Автор: Sanderson Brandon, Книга: The Well of Ascension, Серия: Mistborn, Жанр: фэнтези, Издание: г. The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, The Hero of Ages, The Brandon Sanderson – The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2) (epub, KB). Actions. Report. The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson Stopping assassins may keep Vin's Mistborn skills sharp, but it's the least of her problems. Luthadel, the Brandon Sanderson - The Well of homeranking.info MB.
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Praise for The Well of Ascension "Sanderson's hallmark is to take traditional high- fantasy tropes and turn them upside d The Well of Ascension · The Well. The Mistborn Trilogy (The Final Empire; Well of Ascension; Hero of Ages). Home · The Size Report. DOWNLOAD EPUB Mistborn Triolgy 3 The Hero of Ages. The Mistborn Trilogy (Boxed set). Read more Mistborn Trilogy 1 The Final Empire The Mistborn Trilogy (The Final Empire; Well of Ascension; Hero of Ages).
Elend's head immediately began to hurt. Specifically on The Deepness and the Well of Ascension itself. In this novel Vin has become so much more than she initially was. Surely, if he kept this evil at bay, he may not have been pure evil? Elend laughed. For me, I wanted a little more in this area.
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Most Liked. Follow Blog and join the stars Enter your email address over there to be updated and notified will all things books and petitions that help change the world. Join other followers Follow The Moon. Book Reviews: She closed her eyes, feeling Elend's warmth. A truly good man. Elend smiled. Then he kissed the top of her head and leaned back. They lay there for a time, in a room warm with sunlight, relaxing. There was a battle in the square when Ham and some soldiers tried to free the captives.
I thought that they'd arrested you, along with OreSeur—he was pretending to be your uncle, then. I tried to get to the cages to rescue you. Elend, it was a battlefield in that square! There was an Inquisitor there, for the Lord Ruler's sake! It had its axe raised and everything.
And then. Kelsier was there. He smashed into the Inquisitor, throwing it to the ground. He looked at me while he struggled with the Inquisitor, and I saw it in his eyes. I've always wondered about that moment; everyone tells me that Kelsier hated the nobility even more than Dox does. Footsteps approaching.
She sat up, and a second later, Ham poked his head into the room. He paused when he saw Vin sitting in Elend's lap, however. Ham poked his head back in, and Vin turned to Elend. I got a new package from Terion today. She handed the bar to Elend, who sat up in his plush chair.
Silvery and reflective, the metal—like the aluminum from which it was made—felt too light to be real. Any Allomancer who accidentally burned aluminum had their other metal reserves stripped away from them, leaving them powerless. Aluminum had been kept secret by the Steel Ministry; Vin had only found out about it on the night when she'd been captured by the Inquisitors, the same night she'd killed the Lord Ruler.
They had never been able to figure out the proper Allomantic alloy of aluminum. Allomantic metals always came in pairs—iron and steel, tin and pewter, copper and bronze, zinc and brass. Aluminum and. Something powerful, hopefully. Her atium was gone. She needed an edge. Elend sighed, handing back the bar. I was terrified. Elend shook his head. Didn't you say that he misunderstood how bronze worked?
When that army attacks, Elend is going to die. The city's skaa might survive—no ruler would be foolish enough to slaughter the people of such a productive city.
The king, however, would be killed. She couldn't fight off an entire army, and she could do little to help with preparations. She did know Allomancy, however. The better she got at it, the better she'd be able to protect the man she loved.
That means I can't wait. If this metal does make me sick, I'll be better in time to help fight—but only if I try it now. Elend's face grew grim, but he did not forbid her. He had learned better than that.
Instead, he stood. He was a warrior; to him, her gamble would make sense. She'd asked him to stay because she'd need someone to carry her back to her bed, should this go wrong. Vin climbed into the chair, sat back, then took a pinch of the duralumin dust and swallowed it.
She closed her eyes, and felt at her Allomantic reserves. The common eight were all there, well stocked. She didn't have any atium or gold, nor did she have either of their alloys. Even if she'd had atium, it was too precious to use except in an emergency—and the other three had only marginal usefulness.
