“Brings back memories, doesn’t it?” asked Nicyes. “It feels like we were just here.”

“We were,” said Alquis. He and Nicyes were standing on the shore of the island which seemed to be the source of all their troubles. Arturo and Mercer were pulling the raft ashore — or more accurately, Mercer pulled the raft ashore while Arturo made vaguely apologetic noises and gestures and loudly blamed the arrangement on his injury.

“What makes you think we’ll find her here?” asked Alquis.

“She isn’t the type to give up easily. If there was something bothering her, she’d confront it, no matter how foolhardy it might be for her to do so.”

“And yet?”

Nicyes sighed. “You saw the shape she was in after the first time she came here. If she really had revenge on her mind, confronting her daemons and whatnot, who knows how far she would go?” He looked at Alquis. “You’ve seen her in a fight, she’s like one of the Underworld Furies. She’d pursue her quarry to the ends of this world and into the next, and drag them to the shores of Acheron if that’s what it would take.”

“Are you saying you wouldn’t do the same?”

Nicyes let out a pained laugh and cleared his throat. “You have me there. I suppose we aren’t so different. Maybe that’s why I think she’s here. If it were me,” he paused for a moment, uncertain. “If it were me–”

“Are you okay?” asked Alquis.

Nicyes shook off the feeling and turned away and shouted for Arturo and Mercer to hurry up. Stumbling and apologizing, they obliged, and Nicyes turned back to the island interior. Without another word, he stalked up the shore alone, leaving Alquis to his thoughts.

Moments later, Mercer and Arturo made their way up the shore. Arturo hobbled after Nicyes, but Mercer stopped to check on Alquis.

“Never split up,” said Alquis. “We should none of us gone anywhere alone.” He and Mercer hurried to follow the others, and the four of them disappeared into the island’s interior.