Azra looked at the note and crumpled it in his hand. It had been long enough that he had begun to believe it was truly over, but the message told him otherwise. It was from Chiltred.
‘If you love her, meet me.’ the message had said.
A simple message that had somehow managed to fill him with dread. “What do you want?” he demanded when he finally saw the shadow.
“I have news, and an apology,” Chiltred answered. “Briar has fled the sphere. He has decided that his plans and ours are mutually exclusive.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Azra asked warily.
“Because I promised you that he would not bother you again,” Chiltred answered. “And now I know better.”
“Is there anything else,” Azra prompted when Chiltred’s sentence trailed off.
Chiltred nodded. “Soon another DarkSinger will be chosen, and the battle will begin again,” he stated. “In the meantime, I am to serve as the DarkSinger pro-tem.”
Azra gave him a sidelong look and realized that he wasn’t joking.
“You have nothing to fear from me,” Chiltred assured him. “I will not corrupt those of the physical plane. It’s corrupt enough to keep me busy for centuries. However, I cannot say the same about Briar’s successor.”
Azra nodded respectfully. “Thank you.”
“I am sorry,” Chiltred added.
“I promised you he wouldn’t bother you again, and it seems that I was wrong.”
Azra shrugged. “It happens.”
“All too frequently I’m afraid,” Chiltred agreed.