A new reserve appeared. Just as one had the four times before. Each time she'd burned an aluminum alloy, she'd immediately felt a blinding headache.
You'd think I'd have learned. Gritting her teeth, she reached inside and burned the new alloy. Vin nodded. She felt the familiar warmth from within, the tiny fire that told her that a metal was burning.
She tried moving about a bit, but couldn't distinguish any change to her physical self. Finally she just looked up and shrugged. Ham frowned. Each metal only has one valid alloy. This was only the fifth. Look at steel—it's iron and carbon. Elend looked concerned at that thought, but didn't say anything further. Instead, he turned to Ham. That army has me feeling antsy, and I figure Vin could still use some practice with the staff. Vin frowned slightly, looking up at him.
You barely know how to hold a sword, and you're terrible with a dueling cane. Vin's concern deepened. I'd worry a lot less if you were better at defending yourself. He just smiled and pulled her to her feet. But, not today—I've got too much to think about right now. How about if I just come watch you two? Perhaps I'll pick up something by observation—which is, by the way, the preferable method of weapons training, since it doesn't involve me getting beaten up by a girl. I write this record now, pounding it into a metal slab, because I am afraid.
Afraid for myself, yes—I admit to being human. If Alendi does return from the Well of Ascension, I am certain that my death will be one of his first objectives. He is not an evil man, but he is a ruthless one.
That is, I think, a product of what he has been through. Part of him did wish to go out and practice with Vin and Ham. However, the larger part of him just didn't see the point.
Any assassin likely to come after me will be an Allomancer , he thought. I could train ten years and be no match for one of them. In the yard itself, Ham took a few swings with his staff, then nodded. Vin stepped up, holding her own staff, which was a good foot taller than she was. Watching the two of them, Elend couldn't help remarking on the disparity. Ham had the firm muscles and powerful build of a warrior. Vin looked even thinner than usual, wearing only a tight buttoned shirt and a pair of trousers, with no cloak to mask her size.
The inequality was enhanced by Ham's next words. Don't use anything but pewter, all right? It was the way they often sparred. Ham claimed that there was no substitute for training and practice, no matter how powerful an Allomancer one was. He let Vin use pewter, however, because he said the enhanced strength and dexterity was disorienting unless one was accustomed to it.
The sparring field was like a courtyard. Situated in the palace barracks, it had an open-sided hallway built around it. Elend stood in this, roof overhead keeping the red sun out of his eyes. That was nice, for a light ashfall had begun, and occasional flakes of ash floated down from the sky. Elend crossed his arms on the railing. Soldiers passed occasionally in the hallway behind, bustling with activity. Some, however, paused to watch; Vin and Ham's sparring sessions were something of a welcome diversion to the palace guards.
I should be working on my proposal , Elend thought. Not standing here watching Vin fight. What he really needed was to just spend a few moments thinking. So, he simply watched.
Vin approached Ham warily, staff held in a firm, two-handed stance. Once, Elend probably would have found trousers and shirt on a lady to be inappropriate, but he'd been around Vin too long to still be bothered by that. Ball gowns and dresses were beautiful—but there was something right about Vin in simple garb. She wore it more comfortably. Vin usually let others strike first, and this day was no exception. Staves rapped as Ham engaged her, and despite her size, Vin held her own.
After a quick exchange, they both backed away, circling warily. Elend turned as he noticed a form limping down the hallway toward him. Clubs stepped up beside Elend, setting a ten-boxing coin down on the railing with a snap. Elend smiled to the general, and Clubs scowled back—which was generally accepted as Clubs's version of a smile.
Dockson excluded, Elend had taken quickly to the other members of Vin's crew. Clubs, however, had taken a little getting used to. The stocky man had a face like a gnarled toadstool, and he always seemed to be squinting in displeasure—an expression usually matched by his tone of voice. However, he was a gifted craftsman, not to mention an Allomancer—a Smoker, actually, though he didn't get to use his power much anymore.
