Mistborn the final empi.., p.46
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       Mistborn: The Final Empire, p.46
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         Part #1 of Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson
Page 46

  Must have been where the guards came from, she thought. She kept her pewter ?ared, amazed at how well her body still worked, and stumbled out into the rain, re?exively clutching the leather book to her chest.

  “You think to escape?” the lead Inquisitor asked from behind, his voice amused.

  Numbly, Vin reached into the sky and Pulled against one of the palace’s many spires. She heard the Inquisitor curse as she pitched into the air, hurling up into the dark night.

  The thousand spires rose around her. She Pulled against one, then switched to another. The rain was strong now, and it made the night black. There was no mist to re?ect ambient light, and the stars were hidden by clouds above. Vin couldn’t see where she was going; she had to use Allomancy to sense the metallic tips of the spires, and hope there was nothing in between.

  She hit a spire, catching hold of it in the night and pulling to a stop. Have to bandage the wound… she thought weakly. She was beginning to grow numb, her head cloudy despite her pewter and tin.

  Something slammed against the spire above her, and she heard a low growl. Vin Pushed off even as she felt the Inquisitor slash the air beside her.

  She had one chance. Midjump, she Pulled herself sideways, toward a different spire. At the same time, she Pushed against the book in her hands—it still had bits of metal embedded into its cover. The book continued in the direction she had been going, metal lines glowing weakly in the night. It was the only metal she had on her.

  Vin caught the next spire lightly, trying to make as little sound as possible. She strained in the night, burning tin, the rainfall becoming a thunder in her ears. Over it, she thought she heard the distinct sound of something hitting a spire in the direction she had Pushed the book.

  The Inquisitor had fallen for her ruse. Vin sighed, hanging from the spire, rain splattering her body. She made sure her copper was still burning, Pulled lightly against the spire to hold herself in place, and ripped off a piece of her shirt to bandage the wound. Despite her numb mind, she couldn’t help noticing how big the gash was.

  Oh, Lord, she thought. Without pewter, she would have fallen unconscious long ago. She should be dead.

  Something sounded in the darkness. Vin felt a chill, looking up. All was black around her.

  It can’t be. He can’t—

  Something slammed into her spire. Vin cried out, jumping away. She Pulled herself toward another spire, caught it weakly, then immediately Pushed off again. The Inquisitor followed, thuds sounding as he jumped from spire to spire behind her.

  He found me. He couldn’t see me, hear me, or sense me. But he found me.

  Vin hit a spire, holding it by one hand, limply hanging in the night. Her strength was nearly gone. I…have to get away… hide….

  Her hands were numb, and her mind felt nearly the same. Her ?ngers slipped from the cold, wet metal of the spire, and she felt herself drop free into the darkness.

  She fell with the rain.

  However, she went only a short distance before thudding against something hard—the roof of a particularly tall bit of the palace. Dazed, she climbed to her knees, crawling away from the spire, seeking a corner.

  Hide… hide… hide…

  She crawled weakly to the nook formed by another tower. She huddled against the dark corner, lying in a deep puddle of ashy rainwater, arms wrapped around herself. Her body was wet with rain and blood.

  She thought, for just a moment, that she might have escaped.

  A dark form thumped to the rooftop. The rain was letting up, and her tin revealed a head set with two spikes, a body cloaked in a dark robe.

  She was too weak to move, too weak to do more than shiver in the puddle of water, clothing plastered to her skin. The Inquisitor turned toward her.

  “Such a small, troubling thing you are,” he said. He stepped forward, but Vin could barely hear his words.

  It was growing dark again… no, it was just her mind. Her vision grew dark, her eyes closing. Her wound didn’t hurt anymore. She couldn’t…even… think….

  A sound, like shattering branches.

  Then arms gripped her. Warm arms, not the arms of death. She forced her eyes open.

  “Kelsier?” she whispered.

  But it wasn’t Kelsier’s face that looked back at her, streaked with concern. It was a different, kinder face. She sighed in relief, drifting away as the strong arms pulled her close, making her feel oddly safe in the terrible storms of night.

  I don’t know why Kwaan betrayed me. Even still, this event haunts my thoughts. He was the one who discovered me; he was the Terris philosopher who ?rst called me the Hero of Ages. It seems ironically surreal that now—after his long struggle to convince his colleagues—he is the only major Terris holy man to preach against my reign.

  15

  “YOU TOOK HER WITH YOU?” Dockson demanded, bursting into the room. “You took Vin into Kredik Shaw? Are you bloody insane?”

  “Yes,” Kelsier snapped. “You’ve been right all along. I’m a madman. A lunatic. Perhaps I should have just died in the Pits and never come back to bother any of you!”

  Dockson paused, taken aback by the force in Kelsier’s words. Kelsier pounded the table in frustration, and the wood splintered from the force of the blow. He still burned pewter, the metal helping him resist his several wounds. His mistcloak lay in tatters, his body sliced by a half-dozen different small cuts. His entire right side burned with pain. He’d have a massive bruise there, and he’d be lucky if none of his ribs were cracked.

  Kelsier ?ared the pewter. The ?re within felt good—it gave him a focus for his anger and self-loathing. One of the apprentices worked quickly, tying a bandage around Kelsier’s largest gash. Clubs sat with Ham at the side of the kitchen;

  Breeze was away visiting a suburb.

