Etoile
“In the silent aftermath, I said, “We’ll give them a second chance.”With my right hand, I reached to the other pocket. I had known as soon as I lifted the false bottom in the gun case and looked underneath what it meant. I had tried without ceasing to find some alternative to Attolia’s ruthless advice and I had failed. Gen’s gift told me that I had not failed for lack of trying. I’d lifted out the matching gun and read its archaic inscription. Realisa onum. Not ‘the queen made me,’ but ‘I can make the king.’Looking at Akretenesh’s startled face down the long barrel of the handgun, I smiled, until I felt the scar tissue tighten. That one expression, I’d never showed him. My face gave away my humiliation, my rage, my surprise, and my embarrassment, but I had never let him see what I looked like when I smiled: my uncle.His diplomatic mask dissolved, and he backed away.In Attolia, I had been in front of a mirror at last, and I had understood what made Oerus back in Hanaktos ask me if my expression was a happy one or not. The smile rumpled the scar tissue under my skin, and it dragged my face askew, giving me the leer of a man who’d never had a moment of self-doubt, who’d never regretted a life lost. I’d worried that I wouldn’t have the nerve to carry this off, but in the moment, it was easy. Seeing Akretenesh recoil, I laughed out loud.” ― Megan Whalen Turner, A Conspiracy of Kings

“In the silent aftermath, I said, “We’ll give them a second chance.”
With my right hand, I reached to the other pocket. I had known as soon as I lifted the false bottom in the gun case and looked underneath what it meant. I had tried without ceasing to find some alternative to Attolia’s ruthless advice and I had failed. Gen’s gift told me that I had not failed for lack of trying. I’d lifted out the matching gun and read its archaic inscription. Realisa onum. Not ‘the queen made me,’ but ‘I can make the king.’
Looking at Akretenesh’s startled face down the long barrel of the handgun, I smiled, until I felt the scar tissue tighten. That one expression, I’d never showed him. My face gave away my humiliation, my rage, my surprise, and my embarrassment, but I had never let him see what I looked like when I smiled: my uncle.
His diplomatic mask dissolved, and he backed away.
In Attolia, I had been in front of a mirror at last, and I had understood what made Oerus back in Hanaktos ask me if my expression was a happy one or not. The smile rumpled the scar tissue under my skin, and it dragged my face askew, giving me the leer of a man who’d never had a moment of self-doubt, who’d never regretted a life lost. I’d worried that I wouldn’t have the nerve to carry this off, but in the moment, it was easy. Seeing Akretenesh recoil, I laughed out loud.” 
― Megan Whalen TurnerA Conspiracy of Kings

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