冰与火之歌卷Ⅱ:列王的纷争 中英文双语同步对照版 第36篇 提利昂

Ⅱ 列王的纷争 Chapter36 提利昂

TYRION

瓦里斯站在火盆边,烘烤着柔软的手。“蓝礼居然在大军之中被人极其可怕地谋杀,真令人不敢相信。那把利刃就像切奶酪一样穿过钢铁和骨头,把他喉咙从左耳根割到右耳根。”

Varys stood over the brazier, warming his soft hands. “It would appear Renly was murdered most fearfully in the very midst of his army. His throat was opened from ear to ear by a blade that passed through steel and bone as if they were soft cheese.”

“到底谁干的?”瑟曦质问。

“Murdered by whose hand?” Cersei demanded.

“哎,问题是,太多答案就等于没有答案。国王骤然身亡,谣言像阴暗处的蘑菇一样滋生,而我的情报并不总如我们所愿的那样担任要职。一个马夫说,蓝礼被彩虹护卫之一所害;一个洗衣妇声称,史坦尼斯带着他的魔剑,潜进弟弟的大营之中;一些士兵相信是位女人干的,却无法就哪个女人达成一致。其中一个认为凶手是遭蓝礼抛弃的少女,另一个说是战斗前夜服侍国王的营妓,第三个则斗胆猜测凯特琳·史塔克夫人是真凶。”

“Have you ever considered that too many answers are the same as no answer at all? My informers are not always as highly placed as we might like. When a king dies, fancies sprout like mushrooms in the dark. A groom says that Renly was slain by a knight of his own Rainbow Guard. A washerwoman claims Stannis stole through the heart of his brother’s army with his magic sword. Several men-at-arms believe a woman did the fell deed, but cannot agree on which woman. A maid that Renly had spurned, claims one. A camp follower brought in to serve his pleasure on the eve of battle, says a second. The third ventures that it might have been the Lady Catelyn Stark.”

太后很不高兴,“你非得拿这些笨蛋津津乐道的闲言碎语来浪费我们的时间?”

The queen was not pleased. “Must you waste our time with every rumor the fools care to tell?”

“您为这些闲言碎语付了丰厚的报酬呀,我仁慈的太后陛下。”

“You pay me well for these rumors, my gracious queen.”

“我们付酬是为了真相,瓦里斯大人。请你记住,否则这小小的会议只怕会变得更小。”

“We pay you for the truth, Lord Varys. Remember that, or this small council may grow smaller still.”

瓦里斯神经质地吃吃笑道:“哎,您和您尊贵的弟弟这样攀比下去,国王陛下就没有御前会议了。”

Varys tittered nervously. “You and your noble brother will leave His Grace with no council at all if you continue.”

“依我看,国家精简几个重臣倒也无妨,”小指头微笑道。

“I daresay, the realm could survive a few less councillors,” said Littlefinger with a smile.

“最最亲爱的培提尔,”瓦里斯说,“您就不担心自己是首相黑名册里的下一个吗?”

“Dear dear Petyr,” said Varys, “are you not concerned that yours might be the next name on the Hand’s little list?”

“排在你之前,瓦里斯?我做梦也不会这么想。”

“Before you, Varys? I should never dream of it.”

“或许咱俩会在长城上当兄弟呢,你和我。”瓦里斯又咯咯笑。

“Mayhaps we will be brothers on the Wall together, you and I.” Varys giggled again.

“快了,太监,你再不吐出点有用的东西,就离长城不远了。”瑟曦恶狠狠地瞪着他,好似想将他再阉割一遍。

“Sooner than you’d like, if the next words out of your mouth are not something useful, eunuch.” From the look of her eyes, Cersei was prepared to castrate Varys all over again.

“这会不会是个花招?”小指头问。

“Might this be some ruse?” asked Littlefinger.

“倘若如此,那实在玩得高明,”瓦里斯说,“连我也上了当。”

“If so, it is a ruse of surpassing cleverness,” said Varys. “It has certainly hoodwinked me.”

提利昂听够了。“只怕小乔要失望了,”他说,“他为蓝礼的脑袋准备了那么锋利的长枪。总之呢,不管谁下的手,幕后策划都该是史坦尼斯。事情很明显,他是得益者。”这实在不是个好消息,他原指望拜拉席恩兄弟血战一场,两败俱伤。肘部从前被流星锤砸中的地方隐隐作痛,每当天气潮湿,就会这样犯病。他一边徒劳地揉搓,一边问,“蓝礼的军队呢?”

