The Fires of Heaven: Chapter 45
After the Storm
Author: Val a'Shain
Setting: Near Cairhien
Point of view: Mat, Rand
Mat's point of view:
Mat is sitting on a boulder nursing several bruises and cuts he got in the fight with Couladin. The man nearly killed him but his head is on a pike now. Around him the Cairhienin and Tairens are celebrating the victory. Singing a song he taught them. Teaching them was a mistake it seems and what is worse, he is right back where he started. To top things off Melindhra shows up. He wants to explain but she says she understands about Mat wanting to step out of Rand's shadow. Not that that was what Mat had in mind but he doesn't correct her.
Talmanes approaches Mat. A delegation from the city has already approached Rand. There are plans for a procession into the city. Talmanes feels Mat and his followers have earned the place at the front. Nalesean agrees with him. Both men see him as their leader. They will follow him where he leads. The Cairhienin and the Tairen already argue over who gets to prepare Mat's horse. Tired of the whole business Mat leaves it up to them. In the background the men are singing a new verse of the song he taught them, featuring him.
Rand's point of view:
When Rand wakes up he finds that the wound in his side is closed. Aviendha tells him Moiraine Healed him. Asmodean tries to lecture him without giving himself away until Aviendha shuts him up and then gives him a lecture of her own. They also tell him that the Wise Ones are still meeting with Wise Ones of the four undecided clans. Rand is not yet invited to join them. It seems Mat killed Couladin, he didn't escape the pull of a ta'veren after all.
Rand thinks about the situation for a bit. He wants to go after Sammael but the situation in Cairhienin demands his attention still. He needs to get to the city and see if Meilan is still alive. Rand asks Asmodean to get his horse. Aviendha tries to stop him but Asmodean tells him Meilan has already been to the camp. He brought flowery words of praise and loyalty to the Dragon Reborn. The Cairhienin play the Game of Houses in their sleep and the game for the Sun throne has already started. Rand intends it for someone none of them will expect though. He discusses the situation with Aviendha and Asmodean for a bit until he realizes Aviendha is just trying to keep him in his tent. He orders Asmodean to get his horse or he will do it himself.