For the better part of a year, Clubs had acted as general of Elend's military forces. Elend didn't know where Clubs had learned to lead soldiers, but the man had a remarkable knack for it. He'd probably gotten the skill in the same place that he'd acquired the scar on his leg—a scar that produced the hobble from which Clubs drew his nickname.
Elend smiled, pulling out a coin. Clubs still kind of intimidated him, and he didn't want to risk offending the man. Clubs snorted. The note said, 'I just wanted to show you what real carpenters are up to, old man. Elend chuckled, but trailed off as Clubs eyed him with a discomforting stare. Clubs almost seemed to be smiling. Or, was he serious? Elend couldn't ever decide if the man was as crusty as he seemed, or if Elend was the butt of some elaborate joke.
Give me more than one year to train it. Right now, I'd barely trust those boys against a mob of old women with sticks. The attack will come by the end of the week. In the courtyard, Vin and Ham continued to fight.
It was slow, for the moment, Ham taking time to pause and explain principles or stances. Elend and Clubs watched for a short time as the sparring gradually became more intense, the rounds taking longer, the two participants beginning to sweat as their feet kicked up puffs of ash in the packed, sooty earth. Vin gave Ham a good contest despite the ridiculous differences in strength, reach, and training, and Elend found himself smiling slightly despite himself. She was something special—Elend had realized that when he'd first seen her in the Venture ballroom, nearly two years before.
He was only now coming to realize how much of an understatement "special" was. Elend turned with surprise. The man who had spoken was a soldier who had been standing with the others watching behind. Elend frowned. Then, Elend cut himself off.
The beard was wrong, the posture too straight, but the man standing behind him was familiar. Elend's head immediately began to hurt. His words bore traces of his Easterner accent; during the first few months Elend had known the boy, Spook had been utterly unintelligible.
Fortunately, the boy had grown out of using his street cant, just as he'd managed to grow out of most of his clothing. Well over six feet tall, the sixteen-year-old young man hardly resembled the gangly boy Elend had met a year before. Spook leaned against the railing beside Elend, adopting a teenage boy's lounging posture and completely destroying his image as a soldier—which, indeed, he wasn't.
Spook shrugged. We more mundane spies have to find ways to get information without flying up to windows and listening outside.
Before Dockson, actually. I just thought I'd take a bit of a break before I went back to duty. There isn't a lot of time to take breaks.
If there's going to be war here, I want to be around. You know, for the excitement. Clubs grumbled something about insolent boys, but Elend just laughed and clapped Spook on the shoulder.
The boy looked up, smiling; though he'd been easy to ignore at first, he was proving as valuable as any of the other members of Vin's former crew. As a Tineye—a Misting who could burn tin to enhance his senses—Spook could listen to conversations from far away, not to mention notice distant details.
Spook shook his head. You know those rumors about the Lord Ruler's atium being in Luthadel? Well, they're back. Stronger this time. Breeze and his team had spent the better part of six months spreading rumors and manipulating the warlords into believing that the atium must have been hidden in another city, since Elend hadn't found it in Luthadel.
I think someone's spreading these rumors intentionally. I've been on the street long enough to sense a planted story, and this rumor smells wrong. Someone really wants the warlords to focus on you. Spook shrugged, but he no longer seemed to be paying attention to Elend.
He was watching the sparring. Elend glanced back toward Vin and Ham. As Clubs had predicted, the two had fallen into a more serious contest.
There was no more instruction; there were no more quick, repetitive exchanges. They sparred in earnest, fighting in a swirling melee of staffs and dust.
Ash flew around them, blown up by the wind of their attacks, and even more soldiers paused in the surrounding hallways to watch. Elend leaned forward. There was something intense about a duel between two Allomancers. Vin tried an attack. Ham, however, swung simultaneously, his staff blurringly quick. Somehow, Vin got her own weapon up in time, but the power of Ham's blow threw her back in a tumble. She hit the ground on one shoulder. She gave barely a grunt of pain, however, and somehow got a hand beneath her, throwing herself up to land on her feet.
