Friday, June 25, 2010

297 - A Kyash-Sucking Kevyalaseye

Dear Chevenga,

I’m so sorry to have to cancel any other meetings we might have, I have been suddenly called away on an urgent matter of family.  My sincere apologies and hope that I might one day be again in Vae Arahi and call upon you and your gracious family once more.
Minakas Akam, fessas

We reversed our progress down to Hirina but this time, at the crossroads, we headed up river to Tinga-e rather than down to Selina on the sea.  We had no destination specifically in mind, so I thought I would perhaps find some interesting books and research materials in the Plains Library.

We took our time and toured sites of the battlefields and memorials along the route where the Yeolis had won their country back.

What was I going to do with my life?  And how could I convince Gannara that he should take up his own again?  And I couldn’t take Ili back to Ailadas, simply because if I were an investigator I would periodically check to see if I had had any contact with him since the last time. 

And Ili... I was seeing myself as a crabbed old scholar but I could hardly as him to share my life or try and make him into something he was not.  He was smart but his strength was... literally his strength.

What was he to do?  Follow me vaguely about the earthsphere playing with Jiaklem?  I needed to settle down somewhere, and permanent residency on Haiu Menshir was discouraged or half the world would try to move there.

I wanted desperately to live in the city itself if I could establish my persona as a fessas well enough.  But Joras showing up on Haiu Menshir showed me that as long as the Mahid were out there, searching for me, I couldn’t stay in one place for very long.  I had no idea how they were finding me.

It was evening in Tinga-e and I had presented my credentials to the librarians there and already found some interesting articles and correspondences around the time of Notyere... actually his sister Denaina.

Gannara and Ili and I had taken some time to tour the new Tinga-e paperworks.  With all the new presses there was an enormous demand for paper and the trees quilted the land in their thickness from Tinga-e up into the mountains right up to where they gave way to the lichens and mosses.

The paper works were the most advanced I had ever seen, built by Arkan craftsmen.  Likely with loot from Arko as well but I was just as pleased to see it used so.  It was big and new and for a small fee they would tour you through the whole process of how some papers were made.  I thought it fascinating and Ili seemed to, Gan was almost more humouring us but got caught up when they showed him papers that could be written upon but were water and salt resistant for use at sea.

They made paper of wood pulp, and plant pulp and worn linen.  There were paper masters who made great single sheets of paper with flowers and grasses pressed into them, meant for shade windows and art works, or to be cut into  the finest of writing papers.

I bought eight varieties and had them wrapped and sent to Arko for Kyriala and for Ailadas, along with a gold and rosewood pen for her and an inkwood and silver for Ailadas, each in their own presentation boxes.

But it had been a long, full day and Gan and Ili and I had all lain down with the intention of sleeping in the next day, but I found with all I had to think about, I couldn’t sleep.

There were torches all along the river and this series of four shallow locks, the thick stone blocks glittering almost white in the moonlight.  A rush of water and a distant group of singers made things seem both less lonely and more lonely, both at the same time.

There were gardens all along this walk, with the torches becoming lamps as they proceeded closer to the market place, deserted this time of evening.  The only thing open now would be the inns and drinking houses and perhaps a late eating place.  Up ahead, the rounded bump of a bridge crossed this canal here below the locks, leading back to our inn.  It would offer me a good view and a place to stand and think a while.

I climbed up the steps between two enormous rose bushes, thinking of Ky as I did so, even though it was just past their blooming time.  It was too dark to see if they were blue roses.

Where could I settle Ili and I and be safe?  A hand came out of the dark and smacked against the middle of my chest stopping me where I walked.  I had my hand on it and was going to fight back when the fellow who’d stopped me pushed me back… staggering against someone else’s hands.  I’d walked right into the middle of a group of Yeolis.  Young men surrounding me.  In the light of the torch behind the one who’d pushed me I could see five, or perhaps six of them. I sucked air.

“Well, well, well.  Hey, Sal, would you look at this?  An Arkan kyash-sucking kevyalaseye, walking around our country, all by his lonesome, like he owns it.”


Sorry for the short post, but I'm a bit distracted tonight.  Tris is scheduled for tomorrow evening.  Have a good weekend!

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