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Mistborn: The Final Empire (Page 87)

“Regardless, I find their philosophies regarding luck and fortune enlightened. To them, a poor life was only a sign of fortune to come. It might be a good fit for you, Mistress; you could benefit from the knowledge that your luck cannot always be bad.”

“I don’t know,” Vin said skeptically. “I mean, if your bad luck were limited, wouldn’t your good luck be limited too? Every time something good happened, I’d be worried about using it all up.”

“Hum,” Sazed said. “I suppose that depends on your viewpoint, Mistress.”

“How can you be so optimistic?” Vin asked. “You and Kelsier both.”

“I don’t know, Mistress,” Sazed said. “Perhaps our lives have been easier than yours. Or, perhaps we are simply more foolish.”

Vin fell silent. They walked for a short time longer, weaving their way back toward the building, but not rushing the walk. “Sazed,” she finally said. “When you saved me, that night in the rain, you used Feruchemy, didn’t you?”

Sazed nodded. “Indeed. The Inquisitor was very focused on you, and I was able to sneak up behind him, then hit him with a stone. I had grown many times stronger than a regular man, and my blow threw him into the wall, breaking several of his bones, I suspect.”

“Is that it?” Vin asked.

“You sound disappointed, Mistress,” Sazed noted, smiling. “You expected something more spectacular, I suppose?”

Vin nodded. “It’s just…you’ve been so quiet about Feruchemy. That makes it seem more mystical, I guess.”

Sazed sighed. “There is really little to hide from you, Mistress. The truly unique power of Feruchemy—the ability to store and recover memories—you must surely have already guessed. The rest of the powers are not different, really, from the powers granted to you by pewter and tin. A few of them are a little more odd—making a Feruchemist heavier, or changing his age—but they offer little martial application.”

“Age?” Vin said, perking up. “You could make yourself younger?”

“Not really, Mistress,” Sazed said. “Remember, a Feruchemist must draw his powers from his own body. He could, for instance, spend a few weeks with his body aged to the point that it felt and looked ten years older than he really was. Then, he could withdraw that age to make himself seem ten years younger for an equal amount of time. However, in Feruchemy, there must be a balance.”

Vin thought about that for a moment. “Does the metal you use matter?” she asked. “Like in Allomancy?”

“Most certainly,” Sazed said. “The metal determines what can be stored.”

Vin nodded and continued to walk, thinking over what he’d said. “Sazed, can I have a bit of your metal?” she finally asked.

“My metal, Mistress?”

“Something you’ve used as a Feruchemical store,” Vin said. “I want to try burning it—maybe that will let me use some of its power.”

Sazed frowned curiously.

“Has anyone ever tried it before?”

“I’m sure someone must have,” Sazed said. “But, I honestly can’t think of a specific example. Perhaps if I were to go search my memory copperminds…”

“Why not just let me try it now?” Vin asked. “Do you have something made from one of the basic metals? Something you haven’t stored anything too valuable in?”

Sazed paused, then reached up to one of his oversized earlobes and undid an earring much like the one Vin wore. He handed the earring’s tiny backing, used to hold the earring in place, to Vin. “It is pure pewter, Mistress. I have stored a moderate amount of strength in it.”

Vin nodded, swallowing the tiny stud. She felt at her Allomantic reserve, but the stud’s metal didn’t seem to do anything different. She tentatively burned pewter.

“Anything?” Sazed asked.

Vin shook her head. “No, I don’t. .” She trailed off. There was something there, something different.

“What is it, Mistress?” Sazed asked, uncharacteristic eagerness sounding in his voice.

“I… can feel the power, Saze. It’s faint—far beyond my grasp—but I swear that there’s another reserve within me, one that only appears when I’m burning your metal.”

Sazed frowned. “It’s faint, you say? Like…you can see a shadow of the reserve, but can’t access the power itself?”

Vin nodded. “How do you know?”

“That’s what it feels like when you try to use another Feruchemist’s metals, Mistress,” Sazed said, sighing. “I should have suspected this would be the result. You cannot access the power because it does not belong to you.”

“Oh,” Vin said.

“Do not be too disappointed, Mistress. If Allomancers could steal strength from my people, it would already be known. It was a clever thought, however.” He turned, pointing toward the mansion. “The carriage has already arrived. We are late for the meeting, I think.”

Vin nodded, and they hurried their pace toward the mansion.

Funny, Kelsier thought to himself as he slipped across the darkened courtyard before Mansion Renoux. I have to sneak into my own house, as if I were attacking some nobleman’s keep.

There was no avoiding it, however—not with his reputation. Kelsier the thief had been distinctive enough; Kelsier the rebellion instigator and skaa spiritual leader was even more infamous. That didn’t, of course, keep him from spreading his nightly chaos—he just had to be more careful. More and more families were pulling out of the city, and the powerful houses were growing increasingly paranoid. In a way, that made manipulating them easier—but sneaking around their keeps was getting very dangerous.

