Queen of Shadows Chapter 47 Read Online

Full Read the Online Chapter 47 of Queen of Shadows novel by Sarah J. Maas for free.

Chapter 47 Part 1 Lady of Shadows of Queen of Shadows: “What the rutting hell happened?” Aelin roared as the front doors to the Assassins’ Keep banged behind her. Aedion and Rowan followed on her heels, both concealed beneath heavy hoods.

The front hall was empty, but a glass crashed from the closed sitting room, and then—

Three males, one tall, one short and slender, and one monstrously muscled, stalked into the hall. Harding, Tern, and Mullin. She bared her teeth at the men—Tern in particular. He was the smallest, oldest, and the most cunning, the ringleader of their little group. He’d probably hoped that she’d kill Arobynn that night they ran into each other in the Vaults.

“Start talking now,” she hissed.

Tern braced his feet apart. “Not unless you do the same.”

Aedion let out a low growl as the three assassins looked over her companions. “Never mind the guard dogs,” she snapped, drawing their attention back to her. “Explain yourselves.”

There was a muffled sob from the sitting room behind the men, and she flicked her eyes over Mullin’s towering shoulder. “Why are those two pieces of whoring trash in this house?”

Tern glowered. “Because Lysandra was the one who woke up screaming next to his body.”

Her fingers curled into claws. “Was she, now?” she murmured, such wrath in her eyes that even Tern stepped aside as she stalked into the sitting


Lysandra was slumped in an armchair, a handkerchief pressed to her face.

Clarisse, her madam, stood behind the chair, her face pale and tight.

Blood stained Lysandra’s skin and matted her hair, and patches had soaked through the thin silk robe that did little to hide her nakedness.

Lysandra jerked upright, her eyes red and face splotchy. “I didn’t—I swear I didn’t—”

A spectacular performance. “Why the hell should I believe you?” Aelin drawled. “You’re the only one with access to his room.”

Clarisse, golden-haired and aging gracefully for a woman in her forties, clicked her tongue. “Lysandra would never harm Arobynn. Why would she, when he was doing so much to pay off her debts?”

Aelin cocked her head at the madam. “Did I ask for your gods-damned opinion, Clarisse?”

Poised for violence, Rowan and Aedion kept silent, though she could have sworn a hint of shock flashed in their shadowed eyes. Good. Aelin flicked her attention to the assassins. “Show me where you found him. Now.”

Tern gave her a long look, considering her every word. A valiant effort, she thought, to try to catch me in knowing more than I should. The assassin pointed to the sweeping stairs visible through the open sitting room doors. “In his room. We moved his body downstairs.”

“You moved it before I could study the scene myself?”

It was tall, quiet Harding who said, “You were told only as a courtesy.”

And to see if I’d done it.

She stalked from the sitting room, pointing a finger behind her at Lysandra and Clarisse. “If either of them tries to run,” she said to Aedion, “gut them.”

Aedion’s grin shone from beneath his hood, his hands hovering within casual reach of his fighting knives.

Arobynn’s bedroom was a bloodbath. And there was nothing feigned as she paused on the threshold, blinking at the blood-drenched bed and the blood pooled on the floor.

What the hell had Lysandra done to him?

She clenched her hands against their trembling, aware that the three assassins at her back could see it. They were monitoring her every breath

and blink and swallow. “How?”

Mullin grunted. “Someone sliced his throat open and let him choke to death on his own blood.”

Her stomach turned—honestly turned. Lysandra, it seemed, hadn’t been content to let him go quickly. “There,” she said, and her throat closed. She tried again. “There’s a footprint in the blood.”

“Boots,” Tern said at her side. “Big—probably male.” He gave Aelin’s slender feet a pointed look. Then he studied Rowan’s feet where the prince loomed behind her, even though he’d probably already examined them. The little shit. Of course, the footprints Chaol had deliberately left were made with boots different from what any of them wore.

“The lock shows no sign of tampering,” she said, touching the door. “Does the window?”

“Go check,” Tern said.

She would have to walk through Arobynn’s blood to reach it. “Just tell me,” she said quietly. Wearily.

“Lock’s broken from the outside,” Harding said, and Tern shot him a glare.

She stepped back into the cool darkness of the hall. Rowan silently kept his distance, his Fae heritage still undetected beneath that hood—and it would remain that way so long as he didn’t open his mouth to reveal his elongated canines. Aelin said, “No one reported signs of anything being amiss?”

