Mistborn the final empi.., p.114
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       Mistborn: The Final Empire, p.114
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         Part #1 of Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson
Page 114

  That didn’t sound right to Vin. There was more. She remembered that fear in the Lord Ruler’s eyes. Terror.

  He said “do,” not “did. ” “What I do for mankind. ” That implies that he was still doing it, whatever it was.

  You have doomed yourselves….

  She shivered in the evening air. The sun was setting, making it even easier to see the illuminated Keep Venture— Elend’s choice of headquarters for the moment, though he might still move to Kredik Shaw. He hadn’t decided yet.

  “You should go to him, Mistress,” Sazed said. “He needs to see that you are well. ”

  Vin didn’t reply immediately. She stared out over the city, watching the bright keep in the darkening sky. “Were you there, Sazed?” she asked. “Did you hear his speech?”

  “Yes, Mistress,” he said. “Once we discovered that there was no atium in that treasury, Lord Venture insisted that we go seek help for you. I was inclined to agree with him— neither of us were warriors, and I was still without my Feruchemical storages. ”

  No atium, Vin thought. After all of this, we haven’t found a speck of it. What did the Lord Ruler do with it all? Or…did someone else get to it ?rst?

  “When Master Elend and I found the army,” Sazed continued, “its rebels were slaughtering the palace soldiers. Some of them tried to surrender, but our soldiers weren’t letting them. It was a…disturbing scene, Mistress. Your Elend…he didn’t like what he saw. When he stood up there before the skaa, I thought that they would simply kill him too. ”

  Sazed paused, cocking his head slightly. “But. . the things he said, Mistress…his dreams of a new government, his condemnation of bloodshed and chaos…Well, Mistress, I fear that I cannot repeat it. I wish I’d had my metalminds, so that I could have memorized his exact words. ”

  He sighed, shaking his head. “Regardless, I believe that Master Breeze was very in?uential in helping calm that riot. Once one group started listening to Master Elend, the others did too, and from there…well, it is a good thing that a nobleman ended up as king, I think. Master Elend brings some legitimacy to our bid for control, and I think that we will see more support from the nobility and the merchants with him at our head. ”

  Vin smiled. “Kell would be angry with us, you know. He did all this work, and we just turned around and put a nobleman on the throne. ”

  Sazed shook his head. “Ah, but there is something more important to consider, I think. We didn’t just put a nobleman on the throne—we put a good man on the throne. ”

  “A good man…” Vin said. “Yes. I’ve known a few of those, now. ”

  Vin knelt in the mists atop Keep Venture. Her splinted leg made it harder to move around at night, but most of the effort she used was Allomantic. She just had to make certain that her landings were particularly soft.

  Night had come, and the mists surrounded her. Protecting her, hiding her, giving her power. .

  Elend Venture sat at a desk below, beneath a skylight that still hadn’t been patched from the time Vin had thrown a body through it. He didn’t notice her crouching above. Who would? Who saw a Mistborn in her element? She was, in a way, like one of the shadow images created by the Eleventh Metal. Incorporeal. Really just something that could have been.

  Could have been…

  The events of the last day were dif?cult enough to sort through; Vin hadn’t even tried to make sense of her emotions, which were a far bigger mess. She hadn’t gone to Elend yet. She hadn’t been able to.

  She looked down at him, sitting in the lanternlight, reading at his desk and making scribbled notes in his little book. His meetings earlier had apparently gone well—everyone seemed willing to accept him as king. Marsh whispered that there were politics behind the support, however. The nobility saw Elend as a puppet they could control, and factions were already appearing amongst the skaa leadership.

  Still, Elend ?nally had an opportunity to draft the law code he’d been dreaming of. He could try to create the perfect nation, try to apply the philosophies he had studied for so long. There would be bumps, and Vin suspected that he would ultimately have to settle for something far more realistic than his idealistic dream. That didn’t really matter. He would make a good king.

  Of course, compared with the Lord Ruler, a pile of soot would make a good king….

  She wanted to go to Elend, to drop down into the warm room, but… something kept her back. She’d been through too many recent twists in her fortune, too many emotional strains—both Allomantic and non-Allomantic. She wasn’t certain what she wanted anymore; she wasn’t certain if she were Vin or Valette, or even which of them she wished that she were.

  She felt cold in the mists, in the quiet darkness. The mist empowered, protected, and hid…even when she didn’t really want it to do any of the three.

  I can’t do this. That person who would be with him, that’s not me. That was an illusion, a dream. I am that child who grew up in the shadows, the girl who should be alone. I don’t deserve this.

  I don’t deserve him.

  It was over. As she had anticipated, everything was changing. In truth, she’d never really made a very good noblewoman. It was time for her to go back to being what she was good at. A thing of shadows, not of parties and balls.

  It was time to go.

  She turned to leave, ignoring her tears, frustrated with herself. She left him, her shoulders slumped as she hobbled across the metallic roof and disappeared into the mist.

  But then…

  He died promising us that you had starved to death years ago.

  With all the chaos, she’d nearly forgotten the Inquisitor’s words about Reen. Now, however, the memory made her pause. Mists passed her, curling, coaxing.

  Reen hadn’t abandoned her. He’d been captured by the Inquisitors who had been looking for Vin, the unlawful child of their enemy. They’d tortured him.

  And he had died protecting her.

  Reen didn’t betray me. He always promised that he would, but in the end, he didn’t. He had been far from a perfect brother, but he had loved her nonetheless.

  A whispered voice came from the back of her mind, speaking in Reen’s voice. Go back.

  Before she could convince herself otherwise, she dashed limpingly back to the broken skylight and dropped a coin to the ?oor below.

  Elend turned curiously, looking at the coin, cocking his head. Vin dropped down a second later, Pushing herself up to slow the fall, landing only on her good leg.

  “Elend Venture,” she said, standing up. “There is something I’ve been meaning to tell you for some time. ” She paused, blinking away her tears. “You read too much. Especially in the presence of ladies. ”

  He smiled, throwing back his chair and grabbing her in a ?rm embrace. Vin closed her eyes, simply feeling the warmth of being held.

  And realized that was all she had ever really wanted.

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