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Recapping, am I right? Chapter 30 opens in Eianrod, where Rand is stealing a moment alone, sitting on a bridge and watching the river below. The river is low, but he finds watching the water incredibly soothing after being in the Waste for so long. She had even taken to bringing his meals to him and talking while he ate, as if she meant to cram everything she knew into his head before they reached the city of Cairhien.
He could not face her begging to remain—actually begging! For a woman like Moiraine, that behavior was so unnatural that he had wanted to agree simply to stop it. Which was very likely why she had done it.
Much better an hour listening to the quiet liquid ripplings of the river. With luck, she would have given up on him for tonight. Rand considers the low river and the dry, dusty town and wonders if he could make it rain here as he did in Rhuidean, as well as if he would be able to control it enough this time not to make a terrible storm.
He shivers as he realizes that he knows that Semirhage is also bad at weather. Sulin, who is in command of his body guard for the night, comes to him, and mentions that they were all gambling when suddenly everyone was throwing nothing but sixes.
He thinks about how even the Aiel would never stay near him if they did. There have been other incidents too, like when three Stone Dogs were suddenly dropped into a viper pit and yet none were bitten, or the saddlemaker Tal Nethin tripping on a stone and somehow breaking his neck.
On the other hand, however, Bael and Jheran have resolved the blood feud between the Shaarad and Goshien, although neither man seems to understand exactly how they ended up deciding to make the pledges and water oaths together.
He had wondered if those random effects would ever work in his favor; maybe this was as close as it came. What else had happened today that might be laid at his feet, he did not know; he never asked, and would as soon not hear. The Baels and Jherans could only partly make up for the Tal Nethins. They are discussing the fact that Rand needs to eat when they are suddenly interrupted by a group of Aiel escorting a party of about twenty horsemen, mostly Tairen but also a few Cairhienin.
Rand has them present their Cairhienin companions, and Edorion calls the two officers, Meresin and Daricain over, and in his head Rand likens it to a man calling his dogs. Rand explains that he did not send the Aiel to attack Cairhien, and that they are his enemies. He also has to get through instructing Meresin and Daricain to rise after the kneel to him; Rand had almost forgotten about all the kneeling and bowing after his time spent among the Aiel. Estean explains that this is why they came out from the city, in order to find help.
He shivered despite the sweat on his brow, and his voice turned distant and hollow. I saw Baran go down, screaming with a spear through his guts. I could use a mug of strong brandy. Edorion offers to make a bet with Rand of a thousand gold crowns, on whether they can actually make it to the city in seven days.
Edorion laughed. And worth every copper if I lose. Come, Meresin, Daricain. The Maidens, Rhuarc, and Mangin all give him perplexed looks and Sulin explains that, since he is their battle leader and their chief, one tenth of every fifth the Aiel take belongs to him—the fifth they took at the Stone as well as that in Cairhien, and since Tear submitted to him as their chief, he gets a tenth there as well.
If only he knew what taxes were used for. He finds himself wishing Elayne were there, but as it is he will have to ask Moiraine. He wishes he could get Elayne to explain the two letters. He also finds himself thinking of Min, who had laughed at him but never made him feel like he was speaking another language. But of course, if she saw him now she would run away from the Dragon Reborn.
He knows some of the scouts will be killed, so he ignores them. Mangin and Rhuarc take Estean away to question him, after Rand insists that they only ask. He he through the burned streets, remembering the way Lan had tracked the movement of battles between contendants for the Sun Throne, and noting how the last to hold the town were clearly bandits.
Her voice rises in panic as she insists that she must get as far away from him as she can. Suddenly a shimmering vertical line appeared in the air near her. It widened, as if rotating, into a gateway. Icy wind rushed through it into the room, carrying thick curtains of snow. The gateway begins to close at once, but Rand instinctively channels and blocks it open. He can see that Aviendha has just run naked into the heart of a winter storm, so he wastes no time thinking, just ties off the flows of saidin and gathers up her clothes as well as all the blankets and rugs and plunges through after her.
He calls after her, chases her, but she only seems to run faster at the sound of his voice. Melting a path with fire would just make mud, but suddenly Rand has the idea to heat the ground itself, and the snow before him melts. He can feel the heat through Wheel of time sex stories boots, his feet flinching away from the heat even as the rest of him shivers. And he starts catching up to Aviendha. Wheel of time sex stories she vanishes as if she had fallen into a hole.
Rand keeps his eyes on the spot and he suddenly finds himself splashing into icy water, and realizes that Aviendha ran out onto the ice and fell through. He leaves the blankets and rugs on the saidin -warmed bank and crawls out onto the ice, finds the hole where she fell through, and manages to grab her hair. He could feel the weave he had used to block open her gateway, a mile or perhaps two away through the storm. If he tried to carry her that far, neither of them would survive.
They needed shelter, and they needed it here. Rand channels Air, using it to pack the snow into walls and a roof, then carries her in, blocking up the doorway after them. He lays Aviendha down, noting the sandy ground and the unfamiliar scrub, but even in the warmth of the shelter she is icy cold. He tries not to think about how smooth her skin feels, or what this position would be like if she was merely sleeping in his arms.