Tern shrugged. “There was a storm. The murderer probably waited until then to kill him.” He gave her another long look, wicked violence dancing in his dark eyes.

“Why don’t you just say it, Tern? Why don’t you ask me where I was last night?”

“We know where you were,” Harding said, coming to tower over Tern. There was nothing kind on his long, bland face. “Our eyes saw you at home all night. You were on the roof of your house, and then you went to bed.”

Exactly as she’d planned.

“Are you telling me that detail because you’d like me to hunt down your little eyes and blind them?” Aelin replied sweetly. “Because after I sort out this mess, that’s exactly what I plan to do.”

Mullin sighed sharply through his nose and glared at Harding, but said nothing. He was always a man of few words—perfect for dirty work.

“You don’t touch our men, and we won’t touch yours,” Tern said.

“I don’t make bargains with piece-of-shit, second-rate assassins,” she chirped, and gave him a nasty smile as she swept down the hall, past her old room, and down the stairs, Rowan a step behind.

She gave Aedion a nod as she entered the sitting room. He kept up his watchful position, still smiling like a wolf. Lysandra hadn’t moved an inch. “You can go,” she said to her. Lysandra’s head snapped up.

“What?” Tern barked.

Aelin pointed to the door. “Why would these two money-grubbing whores kill their biggest client? If anything,” she said over her shoulder, “I’d think you three would have more to gain.”

Before they could start barking, Clarisse coughed pointedly. “Yes?” Aelin hissed.

Clarisse’s face was deathly pale, but she held her head high as she said, “If you would allow it, the Master of the Bank will be here soon to read Arobynn’s will. Arobynn …” She dabbed at her eyes, the perfect portrait of grief. “Arobynn informed me that we were named. We would like to remain until it has been read.”

Aelin grinned. “Arobynn’s blood hasn’t yet dried on that bed, and you’re already swooping in for your bequest. I don’t know why I’m surprised. Maybe I’ve dismissed you as his murderer too soon, if you’re that eager to snatch whatever he’s left you.”

Clarisse paled again, and Lysandra began shaking. “Please, Celaena,” Lysandra begged. “We didn’t—I would never—”

Someone knocked on the front door.

Aelin slid her hands into her pockets. “Well, well. What good timing.”

The Master of the Bank looked as if he might vomit at the sight of blood- covered Lysandra, but then he sighed with something like relief when he spied Aelin. Lysandra and Clarisse now sat in twin armchairs while the Master took a seat behind the little writing desk before the towering bay windows, Tern and his cronies hovering like vultures. Aelin leaned against

the wall beside the doorway, arms crossed, Aedion flanking her left side and Rowan her right.

As the Master went on and on with his condolences and apologies, she felt Rowan’s eyes on her.

He took a step nearer, as if to brush his arm against hers. She sidled out of reach.

Rowan was still staring at her when the Master opened a sealed envelope and cleared his throat. He spouted some legal jargon and offered his condolences again, which gods-damned Clarisse had the audacity to accept as though she were Arobynn’s widow.

Then came the long list of Arobynn’s assets—his business investments, his properties, and the enormous, outrageous fortune left in his account. Clarisse was practically drooling on the carpet, but Arobynn’s three assassins kept their faces carefully neutral.

“It is my will,” the Master read, “that the sole beneficiary of all my fortune, assets, and holdings should be my heir, Celaena Sardothien.”

Clarisse whipped around in her chair, fast as an adder. “What?” “Bullshit,” Aedion blurted.

Aelin just stared at the Master, her mouth a bit open, her hands falling slack to her sides. “Say that again,” she breathed.

The Master gave a nervous, watery smile. “Everything—all of it, is left to you. Well, except for … this sum to Madam Clarisse, to settle his debts.” He showed Clarisse the paper.

“That’s impossible,” the madam hissed. “He promised I was in that will.” “And you are,” Aelin drawled, pushing off the wall to peer over

Clarisse’s shoulder at the small number. “Don’t get greedy, now.”

“Where are the duplicates?” Tern demanded. “Have you inspected them?” He stormed around the table to examine the will.

The Master flinched, but held up the parchment—signed by Arobynn and utterly legal. “We verified the copies in our vaults this morning. All identical, all dated from three months ago.”

When she’d been in Wendlyn.

She stepped forward. “So, aside from that teensy sum for Clarisse … all of this—this house, the Guild, the other properties, his fortune—it’s all mine?”

