And then he was stumbling forward, falling more than running, really, closing his eyes and shoving the dagger blindly out before him with both hands. He heard a crack, like the sound ice makes when it breaks beneath a man’s foot, and then a screech so shrill and sharp that he went staggering backward with his hands over his muffled ears, and fell hard on his arse.
When he opened his eyes the Other’s armor was running down its legs in rivulets as pale blue blood hissed and steamed around the black dragonglass dagger in its throat. It reached down with two bone-white hands to pull out the knife, but where its fingers touched the obsidian they smoked.
Sam rolled onto his side, eyes wide as the Other shrank and puddled, dissolving away. In twenty heartbeats its flesh was gone, swirling away in a fine white mist. Beneath were bones like milkglass, pale and shiny, and they were melting too.Finally only the dragonglass dagger remained, wreathed in steam as if it were alive and sweating.
I have a gift for you as well. Your life.
“I have a gift for you as well.” She slammed the chest shut. “Three days. On the morning of the third day, send out your slaves. All of them. Every man, woman, and child shall be given a weapon, and as much food, clothing, coin, and goods as he or she can carry. These they shall be allowed to choose freely from among their masters’ possessions, as payment for their years of servitude. When all the slaves have departed, you will open your gates and allow my Unsullied to enter and search your city, to make certain none remain in bondage. If you do this, Yunkai will not be burned or plundered, and none of your people shall be molested. The Wise Masters will have the peace they desire, and will have proved themselves wise indeed. What say you?”
“I say, you are mad.”
“Am I?” Dany shrugged, and said, “Dracarys.”
The dragons answered. Rhaegal hissed and smoked, Viserion snapped, and Drogon spat swirling red-black flame. It touched the drape of Grazdan’s tokar, and the silk caught in half a heartbeat. Golden marks spilled across the carpets as the envoy stumbled over the chest, shouting curses and beating at his arm until Whitebeard flung a flagon of water over him to douse the flames.
“You are in the presence of Daenerys Stormborn, of House Targaryen. Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.”
You will release every slave in Yunkai. Every man, woman, and child shall be given as much food, clothing, and property as they can carry as payment for their years of servitude. Reject this gift and…
“We should have stayed in that cave. I told you so.”
“We’ll go back to the cave.”