Kirigan, accompanied by Zoya, visits Arken in custody. Zoya briefs him before they enter. Ivan is guarding Arken.
Kirigan asks Arken for his side of the story, so Arken tries to pin the attack on Kaz, Inej, and Jesper. Ivan notes that Arken is lying. However, Arken continues lying when Kirigan asks more questions.
Kirigan rolls up Arken's sleeve and realizes he is the Conductor. Arken smuggled Grisha from East Ravka into West Ravka. He tries to lie about the circumstances, but Kirigan knows he is lying because Nina was his spy. Then, Kirigan realizes that Arken made two separate deals with the Dregs and West Ravka's general.
Arken finally admits the truth, but he offers his help to spy on the general. Zoya and Ivan leave. Kirigan refuses his offer, and on his way out of the cell, he suffocates Arken with shadows.
Alina practices summoning light while in the trunk. When the coach stops, she unlocks the trunk using her magic. When she gets out of the trunk, Kaz, Inej, and Jesper are standing there, waiting for her.
Alina tries to escape, but the Dregs do not let her. They try to bargain with Alina so that she will stay voluntary. Alina threatens them by summoning light, so the Dregs let her go.
Fedyor tells Kirigan that he has a lead on Nina and tells Kirigan everything he knows. Kirigan orders Fedyor to find Grisha and kidnap a Fjerdan.
The ship Nina and Matthias are on becomes shipwrecked. Nina struggles to swim, but she manages to hoist herself on a large piece of wood. She finds Matthias passed out and revives him with her magic. He tries to get away, but they both realize they need each other to survive after bickering. Nina and Matthias work together to get to shore.
After escaping the Dregs, Alina is in Ryevost, East Ravka. She tries to buy food from a market stall, but the vendor turns her away because she is half Shu. Meanwhile, Jesper looks for Alina.
Kirigan summons Zoya and tells her that they will pursue the Dregs and Alina. Zoya suggests that Alina might have run away. Zoya tries to seduce Kirigan, but she is unsuccessful.
Nina and Matthias finally make it to shore. Nina speaks to Matthias in Fjerdan, shocking Matthias. They make their way into Fjerda, bickering with each other.
Back in Ryevost, Alina accidentally bumps into a stranger. She tries to get away, but he tries to attack her. Alina gets away by summoning light, but she attracts the attention of other guards, so she runs.
Alina runs into the forest, and the guards pursue her. She ends up hiding in a ditch, and Mal finds her there.
Nina and Matthias find shelter for the night. She suggests changing out of their wet clothes, huddling together, and using her powers to stay warm. Matthias refuses at first, but he eventually relents. They continue bickering before falling asleep.
Once the coast is clear, Mal and Alina argue with each other. After briefly talking about the Stag and clearing up the miscommunication, they hug. Then, Mal and Alina look for shelter.
Inej meets Kaz at a pub and updates him on their situation. They argue over Alina and her powers because they have a difference in faith. Kaz accidentally lets it slip that he gave Heleen the Crow Club for Inej.
Mal and Alina find a cavern to stay in for the night. Alina asks Mal about his shoulder, but he brushes her off. Mal provides food, but they still might freeze overnight. Alina summons light to help keep them warm, making Mal a little wary. He confesses his feelings for her.
Matthias and Nina wake up cuddling each other by accident. Matthias pulls away and sits near the fire pit. They argue about Fjerdan and Ravkan customs, but they end up laughing together.
Kirigan arrives in Ryevost as Kaz, Inej, and Jesper regroup. A Grisha opens the coach the Dregs took from the Little Palace, causing an explosion. Kaz, Inej, and Jesper use it as a sign to split up for the time being and regroup later when the coast is clear.
Kaz, Inej, and Jesper walk outside to face Grisha. Polina, an Inferni, recognizes Inej as the person who killed the Grisha chasing Kaz back at the Little Palace. Polina gets angry and shoots fire at Inej, attempting to avenge her brother's death. Zoya warns Polina not to burn everything down.
Ivan chases after Jesper, and Polina goes after Inej. Polina and Inej fight each other. Polina is about to kill Inej with fire, but a pipe bursts, effectively taking out the fire. Jesper shoots Ivan several times in the same spot, eventually knocking him down. He is about to kill Ivan when a child appears, forcing Jesper to knock out Ivan instead.
Zoya uses magic to find Kaz to no avail. Inej fatally stabs Polina.
Kaz runs into Kirigan. Kirigan confronts Kaz, who tells Kirigan that Alina left the palace voluntarily. Kirigan gets upset and attempts to suffocate Kaz with shadows, but Kaz stages an explosion, allowing him to escape.
The next morning, Mal tells Alina they have to leave, but Alina refuses to until she can treat Mal's wound. He relents. After Alina treats Mal's wound, she asks him what happened. Mal tells Alina about what happened in Fjerda. They decide to head north in search of the Stag so Alina can claim it for herself.
Matthias and Nina trek through Fjerda. He tries to walk faster, but Nina will not let him. She realizes that he does not want to like her, but Matthias confesses that he already does. Nina teases Matthias about it.
Suddenly, ice caves from underneath Nina's feet, and she slips, almost falling to her death. Matthias pulls her up, saving her. They reintroduce themselves and continue with their trek across Fjerda.
Kaz, Inej, and Jesper regroup at the fountain. They have to devise another plan since Inej is severely injured and cannot travel on horseback. They decide to steal Kirigan's coach.
Kirigan and Ivan return to where the coach was, realizing the Dregs stole it. David tells Kirigan that he can track Alina once they are within a one-mile radius of her.
Mal and Alina continue tracking the Stag. Mal comments on Alina's renewed health since becoming the Sun Summoner. Alina realizes how Kirigan has been able to live for so long.
Kirigan receives information about Alina's whereabouts from the man who attacked her earlier. Kirigan realizes that Mal and Alina are together, and they went after the Stag.