The snow started two days into their trip northward. They had left the inn about two hours prior and Star suggested perhaps they should return and wait for the snow to pass. Udinia however was having none of it and had already jumped from her horse and was dancing in the soft flakes of snow as they fell about her.
Delilah too was taken by the beauty of it, The Rynn seldom saw too much cold weather, Riviaria hardly ever even got snow, Northern Rynland was about the only place in the continent that did every year. Nina was bundled in a fur blanket she had produced from the saddle bag and reminding herself one of the many things she didn’t like about Almalexia.
Delilah dismounted and went and “collected” Udinia, which involved a small grappling session, Udinia wrapping her arms around Delilah and tackling her, and then falling on top of her inappropriately and giggling before Delilah chased her back to her horse. Nina and Star just watched the amusing scene from the backs of their
Rapture had been a little surprised by Parasol’s sudden decision to speak with High Lady Aquitaine. The “Spoiled Little Devil” as Parasol had muttered, but it bought Rapture time to get to Riva with ease. She had made her way as swiftly as she could given she had a stop or two promised.
She stopped to check on Leaf, who was of course overworking herself. When she arrived at the farmhouse Leaf was behind a rather rough looking plow and sweating tremendously despite it being Fall now. She aided the girl in finishing her row and planting the turnips that were already late. Leaf informed her her father was doing poorly, his mental state had deteriorated and her mother had her hands full dealing with that so it left Leaf, fresh off their harrowing tag team of the crippled Cirilla’s helm, to immediately work on getting all their crops planted.
“It has been less of a bonding time with ma and pa than me staying out here sunup to sun down saving the family farm…” Leaf said, drinking deeply
Star was ushered into the Governess of the small town’s longhouse. It looked to Star like an overturned airship hull from the outside. Inside it was warm, a fire blazed and Star felt as though she had stepped fifty years back in time. A flutist was playing a song but the young woman behind a table very daintily picking at a roast with her fork and knife waved the flutist away and with a nod, the young teen left them.
The Almalexian governess was short and slender, skinny if you really looked. Dressed in a dress of leather that was simple, but with some jewels and a small circlet that indeed identified her as a governess. She bore no recognition marks and that indicated to Star she was not one of the “big three” houses. Her big green eyes told Star she most likely had a Gandrian or Rhodesian father. She looked about twenty if Star had to guess.
“Star Rhodes.” The girl motioned to a seat. “Who would have thought you would come here, during fall, after the great Calamity when you are
The journey across Gandria was fairly uneventful. The days passed with ease, good food, and technology that delayed their arrival to Almalexia by a day thanks to Delilah and occasionally Nina demanding they stop to look at everything from Farm Silos to Structures that not even Star knew the use of.
As they neared Almalexia though things changed. Less technology, more soldiers. Battle Mistresses patrolled, at the last Inn a table of Death Dealers were chatting in another language that Star was unable to place.
“Why don’t they have as many towns and villages near the border?” Udinia asked as she wiggled her toes in the boots she had purchased. She too now donned a Gandrian black leather bodysuit and matching boots. Over her shoulders a warm fur shawl like the others.
“Almalexians like their space…” Star said.
“A big village or town on the border could seem aggressive to them and their much more… tribal ways. Gandria, being their allies, try to respect the rather… primitive
The Redwatch was not only the home of a fun journey back into Allasian history, but the upper levels had a fine inn and lodging. Delilah though, despite the comfortable beds that were far different than the straw and feathered mattress beds she was used to, could not sleep. Her mind was on Udinia, a girl who was so driven by her passion that sometimes she lost sight of anything else. Was she at that very moment losing sight of her safety and moments away from her little loving heart failing her?
“You know… Udinia has really grown up since we got here…” It was Nina’s voice. They shared a room with two beds while Star had opted to get her own room, she had some “planning and work” to do and closed herself off for the night.
“I know… But it is hard to think of a world where Udinia is sensible about-” Delilah started.
“Udinia is more sensible than you give her credit for…” Nina rolled over so she was facing Delilah who also was laying on her side on her own bed. “That girl is crazy
The temple may have been to the Allfather; Fendris, but the minister overseeing the ceremony was handpicked by Trinity to be a reverend dedicated to the One True God, by Star’s request. The younger man was dressed in a black cloak, being Gandrian that he was it was only fitting. Archer stood in his finest tunic as the others were in attendance, including the six who had escorted Rena and the two knights this far.
Alastor stood to the side of Archer armed with a ring crafted only the night before for the occasion, with a fine diamond atop that must have cost young Archer a half years wages. Both men wore their finest tunics; Archer in Rhodesian dark blue and white. Alastor in Gandrian gray. Archer had even run a comb through his thick brown hair and shaved his stumble making hi9m look even younger than the mid twenties the lad was.
The reverend was whispering to him a bit, making small talk as the music began. Nina, Rena, Star, and Trinity were among the six escorts and three
The day came and I was as ready as I was going to be, my family had transported to a small Riviarian town near the ship and I spent the last night in Rynland with Vaylyn who was not well enough, at the urging of her new attendants, to be able to see me off. She was wise enough not to mount an argan and try to make her way there and instead asked me to spend the final night with her. That I could do.
She laid in my arms, unlike her amorous and sexual first night in my arms, she was more like a child this time. She gently stroked my arm and I felt her tears drip down her cheek and then run down my breast and belly as they fell. Silently we laid together and I held her, stroking her cheek, and running my fingers through her hair. Words unspoken, they were not necessary. This was “goodbye for now, may the goddess/gods let us see each other again.”
I too was close to tears, but I was strong for her, and let her fall asleep in my arms. Just seeing her there, in her nightgown, draped over
My final days were filled with preparation, I had to have enough food, extra wood and lumber, this way I could repair any breaks along the way. Between Geminon and my own Gandrian thinking minds, there was nothing on the ship that could not be replaced or fixed aside from the light crystal.
I was surprised at how much was offered to me. I made a note to bring back some form of payment for the lumber and supplies when I made my return trip. Another thing about these people that is reminiscent of the days of unity that are hopefully returning over in Allasia, the willingness to give, to share, and to offer aid to those who may or may not be able to return the favor.
My ticket to and from the galley, which as far as I knew did not have a name, was Trina. We grew fairly close with constant back and forth over the course of the four days left. She told me all there was to know about argan birds, her life in all three wars, and her lack of commitment in feeling that something was
It is so satisfying to let my core run out despite all the pop ups telling me to renew.
Every since Eclipse there is NOTHING worth a membership at this website. I am here to write, but will not support their blatant ignorance and complete cold sho