"If only if known you'd prove such an apt pupil." The Darkling admiringly, "Why come to be now? Has it taken you this long to recover from our skirmish?"
"I didn't expect compliments." Alina said, blocking the questions, ignoring the pride she felt from his praise
"No?" He asked, a black eyebrow raised
"I left you buried under a pile of rubble." Alina pointed out, crossing her arms
"And if I told you I respect your ruthlessness?" The Darkling asked
"I don't think I'd believe you." Alina answered
The Darkling gave a hint of a smile, "An apt pupil, why waste my anger on you when the fault was mine? I should have anticipated another betrayal from you, one more mad grasp at some kind of childish ideal. But I seem to be a victim of my own wishes where you are concerned."
His face hardened, the hint of a smile disappeared, "What have you come here for, Alina?"
Alina told him the truth, "I wanted to see you."
The Darkling's face momentarily showed surprise before it disappeared, "There are two thrones on this dais. You could see me anytime you liked."
"You're offering me a crown? After I tried to kill you?" Alina asked, shocked
He shrugged, "I might have done the same."
Alina pondered that, and the more she thought about that the more the thought of being with him appealed to her.
Nikolai claimed to love her, he even proposed with his family's ring but he didn't truly understand her.
And Mal, Mal loved the old Alina, the otkazat'sya she had been before she had discovered her Grisha gift.
"And if I accepted your offer?" Alina asked, "Would you still try to enslave me?"
"I have never tried to enslave you, Alina, I looked for Morozova's amplifiers for you, so we could be equals as meant to be —the light to my darkness, the darkness to your light." He Darkling answered, "But all you would need to do is tell me where you are and I would come get you."
"On one condition." Alina said, a playful smile on her face
"Which would be?" He asked
"Tells me your name, you're real name, I'm certain your mother didn't name you the Darkling. If we are truly to be a balance I want your name." Alina answered
"Aleksander." The Darkling said, "My name is Aleksander Morozova."
Alina looked him in the eye, giving into her darker side, "I am in the tunnels of the White Cathedral, come get me, Aleksander."
"Gladly, moi tsarina." Aleksander smiled, "But, if I find that you are lying and this is a trick, I won't be so forgiving this time, Alina Morozova."
She smiled back, "I wouldn't dream of it, moi tsar."
Barely ten minutes passed before the screaming started.
Nichevo'ya burst into the tunnels, killing nearly everyone, all the otkazat'sya except for Mal and Nikolai.
The Grisha were taken back to the Little Palace and punished, burned at the stake for their crimes against the crown.
But as for Nikolai and Mal, as well as the Apparat, were publically hung.
Six thousand years later, Tsar Aleksander and Tsarina Alina Morozova were long dead and mourned by their beloved subjects, their only child, a daughter appropriately named Eclipse had taken the throne with her mix of Darkling be Sun Summoner gifts.
To this day, hanging above the Ravkan thrones were the well preserved portrait of the most beloved rulers.
But across Os Alta, was the Lux Tenebris Cathedral, which had been built on the ruins of the White Cathedral.
All of the thirteen original saints had their own churches but this one in particular honored Sankt Aleksander, the Starless One, and Sankta Alina, Sol Koroleva.
It is the most sacred church in Ravka, one so protected that foreigners were not allowed inside.
For stood the only other portrait of the most popular saints before their deaths.
Though gone, Aleksander and Alina Morozova were deeply ingrained in the history of Ravka and would never be forgotten.