She skidded for a moment, retaining her balance, holding her staff up. Pewter , Elend thought. It made even a clumsy man dexterous. And, for a person normally graceful like Vin. Vin's eyes narrowed, her innate stubbornness showing in the set of her jaw, the displeasure in her face.
She didn't like being beaten—even when her opponent was obviously stronger than she was. Elend stood up straight, intending to suggest an end to the sparring.
At that moment, Vin dashed forward. Ham brought his staff up expectantly, swinging as Vin came within reach. She ducked to the side, passing within inches of the attack, then brought her weapon around and slammed it into the back of Ham's staff, throwing him off balance.
Then she ducked in for the attack. Ham, however, recovered quickly. He let the force of Vin's blow spin him around, and he used the momentum to bring his staff around in a powerful blow aimed directly at Vin's chest. She didn't have metal to Push against, but that didn't seem to matter.
She sprang a good seven feet in the air, easily cresting Ham's staff. She flipped as the swing passed beneath her, her fingers brushing the air just above the weapon, her own staff spinning in a one-handed grip. Vin landed, her staff already howling in a low swing, its tip throwing up a line of ash as it ran along the ground.
It slammed into the back of Ham's legs. The blow swept Ham's feet out from beneath him, and he cried out as he fell. Ham slammed to the earth on his back, and Vin landed on his chest.
Then, she calmly rapped him on the forehead with the end of her staff. Ham lay, looking dazed, Vin crouching on his chest. Dust and ash settled quietly in the courtyard. Finally, Ham chuckled. You beat me—now, if you would, kindly get me something to drink while I try to massage some feeling back into my legs. Vin smiled, hopping off his chest and scampering away to do as requested. Ham shook his head, climbing to his feet.
Despite his words, he walked with barely a limp; he'd probably have a bruise, but it wouldn't bother him for long.
Pewter not only enhanced one's strength, balance, and speed, it also made one's body innately stronger. Ham could shrug off a blow that would have shattered Elend's legs. Ham joined them, nodding to Clubs and punching Spook lightly on the arm. Then he leaned against the railing and rubbed his left calf, cringing slightly. She's never where I think she'll be. That leap seemed inhuman, even for an Allomancer.
If Vin were a Feruchemist, it would be different—if you ever see Sazed increase his strength, his muscles will grow larger. But with Allomancy, all the strength comes directly from the metal. After all, a muscular man burning pewter will be that much stronger than a regular man of the same Allomantic power.
Ham rubbed his chin, eyeing the passage Vin had left through. Vin's a thin little thing, but when she burns pewter, she grows several times stronger than any normal warrior. She packs all that strength into a small body, and doesn't have to bother with the weight of massive muscles. She's like. Far stronger than her mass or her body would indicate. So, when she jumps, she can jump.
That's getting harder and harder to do. Vin finally returned, carrying a jug of chilled juice—apparently she'd decided to go all the way to the keep, rather than grabbing some of the warm ale kept on hand in the courtyard. She handed a flagon to Ham, and had thought to bring cups for Elend and Clubs. Vin rolled her eyes; then she glanced toward the water barrel in the corner of the courtyard.
One of the tin cups lying beside it lurched into the air, shooting across the courtyard. Vin stuck her hand out, catching it with a slapping sound, then set it on the railing before Spook. The old general then reached over, sliding two of the coins off the railing and pocketing them. Elend paused, then sighed, pulling out a ten-boxing coin and setting it beside Spook's. The boy smiled, plucking both up in a smooth street-thief gesture.
Clubs snorted at that comment, downed the rest of his juice, then held out his cup for a refill. When Vin didn't respond, he turned to Spook and gave the boy a telling scowl.
Finally, Spook sighed, picking up the jug to refill the cup. Vin sniffed at that comment, rounding the railing so that she could stand next to Elend. Elend put his arm around her, and as he did, he caught a bare flash of envy in Spook's eyes. Elend suspected that the boy'd had a crush on Vin for some time—but, well, Elend couldn't really blame him for that.
