As Kamika clung to him and Emerald stared at the floor, Thorn tried to make sense of what was going on.
The Mist wanted a life. Either his or Emerald's. Why this was, he had no idea. He wasn't even the Heir for goodness sake, he had five older brothers after all! And the Mist had already taken them, so what did it want him for?
Because you are the only one who can hear the Song, hissed a voice, Those others are useless to me. If I am to be sated then I must have one who hears my voice. You and the nymph are the only ones here who can.
Now the choice is yours.
The sound of Engoroth's voice in his mind made Thorn shudder. It felt cold and clammy, like wet oilskin that hadn't dried properly. Even the sound of it gave him the shivvers. He shook his head, trying to dispell the grogginess that was creeping up on him. Engoroth laughed,
I see you're struggling with this. Very well. I will give you two days to make your choice. At sunset I will come again. And then, one way or another, I will get my request. Two days elfling. Two days.
With that the voice withdrew, leaving behind only icy tendrils of memory. Feeling numb, Thorn pulled away from Kamika, suddenly feeling cold as he pushed his friend's warm body away from him. She'd said something, he rememered, but decision before him hindered him remembering exactly what.
"We have two days," he said, barely supressing the tremor in his voice, "It's given us two days to make a decision. If we haven't made one then it's going to make the decision itself."
So we're stuck, he thought miserably, between a rock and a decision. A very hard decision.