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Reading The Wheel of Time: Everyone Wants a Piece of Mat in Robert Jordan’s A Crown of Swords (Part 10)

This week in Reading The Wheel of Time, we find out a little bit more about what the man who calls himself Bors is up to, Sammael finds out something that might just mess up Rand’s entire plan, and Mat gets manhandled by Aes Sedai and Queen alike.

Also, he leaves a letter for Nynaeve and Elayne that he specifically tries to word “reasonably” and in a way that won’t “put their backs up” and which is pretty much guaranteed to do exactly that.

Jaichim Carridin is frustrated by ants walking on his report to Pedron Niall. Killing one of them smudges a word so he shoves the paper aside. He wants a drink, but the woman who calls herself Lady Shiaine is there, so he refrains. She begins to tell him that she needs more money, and he interrupts, alluding to her habit of spending the funds he provides on gambling and jewelry and pointing out that she has yet to produce any results for him.

She doesn’t know that he is aware of her true name, Mili Skane, and her history. She turned to the Dark after going to the White Tower and being told she couldn’t channel. She is an incredible assassin and adept at finding people. She commands a circle of Darkfriends in Ebou Dar, but has been ordered by someone much higher to obey Carridin.

Mili tries to defend herself, but he tells her not to make excuses, and warns her of how far she could fall if she fails to find the cache of angreal. Of course, he is well aware of how far he himself could fall for that same failure; he turns away to be sure she doesn’t see any of that fear in his eyes.

He looks down in disgust at the throngs below, thinking of starting a few riots to thin out the rabble but ultimately decides not to, since rioting and chaos would interfere with the work of the Darkfriends in the city. Suddenly, he catches sight of Mat below, talking with an old man, and he suddenly experiences the agony-filled vision that he received from Ishamael when he was first ordered to hunt for the three boys from Emond’s Field.

When he comes back to himself the scene in the street has changed, and Mat is no longer there. He turns to continue upbraiding Shiaine, only to find her seemingly frozen in place in the act of rising from her chair. Sammael is also in the room.

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