He tries to talk about his plans for Cairhien, his hopes to bring an end to the war and famine and to unite the nations behind him. But that had its own life, too, its own inevitable path, to Shayol Ghul, where he must face the Dark One and die, if the Prophecies were true. It seemed cowardly to say that he hoped he might live through that somehow.
Aiel did not know cowardice; the worst of them was brave as a lion. He upbraids her for her actions, too, and asks if she knows how much he will miss hearing her breathe at night. He tries to move away but she grabs him by the hair.
And you followed me even here. The rings do not lie, and I can run no more. She kisses him, and Rand loses his hold on the Void and saidinand on rational thought in general. Some hours later he is lying in the blankets watching Aviendha examine the walls of their Wheel of time sex stories. She asks what it is, and is truly amazed as he explains what snow is. As she starts to dress he tells her that they can have the Wise Ones marry them as soon as they get back, and Aviendha gives him a flat look and replies that a man has no right to ask her that, and that anyway, he belongs to Elayne.
Rand insists that they have to, after what they did, but of course that he wants to, as well. I have toh to Elayne, now, but that is none of your concern. He realizes that she intends to watch him get dressed, and reluctantly gets up to do so. Rand cuts a hole in the wall with a thin flow of Fire, surprised to see daylight on the other side.
He really has to put his back into pushing the block out, and ends up halfway outside of the shelter—which is a good thing because as he looks up he sees the huge leathery shape of some flying lizard high above, with two people riding on its back. He ducks back into the shelter to warn Aviendha and to tell her that they are going to sneak back to the gateway, as carefully as they can.
Aviendha is awestruck by the sight of the breakers. And then Rand knows where they are; he recognizes the insect-like styling of the armor and the women wearing bracelets and leashes that lead to the collars of other women in gray. He set Aviendha down and gestures to the group.
Rand asks if she can shield all four. She gave him a very smug look. Egwene taught me to handle several flows at once. I can block them, tie those off, and wrap them up in flows of Air before they know what is happening. Finally she looked at him, her gaze as furious as he had ever seen it. The Seanchan cry out and then fall silent as Rand and Aviendha approach. He holds the weave rather than tying it off, so that they will be freed when he steps through the gateway, but when he approaches the gateway he finds that it no longer looks into his room, but instead shows a gray blank.
Worse, the grayness is woven with saidin. One of the mounted women, a black raven in front of a stark tower on the gray breast of her cloak, had a severe face and dark eyes that seemed to want to drill into his skull. The little fingers of her riding gloves were too long. Rand knew from the shaven sides of her scalp that those long fingers covered nails grown long and no doubt lacquered, both s of Seanchan nobility.
He asks her if she was at Falme, and she confirms that she saw him and what he did.
Rand tells her that if they give him no trouble he will leave them in peace, all the while internally debating who should go through the gateway first. He decides the only choice is to step through together. The Empress herself has forbidden speech of the Corenne until she calls it again.
If you—or I—speak so much as the name of the city where that expedition landed, our tongues will be removed. Perhaps you would enjoy being tongueless, in the Tower of Ravens? Not even the Listeners would hear you scream for mercy, or pay heed. But he can also see that the gateway is getting narrower, and urges Aviendha to hurry. She snaps that she is trying, that he nearly killed the two and maybe himself, as she could feel the power rushing into them. She assures him that if it can be done, she will do it. Morsa appears to be listening carefully to them, but Jalindin is still focused on the noblewoman, again repeating that much has been kept secret, and that the Seekers must know all.
Morsa, clearly tense, tells her that she is forgetting herself, but Jalindin replies that it is Morsa who forgets herself. Jalindin has put both a daughter and a son of the Empress to the question, and asks if Morsa thinks herself above the family of the Empress. Horror painted the Wheel of time sex stories of the named women, but Morsa could have stood for any of them.
Eyes wide and suddenly haggard, she slumped as much as her invisible bonds would allow, voicing not a word of protest. She looked as if she wanted to scream, yet she—accepted. Meanwhile, the gateway is still closing, and Rand tells Aviendha to stop trying to break the collar.
They jump… and land in his room in Eianrod. Asmodean is there, not embracing saidinbut Rand puts a block between him and the Source anyway. He slashes through his weave just as a spear shoots through the closing gateway, cutting the end of the shaft off at two feet of length. Rand snatches the rest with Air. Rand supposes that she is right, and that he has left behind enemies he might have to face one day. To his surprise, she laughed and ran off, and a few minutes later about twenty Maidens were outside, beating their spears on their bucklers for the next hour. Niella always wanted Aviendha to give up the spear and get married.
Rand tells her that he wants to talk to Natael and if she would mind making her bed somewhere else for the rest of the night. Aviendha goes, slamming the door behind her, and Rand wonders if she could be mad at him, given that she was the one who said nothing else was going to happen between them. Still holding the spear, he turns to Asmodean, who remarks that it is a strange scepter.
For once he wished his voice was even colder than the Void and saidin made it. He had to be hard.Wheel of time sex stories
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