|“||Glokta smiled, half turned to leave. But out of the corner of his eye, somehow, he saw the cut miss. Gorst blinked as his heavy long steel thudded into the turf, then grunted as Luthar caught him across the leg with a left-handed cut.||”|
Chapter Summary Edit
Logen, Bayaz, and Quai sit in the stands, waiting for Jezal and Gorst to face off in the final of The Contest. Quai seems very quiet, paler and twitchier than ever.2 Bayaz asks Logen whether the one-on-one fight reminds him of his own duels. The memories aren’t pleasant for Logen; he maimed, he slaughtered, he bathed in blood, and relished it at the time. Observing the two fighters, Logen speculates that Gorst is the more dangerous. With a knowing smile, Bayaz offers a gentleman’s bet that Jezal will win. Despite Quai’s muttered warning to never bet against a Magus, Logen agrees.
As the duel starts, Gorst begins pummelling Jezal. Absorbing blow after blow, Jezal soon realizes he has no chance against Gorst, who is simply an immovable object. He quickly finds himself down three touches to none, with only one more needed for Gorst to win the match.
Elsewhere in the crowd, Glokta watches the event with childlike glee, enjoying the suffering of the self-obsessed young fool. He wonders whether even he could beat Gorst, but at least it would be a more even match. However, just as Jezal is on the verge of losing, Glokta watches him impossibly avoid a strike and then counter, putting himself back in the match.
Meanwhile, Bayaz is sweating profusely, manipulating Jezal’s performance with the Art. Logen sneers at the foul play. Meanwhile Glokta, some distance away, stares at Bayaz working hard at some unseen purpose, and becomes convinced that Jezal and Bayaz have somehow cheated.
With the aid of the Magus, Jezal rallies, a better fencer than he ever imaged he could be. He wins the next three bouts, and wins the match. The first to congratulate him is his opponent Gorst, with Jezal reacting like a bad winner. Then, he’s lauded over by his father and Bayaz, who bizarrely seem to know each other.3 Finally, Jezal is presented to High King Guslav. In the royal box, sit the King, the Queen, the two Princes, and Ladisla’s fiancé Princess Terez of Talins. To the embarrassment of all, the addled King awkwardly confuses Jezal for his own son, Prince Raynault.3
|Princess Terez||Logen Ninefingers||Bremer dan Gorst|
|Prince Raynault||Bayaz||Sand dan Glokta|
|Malacus Quai||Prince Ladisla|
|Jezal dan Luthar||King Guslav the Fifth|
Locations and Terms Edit
|Adua||The Union||The Contest||High Art||Order of the Magi||Talins|
|Styria||Square of Marshals|
- This is the first chapter where the author switches POV characters. Having established his characters, he will do this more and more.
- Quai is no longer the chatter-box he used to be. Curious.
- A couple of other subtle foreshadowings. Bayaz and Jezal's father knowing each other seems a throw-away line, while the King's reaction to Jezal is played for comedy.