Tyrion had heard enough. “Joff will be so disappointed,” he said. “He was saving such a nice spike for Renly’s head. But whoever did the deed, we must assume Stannis was behind it. The gain is clearly his.” He did not like this news; he had counted on the brothers Baratheon decimating each other in bloody battle. He could feel his elbow throbbing where the morningstar had laid it open. It did that sometimes in the damp. He squeezed it uselessly in his hand and asked, “What of Renly’s host?”

“他把大队步兵留在苦桥。”瓦里斯离开火盆,坐回议事桌边的座位。“但那些跟随蓝礼大人星夜奔赴风息堡的领主们,大都降旗投靠了史坦尼斯,请注意,这几乎代表着全南境的骑兵。”

“The greater part of his foot remains at Bitterbridge.” Varys abandoned the brazier to take his seat at the table. “Most of the lords who rode with Lord Renly to Storm’s End have gone over banner-and-blade to Stannis, with all their chivalry.”

“我敢打赌,是佛罗伦家带的头,”小指头说。

“Led by the Florents, I’d wager,” said Littlefinger.

瓦里斯皮笑肉不笑地道:“你赢了,大人。率先倒戈的确是艾利斯特伯爵。许多诸侯随后跟进。”

Varys gave him a simpering smile. “You would win, my lord. Lord Alester was indeed the first to bend the knee. Many others followed.”

“许多,”提利昂强调,“不是全部?”

“Many,” Tyrion said pointedly, “but not all?”

“不是全部,”太监确认。“不包括洛拉斯·提利尔,不包括蓝道·塔利,也不包括马图斯·罗宛。此外,风息堡的守军没有投降,科塔奈·庞洛斯爵士以蓝礼之名坚守城堡,拒绝相信主君已死。他坚持要亲眼目睹遗体方肯打开城门,但蓝礼的尸体竟莫名其妙失踪了,很可能被谁藏了起来。蓝礼麾下的骑士约有五分之一跟洛拉斯爵士一同离开,不愿效忠史坦尼斯。据说百花骑士一见国王的尸体就发了疯,盛怒之下连斩三名蓝礼的护卫,其中包括埃蒙·库伊和罗拔·罗伊斯。”

“Not all,” agreed the eunuch. “Not Loras Tyrell, nor Randyll Tarly, nor Mathis Rowan. And Storm’s End itself has not yielded. Ser Cortnay Penrose holds the castle in Renly’s name, and will not believe his liege is dead. He demands to see the mortal remains before he opens his gates, but it seems that Renly’s corpse has unaccountably vanished. Carried away, most likely. A fifth of Renly’s knights departed with Ser Loras rather than bend the knee to Stannis. It’s said the Knight of Flowers went mad when he saw his king’s body, and slew three of Renly’s guards in his wrath, among them Emmon Cuy and Robar Royce.”

可惜,他才杀三个就住了手,提利昂心想。

A pity he stopped at three, thought Tyrion.

“洛拉斯爵士应是往苦桥去了,”瓦里斯续道,“他的妹妹——蓝礼的王后——还留在那里。现在的情况是,留在当地的众多士兵突然失去了国王,不知何去何从。他们所侍奉的领主有不少在风息堡投靠了史坦尼斯。而这些小卒该怎么走?他们自己也不明白。”

“Ser Loras is likely making for Bitterbridge,” Varys went on. “His sister is there, Renly’s queen, as well as a great many soldiers who suddenly find themselves kingless. Which side will they take now? A ticklish question. Many serve the lords who remained at Storm’s End, and those lords now belong to Stannis.”

提利昂倾身向前,“依我看,这正是我们的机会。只需把洛拉斯·提利尔争取过来,就有机会吸纳梅斯·提利尔和高庭的势力。他们或许暂时倾向史坦尼斯,但不可能喜欢那个人,否则从一开始就追随他了。”

Tyrion leaned forward. “There is a chance here, it seems to me. Win Loras Tyrell to our cause and Lord Mace Tyrell and his bannermen might join us as well. They may have sworn their swords to Stannis for the moment, yet they cannot love the man, or they would have been his from the start.”

“难道他们比较喜欢我们?”瑟曦反问。

“Is their love for us any greater?” asked Cersei.

