Inan finds himself back in the dreamscape of reeds. He feels overwhelmed by a sense of peace, but he fights it back. He must focus on his mission. He looks at the sênet pawn Saran gave him, a reminder to stay focused and kill Zélie.
Inan is actively fighting to suppress his own instincts and desires in favor of fitting in with his family and pleasing his father. The sênet pawn serves as a reminder to always put his father’s wishes first, even when doing so means painfully suppressing an increasingly important part of himself.
By imagining Zélie, Inan is able to summon her to the dream space. Zélie taunts him, asking if he’s proud that his father, the king, destroyed Chândomblé. He fights back the shame he feels, reminding himself, “duty before self.” Zélie reminds him that King Saran will kill Inan when he discovers his identity.
Zélie drives home the increasing sense of alienation that Inan feels from his father. He knows that his father’s murderous regime is wrong, and the thought brings him pain. Inan works to ignore that feeling, trying to justify his and his father’s actions by convincing himself that they are simply putting the kingdom first. Zélie’s sharp comments reveal that Saran’s prejudice against divîners is so intense, that he will not hesitate to kill his son if he finds out his identity.
Inan and Zélie realize that as Zélie steps away from him, new reeds sprout under her feet. Zélie begins to run, making not just reeds but ferns and trees sprout in her wake. Ignoring Inan’s protests, she runs until she stands at the edge of a waterfall overlooking a lake. Zélie leaps into the water, smiling. Inan is distracted by her smile and her body.
Because of his beliefs about divîners—beliefs doubtless shaped by his father’s attitudes—Inan never realized that magic could be beautiful and creative, seeing it only as a dark and destructive force. In much the same way, he is surprised to notice the beauty of Zélie herself.
Zélie says that if water cost Inan a gold piece per cup, he’d want to swim, too. From that accidental hint, Inan realizes that she must be in Ibeji.
The astronomical cost of water in Ibeji, still a shock to Zélie, is evidence of the economic oppression faced by divîners and other commoners.
Inan comes out of the dream to find Kaea staring at him, sword outstretched. She just observed as he had a vision, clearly using magic. Shaking, Kaea asks how long he’s been a maji. Clearly terrified, she accuses him of being a traitor. Inan pleads that he’s still him, and on her side.
Even though Kaea and Inan are close allies, when she realizes that he can use magic, she immediately assumes he is an enemy who must be destroyed.
Calming slightly, Kaea says that the new bridge is complete and that she will take a team to track Amari. Inan, she says, is a liability. She must force him to return to the King, because it is her duty.
Kaea does not believe Inan and his magic are assets to their mission. Instead, she fears him. Like Inan, she is also blindly loyal to Saran and automatically does what she believes he would want, rather than listening to Inan’s appeals.
Panicked, Inan tackles her. Kaea screams for help, saying that Inan is a maji. Without meaning to, Inan sends turquoise energy swirling around her head. He tries to release her, but can’t. Blood trickles from Kaea’s ears. She collapses to the ground and utters one last word: maggot. Her hair is full of turquoise crystals, a mark of Inan’s magic. Inan knows his father will never forgive him now.
Kaea’s fear caused her to threaten Inan, but now his fear has lead him to attack her. This illustrates that fear, prejudice, and violence are cyclical. Kaea’s dying word, “maggot,” shows how deep the hatred for maji runs in Orïsha.