The Master nodded again, already scrambling to pack up his case. “Congratulations, Miss Sardothien.”

Slowly, she turned her head toward Clarisse and Lysandra. “Well, if that’s the case …” She bared her teeth in a vicious smile. “Get your whoring, blood-sucking carcasses the hell off my property.”

The Master choked.

Lysandra couldn’t move fast enough as she rushed for the door. Clarisse, however, remained seated. “How dare you—” the madam began.

“Five,” Aelin said, holding up five fingers. She lowered one, and reached for her dagger with her other hand. “Four.” Another. “Three.”

Clarisse hauled ass from the room, bustling after a sobbing Lysandra.

Then Aelin looked at the three assassins. Their hands hung limp at their sides, fury and shock and—wisely enough—something like fear on their faces.

She said too quietly, “You held Sam back while Arobynn beat me into oblivion, and then didn’t raise a finger to stop it when Arobynn beat him, too. I don’t know what role you played in his death, but I will never forget the sounds of your voices outside my bedroom door as you fed me the details about Rourke Farran’s house. Was it easy for you three? To send me to that sadist’s house, knowing what he’d done to Sam and what he was aching to do to me? Were you just following orders, or were you more than happy to volunteer?”

The Master had recoiled in his chair, trying to make himself as invisible as possible in a room full of professional killers.

Tern’s lip curled. “We don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Pity. I might have been willing to listen to some paltry excuses.” She looked at the clock on the mantel. “Pack your clothes and get the hell out. Right now.”

They blinked. “What?” Tern said.

“Pack your clothes,” she said, enunciating each word. “Get the hell out.

Right now.”

“This is our home,” Harding said.

“Not anymore.” She picked at her nails. “Correct me if I’m wrong, Master,” she purred, and the man cringed at the attention. “I own this house and everything in it. Tern, Harding, and Mullin haven’t yet paid back their debts to poor Arobynn, so I own everything they have here—even their

clothes. I’m feeling generous, so I’ll let them keep those, since their taste is shit-awful anyway. But their weapons, their client lists, the Guild … All of that is mine. I get to decide who’s in and who’s out. And since these three saw fit to accuse me of murdering my master, I say they’re out. If they try to work again in this city, on this continent, then by law and by the laws of the Guild, I have the right to hunt them down and chop them into itty-bitty pieces.” She batted her eyelashes. “Or am I wrong?”

The Master’s gulp was audible. “You are correct.”

Tern took a step toward her. “You can’t—you can’t do this.”

“I can, and I will. Queen of the Assassins sounds so nice, doesn’t it?” She waved to the door. “See yourselves out.”

Harding and Mullin made to move, but Tern flung his arms out, stopping them. “What the hell do you want from us?”

“Honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing you three gutted and hanging from the chandeliers by your insides, but I think it would ruin these very beautiful carpets that I’m now the owner of.”

“You can’t just toss us out. What will we do? Where will we go?” “I hear hell is particularly nice at this time of year.” “Please—please,” Tern said, his breath coming fast.

She stuffed her hands into her pockets and surveyed the room. “I suppose

…” She made a thoughtful sound. “I suppose I could sell you the house, and the land, and the Guild.”

“You bitch—” Tern spat, but Harding stepped forward. “How much?” he asked.

“How much were the property and the Guild valued at, Master?”

The Master looked like a man walking up to the gallows as he opened his file again and found the sum. Astronomical, outrageous, impossible for the three of them to pay.

Harding ran a hand through his hair. Tern had turned a spectacular shade of purple.

“I take it you don’t have that much,” Aelin said. “Too bad. I was going to offer to sell it all to you at face value—no markup.”

She made to turn away, but Harding said, “Wait. What if we all paid together—the three of us and the others. So we all owned the house and the Guild.”

She paused. “Money’s money. I don’t give a shit where you get it from, so long as it’s given to me.” She angled her head toward the Master. “Can you have the papers drawn up today? Providing they come through with the money, of course.”

“This is insane,” Tern murmured to Harding.

Harding shook his head. “Be quiet, Tern. Just—be quiet.”

“I … ,” the Master said. “I—I can have them made up and ready within three hours. Will that be adequate time for you to provide proof of sufficient funds?”

Harding nodded. “We’ll find the others and tell them.”

