My eyes take a few seconds to adjust to the darkness in Hölle. While it was only midmorning in Enfer, it is night in Hölle. The spots on earth that they correspond with are on opposite sides of the world, so there’s a time difference. My breath appears on every exhale and every inhale hurts my chest even though I can’t feel the cold.
“Stay close, it is easy to become lost in here,” Daemon tells me. “I have spent many days lost in Hölle when I escaped Eira’s dungeons.”
“You were held prisoner here?” I ask incredulously.
“Daemon has seen the inside of many prisons, Nikki,” Henki replies. “The reason that your father finally gave him a job in the royal guard was because he kept escaping from the prison.”
“Those are stories I want to hear later,” I tell Daemon, twisting in my seat to see him.
He rolls his eyes and nods assent. I turn around and watch Henki, who’s almost blending in with the dark surroundings. We continue to travel on, the eerie silence punctuated by the sound of horse hooves crunching through snow and the occasional sound of ice shifting in the distance.
A brief flash of movement is the only warning I get before I’m knocked off my horse.