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The Way of Kings: Interlude 9

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<< TWoK Interlude 8: Geranid / TWoK Chapter 52: A Highway to the Sun >>
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Point of view: Szeth
Setting: King Hanavanar's palace in Jah Keved

Szeth breaks into the palace of King Hanavanar of Jah Keved in order to assassinate him. Unlike most of Szeth’s other jobs, this one was to be public, noisy, and he was to kill anyone in - or even near - his path. As when he killed King Gavilar, he was also ordered to wear all white so that those who see him will connect the acts. He acts as Truthless and follows the orders to the letter.

Szeth takes no pleasure in the job; with each slice of his Shardblade he hates himself a little more. Szeth is upset that there is a feast, as he had hoped it would be a more simple evening with fewer casualties. Szeth slashes anyone he comes across, and uses his Lashings indiscriminately and more publicly than ever before, Lashing tables, people, and himself in different directions. Szeth finally goes directly for the King, who sits behind a high table. As Szeth approaches, he senses something is wrong and Lashes himself to the ceiling. Suddenly, two men in Shardplate emerge from under the table wielding Shardblades. He evades their blows, but notices a group of soldiers approaching with the new half-shard shield fabrials that can supposedly stop a Shardblade. The King summons his own Shardblade; the rumors of him having one are evidently true.

The King shouts, "You think I didn’t know you were coming?" and Szeth now feels validated that he can blame the King for all the deaths tonight as he knowingly planned the feast in an attempt to ensnare Szeth.

Szeth breathes in more Stormlight than ever before and drops his Shardblade, which evaporates. Szeth’s opponents are stunned that someone would drop their blade during combat. He runs towards them and Lashes dozens of men to the ceiling, while sending some towards the still oncoming Shardblades. Szeth also takes the time to infuse some knives towards the King, who only narrowly saves himself with a half-shard shield.

Szeth then uses a small powered Lashing to make himself much lighter, yet still powerfully quick. He runs into the melee, killing and Lashing men at will. The Shardblade warriors converge on Szeth, but they cannot land a blow nor gain any advantage on him. The King is close behind them instead of trying to flee for his life as Szeth expects. Szeth blocks their blows and suddenly Lashes himself to a wall as bodies begin falling from the ceiling, causing havoc. Szeth Lashes a large stone and aims it at one of the Shardbearers, who doesn’t get up again.

Szeth is running low on Stormlight now, but starts to call his Shardblade back as he heads towards the remaining Shardbearer. He Lashes the table they are both standing on; the Shardbearer is flung off the table as Szeth rides it upwards, jumping off before hitting the ceiling. He leaps towards the now dazed Shardbearer and his own Shardblade finally materializes again. Szeth’s Blade slams into the Shardbearer, killing him.

The King is stunned, but his guards move around him and make to escape. Szeth Lashes himself towards the King, slicing and killing a dozen of the guards as he draws in more Stormlight from spheres. Szeth makes his way through the remaining guards and knocks the King's half-shard shield twice, destroying it. The King asks Szeth "What are you?" and Szeth simply answers "Death" as he thrusts his blade through the King's face.

- by Michael Pye[1]

Quote of the Chapter:

You are a work of art, Szeth-son-Neturo. A god.

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