Inan. He is tired from fighting himself. Although Tzain and Amari beg Zélie to focus on escape, she thinks once again that she may be able to right a larger wrong if she lingers behind to fight rather than running to safety with her family.
Amari pushes past Zélie and approaches Inan. She says that they won’t hurt each other, and that fear of magic is their father’s burden, not theirs. She says that they can make their own decisions for themselves, as well as for the future of Orïsha.
In the time since she left the palace, Amari has changed a lot. She has realized that it is possible to reject her father’s teachings and follow her own path towards what is right. She has begun to understand his prejudices and fears, and see how to overcome them, by learning more about the many ways that magic can be used. She encourages Inan to make the same liberating choices.
Inan pushes Amari aside and lunges for Zélie. He says that killing her will kill the magic within him, too. They begin to spar.
However, Inan is unable to break free of his father’s thrall, and the strong prejudice against magic that comes with it. He believes the only way to secure the future of the kingdom is to keep the divîners oppressed and powerless.