That last walk—and I remembered how I got here. The Well of Infinity had snapped shut. Wherever I was, the sky changed in an instant from deep twilight to bright and sunny, except there was no sun and no sky. When I looked up, I could see the meme for sky, not the sky itself, but it looked exactly like the sky.
“Welcome to the true world, younger daughter.” The voice was not quite directly behind me. I whirled, to find myself facing the elderly Nipponese gentleman with the sword. He smiled. I smiled back and bowed. It seemed to be the right thing to do.
He shook his head. “It is I who should be bowing to you,” he said, “though you don’t exactly belong here. I am Duty. And this young lady is Life’s End.” The girl from the barrow was all at once at his shoulder. She still was dressed all in black, and still had her perky smile.