|“||There’s a reason why they call her the Snake of Talins! A snake loves nothing but itself!||”|
Chapter Summary Edit
The Talinese army, now under the command of Prince Foscar and Colonel Rigrat, close on Ospria. On the eve of battle, Nicomo Cosca is sitting at the command post while the pair outline the plan for the battle tomorrows. Rigrat announces that The Thousand Swords will lead the attack across the lower river ford, while the Talinese forces cross the upper ford and flank the Osprians. Cosca frowns and murmurs throughout. In the end, he exclaims that the moral of the mercenary company is very poor, after loosing two captain generals in quick succession - Monza and Faithful; they are much better suited to the flanking role. Colonel Rigrat is forced to reluctantly agree.
Meanwhile in Ospria, Grand Duke Rogont throws a banquet in his great dining hall. Monza sits in the place of honour on the high dais beside Rogont, while Shivers in relegated to one of the lower tables, brooding and drinking. After all he’s sacrificed, after all the times he’s saved Monza’s life, he’s now an ignored embarrassment. Monza is no happier, thinking on all the time she and Benna would mock these people, and the guilt she feels for turning Shivers from a good man, to a scarred emotionless brute. Throughout the dinner, Duke Rogont makes constant flirtatious smalltalk with her.
On the lower table, a beautiful woman inexplicably sits down next to Shivers and starts to talk to him. He recognises her vaguely; it’s Carlot dan Eider from that chaotic night in Sipani. Eider effortlessly senses his mood, making clever comments about Rogont and Monza sitting together. Shivers isn't stupid and realises that she’s trying to manipulate him, but she shocks him by casually mentioning that Monza and her brother Benna were actually lovers.1
Later that night, Monza and Shivers get into an argument, and he confronts her with what he’s learned about her and Benna. Monza storms off to smoke some husk, but in her frustration flings the husk-pipe from the battlements.
|Colonel Rigrat||Nicomo Cosca||Faithful Carpi|
|Caul Shivers||Benna Murcatto|
|Grand Duke Rogont|
|Carlot dan Eider|
Locations and Terms Edit
|Ospria||Styria||Talins||Sipani||The Thousand Swords||Husk|
- The reveal that Benna and Monza were actually lovers, makes various scenes take on new meaning. In Westport Chapters 2, Monza takes Shivers for a haircut in Benna's favourite barber and gets him into fancy clothes, to trying to make him look like Benna. Even in bed, she can't stop insulting Shivers and systematically criticizes his hopes and dreams of being a better man, while in the brief scene where we see Benna and Monza together they are also playfully trading jabs with each other; it seems to be practically foreplay for her.