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He Who Laughs
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He Who Laughs

Life had begun with laughter and was ending in mourning.

And it was clear to him now that laughter had always preceded him on his way - a hollow and a mocking sound that echoed in the vaults and the chambers of his mind; distracting, confusing, obscuring. Wherever he had turned, he was pre-empted; the fork in the path ahead was only and ever false and the choice always pre-ordained. Action was already wrong action - the boy's hand that had slipped and ruined a hundred childhood efforts; and the work of the man - the great bridge across which his enemies had poured with fire and steel and ultimate ruin.

Should he then have chosen inaction...?

...she had cried out and it had not moved him, and the mouthpiece had laughed and had laughed...

There was no way out of the ways of the world.

...and yet, and yet... Ivrin's clear waters had laughed for him once, not mocking, but consoling...

Was there no way out of the ways of the world? If life was curse...

And then the man whose fate was mourning saw at last the gift of men, and chose - and laughed -

- and high in the vaults of heaven the Swordsman walks his path, and burns with patient fury, watching all the fates of the earth - and waiting...


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