“不大可能,”提利昂说,“很明显,他们爱戴的是蓝礼。但蓝礼已死,或许我们能提供一些充分的证据,来显示乔佛里和史坦尼斯之间的区别……而且要赶快。”

“Scarcely,” said Tyrion. “They loved Renly, clearly, but Renly is slain. Perhaps we can give them good and sufficient reasons to prefer Joffrey to Stannis … if we move quickly.”

“你打算提供什么证据?”

“What sort of reasons do you mean to give them?”

“金钱证据,”小指头立即提议。

“Gold reasons,” Littlefinger suggested at once.

瓦里斯啧啧两声,“亲爱的培提尔,你不会以为这些强大的诸侯和高贵的骑士能像市场里的鸡那样随意买卖吧。

Varys made a tsking sound. “Sweet Petyr, surely you do not mean to suggest that these puissant lords and noble knights could be bought like so many chickens in the market.”

“你最近上市场吗,瓦里斯大人?”小指头问,“我敢说,买个诸侯绝对比买只鸡容易。当然了,诸侯的叫声比鸡高傲,而且你要是像商人一样直接标价做买卖,他们会很反感,但对于到手的礼物……以及荣誉,土地,城堡等等……他们可是却之不恭。”

“Have you been to our markets of late, Lord Varys?” asked Littlefinger. “You’d find it easier to buy a lord than a chicken, I daresay. Of course, lords cluck prouder than chickens, and take it ill if you offer them coin like a tradesman, but they are seldom adverse to taking gifts … honors, lands, castles …”

“贿赂或能动摇部分小诸侯,”提利昂道,“但不可能买下整个高庭。”

“Bribes might sway some of the lesser lords,” Tyrion said, “but never Highgarden.”

“没错,”小指头承认。“关键是百花骑士。梅斯·提利尔有三个儿子,而幼子洛拉斯是他的最爱。把他争取过来,高庭的力量就是你的。”

“True,” Littlefinger admitted. “The Knight of Flowers is the key there. Mace Tyrell has two older sons, but Loras has always been his favorite. Win him, and Highgarden will be yours.”

不谋而舍,提利昂心想。“我认为,已故的蓝礼大人给我们好好上了一课,应该像他一样利用联姻争取提利尔的同盟。”

Yes, Tyrion thought. “It seems to me we should take a lesson from the late Lord Renly. We can win the Tyrell alliance as he did. With a marriage.”

瓦里斯立刻明白弦外之音,“您要乔佛里国王迎娶玛格丽·提利尔?”

Varys understood the quickest. “You think to wed King Joffrey to Margaery Tyrell.”

“对。”他依稀记得蓝礼的年轻王后不过十五六岁……比乔佛里稍大,但也就大几岁,况且她是那么美丽迷人。

“I do.” Renly’s young queen was no more than fifteen, sixteen, he seemed to recall … older than Joffrey, but a few years were nothing, it was so neat and sweet he could taste it.

“乔佛里已跟珊莎·史塔克订婚,”瑟曦反对。

“Joffrey is betrothed to Sansa Stark,” Cersei objected.

“婚约可以解除。让国王跟一个已死叛徒的女儿成婚有什么好处?”

“Marriage contracts can be broken. What advantage is there in wedding the king to the daughter of a dead traitor?”

小指头发话了:“你可以提醒国王陛下,提利尔家比史塔克家有钱,玛格丽更是可爱……可爱到能同床共枕了。”

Littlefinger spoke up. “You might point out to His Grace that the Tyrells are much wealthier than the Starks, and that Margaery is said to be lovely … and beddable besides.”

“没错,”提利昂说,“小乔很关心这点。”

“Yes,” said Tyrion, “Joff ought to like that well enough.”

“胡说,我儿子还小,怎会关心这种事?”

“My son is too young to care about such things.”

“你以为?”提利昂回敬,“瑟曦呀,他都十三岁了,当年我就是这个年龄结的婚。”

“You think so?” asked Tyrion. “He’s thirteen, Cersei. The same age at which I married.”

“你那可笑的故事让大家集体蒙羞!乔佛里的本质比你高贵得多。”

“You shamed us all with that sorry episode. Joffrey is made of finer stuff.”

“高贵到让柏洛斯爵士去扒珊莎的衣服?”

“So fine that he had Ser Boros rip off Sansa’s gown.”

“他在生她的气。”

“He was angry with the girl.”

“昨晚厨房小弟把汤洒掉的时候他也很生气,却没有扒光他的衣服。”

“He was angry with that cook’s boy who spilled the soup last night as well, but he didn’t strip him naked.”

