A Crown of Frauds, Part 5

Min was asleep, exhausted after her ordeal with Fain and his followers, further drained by the torture and the merciless Healing given her by the Aes Sedai.

Vamps wondered if he could tell everybody he’d had sex with her, or at least imply it through subtle use of conversational pauses. He could even, with a bit of creative description or even more creative lack thereof, make it sound as if she’d been remotely attractive at the time.

Or perhaps that was the saidin talking.

Kill everybody, enemy and friend alike, melt the palace to a slag pile and burn the world to a scattering of shattered grey embers smeared across the face of this bleak and hateful universe. Kill them all and let the Creator sort them out. Then, kill the Creator.

“No, wait,” Vamps muttered to himself, “That’s the saidin talking.”

He’d been holding the One Power for a considerable length of time, just because he could. It was nice to be able to channel again, after so long with the filter-muzzle-thing that had been put on him. He was holding as much saidin as he possibly could, and the raging waves of power within him were close to bursting free. He wasn’t feeling anywhere near as queasy as he usually did, and he couldn’t quite decide whether this was a welcome change or just darn creepy.

The throne room was sparkling clean again, the pieces of Colavaere removed and tastefully disposed of. Even more of a blessing, Davram Bashere was elsewhere.

Just as he was beginning to enjoy the peace and quiet, the door burst open and Rhuarc, followed by a bunch of Aiel Maidens and three Asha’man, came striding towards the throne.

“The Shaido survivors are difficult to track,” Rhuarc reported.

“What?”

“And there is no sign of Sevanna.”

“Who?” Vamps blinked.

“Forget it. Are you ready to go, Car’a’carn?”

“Wh-” Vamps stopped himself, noticing with great subtlety and cunning that the Aiel were grinning at him. “Yes,” he went on, “I’m ready. Let’s go.”

Rhuarc nodded, and the Asha’man stepped forward.

“I can make a gateway,” Vamps huffed.

“There’s no need, Lord Dragon,” the Asha’man replied, and gestured towards a side-door. “Remember, you have your special room full of tied-off, guarded gateways for in case you get tired.”

“You do remember, don’t you?” another Asha’man asked. He was grinning too.

“All too well,” Vamps snooted in reply and led the way stiffly through the door, where he froze with outrage. “These gateways aren’t guarded at all!”

“We’re the guards,” the third Asha’man said wearily, “Lord Dragon.”

“Oh,” Vamps nodded to himself, eyeing the channelers up and down, judging their mettle. “Right then.”

“Right then,” Rhuarc said. One of the Maidens of the Spear snickered.

“Right,” Vamps thrust his chin forward manfully. “Where are we going?”

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