Elend laughed. And I think Shan deserved it—she was, after all, trying to assassinate me at the time. With her around, everybody else looks bland by comparison.
Ham chuckled, letting Spook pour him some more juice. Vin stiffened immediately, pulling him a little tighter.
She'd been abandoned far too many times. Even after what they'd been through, even after his proposal of marriage, Elend had to keep promising Vin that he wasn't going to leave her.
Time to change the topic , Elend thought, the joviality of the moment fading. You coming, Vin? Elend chuckled, leading Vin away. Truth be told, even with the slightly sour end of conversation, he felt better for having come to watch the sparring. It was strange how the members of Kelsier's crew could laugh and make light, even during the most terrible of situations. They had a way of making him forget about his problems. Perhaps that was a holdover from the Survivor.
Kelsier had, apparently, insisted on laughing, no matter how bad the situation. It had been a form of rebellion to him. None of that made the problems go away. They still faced an army several times larger than their own, in a city that they could barely defend.
Yet, if anyone could survive such a situation, it would be Kelsier's crew. Later that night, having filled her stomach at Elend's insistence, Vin made her way with Elend to her rooms. There, sitting on the floor, was a perfect replica of the wolfhound she had bought earlier. It eyed her, then bowed its head.
Elend whistled appreciatively, and Vin walked in a circle around the creature. Each hair appeared to have been placed perfectly. If it hadn't spoken, one would never have been able to tell it wasn't the original dog.
I still need to digest a person's corpse to memorize and re-create their exact features. However, I can improvise some things. I'm sorry I didn't warn you—placing fur like this takes a great deal of precision and effort. Vin raised an eyebrow. That's forward of you, Renoux , she thought. Feeling a little belligerent today, are we? Anyone can claim loyalty , Vin thought. If someone has a "Contract" to ensure their honor, then all the better. That makes the surprise more poignant when they do turn on you.
Elend was obviously waiting for something. Vin sighed. How well can you move about in that body? I am also afraid, however, that all I have known—that my story—will be forgotten. I am afraid for the world that is to come. Afraid that my plans will fail. However, they proved remarkably useful in writing instruction.
He drew several words in the dirt with a long stick, giving his half-dozen students a model. They proceeded to scribble their own copies, rewriting the words several times. Even after living among various groups of rural skaa for a year, Sazed was still surprised by their meager resources. There wasn't a single piece of chalk in the entire village, let alone ink or paper.
Half the children ran around naked, and the only shelters were the hovels—long, one-room structures with patchy roofs. The skaa had farming tools, fortunately, but no manner of bows or slings for hunting.
Sazed had led a scavenging mission up to the plantation's abandoned manor. The leavings had been meager. He'd suggested that the village elders relocate their people to the manor itself for the winter, but he doubted they would do so. They had visited the manor with apprehension, and many hadn't been willing to leave Sazed's side. The place reminded them of lords—and lords reminded them of pain. His students continued to scribble. He had spent quite a bit of effort explaining to the elders why writing was so important.
Finally, they had chosen him some students—partially, Sazed was sure, just to appease him. He shook his head slowly as he watched them write.
There was no passion in their learning. They came because they were ordered, and because "Master Terrisman" willed it, not because of any real desire for education. During the days before the Collapse, Sazed had often imagined what the world would be like once the Lord Ruler was gone. He had pictured the Keepers emerging, bringing forgotten knowledge and truths to an excited, thankful populace.
He'd imagined teaching before a warm hearth at night, telling stories to an eager audience. He'd never paused to consider a village, stripped of its working men, whose people were too exhausted at night to bother with tales from the past. He'd never imagined a people who seemed more annoyed by his presence than thankful.
You must be patient with them , Sazed told himself sternly. His dreams now seemed like hubris. The Keepers who had come before him, the hundreds who had died keeping their knowledge safe and quiet, had never expected praise or accolades. They had performed their great task with solemn anonymity. Sazed stood up and inspected his students' writings. They were getting better—they could recognize all of the letters. It wasn't much, but it was a start. He nodded to the group, dismissing them to help prepare the evening meal.