In comparison, Mansion Renoux was virtually unprotected. There were guards, of course, but no Mistings. Renoux had to keep a low profile; too many Allomancers would make him stand out. Kelsier kept to the shadows, carefully making his way around to the east side of the building. Then he Pushed off a coin and guided himself up onto Renoux’s own balcony.

Kelsier landed lightly, then peeked through the glass balcony doors. The drapes were shut, but he could pick out Dockson, Vin, Sazed, Ham, and Breeze standing around Renoux’s desk. Renoux himself sat in the far corner of the room, staying out of the proceedings. His contract included playing the part of Lord Renoux, but he didn’t wish to be involved in the plan anymore than he had to.

Kelsier shook his head. It would be far too easy for an assassin to get in here. I’ll have to make sure that Vin continues to sleep at Clubs’ shop. He wasn’t worried about Renoux; the kandra’s nature was such that he didn’t need to fear an assassin’s blade.

Kelsier tapped lightly on the door, and Dockson strolled over, pulling it open.

“And he makes his stunning entry!” Kelsier announced, sweeping into the room, throwing back his mistcloak.

Dockson snorted, shutting the doors. “You’re truly a wonder to behold, Kell. Particularly the soot stains on your knees.”

“I had to do some crawling tonight,” Kelsier said, waving an indifferent hand. “There’s an unused drainage ditch that passes right under Keep Lekal’s defensive wall. You’d think they’d get that patched up.”

“I doubt they need worry,” Breeze said from beside the desk. “Most of you Mistborn are probably too proud to crawl. I’m surprised you were willing to do so yourself.”

“Too proud to crawl?” Kelsier said. “Nonsense! Why, I’d say that we Mistborn are too proud not to be humble enough to go crawling about—in a dignified manner, of course.”

Dockson frowned, approaching the desk. “Kell, that didn’t make any sense.”

“We Mistborn need not make sense,” Kelsier said haughtily. “What’s this?”

“From your brother,” Dockson said, pointing at a large map laid across the desk. “It arrived this afternoon in the hollow of a broken table leg that the Canton of Orthodoxy hired Clubs to repair.”

“Interesting,” Kelsier said, scanning the map. “It’s a list of the Soothing stations, I assume?”

“Indeed,” Breeze said. “It’s quite the discovery—I’ve never seen such a detailed, carefully drawn map of the city. Why, it not only shows every one of the thirty-four Soothing stations, but also locations of Inquisitor activity, as well as places that the different Cantons are concerned about. I haven’t had the opportunity to associate much with your brother, but I must say that the man is obviously a genius!”

“It’s almost hard to believe he’s related to Kell, eh?” Dockson said with a smile. He had a notepad before him, and was in the process of making a list of all the Soothing stations.

Kelsier snorted. “Marsh might be the genius, but I’m the handsome one. What are these numbers?”

“Inquisitor raids and dates,” Ham said. “You’ll notice that Vin’s crewhouse is listed.”

Kelsier nodded. “How in the world did Marsh manage to steal a map like this?”

“He didn’t,” Dockson said as he wrote. “There was a note with the map. Apparently, high prelans gave it to him— they’ve been very impressed with Marsh, and wanted him to look over the city and recommend locations for new Soothing stations. It seems that the Ministry is a bit worried about the house war, and they want to send out some extra Soothers to try and keep things under control.”

“We’re supposed to send the map back inside the repaired table leg,” Sazed said. “Once we are done this evening, I shall endeavor to copy it in as short a time as possible.”

And memorize it as well, thereby making it part of every Keeper’s record, Kelsier thought. The day when you’ll stop memorizing and start teaching is coming soon, Saze. I hope your people are ready.

Kelsier turned, studying the map. It was as impressive as Breeze had said. Indeed, Marsh must have taken an extremely great risk in sending it away. Perhaps a foolhardy risk, even—but the information it contained…

We’ll have to get this back quickly, Kelsier thought. Tomorrow morning, if possible.

“What is this?” Vin asked quietly, leaning across the large map and pointing. She wore a noblewoman’s dress—a pretty one-piece garment that was only slightly less ornate than a ball gown.

Kelsier smiled. He could remember a time when Vin had looked frighteningly awkward in a dress, but she seemed to have taken an increasing liking to them. She still didn’t move quite like a noble-born lady. She was graceful—but it was the dexterous grace of a predator, not the deliberate grace of a courtly lady. Still, the gowns seemed to fit Vin now—in a way that had nothing at all to do with tailoring.

Ah, Mare, Kelsier thought. You always wanted a daughter you could teach to walk the line between noblewoman and thief. They would have liked each other; they both had a hidden streak of unconventionality. Perhaps if his wife were still alive, she could have taught Vin things about pretending to be a noblewoman that even Sazed didn’t know.

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