The last light of the setting sun shone in his hair. “Well, it’s too late now.” “Just so,” said ▓▓▓▓▓ as they stepped into the gloom of a twisty little alley. By the time ▓▓▓▓▓ returned to ▒▒▒▒▒’s house, an evening fog was gathering above the small canal. She put away her barrow, found ▒▒▒▒▒ in his counting room, and thumped her purse down on the table in front of him. She thumped the boots down too.
He jerked his broken blade up to protect his face, but as he went high she went low. ▒▒▒▒▒ bit through leather, wool, skin, and muscle, into the sellsword’s thigh. █████ cut back wildly as his leg went out from under him. His broken sword scraped against her chain mail before he landed on his back. ▓▓▓▓▓ stabbed him through the throat, gave the blade a hard turn, and slid it out...
▓▓▓▓▓ felt the tears welling in his eyes, and knew he could not go on much longer. “He was ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒, but now his fire has gone out. He was █████. And now his watch is ended.”
She knocked aside his arm and punched the steel into his bowels. “Laugh,” she snarled at him. He moaned instead. “Laugh,” she repeated, grabbing his throat with one hand and stabbing at his belly with the other. “Laugh!” She kept saying it, over and over, until her hand was red up to the wrist and the stink of the fool’s dying was like to choke her. But █████ never laughed.
“*DON’T!*” shrieked █████, lifting bloody hands to shield his head. ▓▓▓▓▓ whirled the spiked ball once around his head and brought it down in the middle of █████’s face. There was a sickening crunch.
█████ raised his blade, too slowly. ▓▓▓▓▓’s longaxe took his right arm off at the shoulder, spun away spraying blood, and came flashing back again in a terrible two-handed slash that removed the head of █████ and sent it spinning through the air. It landed amongst the reeds, and the ▒▒▒▒▒ swallowed the red with a soft splash.
She felt the cold wet metal against her cheek. Rain ran down the steel in rivers, and when the lightning flashed again she saw pain and fear and rank disbelief through the eye slits. “*▓▓▓▓▓,*” she whispered at him, as she gave her blade a hard twist that made him shudder. His weight sagged heavily against her, and all at once it was a corpse that she embraced, there in the black rain. She stepped back and let him fall . . .
█████ threw back his head and opened his mouth again, howling, and stuck his tongue out at her. It was sharply pointed, dripping blood, longer than any tongue should be. Sliding from his mouth, out and out and out, red and wet and glistening, it made a hideous sight, obscene. *His tongue is a foot long*, ▓▓▓▓▓ thought, just before the darkness took her. *Why, it looks almost like a sword*.
█████ was still trying to fight as she pulled her blade from him, its fullers running red with blood. He clawed at his belt and came up with a dagger, so ▓▓▓▓▓ cut his hand off. *That one was for ▒▒▒▒▒*. “Mother have mercy,” the Dornishman gasped, the blood bubbling from his mouth and spurting from his wrist. “Finish it. Send me back to Dorne, you bloody bitch.” She did.
He could feel his heart hammering in his chest. “What’s happening?” he said. His legs had turned to water. “I don’t understand.” “And never will,” a voice said sadly. The cobblestones rushed up to kiss him. █████ tried to cry for help, but his voice was failing too. His last thought was of ▓▓▓▓▓.
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