They bowed, then scattered. Sazed followed them out, then realized how dim the sky was; he had probably kept his students too late. He shook his head as he strolled between the hill-like hovels.
He again wore his steward's robes, with their colorful V-shaped patterns, and he had put in several of his earrings. He kept to the old ways because they were familiar, even though they were also a symbol of oppression. How would future Terris generations dress? Would a lifestyle forced upon them by the Lord Ruler become an innate part of their culture? He paused at the edge of the village, glancing down the corridor of the southern valley. It was filled with blackened soil occasionally split by brown vines or shrubs.
No mist, of course; mist came only during the night. The stories had to be mistakes.
The thing he'd seen had to have been a fluke. And what did it matter if it wasn't? It wasn't his duty to investigate such things. Now that the Collapse had come, he had to disperse his knowledge, not waste his time chasing after foolish stories. Keepers were no longer investigators, but instructors.
He carried with him thousands of books—information about farming, about sanitation, about government, and about medicine. He needed to give these things to the skaa. That was what the Synod had decided. And yet, a part of Sazed resisted. That made him feel deeply guilty; the villagers needed his teachings, and he wished dearly to help them. The Lord Ruler was dead, but the story did not seem finished. Was there something he had overlooked? Something larger, even, than the Lord Ruler?
Something so large, so big, that it was effectively invisible? Or, do I just want there to be something else? I've spent most of my adult life resisting and fighting, taking risks that the other Keepers called mad. I wasn't content with feigned subservience—I had to get involved in the rebellion.
Despite that rebellion's success, Sazed's brethren still hadn't forgiven him for his involvement. He knew that Vin and the others saw him as docile, but compared with other Keepers he was a wild man. A reckless, untrustworthy fool who threatened the entire order with his impatience. They had believed their duty was to wait, watching for the day when the Lord Ruler was gone. Feruchemists were too rare to risk in open rebellion. Sazed had disobeyed. Now he was having trouble living the peaceful life of a teacher.
Was that because some subconscious part of him knew that the people were still in danger, or was it because he simply couldn't accept being marginalized? Sazed spun. The voice was terrified. Another death in the mists? It was eerie how the other skaa remained inside their hovels despite the horrified voice.
A few doors creaked, but nobody rushed out in alarm—or even curiosity—as the screamer dashed up to Sazed. She was one of the fieldworkers, a stout, middle-aged woman. Sazed checked his reserves as she approached; he had on his pewtermind for strength, of course, and a very small steel ring for speed.
Suddenly, he wished he'd chosen to wear just a few more bracelets this day. Sazed found him standing just outside the village. It was already growing dark, and the woman who'd fetched Sazed had returned to her hovel in fear. Sazed could only imagine how the poor people felt—trapped by the onset of the night and its mist, yet huddled and worried at the danger that lurked outside. And an ominous danger it was. The stranger waited quietly on the worn road, wearing a black robe, standing almost as tall as Sazed himself.
The man was bald, and he wore no jewelry—unless, of course, you counted the massive iron spikes that had been driven point-first through his eyes. Sazed still didn't understand how the creatures continued to live.
The spikes were wide enough to fill the Inquisitor's entire eye sockets; the nails had destroyed the eyes, and pointed tips jutted out the back of the skull. No blood dripped from the wounds—for some reason, that made them seem more strange.
Fortunately, Sazed knew this particular Inquisitor. It had changed, somehow, becoming more grating, more gristly. It now had a grinding quality, like that of a man with a cough. Just like the other Inquisitors Sazed had heard. Is it me, or has he become stranger since we last met? Sazed shivered. Sazed paused. The Conventical was a Ministry stronghold to the south—a place where the Inquisitors and high obligators of the Lord Ruler's religion had retreated after the Collapse. He didn't use body language as he spoke—no gesturing, no movements of the face.
