26. 09. 1357.
Hours later, already on his way to his colleague, Runna was still gnashing his teeth. Reading through Sebasta Norwics latest report on the Frosty Teeth in Tyra´s far West was a try to bridge and to calm his seething unrest, but it didn´t take him long to find the letters merging and dancing in front of his eyes.
»SHE TOLD ME HOW YOU LEFT TO TRAVEL THE WORLD AT AN EARLY AGE AND HOW YOU DIDN´T THINK HIGHLY OF OUR COSTUMS.«That´s a lie!
, he heard a voice hissing in his mind. To the Marshes with you, Tsari! How dared you telling her lies?
Out of breath, he reached the apartment house outside Althena´s city walls where his friend lived, stopped in front of the red door, grabbed the banister with one hand and took a deep breath. He didn´t notice running that fast. As soon as his breathing calmed, he started climbing the stairs to the first floor. He knocked at the door on the left, the only one without embellishment.
Hearing the sound of the door clicking told Runna that Mahus just nullified the protective seal against burglars and the spell against eavesdroppers combined with the seal. Just one time, Runna fell victim to his own curiosity. Curiosity kills the cat, the mammals like to say. Witnessing the dark witcher not being able to keep back a smilewas worth the boils, though.
Said witcher´s feline yellow eyes looked at Runna out of a dark blue, slim face framed by black hair. Mahus Nactan asked him in his living room and workplace, closed and sealed the door with spells.
Instead of waiting for Mahus to offer him one, Runna took seat in the armchair, without saying a word. His friend answering this by simply raising an eyebrow.
„Can I have a cup of tea?“, the Lizara asked, his jaws grinding.
He was not in the mood to be polite today. His friend left it at that and turned towards the kitchen, from where he returned shortly after with two steaming hot cups. Quick darting of his tongue in and out made Runna taste camomile.Perfect.
Mahus took seat opposite him at his desk. The witcher´s face showed no sign of him noticing Runna´s resentfullness but Runna was sure he did notice. They stared at eachother in silence.
Until Mahus asked: „Did Lira already mention it to you?“
Runna almost burned his tongue taking a long swip. „No“, he replied, „what might she have mentioned to me?“
„She is planning to become an addition to our staff.“
Great news. Actually.
In addition to that, Runna should feel honored that Mahus candidly granted him that he had conversations with this paragon of curiosity and ambition outside classes.
But reading the letter denatured even this sign of confidence.
„Did she mention anything about the subjects she wants to teach?“, Runna inquired with a rather raspy voice.
„History came into her mind“, his friend informed him, showing ostensible impassibility. The warmth in his voice revealed the truth.
History. This way, Runna might become Liras mentor. Another reason besides her enthusiasm for the Two-Crown Lands to invide her to the journey he planned on undertaking at the end of the school year to the Frosty Teeth. The same journey he tried to mentally prepare for earlier. A reason to be happy but his mood didn´t want to raise.
Instead, anger stiffened in his guts, building a lump that compressed his throat and prevented him from asking Mahus for advice. And yet Mahus, among all contacts possible, was the most likely to have an opinion about this accursed mail.
They fell painfully silent. Now and then it was Mahus of all people who fruitlessly tried to keep the conversation going. However, Runna couldn´t form a clear thought and thus his replies turned out to be rather uncommunicative.
He didn´t know where to start. He would risk offending his friend no matter what way he´d try telling him about the letter. For his words would be too cruel.
Mahus looked at him closely as if studying every movement, every emotion.You know exactly that I need to get something off my chest
, Runna realized. Why aren´t you asking? And why do I keep claming up?
After less then one hour, he couldn´t stand it any longer. The seething lump inside his guts grew heavier on his way out of the apartment house and back to the Academy.
There a surprise awaited him.
To be continued …