“这不是洒汤的问题——”

“This was not a matter of some spilled soup—”

对,是乳房的问题。经过庭院里发生的那件事,提利昂和瓦里斯商议,或许该安排乔佛里去莎塔雅的妓院走走。希望这孩子尝过一点甜蜜之后会变得温和一些,甚至因此心怀感激,诸神保佑,这样提利昂就能在君主的支持下自由行动。当然,关键是保密,难处在于如何将猎狗支开。“那条狗老跟在主人脚边,”他对瓦里斯评述,“但人总要睡觉,也免不了赌博、嫖妓、或酗酒之事。”

No, it was a matter of some pretty teats. After that business in the yard, Tyrion had spoken with Varys about how they might arrange for Joffrey to visit Chataya’s. A taste of honey might sweeten the boy, he hoped. He might even be grateful, gods forbid, and Tyrion could do with a shade more gratitude from his sovereign. It would need to be done secretly, of course. The tricky bit would be parting him from the Hound. “The dog is never far from his master’s heels,” he’d observed to Varys, “but all men sleep. And some gamble and whore and visit winesinks as well.”

“不用怀疑,猎狗对这些样样精通。”

“The Hound does all these things, if that is your question.”

“你别兜圈子了,”提利昂说,“我的问题是,他何时去做这些事?”

“No,” said Tyrion. “My question is when.”

瓦里斯把一根指头放在脸颊,神秘地微笑。“大人,疑神疑鬼的人会认为你想趁桑铎·克里冈不在乔佛里陛下身边保护的时机,好加害那孩子呢。”

Varys had laid a finger on his cheek, smiling enigmatically. “My lord, a suspicious man might think you wished to find a time when Sandor Clegane was not protecting King Joffrey, the better to do the boy some harm.”

“你肯定不会误会,瓦里斯大人,”提利昂说,“啊,我所做的一切不都为了讨他喜欢么?”

“Surely you know me better than that, Lord Varys,” Tyrion said. “Why, all I want is for Joffrey to love me.”

太监答应留心这件事。但眼下战争自有其需求,乔佛里的成年礼还得搁一搁。“你对自己儿子的了解当然比我深,”他勉强自己说出违心之论,“但无论如何,跟提利尔联姻值得一试,因为这或许是惟一可让乔佛里活到婚礼当晚的方法。”

The eunuch had promised to look into the matter. The war made its own demands, though; Joffrey’s initiation into manhood would need to wait. “Doubtless you know your son better than I do,” he made himself tell Cersei, “but regardless, there’s still much to be said for a Tyrell marriage. It may be the only way that Joffrey lives long enough to reach his wedding night.”

小指头表示同意:“史塔克家的女孩固然甜蜜,可除了以身相许,对乔佛里一点用也没有;玛格丽·提利尔不同,她有五万大军和高庭的全部势力做嫁妆。”

Littlefinger agreed. “The Stark girl brings Joffrey nothing but her body, sweet as that may be. Margaery Tyrell brings fifty thousand swords and all the strength of Highgarden.”

“此言有理啊。”瓦里斯把一只柔软的手搭上太后的袖子。“陛下,您有慈母的胸怀,我也明白国王陛下很爱他的小甜心。但我们这些冒昧为政的人,凡事必须以全国百姓福祉为优先考虑,而暂时搁置自身欲望。依我看呀,这门婚事势在必行。”

“Indeed.” Varys laid a soft hand on the queen’s sleeve. “You have a mother’s heart, and I know His Grace loves his little sweetling. Yet kings must learn to put the needs of the realm before their own desires. I say this offer must be made.”

太后抽开胳膊,摆脱太监的手。“你是女人就不会这么讲了。随你们怎么说,大人们,但乔佛里生性骄傲,他决不会满足于蓝礼的残羹剩饭,决不会答应这门婚事。”

The queen pulled free of the eunuch’s touch. “You would not speak so if you were women. Say what you will, my lords, but Joffrey is too proud to settle for Renly’s leavings. He will never consent.”

提利昂耸耸肩,“三年之后陛下成年,到时方可自行理事,在此之前,你是他的摄政,我是他的首相,我们让他娶谁,他就得娶谁。残羹剩饭也只能将就将就。”

Tyrion shrugged. “When the king comes of age in three years, he may give or withhold his consent as he pleases. Until then, you are his regent and I am his Hand, and he will marry whomever we tell him to marry. Leavings or no.”

