She dared to cry? On this day of all days? I was the one who would be married at sunset, and I hadn't let myself cry in five years. There was ice in my lungs and in my heart. I was floating. I was swept away, and out of the cold I spoke to her in a voice as soft as snow, the gentle and obedient voice I had used to consent to every order that Father and Aunt Telomache ever gave me, every order that they would never give Astraia because they actually loved her. "You know, that Rhyme is a lie that Aunt Telomache only told you because you weren't strong enough to bear the truth." I had thought the words so often, they felt like nothing in my mouth, like no more than a breath of air, and as easily as breathing I went on. "The truth is, Mother died because of you, and now I have to die for your sake, too. And neither one of us will ever forgive you." Then I shoved her aside and strode out of the room.