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He looked down his steel, down into the face of the man - no - the boy, whose throne so many had died defending on that miserable day. Even now, defeated and helpless, the emperor struggled to show only cold contempt for the barbarian, though the mask broke into petulant anger, uncomprehending and spiteful.

Angrim was sick to death of the entire business, he wished for no more death on that day. The ravens would grow fat on the reapings they had left in the field, but still he needed to break this young cub to the new reality, even as he sat in furious bewilderment over how it had come to this.

"The stories wil ring out, from here to all corners of this realm, and beyond. They will tell how the sword of this barbarian was at your throat, and not all the power of all your imperial armies mustered could move it, not even an inch." Angrim could nearly feel the scorn pouring off the young man, and it delighted him. "I will leave you with your city, your life, and whatever men still loya