瑟曦还在作无谓挣扎:“你们就提亲去吧,此事若惹恼小乔,你们就得求诸神保佑了。”

Cersei’s quiver was empty. “Make your offer then, but gods save you all if Joff does not like this girl.”

“很高兴大家达成共识,”提利昂说,“那么,我们之中谁去苦桥呢?我们的价码得赶在洛拉斯爵士冷静下来之前传达给他。”

“I’m so pleased we can agree,” Tyrion said. “Now, which of us shall go to Bitterbridge? We must reach Ser Loras with our offer before his blood can cool.”

“你打算派御前会议的成员去?”

“You mean to send one of the council?”

“我很难指望百花骑士跟波隆或夏嘎打交道,对不?提利尔家一向高傲。”

“I can scarcely expect the Knight of Flowers to treat with Bronn or Shagga, can I? The Tyrells are proud.”

姐姐不浪费任何可趁之机,“杰斯林·拜瓦特爵士出生高贵,我们派他去。”

His sister wasted no time trying to twist the situation to her advantage. “Ser Jacelyn Bywater is nobly born. Send him.”

提利昂摇摇头,“我们要的不是传声筒,派出的使者必须能代表国王和御前会议发言,并把事情迅速办妥。”

Tyrion shook his head. “We need someone who can do more than repeat our words and fetch back a reply. Our envoy must speak for king and council and settle the matter quickly.”

“首相正是国王的代言人。”烛光在瑟曦眼中如碧绿的野火一样燃烧,“我们该派你去,提利昂,如此便和乔佛里亲临没有分别。哪里有更好的人选呢?你说话就跟詹姆使剑一般厉害。”

“The Hand speaks with the king’s voice.” Candlelight gleamed green as wildfire in Cersei’s eyes. “If we send you, Tyrion, it will be as if Joffrey went himself. And who better? You wield words as skillfully as Jaime wields a sword.”

你就这么急着要把我赶出都城,瑟曦?“真是过誉,姐姐,其实依我看,替孩子安排婚事,母亲比舅舅合适。况且你有交朋友的天赋,我则望尘莫及。”

Are you that eager to get me out of the city, Cersei? “You are too kind, sister, but it seems to me that a boy’s mother is better fitted to arrange his marriage than any uncle. And you have a gift for winning friends that I could never hope to match.”

她的眼睛眯成一线,“小乔身边需要我。”

Her eyes narrowed. “Joff needs me at his side.”

“太后陛下,首相大人,”小指头说,“国王身边需要您们两位,就让我代您们前去吧。”

“Your Grace, my lord Hand,” said Littlefinger, “the king needs both of you here. Let me go in your stead.”

“你?”你从中发现了什么好处?提利昂寻思。

“You?” What gain does he see in this? Tyrion wondered.

“我虽是御前会议的成员,却非国王的血亲,因此当人质价值不大。洛拉斯爵士在朝中时,我跟他还算熟,他没有理由拒绝我。此外,据我所知,梅斯·提利尔对我也没有敌意,并且——容我大言不惭地说一句——我对谈判之道略通一二。”

“I am of the king’s council, yet not the king’s blood, so I would make a poor hostage. I knew Ser Loras passing well when he was here at court, and gave him no cause to mislike me. Mace Tyrell bears me no enmity that I know of, and I flatter myself that I am not unskilled in negotiation.”

他能说服我们。提利昂不信任培提尔·贝里席,不想让他离开视线范围,但他有别的选择吗?此事非他自己或小指头出面不可,而他完全清楚,只要他踏出君临,不论时间长短,所有的苦心全得半途而废。“此去苦桥路途凶险,”他谨慎地说,“可以肯定,史坦尼斯公爵会放出自己的牧羊犬来接管弟弟手下任性的羔羊。”

He has us. Tyrion did not trust Petyr Baelish, nor did he want the man out of his sight, yet what other choice was left him? It must be Littlefinger or Tyrion himself, and he knew full well that if he left King’s Landing for any length of time, all that he had managed to accomplish would be undone. “There is fighting between here and Bitterbridge,” he said cautiously. “And you can be past certain that Lord Stannis will be dispatching his own shepherds to gather in his brother’s wayward lambs.”

“我不怕牧羊犬,我只在意那群羔羊。当然,卫队少不了。”

“I’ve never been frightened of shepherds. It’s the sheep who trouble me. Still, I suppose an escort might be in order.”

