Daniel receives the message from Simon that his grandmother is dying. He rushes to the village and discovers from the neighbors that no one has seen his grandmother leave the house for the last ten days. They have tossed bread through the window to sustain the dying woman and Daniel's sister Leah, who suffers from a traumatic, emotional injury incurred at the age of five when she saw her father crucified. Daniel breaks in the door and finds his grandmother nearly dead. He lights a fire and gives the old woman broth and bread provided by the neighbors. During the night, he shares pleasant memories of his childhood with the dying woman and eases her passage. Now Daniel must remain and care for his sister though he longs to return to the mountain and Rosh's men.
At the beginning of the novel, Joel and Thacia travel up the mountain on their holiday break and run into Daniel. Daniel recognizes the boy from his childhood and tells Joel to relay a message to his friend, Simon, who lives in the village. After receiving Joel's message, Simon travels to the mountain to talk with Daniel. When Simon meets Daniel, he tells him that his grandmother is dying and that Amalek is dead. Amalek's death is significant because Daniel was sold to Amalek and ran away from him to live on the mountain. Daniel feared going back to the village because he would have to work for Amalek again, but Simon assures him that he can safely return to the village. Daniel is hesitant about returning to his home but eventually visits his grandmother and sister, who are in bad shape.