Tzain, Amari, and Zélie go to the arena that evening. Zélie can feel many deceased spirits around them. As the competition is about to begin, floodgates open to let the arena fill with a huge wave of water. Ten wooden ships float in, each carrying a noble captain and a crew of divîner laborers. Among them is the girl who accepted water from Zélie outside. An announcer holds up the prize—the sunstone. In two months of fighting, so far, there has been no winner—every night, everyone dies. As the competition begins, the pain of each death rips into Zélie. Once again, there are no survivors.
Spectators are able to enjoy the grim competition because the kingdom and in Orïshan society at large have dehumanized divîners. The fact that the ships are captained by nobles emphasizes this point, showing that those with the power to make decisions and pit the divîners against one another are chosen by birth and class. Having seen this slaughter night after night, the spectators are desensitized to violence and even large-scale death. There are many in the kingdom who profit off of violence, and those who run the stadium are among them.