They emerged atop the broad curving steps that fronted on the Street of the Sisters, near the foot of Visenya’s Hill. He bid Hallyne farewell and waddled down to where Timett son of Timett waited with an escort of Burned Men. Given his purpose today, it had seemed a singularly appropriate choice for his guard. Besides, their scars struck terror in the hearts of the city rabble. That was all to the good these days. Only three nights past, another mob had gathered at the gates of the Red Keep, chanting for food. Joff had unleashed a storm of arrows against them, slaying four, and then shouted down that they had his leave to eat their dead. Winning us still more friends.
Tyrion was surprised to see Bronn standing beside the litter as well. “What are you doing here?”
“Delivering your messages,” Bronn said. “Ironhand wants you urgently at the Gate of the Gods. He won’t say why. And you’ve been summoned to Maegor’s too.”
“Summoned?” Tyrion knew of only one person who would presume to use that word. “And what does Cersei want of me?”
Bronn shrugged. “The queen commands you to return to the castle at once and attend her in her chambers. That stripling cousin of yours delivered the message. Four hairs on his lip and he thinks he’s a man.”
“Four hairs and a knighthood. He’s Ser Lancel now, never forget.” Tyrion knew that Ser Jacelyn would not send for him unless the matter was of import. “I’d best see what Bywater wants. Inform my sister that I will attend her on my return.”
“She won’t like that,” Bronn warned.
“Good. The longer Cersei waits, the angrier she’ll become, and anger makes her stupid. I much prefer angry and stupid to composed and cunning.” Tyrion tossed his folded cloak into his litter, and Timett helped him up after it.
The market square inside the Gate of the Gods, which in normal times would have been thronged with farmers selling vegetables, was near deserted when Tyrion crossed it. Ser Jacelyn met him at the gate, and raised his iron hand in brusque salute. “My lord. Your cousin Cleos Frey is here, come from Riverrun under a peace banner with a letter from Robb Stark.”
“So he says.”
“Sweet cousin. Show me to him.”
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