Mal arrives at a First Army camp, still injured from the gunshot wounds. Soldiers run to help him.
Inej, Jesper, Arken, and Marko arrive at the palace. A guard gives them instructions for their temporary stay. Suddenly, chaos erupts as someone tries to sneak into the palace to see the Sun Summoner. Kaz is dressed as a guard.
Alina, Marie, and Nadia giggle over Marie's story. Genya walks into the room and orders Marie and Nadia to leave. Genya begins applying makeup to Alina's face, and they talk about Genya's role with the King and Queen. Then, they talk about life after banishing the Fold. Genya tries to warn Alina about The Darkling.
David Kostyk, a Fabrikator, walks into Alina's room. He gives her special gloves The Darkling ordered to help with her performance that evening. Alina practices summoning light, and she decides not to use the gloves. David leaves, and Alina notices Genya's feelings for him.
A voiceover of Kaz's plan plays as Kaz walks into the Little Palace. He examines a wall before hearing footsteps, forcing him to hide. He realizes the wall is a hidden door and mistakes Marie for Alina.
Inej practices her acrobat skills while Jesper subtly flirts with a stable hand. Inej climbs down and chastises Jesper. Then, they talk about the Sun Summoner.
Genya wants to show Alina her kefta. Alina notices a carnival outside and wants to see it for herself. Genya is reluctant to go, but Alina convinces her.
Alina and Genya head to the carnival and wander around. Marko's group puts on a circus performance of the Sun Summoner. As Alina and Genya talk, Jesper overhears them, now knowing what Alina looks like. Alina and Genya bump into Fedyor, who escorts them back inside.
The First Army Sergeant prepares a letter for General Kirigan. As he gives instructions to a soldier, Mal wanders in. He insists that he should go to the Little Palace instead of the soldier. The Sergeant agrees to allow Mal to accompany the soldier.
Kaz, Inej, Jesper, and Arken regroup. Jesper informs them about Alina being half Shu. They review their plan, and Kaz mentions the wall acting as a door, needing Grisha to open it. Arken explains how they can get past the Grisha lock, so Kaz decides Arken will kidnap Alina. Kaz continues reviewing their plan.
Alina visits Kirigan in his room. She helps him with his kefta, and they talk about her upcoming performance. Alina almost kisses him, but she changes her mind. They continue talking, and Alina decides to kiss him for real. After she pulls away, he smiles. They almost kiss again, but one of Kirigan's men interrupts them.
Jesper looks around in the stables. The stable hand finds him, and Jesper pretends to request horses for an ambassador. They flirt with each other and end up having sex.
Zoya storms into the winter fete. Two guests discuss West Ravka and Ravka's future.
Kaz purposely spills a drink on himself, prompting Ivan to order him to change. He meets with Inej and Arken to exchange supplies before they continue with the plan.
Kirigan enters the winter fete and goes to see the King and Queen.
Genya leads Alina to the ball. Alina stops by an entrance and notices Kirigan talking to the King and Queen. Kirigan notices Alina, and he approaches her. They talk.
Inferni start performing for the guests. David and Genya subtly notice each other. Kirigan leads Alina to the stage in preparation for her performance.
Kirigan introduces Alina and uses his magic to darken the room. Everyone watches as Alina summons light.
After Alina's performance, guests fall to their knees, praising and praying for Alina. They call her Sankta Alina — Saint Alina. Inej does not kneel, but she refers to Alina as Sankta Alina.
Jesper and the stable hand, Dima, finish having sex. A guard calls for Dima, so Dima leaves. Jesper sneaks out the horses he needs.
Arken opens the secret door and slips inside.
Mal and the First Army soldier arrive. They give their letter to a guard. The guard is reluctant, but he allows Mal and the soldier to enter the palace.
Alina, trailed by two guards, walks away from the ballroom. The Apparat suddenly appears and warns Alina about her future. Genya arrives and pulls Alina away so that she can get ready for dinner.
Mal and the soldier, Tofin, wait in the war room. Kirigan arrives, and Mal introduces himself. Kirigan recognizes Mal from his name and orders everyone else to leave the room.
After everyone leaves, Mal tells Kirigan about the Stag, and Kirigan orders Mal to mark it on the map. Mal refuses to do so until he sees Alina. Kirigan orders Mal to tell him something about Alina to prove he knows her. Once he does so, Kirigan agrees to bring Alina later that evening.
Baghra is attending to a fire when a guard arrives and updates Baghra about the Stag.
Alina enters the secret room. When she sits at a vanity, Arken attacks. It turns out Arken was working for West Ravka's General and slits Alina's throat. Genya hears the commotion and comes back, but Arken shoots her. Arken leaves, but the guards capture him.
Genya crawls over to Alina, who turns out to be Marie in disguise. Genya changes Marie's face back before she dies.
Kaz watches Alina converse with her friends. He explains to Inej that he planned to get rid of Arken before they capture the real Alina. After Kaz finishes explaining, he and Inej tell Alina they will escort her to dinner. On their way, they run into Kirigan, who escorts Alina away. An Inferni tries to follow Kaz and Inej.
Baghra's guard takes Mal to her cavern and tries to kill Mal. Mal fights back and kills the guard before running off.
Kirigan leads Alina to the war room. They flirt for a bit before kissing. They almost have sex, but Ivan knocks on the door. He tells Kirigan about Marie and Genya. Kirigan does not tell Alina what happened, but he says he will return soon. He kisses Alina before leaving.
Once Alina is alone, Baghra comes out from a secret passage and leads Alina away. Baghra explains the truth about the Black Heretic and the Fold. Alina does not believe it until Baghra proves that she is Kirigan's mother. Then, Alina follows Baghra's orders to safety.
The Inferni continues to follow Kaz. Kaz surprises the Inferni and breaks his hands so that the Inferni cannot use magic. Kaz limps away, but the Inferni gets up and prepares to aim fire at Kaz. Inej throws a knife at the Inferni, fatally stabbing him. Kaz and Inej escape.
Jesper notices the guards while he prepares the horses.
Kirigan returns to the war room, but Alina is not there. He goes outside and finds Baghra. She tells him that she knows everything and implies Alina is gone. They argue for a bit before Kirigan storms off. Mal overhears their conversation.
Jesper sees Alina hide in the trunk of a carriage. Kaz and Inej arrive empty-handed, but Jesper suggests that they already have Alina. The three of them leave the Little Palace with Alina in the trunk.