“我能匀出一百名金袍卫士,”提利昂说。

“I can spare a hundred gold cloaks,” Tyrion said.

“五百。”

“Five hundred.”

“三百。”

“Three hundred.”

“三百四十——再加二十名骑士及同等数目的侍从。我得拖上一帮可观的队伍,提利尔家才会看重我。”

“And forty more—twenty knights with as many squires. If I arrive without a knightly tail, the Tyrells will think me of small account.”

相当正确。“同意。”

That was true enough. “Agreed.”

“队伍中必须包括恐怖爵士和流口水爵士,我得将他们送回父亲大人身边,以示善意。派克斯特·雷德温不仅是梅斯·提利尔的老朋友,本身也很有势力,我们需要他的支持。”

“I’ll include Horror and Slobber in my party, and send them on to their lord father afterward. A gesture of goodwill. We need Paxter Redwyne, he’s Mace Tyrell’s oldest friend, and a great power in his own right.”

“他是个叛徒,”太后回绝,“若不是我拿雷德温的小崽子威胁他,青亭岛早就跟风投靠蓝礼了。”

“And a traitor,” the queen said, balking. “The Arbor would have declared for Renly with all the rest, except that Redwyne knew full well his whelps would suffer for it.”

“蓝礼已死,陛下。”小指头指出,“而史坦尼斯和派克斯特伯爵都不会忘记,当年风息堡之围,正是雷德温的舰队封锁了海洋。送回他的双胞胎,我们或能赢得雷德温的青睐。”

“Renly is dead, Your Grace,” Littlefinger pointed out, “and neither Stannis nor Lord Paxter will have forgotten how Redwyne galleys closed the sea during the siege of Storm’s End. Restore the twins and perchance we may win Redwyne’s love.”

瑟曦不肯服输,“异鬼才要他的青睐!我只要他的军队和船只,扣住这对双胞胎,他才会乖乖听话。”

Cersei remained unconvinced. “The Others can keep his love, I want his swords and sails. Holding tight to those twins is the best way to make certain that we’ll have them.”

提利昂来打圆场,“那就把霍伯爵士送回去,留下霍拉斯爵士。我想派克斯特伯爵够聪明,参得透其中意味。”

Tyrion had the answer. “Then let us send Ser Hobber back to the Arbor and keep Ser Horas here. Lord Paxter ought to be clever enough to riddle out the meaning of that, I should think.”

这提议无人反对,但小指头还没说完,“我们还要马,强壮迅捷的好马。一路战乱频仍,更换座骑恐怕很难。此外,必须提供充足的金钱,用于采买我们先前提到的礼物。”

The suggestion was carried without protest, but Littlefinger was not done. “We’ll want horses. Swift and strong. The fighting will make remounts hard to come by. A goodly supply of gold will also be needed, for those gifts we spoke of earlier.”

“要多少拿多少。反正都城若是不保,再多的钱也得教史坦尼斯取走。”

“Take as much as you require. If the city falls, Stannis will steal it all anyway.”

“最后,我需要一份书面委任状。这份文件不仅要让梅斯·提利尔消除对我权限的质疑,更重要的是,赋予我全权谈判的权力,由我协商婚约及其相关的一切安排,并以国王之名订立誓约。这张纸上要有乔佛里和所有重臣的签名,并盖上大家的印章。”

“I’ll want my commission in writing. A document that will leave Mace Tyrell in no doubt as to my authority, granting me full power to treat with him concerning this match and any other arrangements that might be required, and to make binding pledges in the king’s name. It should be signed by Joffrey and every member of this council, and bear all our seals.”

提利昂不安地挪了挪,“一言为定。就这些了吧?我可提醒你,由此到苦桥的路长着呢。”

Tyrion shifted uncomfortably. “Done. Will that be all? I remind you, there’s a long road between here and Bitterbridge.”

“破晓前我就出发。”小指头起身,“相信回来之时,国王当心存感激,犒劳我英勇地为国效力?”

“I’ll be riding it before dawn breaks.” Littlefinger rose. “I trust that on my return, the king will see that I am suitably rewarded for my valiant efforts in his cause?”

瓦里斯咯咯笑道:“咱们乔佛里是个知恩图报的君王,您就放心地去吧,我英勇的好大人。”

Varys giggled. “Joffrey is such a grateful sovereign, I’m certain you will have no cause to complain, my good brave lord.”

