Assassins Apprentice: The Illustrated Edition | Chapter 20 of 53

Author: Robin Hobb | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 247284 Views | Add a Review

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I awoke near dawn and reported to Burrich after a hearty breakfast. I was quick at my chores and attentive to my charges and could not at all understand why he had awakened so headachy and grumpy. He muttered something once about “his father’s head for spirits” and then dismissed me early, telling me to take my whistling elsewhere.

Three days later King Shrewd summoned me in the dawn. He was already dressed, and there was a tray and food for more than one person set out on it. As soon as I arrived, he sent away his man and told me to sit. I took a chair at the small table in his room, and without asking me if I were hungry, he served me food with his own hand and sat down across from me to eat himself. The gesture was not lost on me, but even so I could not bring myself to eat much. He spoke only of the food, and said nothing of bargains or loyalty or keeping one’s word. When he saw I had finished eating, he pushed his own plate away. He shifted uncomfortably.

“It was my idea,” he said suddenly, almost harshly. “Not his. He never approved of it. I insisted. When you’re older, you’ll understand. I can take no chances, not on anyone. But I promised him that you’d know this right from me. It was all my own idea, never his. And I will never ask him to try your mettle in such a way again. On that you have a king’s word.”

He made a motion that dismissed me. And I rose, but as I did so I took from his tray a little silver knife, all engraved, that he had been using to cut fruit with. I looked him in the eyes as I did so, and quite openly slipped it up my sleeve. King Shrewd’s eyes widened, but he said not a word.

Two nights later, when Chade summoned me, our lessons resumed as if there had never been a pause. He talked, I listened, I played his stone game and never made an error. He gave me an assignment, and we made small jokes together. He showed me how Slink the weasel would dance for a sausage. All was well between us again. But before I left his chambers that night, I walked to his hearth. Without a word, I placed the knife on the center of his mantel shelf. Actually, I drove it, blade first, into the wood of the shelf. Then I left without speaking of it or meeting his eyes. In fact, we never spoke of it.

I believe that the knife is still there.

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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