Okay, but legit, Echo was so broken up over killing Octavia, and I want to write so much about it because I love my morally bankrupt assassin.
Like, we have Echo who was a member of the Queensguard and gave everything for her queen and people. She doesn’t even have an Azgeda scar, she has a tattoo, the mark of a kru that isn’t hers, likely because her Queen told her to in order to disguise herself. And then her Queen gets killed, and that loyalty transfers to her King, even though she doesn’t agree with him.
And she liked Octavia. Octavia had that same burning loyalty to her cause, maybe without the discipline of Echo, but there was some bit of kindred spirit between them. So they declare war on Octavia’s people, and that’s unfortunate, but Roan wants Octavia alive. He may have sent Echo after her, but having seen their interactions, I’m willing to bet Echo stepped forward as soon as he mentioned sending riders after Octavia, begging for the honour of bringing her back.
And Echo wanted to bring her back alive. She could have killed Octavia in a heartbeat at any one of a dozen times, but she gave her every chance to surrender. She probably knew Octavia wouldn’t give in, because Echo wouldn’t have in her position, but she must have hoped. But of course she had to follow through and kill Octavia, in Echo’s mind there isn’t a way to deny her King’s orders. For the first time, though, she feels bad about a kill.
I imagine, when they meet again, Echo isn’t going to be able to take up a sword against Octavia. Not having killed her once, not with the guilt she’s feeling right now. Octavia’s “death” may be the first thing to ever test her unwavering loyalty.