She smiled at the Master and at the three men. “Congratulations on your new freedom.” She pointed to the door again. “And as I am mistress of this house for another three hours … get out. Go find your friends, get your money together, and then sit on the curb like the trash you are until the Master returns.”

They wisely obeyed, Harding clamping down on Tern’s hand to keep him from giving her a vulgar gesture. When the Master of the Bank left, the assassins spoke to their colleagues, and every inhabitant of the house filed outside one by one, even the servants. She didn’t care what the neighbors made of it.

Soon the giant, beautiful manor house was empty save for her, Aedion, and Rowan.

They silently followed as she walked through the door to the lower levels and descended into the dark to see her master one last time.

Rowan didn’t know what to make of it. A whirlwind of hate and rage and violence, that was what she’d become. And none of these piss-poor assassins had been surprised—not even a blink at her behavior. From Aedion’s pale face, he knew the general was thinking the same thing, contemplating the years she’d spent as that unyielding and vicious creature. Celaena Sardothien—that was who she’d been then, and who she’d become today.

He hated it. Hated that he couldn’t reach her when she was that person. Hated that he’d snapped at her last night, had panicked at the touch of her

hands. Now she’d shut him out entirely. This person she’d become today had no kindness, no joy.

He followed her down into the dungeons, where candles lit a path toward the room where her master’s body was being kept. She was still swaggering, hands in her pockets, not caring that Rowan lived or breathed or even existed. Not real, he told himself. An act.

But she’d avoided him since last night, and today she had actually stepped away from his touch when he’d dared to reach for her. That had been real.

She strode through the open door into the same room where Sam had lain. Red hair spilled out from underneath the white silk sheet covering the naked body on the table, and she paused before it. Then she turned to Rowan and Aedion.

She stared at them, waiting. Waiting for them to— Aedion swore. “You switched the will, didn’t you?”

She gave a small, cold smile, her eyes shadowed. “You said you needed money for an army, Aedion. So here’s your money—all of it, and every coin for Terrasen. It was the least Arobynn owed us. That night I fought at the Pits, we were only there because I’d contacted the owners days before and told them to send out subtle feelers to Arobynn about investing. He took the bait—didn’t even question the timing of it. But I wanted to make sure he quickly earned back all the money he lost when I trashed the Vaults. So we wouldn’t be denied one coin owed to us.”

Holy burning hell.

Aedion shook his head. “How—how the hell did you even do it?”

She opened her mouth, but Rowan said quietly, “She snuck into the bank

—all those times that she slipped out in the middle of the night. And used all those daytime meetings with the Master of the Bank to get a better sense of the layout, where things were kept.” This woman, this queen of his … A familiar thrill raced through his blood. “You burned the originals?”

She didn’t even look at him. “Clarisse would have been a very rich woman, and Tern would have become King of the Assassins. And you know what I would have received? The Amulet of Orynth. That was all he left me.”

“That was how you knew he truly had it—and where he kept it,” Rowan said. “From reading the will.”

She shrugged again, dismissing the shock and admiration he couldn’t keep from his face. Dismissing him.

Aedion scrubbed at his face. “I don’t even know what to say. You should have told me so I didn’t act like a gawking fool up there.”

“Your surprise needed to be genuine; even Lysandra didn’t know about the will.” Such a distant answer—closed and heavy. Rowan wanted to shake her, demand she talk to him, look at him. But he wasn’t entirely sure what he would do if she wouldn’t let him near, if she pulled away again while Aedion was watching.

Aelin turned back to Arobynn’s body and flipped the sheet away from his face, revealing a jagged wound that sliced across his pale neck.

Lysandra had mangled him.

Arobynn’s face had been arranged in an expression of calm, but from the blood Rowan had seen in the bedroom, the man had been very much awake while he choked on his own blood.

Aelin peered down at her former master, her face blank save for a slight tightening around her mouth. “I hope the dark god finds a special place for you in his realm,” she said, and a shiver went down Rowan’s spine at the midnight caress in her tone.

She extended a hand behind her to Aedion. “Give me your sword.”

Aedion drew the Sword of Orynth and handed it to her. Aelin gazed down at the blade of her ancestors as she weighed it in her hands.

When she raised her head, there was only icy determination in those remarkable eyes. A queen exacting justice.

Then she lifted her father’s sword and severed Arobynn’s head from his body.

It rolled to the side with a vulgar thud, and she smiled grimly at the corpse.

“Just to be sure,” was all she said.

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