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Setting: Tarasin Palace, Ebou Dar, Braem Wood


Point of view: Matrim Cauthon

As Mat dangles from a balcony three stories up the Tarasin Palace, he consoles himself by thinking that it isn't the hardest place he's ever tried to break into. He makes his way onto the balcony while rehearsing how he will tell Tuon that Galgan was betraying her and she should leave the city.

After reaching her balcony and catching his breath, he goes to enter the room. Before he is through the door, something is shot from the shadows. Selucia reveals herself to be Tuon's bodyguard as she levels a crossbow at Mat. The two banter with Selucia very nearly making a joke and coming very close to guessing the reason Mat lost his eye. She dismisses the idea that Galgan would assassinate Tuon while also reminding Mat that the Empress' name is now Fortuona. She shows him a secret passage that will lead to the palace gardens, where Mat will find Tuon. Mat thanks her, although she questions if it is for telling him where Tuon was or not killing him. He replies it is for not calling him "Highness."

Point of view: Rand al'Thor

Rand walks through Elayne's camp accompanied by a pair of Maidens. Everything in the camp is quiet so as to avoid attracting the Trollocs. He ruminates on how Elayne asked him to reveal himself when he visits the camp as they fight for him.

He comes across Ban al'Seen and Dav al'Thone. He tells them that they have the most important task: watching over his father. Rand walks into the tent to find his father, Tam looking over maps. Rand presents him with a replacement sword for the one he was unable to return. Tam believes it is too fine, but Rand insists on it being a thank you gift. They discuss the flame and the void and Tam reveals that it was never about archery or swords. Rather, it is about inner peace.

The two go outside and Tam convinces his son to duel with him. Rand is hesitant as he hasn't practiced the sword since losing his hand, but Tam wraps a cloth around one of his hands and agrees to duel one-handed, on a level with Rand. Tam has the early advantage, easily out-dueling Rand, who has not practiced sword forms since losing his hand to Semirhage. Rand quickly becomes frustrated, thinking to himself that he will never be proficient in sword-fighting ever again, and that saidin is a much more powerful weapon. Tam continues to test Rand's limits, and Rand grows increasingly resentful of his injury, until he realizes that Tam is also fighting one-handed, and if Tam has overcome this barrier, so can Rand. Taking Tam's advice, he let's go of his emotions, and wins the practice duel.

Point of view: Matrim Cauthon

Mat makes his way to the gardens. He finds Tuon practicing hand combat forms and admires her beauty from the shadows so as not to distract her. He asks himself if he loves her, but the question makes him uncomfortable.

Something moves out of the corner of his eye, but he dismisses it as a gardener. He tries to look again and cannot focus on the person that is moving towards Tuon. The guards don't notice him either. Almost unconsciously, he pulls out a knife from his sleeve and throws it at the man. Tuon tries to pin down the attacker but misses, as does Mat's second knife, and the Gray Man escapes.

Mat tells her about Galgan and she also dismisses the idea. Karede arrives and offers his life to repay his shame. Tuon refuses, and tells him that the Prince of Ravens will teach him how to spot a Gray Man. She dismisses everyone in order to spend time with Mat. She unceremoniously disrobes and says that it is a reward for saving her life. Mat asks if she loves him, but she replies she is with him because the omens say she must be. She concedes, however, that it is good to see him again. Mat accepts that for the time being.