The rapport faded, slowly at first, like the light from the twilit western sky, before fragmenting into the individual minds of the chieri.
She felt the confines of her own mind grow stronger and more solid, a familiar prison. Although she might and undoubtedly would merge into the rapport of a circle, it would never be the same as what she had experienced. Like the passing of the chieri themselves, this transcendent unity had come to an end.
Under her, the bench was hard and smooth. The room had gone chill. She ought to call for someone to stir the fire to life and bring her hot food. In a moment, she would do so.
For now, however, she would honor what had been given, what had been lost, what had been won, what had been sacrificed.
What she had become, what she would never be again. What had been taken from her.
What remained forever.
Next up: wrapping-up-ends chapter... and revisions!