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The Lord Ruler's perfect capital city, Luthadel, is doing the impossible: rebelling. Skaa half-breeds are being taught the power of Allomancy, something that the Lord Ruler's obligators said only existed in the nobility. The enslaved skaa, with their murderous benefactor, now fight back against a living god's oppression.

So, the Inquisition was formed. The nobles begin to fear assassination from all sides. The times of nobility Mistborn killing each other are over. The Steel Inquisitors look for aristocrat traitors and insurgent skaa, and the skaa try with all their strength to merely survive. The Lord Ruler's perfect Final Empire is slowly devolving into chaos.

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Mistborn Series Brandon Sanderson
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Relief at the End of the Day

W1 D4 EV Delzen Mia Casuana

15 replies to this topic

#1 Delzen

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 25 July 2009 - 07:50 PM

Only a few more days remained before House Casuana would host a Ball, taking their turn in the rotation amongst Luthadel nobility. There had been a bustle of activity and preparation for a good two days now, and the work was only about half done. Delzen, as House Casuana's steward, had been overseeing much of the work being done, and ensuring that it was 'up to snuff'. While most people would have disliked such a job, Delzen enjoyed every minute. It was not that he liked bossing people around or telling them how to do things, he enjoyed the end result, knowing that the near-perfection was due, in part, to him. It offered him a sense of accomplishment.

The afternoon had passed rather uneventfully for Delzen, though he was sure he could not say the same for his Mistress, Lady Mia Casuana. He had thought her slightly foolish for deciding to visit the Canton of Inquisition all by herself, even though the reasoning behind the visit was good. In fact, Delzen had been nervous all afternoon for her. He hadn't seen her since she had left the Keep following a visit from her cousin, and now that it was evening, he couldn't help but worry more. How long would a trip to the Canton of Inquisition take?

On top of his worry for her safety, Delzen was somewhat worried concerning things for the ball. He was not sure if Lady Mia had found a gown to wear yet. Knowing his mistress, Delzen was fairly certain that she had already purchased a gown without informing him. Hopefully this time, the gown was not lavishly expensive. A few hundred boxings for a gown was reasonable, but a few thousand was unnecessary. But whatever the case, it was Lady Mia's decision in the end, and Delzen could not tell her how to spend her money.

Delzen was standing in the kitchen, awaiting one of the cooks to make a small meal for him when a servant came and informed him that, "Lady Mia's carriage has returned, Steward."

He allowed a sigh to escape his lips, a mixture of relief and regret. Relief for Lady Mia's safe return, and regret for his delicious smelling meal was going to have to wait a little while longer. Delzen straigtened his robes, and then made his way to the Grand Gallery to greet Lady Mia.

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#2 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:42 AM

She wobbled as stepped off the carriage. Her muscles were fine, but emotionally, she was drained. The ash falling from the sky was annoying. How ominous was it if the minute she stepped out of the Canton of Inquisition Headquarters, ash began to fall from the sky?

She sighed. It just meant the skaa had to work even harder to clean the Keep up for the Ball. All that surface area to sweep...

Stop it, she said to herself. Stop thinking about work. There's plenty of time until the Ball. A skaa opened the main door for her. Lord Ruler, only three days! It is not going to be enough time.

She hobbled into the Grand Gallery. She sighed. The problem with long entryways was that it was that much further from a clean sofa and a cup of tea.

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#3 Delzen

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:13 PM

Delzen arrived in the Grand Gallery only moments before Lady Mia walked through the front entrance. He studied her face for a moment, the wear showing in her expression. And certainly, who could blame her for being worn; she had a lot on her plate, at the moment. First there was the stress of not knowing if her husband was safe, add to that the stress of her new role as head of house and all that came with that, and finally, all of the stress associated with preparing for and hosting a ball. It was a lot to handle; even for strong women, such as Lady Mia was.

As she approached, he bowed low, in an almost graceful manner, not rising before offering his greeting to her. "Good evening, Lady Mia." It was not really his place to question Lady Mia directly, doing so would have been above his station. If she wanted to reveal things about her day, that was up to her. Delzen could only offer advice, and if the conversation called for it, a few general questions to probe further into whatever issue Lady Mia might have been having.

He could, however, report on the activity that had taken place in Lady Mia's absence this afternoon. And he began to do so as he fell in step just slightly behind and to the side of Lady Mia. "A majority of the East Wing's tapestries and floors have been thoroughly cleaned whilst you were out this afternoon, Mistress. And the same process is more half done in the West Wing; it should be completed before the skaa retire for the evening. " He continued in this manner, until Lady Mia stopped him by speaking herself.

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#4 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 27 June 2010 - 07:37 PM

"Thank you, dear Delzen," Mia said wearily. "I have complete confidence in your preparations." She sighed. "I think I did something very bad today. No, I know I did something wrong."

She went in closer to Delzen, and said quietly, "I wish he was still here. I really do. But no matter what happens, I think things are going to be... be okay.

"Let's go to the second tier of the Ballroom, if you are not too busy."

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#5 Delzen

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 28 June 2010 - 01:36 PM

Delzen resisted the urge to raise an eyebrow when Lady Casuana stated that she had done something bad. Certainly going to request an audience with someone in the Canton of Inquisition wasn't bad; it had happened in the past, though infrequently. He wanted to question her about the incident right then and there, but not only would it be improper, they weren't in the most private of areas in the keep and being overheard would not be a good idea.

"I am never too busy for you, my lady," he said with a slight bow. As Mia turned to make her way to the ballroom, Delzen fell into his customary spot just behind and to the side of her. As they walked, Delzen felt it alright to ask, "Was your request granted then, Mistress?"

