The queen’s chamber disappeared leaving only Prince Nenvari and myself within the room. Two doors opened to the left. Nenvari vanished. I assumed he’d gone in but instead his voice came from behind me.
“It would be so much easier for you if you’d just give up.”
I spun and stared right into his dark eyes. “That’s not an option.”
He was way too close, and I could see how the corners of his lips turned up into a smirk. “Because you need to save your brother?”
I tightened my grip.
“Yes, and I need to save you.”
“Child, I don’t need saving.”
I straightened my back. “I’ve traveled through the mine, experiencing painful and terrifying deaths. I’ve fought with and learned from dear friends who I will never see again. I’ve held my own against creatures that steal sanity from any that go near them. I am not a child!”
“Your friends? You mean a dumb miner, a greedy fairy and a clan forsaken Dark Elf?”
“Korren has taught me about weapons. Phenic has taught me to think beyond how I usually do. And Meeks has shown me how to be compassionate to those I would even see as an enemy. You have no right to talk about them like that.”
“And what about your reaper, Mr. Black?” He chuckled. “Do close your mouth. I’m the one who asked the reapers to take care of the mine, so of course, I can speak about them.” He tapped his chin with one manicured fingernail. “But what’s this? He’s revealed himself outside of the space between life and death when he shouldn’t have.”
“Leave Mr. Black alone!”
“Are you sure? I could help him out of this precarious situation.”
“I trust him, and I don’t trust you. Not while the Queen has you in her thrall.”
He leaned in as if to whisper in my ear and instead kissed my cheek. He laughed and vanished from my sight. I caught a glimpse of him disappearing into the boss room leaving me with only one phrase. “Then come kill me if you can, Miss Knight!”
Glaring, I wiped my cheek and ran after him into the opposite door.