  “By the Lord Ruler, Kelsier,” Dockson said quietly.

  Even Dockson, Kelsier thought. Even my oldest friend swears by the Lord Ruler’s name. What are we doing? How can we face this?

  “There were three Inquisitors waiting for us, Dox,” Kelsier said.

  Dockson paled. “And you left her there?”

  “She got out before I did. I tried to distract the Inquisitors as long as I could, but. . ”

  “But?”

  “One of the three followed her. I couldn’t get to it—maybe the other two Inquisitors were simply trying to keep me busy so that their companion could ?nd her. ”

  “Three Inquisitors,” Dockson said, accepting a small cup of brandy from one of the apprentices. He downed it.

  “We must have made too much noise going in,” Kelsier said. “Either that, or they were already there for some reason. And we still don’t know what’s in that room!”

  The kitchen fell silent. The rain outside picked up again, assaulting the building with a reproachful fury.

  “So…” Ham said, “what of Vin?”

  Kelsier glanced at Dockson, and saw pessimism in his eyes. Kelsier had barely escaped, and he had years of training. If Vin was still in Kredik Shaw. .

  Kelsier felt a sharp, twisting pain in his chest. You let her die too. First Mare, then Vin. How many more will you lead to slaughter before this is through?

  “She might be hiding somewhere in the city,” Kelsier said. “Afraid to come to the shop because the Inquisitors are looking for her. Or…perhaps for some reason she went back to Fellise. ”

  Maybe she’s out there somewhere, dying alone in the rain.

  “Ham,” Kelsier said, “you and I are heading back to the palace. Dox, take Lestibournes and visit other thieving crews. Maybe one of their scouts saw something. Clubs, send an apprentice to Renoux’s mansion to see if she went there. ”

  The solemn group started to move, but Kelsier didn’t need to state the obvious. He and Ham wouldn’t be able to get close to Kredik Shaw without running afoul of guard patrols. Even if Vin was hiding in the city somewhere, the Inquisitors would probably ?nd her ?rst. They would have—<
br />
  Kelsier froze, his sudden jerk causing the others to pause. He’d heard something.

  Hurried footsteps sounded as Lestibournes rushed down the stairs and into the room, his lanky form wet with rain. “Someone’s coming! Out the night with the calling!”

  “Vin?” Ham asked hopefully.

  Lestibournes shook his head. “Big man. Robe. ”

  This is it, then. I’ve brought death to the crew—I’ve led the Inquisitors right to them.

  Ham stood, picking up a wooden stave. Dockson pulled out a pair of daggers, and Clubs’s six apprentices moved to the back of the room, eyes wide with fright.

  Kelsier ?ared his metals.

  The back door to the kitchen slammed open. A tall, dark form in wet robes stood in the rain. And he carried a cloth-wrapped ?gure in his arms.

  “Sazed!” Kelsier said.

  “She is badly wounded,” Sazed said, stepping quickly into the room, his ?ne robes streaming with rainwater. “Master Hammond, I require some pewter. Her supply is exhausted, I think. ”

  Ham rushed forward as Sazed set Vin on the kitchen table. Her skin was clammy and pale, her thin frame soaked and wet.

  She’s so small, Kelsier thought. Barely more than a child. How could I have thought to take her with me?

  She bore a massive, bloody wound in her side. Sazed set something aside—a large book he’d been carrying in his arms beneath Vin—and accepted a vial from Hammond, then bent down and poured the liquid down the unconscious girl’s throat. The room fell silent, the sound of pounding rain coming through the still open door.

  Vin’s face ?ushed slightly with color, and her breathing seemed to steady. To Kelsier’s Allomantic bronze senses, she began to pulse softly with a rhythm not unlike a second heartbeat.

  “Ah, good,” Sazed said, undoing Vin’s makeshift bandage. “I feared that her body was too unfamiliar with Allomancy to burn metals unconsciously. There is hope for her, I think. Master Cladent, I shall require a pot of boiled water, some bandages, and the medical bag from my rooms. Quickly, now!”

  Clubs nodded, waving for his apprentices to do as instructed. Kelsier cringed as he watched Sazed’s work. The wound was bad—worse than any he himself had survived. The cut went deeply into her gut; it was the type of wound that killed slowly, but consistently.

  Vin, however, was no ordinary person—pewter would keep an Allomancer alive long after their body should have given out. In addition, Sazed was no ordinary healer. Religious rites were not the only things that Keepers stored in their uncanny memories; their metalminds contained vast wealths of information on culture, philosophy, and science.

  Clubs ushered his apprentices from the room as the surgery began. The procedure took an alarming amount of time, Ham applying pressure to the wound as Sazed slowly stitched Vin’s insides back together. Finally, Sazed closed the outer wound and applied a clean bandage, then asked Ham to carefully carry the girl up to her bed.

  Kelsier stood, watching Ham carry Vin’s weak, limp form out of the kitchen. Then, he turned to Sazed questioningly. Dockson sat in the corner, the only other one still in the room.

  Sazed shook his head gravely. “I do not know, Master Kelsier. She could survive. We will need to keep her supplied with pewter—it will help her body make new blood. Even still, I have seen many strong men die from wounds smaller than this one. ”

 
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