Sayalise Dantalian did not understand, for the life of her, how the Elyos tolerated all this blinding light.

The moment she stepped through the rift, she'd had to clap her hands over her eyes, gasping as the sunlight seared them. Angry red filled her vision beneath tightly shut eyelids, and she could feel tears watering them. There was nothing even remotely like this in Asmodae. Her eyeballs felt like they were on fire. At least she hadn't screamed too loudly.

After a moment she realized she was just standing there right in the middle of the road, and if she stayed there much longer she'd be an open target for the next Elyos that came along. Shelter would be a good idea.

A few tries and she managed to open her eyes just enough, shaded by her claws and open to tiny slits, to look for a place to hide. There was a big tree and some bushes only a few yards away. ...up the side of a sheer cliff face where anyone could see her stark black wings spread if she flew up to it. Wonderful.

She was going to have to do this the old-fashioned way, clearly. Failure was not an option.

She sank her claws, hard, into the rock. That was not as easy as it sounded; the rock wasn't very pliable and the strain of trying to force it to give beneath her grip made her fingers ache. After a moment or two, though, she had a secure purchase. The sun sent knives of pain stabbing into her head, her neck, her back-

Wait, her back? Oh, shards.

A clawless grip closed about the back of her neck. Saya struggled, an animal caught in a snare, and the Elysean Daeva looked at her and sneered something she didn't catch. He yanked her off the cliff face and threw her to the ground, advancing with two daggers drawn. An assassin then.

It wasn't much of a fight; he was much older than she, and clearly far more experienced in battle. She did manage to get one blow in, for all the good that did before the Elyos assassin plunged one of his daggers into her chest, neatly bisecting her heart.

It hurt worse than anything she'd ever experienced before. The dying part? Also not pleasant. But at least it didn't feel like someone was trying to cook her eyes from their sockets anymore.

Next time, she was rifting in the middle of the sundamned night.