What kinds of information, wonders, secrets, the Conventical's libraries must hold. My brethren. Since when are the Inquisitors Marsh's "brethren"? Marsh had infiltrated their numbers as part of Kelsier's plan to overthrow the Final Empire.
He was a traitor to their numbers, not their brother. Sazed hesitated. Marsh's profile looked. Don't be foolish , Sazed chastised himself. Marsh was Kelsier's brother—the Survivor's only living relative. As an Inquisitor, Marsh had authority over the Steel Ministry, and many of the obligators had listened to him despite his involvement with the rebellion. He had been an invaluable resource for Elend Venture's fledgling government. My place is here , Sazed thought. Teaching the people, not gallivanting across the countryside, chasing my own ego.
Sazed looked up. Marsh was staring at him, the heads of his spikes shining like round disks in the last slivers of sunlight. Superstitious skaa thought that Inquisitors could read minds, though Sazed knew that was foolish.
Inquisitors had the powers of Mistborn, and could therefore influence other people's emotions—but they could not read minds. It has not yet begun. The Lord Ruler. A cog. Now that he is gone, we have little time remaining. Come with me to the Conventical—we must search it while we have the opportunity. Marsh nodded, but he didn't move as Sazed retreated to the village. He just remained, standing in the darkness, letting the mist gather around him. It all comes back to poor Alendi.
I feel bad for him, and for all the things he has been forced to endure. For what he has been forced to become. She soared in the night air, passing over darkened homes and streets. An occasional, furtive bob of light glowed in the mists—a guard patrol, or perhaps an unfortunate late-night traveler. Vin began to descend, and she immediately flipped a coin out before herself. She Pushed against it, her weight plunging it down into the quiet depths.
As soon as it hit the street below, her Push forced her upward, and she sprang back into the air. Soft Pushes were very difficult—so each coin she Pushed against, each jump she made, threw her into the air at a terrible speed. The jumping of a Mistborn wasn't like a bird's flight.
It was more like the path of a ricocheting arrow. And yet, there was a grace to it. Vin breathed deeply as she arced above the city, tasting the cool, humid air. Luthadel by day smelled of burning forges, sun-heated refuse, and fallen ash. At night, however, the mists gave the air a beautiful chill crispness—almost a cleanliness.
Vin crested her jump, and she hung for just a brief moment as her momentum changed. Then she began to plummet back toward the city. Her mistcloak tassels fluttered around her, mingling with her hair.
She fell with her eyes closed, remembering her first few weeks in the mist, training beneath Kelsier's relaxed—yet watchful—tutelage. He had given her this. Despite two years as a Mistborn, she had never lost the sense of intoxicating wonder she felt when soaring through the mists.
She burned steel with her eyes closed; the lines appeared anyway, visible as a spray of threadlike blue lines set against the blackness of her eyelids. She picked two, pointing downward behind her, and Pushed, throwing herself into an other arc.
What did I ever do without this?
Vin thought, opening her eyes, whipping her mistcloak behind her with a throw of the arm. Eventually, she began to fall again, and this time she didn't toss a coin. She burned pewter to strengthen her limbs, and landed with a thump on the wall surrounding Keep Venture's grounds.
Her bronze showed no signs of Allomantic activity nearby, and her steel revealed no unusual patterns of metal moving toward the keep. Vin crouched on the dark wall for a few moments, right at the edge, toes curling over the lip of the stone.
The rock was cool beneath her feet, and her tin made her skin far more sensitive than normal. She could tell that the wall needed to be cleaned; lichens were beginning to grow along its side, encouraged by the night's humidity, protected from the day's sun by a nearby tower. Vin remained quiet, watching a slight breeze push and churn the mists. She heard the movement on the street below before she saw it. She tensed, checking her reserves, before she was able to discern a wolfhound's shape in the shadows.
She dropped a coin over the side of the wall, then leapt off. OreSeur waited as she landed quietly before him, using a quick Push on the coin to slow her descent. That wolfhound's body is faster than a human one. Let's see how well he does in a more demanding chase , she thought, burning pewter and increasing her speed. She sprinted along the cool cobbles, barefoot as always.
