Princess Alme couldn’t afford to take Fushi at his word, but now that she’s witnessed his sundry good words across Renril, she has decided to trust him with her kingdom, capital, and palace. She takes him to meet her father King Boldron, but he’s not in his room. Fushi then senses intense pain and finds him on the balcony.
The king appreciates this stranger’s kindness, but he considers himself a “walking corpse” for which nothing more can be done. In the ultimate gesture that she can now trust Fushi completely, Alme removes the veil covering her face, and gives him her blessing to complete the preparations by dismantling and rebuilding the palace.
One must suspend one’s disbelief in the logistics of such an undertaking; even if it were imploded, the sheer mass of the palace would cause widespread destruction to the surrounding buildings. It’s fine though, it’s Fushi, and this is basically magic anyway. What’s different is that unlike those other buildings, there’s no hiding the palace being torn down and build back up. Fortunately, Fushi now has the trust of the entire city. He doesn’t have to hide anymore.
Pocoa returns to Renril with knights from Uralis, as well as Iris and Chabo. Much of the final days of preparation are from Pocoa’s perspective as she is starved for attention, particularly from men. But she proves a useful rallying voice for the troops, and also gets Kahaku’s Nokker to admit it is scared about what might happen if it departed from Kahaku’s left arm.
When Bon asks Fushi to replicate some of the anesthetic gas he used on the church at his own execution, he ends up passing out himself, which was Bon’s intention. He gathers Kai, Hylo and Messar and summons “Mister Black”, whom he deeps the true “captain” of the ship upon which they’re about to embark.
The Beholder, who seems annoyed Bon and the others can see him, insists he’s only there to observe Fushi, his eventual replacement. When Messar stabs him, the Beholder throws him against a wall and turns his sword into a crumpled paperweight.
Yet even knowing what a dubious entity has been guiding Fushi so far, the three lads (not sure why a woman isn’t among them), like Bon, have made their choice. Even when Fushi tells them they can still flee and save themselves, they tell him they have no intention of dying in this battle. They’ve all come from places of regret, and their intent now is to restart their lives.
Speaking of restarting: Fushi strategically places the empty bodies of his other vessels throughout the city so he can quickly transfer himself if directly attacked. As long as they’re connected to him via rope. they’ll be fine, he says. But when the Nokkers appear right on time (Eko is their early warning system), the resulting tremors cause March’s body to slide off the top of the wall…and the rope to slide off her wrist.
She lands in a bed of flowers…and opens her eyes. What Fushi had done before will the ill girl without knowing it, he has now done to her—March is back! It’s a big city, and Fushi and his friends will have their hands full simply stemming the tide of Nokkers assaulting Renril. But I can’t wait to see what happens when Fushi notices March is alive.