On a night, soon after affairs in the Water tribe’s territory are concluded, Hak, Yona, and Soo-won think about each other, what they’ve become to each other, and what may wait in their future.
Hak tried not to be grateful that Yona’s hands were as sure, now, on her bow and sword as they were, once, on her long sashes and bright over-robes. He tried hard not to be grateful for that.
It wasn’t because of the old king’s memory and his determination to keep his daughter and people free of blood, though Hak still respected that. It wasn’t because he was her guard, should be her sword, should never allow her to be in danger, though he still felt that. It was because of where the gratitude came from.
Joo-Doh tries for a long time to contain, or at least conceal, what Soo-Won’s anger at his father’s death might lead him to do, and in the process misses exactly what Soo-Won is doing and what part he may have to play in it.
Joo-Doh was beginning to worry about Soo-Won.
Months after his father’s funeral, the boy walked the halls of the palace as if he were still in the funeral procession, stumbling and uncertain. Joo-Doh was a little afraid that, if the princess stopped coaxing him to eat like a pet bird, he genuinely wouldn’t remember to do so. And Joo-Doh didn’t know what to do, now, any more than he had years ago when it was the queen who had been killed and Yona who was wild with grief.
Actually, that wildness had been easier to deal with than Soo-Won’s pale, stunned silence.