A normal man could never have maintained such a speed. Even a trained runner couldn't have kept pace with her, for he would have quickly tired. With pewter, however, Vin could run for hours at breakneck speeds.
It gave her strength, lent her an unreal sense of balance, as she shot down the dark, mist-ruled street, a flurry of cloak tassels and bare feet. Impressive , Vin thought, then turned down an alleyway.
She easily jumped the six-foot-tall fence at the back, passing into the garden of some lesser nobleman's mansion. She spun, skidding on the wet grass, and watched. OreSeur crested the top of the wooden fence, his dark, canine form dropping through the mists to land in the loam before Vin. He came to a stop, resting on his haunches, waiting quietly, panting. There was a look of defiance in his eyes.
She dropped a coin and threw herself backward up into the air. She spun in the mists, twisting, then Pushed herself sideways off a well spigot. She landed on a rooftop and jumped off, using another coin to Push herself over the street below. She kept going, leaping from rooftop to rooftop, using coins when necessary.
She occasionally shot a glance behind, and saw a dark form struggling to keep up. He'd rarely followed her as a human; usually, she had checked in with him at specific points. Moving out in the night, jumping through the mists.
Did Elend understand what he asked when he told her to bring OreSeur with her? If she stayed down on the streets, she'd expose herself. She landed on a rooftop, jarring to a sudden halt as she grabbed hold of the building's stone lip, leaning out over a street three stories below.
She maintained her balance, mist swirling below her. All was silent. Well, that didn't take long , she thought. I'll just have to explain to Elend that —. OreSeur's canine form thumped to the rooftop a short distance away. He padded over to her, then sat down on his haunches, waiting expectantly. She'd traveled for a good ten minutes, running over rooftops with the speed of a Mistborn. They are placed so closely together that it was not difficult to jump from one to another.
Vin's confusion must have shown, for OreSeur continued. They certainly do have an impressive sense of smell—in fact, all of their senses are quite keen. It was surprisingly easy to track you, even in the darkness. It will be very difficult to protect you if you don't let me stay near you. Or throw me a bit of atium in a moment of danger , Vin admitted. He's right—he could be useful. Why am I so determined to leave him behind?
She glanced over at OreSeur, who sat patiently, his chest puffing from exertion. She hadn't realized that kandra even needed to breathe.
She jumped from the building, Pushing herself off a coin. She didn't pause to see if OreSeur followed. As she fell, she reached for another coin, but decided not to use it. She Pushed against a passing window bracket instead. Like most Mistborn, she often used clips—the smallest denomination of coin—to jump. It was very convenient that the economy supplied a prepackaged bit of metal of an ideal size and weight for jumping and shooting.
To most Mistborn, the cost of a thrown clip—or even a bag of them—was negligible. But Vin was not most Mistborn. In her younger years, a handful of clips would have seemed an amazing treasure.
That much money could have meant food for weeks, if she scrimped. It also could have meant pain—even death—if the other thieves had discovered that she'd obtained such a fortune. It had been a long time since she'd gone hungry. Though she still kept a pack of dried foods in her quarters, she did so more out of habit than anxiety. She honestly wasn't sure what she thought of the changes within her.
It was nice not to have to worry about basic necessities—and yet, those worries had been replaced by ones far more daunting.
Worries involving the future of an entire nation. The future of. She landed on the city wall—a structure much higher, and much better fortified, than the small wall around Keep Venture. She hopped up on the battlements, fingers seeking a hold on one of the merlons as she leaned over the edge of the wall, looking out over the army's fires. She sighed, pushing back off the battlement and hopping onto the wall walk. Then she leaned back against one of the merlons.
To the side, OreSeur trotted up the wall steps and approached. Once again, he went down onto his haunches, watching patiently. For better or for worse, Vin's simple life of starvation and beatings was gone. Elend's fledgling kingdom was in serious danger, and she'd burned away the last of his atium trying to keep herself alive.
She'd left him exposed—not just to armies, but to any Mistborn assassin who tried to kill him.