太后说话直接:“你想要什么,培提尔?”

The queen was more direct. “What do you want, Petyr?”

小指头挂着狡猾的微笑,瞥了提利昂一眼,“让我好好想想,总会想到的。”他诡诡然鞠了一躬,转身就走,轻松得像出发去逛自家妓院。

Littlefinger glanced at Tyrion with a sly smile. “I shall need to give that some consideration. No doubt I’ll think of something.” He sketched an airy bow and took his leave, as casual as if he were off to one of his brothels.

提利昂望向窗外。雾很浓,隔着庭院看不到外墙,一片灰暗之中依稀闪烁着几点昏黄的光。今日的天气真不适合出门,他心想,所幸要走的是培提尔·贝里席。“开始起草文件吧。瓦里斯大人,派人去取羊皮纸和鹅毛笔,并把乔佛里叫醒。”

Tyrion glanced out the window. The fog was so thick that he could not even see the curtain wall across the yard. A few dim lights shone indistinct through that greyness. A foul day for travel, he thought. He did not envy Petyr Baelish. “We had best see to drawing up those documents. Lord Varys, send for parchment and quill. And someone will need to wake Joffrey.”

当会议终于结束时,天色依旧晦涩黑暗。瓦里斯独自匆匆离开,柔软的拖鞋擦地无声。兰尼斯特姐弟在门口逗留了片刻。“你的链子打得怎样,弟弟?”太后一边问话,普列斯顿爵士一边将镶松鼠皮的银色斗篷系上她肩膀。

It was still grey and dark when the meeting finally ended. Varys scurried off alone, his soft slippers whisking along the floor. The Lannisters lingered a moment by the door. “How comes your chain, brother?” the queen asked as Ser Preston fastened a vair-lined cloth-of-silver cloak about her shoulders.

“一环一环,逐渐增长。我们该感谢诸神,科塔奈·庞洛斯爵士竟如此固执。史坦尼斯是个谨慎的人,风息堡一日不攻下,他决不会北进。”

“Link by link, it grows longer. We should thank the gods that Ser Cortnay Penrose is as stubborn as he is. Stannis will never march north with Storm’s End untaken in his rear.”

“提利昂,尽管我们的意见常常不合,但我想我从前对你的看法似乎有些偏颇。你不像我想的那样是个蠢蛋,事实上,你帮了我很大的忙。我感谢你,假如从前对你说了什么难听的话,请你千万原谅。”

“Tyrion, I know we do not always agree on policy, but it seems to me that I was wrong about you. You are not so big a fool as I imagined. In truth, I realize now that you have been a great help. For that I thank you. You must forgive me if I have spoken to you harshly in the past.”

“千万原谅?”他耸耸肩,朝她微笑,“亲爱的姐姐,你没说什么需要原谅的话呀。”

“Must I?” He gave her a shrug, a smile. “Sweet sister, you have said nothing that requires forgiveness.”

“你是指今天吧?”他俩齐声大笑……随后瑟曦俯身,在他额头迅速地轻吻了一下。

“Today, you mean?” They both laughed … and Cersei leaned over and planted a quick, soft kiss on his brow.

提利昂吃惊得说不出话来,只能眼看着她在普列斯顿爵士的护送下迈步离开大厅。“我疯了吗?我姐姐刚才吻了我?”当她离开后,他问波隆。

Too astonished for words, Tyrion could only watch her stride off down the hall, Ser Preston at her side. “Have I lost my wits, or did my sister just kiss me?” he asked Bronn when she was gone.

“这个吻有那么甜蜜?”

“Was it so sweet?”

“不是甜蜜……而是意外。”瑟曦最近行为古怪,提利昂有些不安。“我在回忆她上次吻我是什么时候。我想那时我才六七岁吧,还是詹姆挑唆她干的。”

“It was … unanticipated.” Cersei had been behaving queerly of late. Tyrion found it very unsettling. “I am trying to recall the last time she kissed me. I could not have been more than six or seven. Jaime had dared her to do it.”

“看来你长这么大,这女人终于发现你的魅力了。”

“The woman’s finally taken note of your charms.”

“不对,”提利昂说,“不对,这女人在酝酿什么。赶紧想办法查出来,波隆,你知道,我最讨厌意外。”

“No,” Tyrion said. “No, the woman is hatching something. Best find out what, Bronn. You know I hate surprises.”

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