|Chapter 25: The Arrival of the Quest|
"You're not Brinn." Lunatic with distance and detachment. "Are you?" His throat would not accept that other name.
Brinn's expression did not waver. Perhaps there was a smile in his eyes; it was difficult to see in the early light. "I am who I am," he said evenly. "Ak-Haru Kenaustin Ardenol. The Guardian of the One Tree. Brinn of the Haruchai. And many other names. Thus am I renewed from age to age, until the end."
Vain did not move; but Findail bowed as if Brinn had become a figure whom even the Elohim were required to respect.
"No," Covenant said. He could not help himself. Brinn. "No." The First, Pitchwife, and Honninscrave were staring at the Haruchai with dumbfounded eyes. Seadreamer went on nodding like a puppet with a broken neck. Somehow, Brinn's victory had sealed Seadreamer's plight. By opening the way to the One Tree? Brinn.
Brinn's gaze was knowing and absolute. "Be not dismayed, ur-Lord." His tone reconciled passion and self-control. "Though I may no longer sojourn in your service, I am not dead to life and use. Good will come of it, when there is need."
"Don't tell me that!" The protest broke from Covenant involuntarily. I'm going to die. Or break my heart. "Do you think I can stand to lose you?"