more than you understood

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His fingers found the hard lumps the crystals made in the wool. “Lord Stannis.”  Stannis turned from the red woman, but it was Lady Selyse who replied. “King Stannis. You forget yourselfdermes, Maester.”  

“He is old, his mind wanders,” the king told her gruffly. “What is it, Cressen? Speak your mind.”  “As you intend to sail, it is vital that you make common cause with Lord Stark and Lady Arryn...  “I make common cause with no one,” Stannis Baratheon said.  “No more than light makes common cause with darkness.” Lady Selyse took his hand.  Stannis nodded. “The Starks seek to steal half my kingdom, even as the Lannisters have stolen my throne and my own sweet brother the swords and service and strongholds that are mine by rights. They are all usurpers, and they are all my enemies.”   

I have lost him, Cressen thought, despairing. If only he could somehow approach Melisandre unseen... he needed but an instant’s access to her cup. “You are the rightful heir to your brother Robert, the true Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men,” he said desperately, “but even sowismec rx200, you cannot hope to triumph without allies.”  “He has an ally,” Lady Selyse said. “Whllor, the Lord of Light, the Heart of Fire, the God of Flame and Shadow.”  “Gods make uncertain allies at best,” the old man insisted, “and that one has no power here.”  “You think not?”

The ruby at Melisandre’s throat caught the light as she turned her head, and for an instant it seemed to glow bright as the comet. “If you will speak such folly, Maester, you ought to wear your crown again.”  “Yes,” Lady Selyse agreed. “Patches’s helm. It suits you well, old man. Put it on again, I command you.”  “Under the sea, no one wears hats,” Patchface said.

“I know, I know, oh, oh, oh.”  Lord Stannis’s eyes were shadowed beneath his heavy brow, his mouth tight as his jaw worked silently. He always ground his teeth when he was angry. “Fool,” he growled at last, “my lady wife commands. Give Cressen your helm.”  No, the old maester thought, this is not you, not your way, you were always just, always hard yet never crueliN-BE+v, never, you did not understand mockery, no  laughter.  




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