Sos had gone to the Mountain, only to find that there was a place beyond his wished-for death. His bird, stubbornly loyal, had clung to him in the snows and now was circling near the ceiling of the exercise room. Sos's blood was running, if not hot, at least revived, and there was a lithe young woman—not Sola, but one who wished to wear his bracelet.
He had walked away from Sol's empire, turned away from the woman who he loved, expected death. Taking the way to the Mountain had not brought his life to an end, after all.