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#6 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 28 June 2010 - 01:54 PM

"Apparently," Mia responded. "The Inquisitor--Azoth--appeared none too pleased. Regardless..." She sighed. "In other thrilling news, I've secured a dress for the Ball. No, it wasn't too expensive, but yes, we will have to make certain adjustments that you won't like, and it will completely destroy the beauty of the dress, unfortunately."

They made it to the second tier. It was comforting, being here. Beauty was always something Mia thought was rare--especially when she looked into the mirror--but the chandelier and its unique stained glass was a sight to behold. She sat at a small, cozy table for two, motioning Delzen to sit as well. It was at a table like this where she and Julian would often chat. It felt like so long ago.

She rubbed her face, no doubt getting her makeup ruined. "I lied to the Inquisitor, Delzen."

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#7 Delzen

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 28 June 2010 - 03:52 PM

Ah good, she had secured a dress. Delzen mentally checked off another item from his list of things that needed to be accomplished for the ball. It would be interesting to see what she had chosen for this event, generally she gowns that rather understated Mia's true beauty, whether or not she recognized it herself or not.

As she motioned for him to sit, Delzen hesitated briefly. He knew that Mistress Mia considered him to be slightly more than just a steward, but he was still not used to acting less than proper around her. Delzen was a servant, and servants did not sit with their masters and chat. But he knew she would persist if he didn't sit with her, so he slowly sank into the chair across the table from her, sitting just as stiffly as he normally was when standing.

He frowned a little as she rubbed her face, smudging her makeup, but it didn't really matter, she wouldn't be leaving again tonight. "I lied to the Inquisitor, Delzen."

Only the years of training that Delzen had undergone allowed him to keep his face straight. Even so, his eyes widened a little. She had lied to an Inquisitor? What on earth would possess her to do such a thing? If the lie was found out...

"Perhaps you should explain more fully, Mistress."

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#8 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 28 June 2010 - 04:17 PM

"I... Well, I couldn't hint anything odd about Julian's 'death', but at the same time, saying that we needed protection because of Lucius's murder just seemed like such a weak argument. So... I told them that I'd come across information that there would be a skaa attack on the Keep on Ball night."

She lay her head on the table. "Delzen, what happens when there's no rebel attack?"

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#9 Delzen

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 28 June 2010 - 04:50 PM

Delzen paused for a moment, taking in what Mia had told the Inquisitor. "It feels completely wrong to be saying this, but I suppose we should hope and pray that there is at least some sort of attack," he shook his head at himself, "Preferably a small one."

No doubt an attack from some poorly organized rebel skaa would be better than facing the wrath of the Canton of Inquisition for wasting their time.... and lying to them.

"And if there is no attack... well, we could always fake one, if worst comes to worst. We cannot draw the ire of the Inquisitors, though. That much is certain."

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#10 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 28 June 2010 - 05:04 PM

Mia rose her head, letting the idea sink in fully. "Delzen, that's brilliant! I mean, we couldn't expend any of our own guards, or Cami, or even the hazekiller's we are hiring."

Mia grinned widely. "But I know of a certain dead noble Lord who knows about all the secret passageways. I'd just need to contact him and set up the plan in advance. --Lord Ruler! The rebels are sure to at least send a spy to the Ball. Maybe one of them notices him, and he gets his 'in' with the rebellion? That is, unless he's already in. But still, Delzen, that's an amazing plan!" She leapt out of her seat, skipping to the other side of the table, and giving Delzen a massive hug.

What would I do without you, Delzen? she thought.

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#11 Delzen

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 28 June 2010 - 06:14 PM

Brilliant? Delzen had merely been thinking out loud. In fact, he hadn't really been serious at all when he said it. But Lady Mia seemed very excited about the idea, and so he didn't interrupt. When she finished, he only had time to utter, "Mistress, I don't think---" before receiving a quite unexpected hug.

He sat unmoving in the chair whilst Mia hugged him, then realizing that generally when one received a hug, at least a pat on the back was considered normal to do to the hugger. So he reached up a hand, patting Mia twice gently on the upper part of her back.

Delzen cleared his throat quietly, "How exactly are we supposed to sneak said certain dead noble lord into the ball? Everyone in attendance would recognize him instantly."

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#12 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 28 June 2010 - 08:53 PM

"The tunnels!" Mia said, beaming. "We'll just unlock one of the exits, and he can sneak in that way. He wouldn't step foot in the Ballroom."

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#13 Delzen

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 28 June 2010 - 09:45 PM

Delzen stayed silent for a moment, thinking. The idea did have some promise behind it, though Delzen certainly hadn't been serious when he voiced it.

"When was the last time you heard from Lord Julian, Mistress?" he asked, lowering his voice just in case any servants were nearby. "He will need to be informed of this new... plan as soon as possible."

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#14 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:09 PM

"I left him a letter at the drop point this morning. I set up an informant meeting for him." Mia sighed. "I've... had a very, very long day."

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#15 Delzen

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:14 PM

Delzen nodded in understanding, "Perhaps it's time you retired for the evening then?" Lady Mia did look rather worn down. He wished that he could take more of the pressure and stress weighing down on her onto himself, but much of what she was doing were things only she could do. All Delzen could do was be there to offer support where he could.

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#16 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:24 PM

Mia nodded. "That... that sounds like a fantastic idea. Thank you, Delzen, as always."

Slowly, she worked her way to the bedchambers. She was in no rush. After all, the bed was empty, just like it had been for the past sixteen nights. She sighed, thinking of Delzen. He could share his bed with no one, either, and that seemed just as depressing.

Perhaps that was why they worked so well together.

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