When he gazes south he can feel the sting; sharp pain, like a blinding light, slashing his right eye and dripping fire onto his skin, splattering onto the snow--

It's gone, of course, just as quickly, leaving him breathless, lips only fallen partly open and remaining eye staring into the distance with a tremor that even he can't identify. He touches gloved fingertips to the rim of his mask-- what a beautiful thing it is, Soliel silk and lovely threads of gold, sewn by skilled hands-- feels its gentleness, lets it press gently into the scarred skin underneath. So rarely does he remove the mask that he can just faintly recall the texture of the marred cheek, once so smooth, sliced so pristinely. It doesn't hurt now, even to touch.

Everyone calls Diamond beautiful.

He sighs and lets his hand fall, placing it lightly on the rail over which he leans, watching the dusky sky. Glace is his, as of last night. Eight mines belong to him. His kingdom is eight times the size of any kingdom owned by any habit in history. He is easily the most powerful man in the world. Many stand against him, but he towers above them in might.

Radiant, they call him, like the sun on ice; commanding like a storm.

"Despicable." His lips form comfortably around the word. What fools they are. What blind idiots he's left behind in Niege, to say such things as they quivered beneath him in fear. Their lies border on treason. He should have them all excecuted.

Nothing. He has nothing. What mines? What power? It means nothing. Nothing, nothing, "nothing. By the gods, nothing... Idiots!" A fist slams weakly into the stone rail. He doesn't know what he's saying. He doesn't care. He'll never see her again.

He hears himself laugh once, a hollow, despairing sound, as he looks to the south.