Kelsier exhaled in exasperation. Elend Venture? You risked your life—risked the plan and our lives—for that fool of a boy?Vin looked up, glaring at him. Yes.What is wrong with you, girl? Kelsier asked. Elend Venture isn’t worth this.She stood angrily, Sazed backing away, the cloak falling the floor. He’s a good man!He’s a nobleman!So are you! Vin snapped. She waved a frustrated arm toward the kitchen and the crew. What do you think this is, Kelsier? The life of a skaa? What do any of you know about skaa? Aristocratic suits, stalking your enemies in the night, full meals and nightcaps around the table with your friends? That’s not the life of a skaa!She took a step forward, glaring at Kelsier. He blinked in surprise at the outburst.What do you know about them, Kelsier? she asked. When’s the last time you slept in an alley, shivering in the cold rain, listening to the beggar next to you cough with a sickness you knew would kill him? When’s the last time you had to lay awake at night, terrified that one of the men in your crew would try to rape you? Have you ever knelt, starving, wishing you had the courage to knife the crewmember beside you just so you could take his crust of bread? Have you ever cowered before your brother as he beat you, all the time feeling thankful because at least you had someone who paid attention to you?She fell silent, puffing slightly, the crewmembers staring at her.Don’t talk to me about noblemen, Vin said. And don’t say things about people you don’t know. You’re no skaa— you’re just noblemen without titles.She turned, stalking from the room. Kelsier watched her go, shocked, hearing her footsteps on the stairs. He stood, dumbfounded, feeling a surprising flush of ashamed guilt.And, for once, found himself without anything to say.
Brandon Sanderson