Azkadellia doesn't inform her sister of this, but she agrees with the people of the O.Z. It's been nearly one annual since the double eclipse and the citizens of the O.Z. are crying out for her execution. The first few days after the eclipse, her family is slowly starting to relearn itself and DG is starting to find out what being a princess of the Royal House of Gale all entails. Azkadellia watches her sister quietly; the guilt is becoming a familiar burden around her shoulders.
But it's not until the first assassination attempt that Azkadellia discovers the level of hate and scorn the people of the O.Z. have for her. She had thought with the witnesses who were there, the viewing that the Witch made of her defeat, and DG's vehement defense of her sister that they were starting to bring the people over.
But it was Beatrix in her bedroom with a simple but nasty looking knife that drove home the point that the people of the O.Z. will never forget nor forgive her. And as the details of her – the Witch's, Azkadellia has to forcibly remind herself – crimes against the O.Z. begin to reveal themselves daily, the people's cry for justice and subsequently her execution grow louder and stronger.
The look in her mother's eyes is filled with pity and love for her eldest daughter but Azkadellia was always good at reading people and she sees that not quite hidden emotion of blame in her gaze.
She tries to tell the servants of the various castles that her family live in that it wasn't her, it was the Witch but her efforts are failing. She doesn't know when she started to agree with the people of the O.Z. only that she does. But she doesn't tell DG this. Her younger sister is finding her footing in the new land and doesn't need to be bogged down by her sister's calm acceptance that her execution is only a matter of time.
Azkadellia slips through Finaqua, accepting the glares of hate from the inhabitants. She ignores DG's calls, her father's inquires. She walks up staircases, letting her body guide her where she's going. She ends up on top of a tower. The wind is blowing today and Azkadellia lets it whip her hair around her face, letting it become tangled and knotted. She walks to the edge of the tower and rests her hands on the wall. Closing her eyes, she feels the suns hit her face and she turns her head up at them. It's peaceful and quiet and Azkadellia can feel the guilt, the horror, the sadness start to slip away. This disturbs her as she feels this is her punishment for what happened. But oddly she doesn't go chasing after them.
She doesn't know how long she's standing up there when she hears footsteps behind her. She keeps her back turned. Let them do what they will – it's the least she deserves. It's only when they don't do anything, just stand there watching her is when she opens her eyes and turns around.
The person standing there makes the guilt, horror and sadness return ten-fold.
She doesn't look into his eyes; she concentrates on the stone floor. Jeb Cain stands there, arms clasped behind him, simply watching her. She doesn't have to look up at him to know what he's thinking. They remain like this for a while, her burden settling heavily on her shoulders, Jeb stoically standing there.
"I tried to stop her," Azkadellia blurts out. "I fought against her, her choices every time I could. But she was too powerful, too knowledgeable for me to do anything." Jeb now has his hands resting at his side, not saying a word. She rushes on, "I never meant for any of this to happen. When I could wrestle control away from her, I tried to counteract her orders." For some reason, she particularly wants forgiveness from this man. "I almost succeeded a few times. I know that the citizens of the O.Z. are calling for my execution. I've accepted the fact that my execution is just a matter of time." She can't look up at him, no matter how much she wants or should, "I am truly and deeply sorry for every thing I caused you, your family and the people."
"It's time to go below," Jeb answers and she lets out a sob. Resigned, she tries and fails to control her sobbing and walks past him. She idly notices that he doesn't give her the wide berth that all but her family and her sister's three companions give her. But that could be because the tower is not that wide. She manages to control her sobbing to only tears when the two reach the main floor of Finaqua. She bows her head, letting her hair cover her face and makes her way out to the lake.
She reaches her customary spot and sits down, rubbing her hand against her eyes. A handkerchief appears in front of her vision; she glances up and Jeb is standing there, an unreadable expression on his face. She accepts it.
For a long time, a formerly possessed Princess and a former resistance fighter look across the lake.