Thursday, December 18, 2014

694 (33) - More Onyxine Razors

Ilesias Mahid ducked as the Imperator’s bright-red, shit-monster parrot soared over his head. “Ten Gods kyash!” he cursed, then tugged his new burgundy tunic straight.  The bird soared overhead and then plummeted down to land on his upflung arm. A ten of servants snorted or hid smiles.

Kyashin, Arkan!” It squawked.  “Te Ammo! Let’s EAT!” before sidling up his arm to his shoulder and thrust its head under his chin.  He sighed, but put up a hand to scratch.

“What is it with animals?” He asked no one in particular.  Even if he’d not been very good as a Yeola-e farmer, his father’s-in-law had always been in stitches when every loose animal followed him around the farm. The children even let the ponies and the new mountain karya, out just to see him beleaguered by them snuffling his pockets and nibbling on his hair.

He took a deep breath and tried to smile, though it never came easily. He’d come home after the Imperator's letter and insisted on writing the Examinations for Imperial Bodyguard, even though the Minister of Security and the Guard Captain were both confident of his training.

The bird made an absurd cooing noise before flapping off and he folded properly gloved hands at the small of his back. Then he turned into the corridor leading to the solar, a palace fluffy panting at his heels, unnoticed.

Irilai was coming back to Arko, so she said, because it turned out that she was as little enamoured of farming as he was, but he was certain there was a Yeola-e couple she was interested in and he was afraid that her marriage to him was holding her back. Her happiness was something that he worried about, afraid that his mere presence would discourage people, so he’d come back to Arko first.  She needed room without a damaged young Mahid clinging needily to her.  He wasn’t certain that she would follow and the idea made him dreadfully unhappy and lonely. But he wasn’t going to try and go all ‘Mahid’ on her, the way she teased him. 

I will have enough anguish written as poetry for another book by the time we figure things out, he thought.  That would make the publisher very happy.

He might have to travel back and forth between Arko the city and Shoubitair, the little village on the edge of a mountain pass south of Vae-Arahi where her family was from... or let her go, if that was what she wanted. He cleared his throat and pulled himself back to his current chore.

He straightened his shoulders and stepped into the solar.  “Good afternoon, Mahid.” He let his eye run over them, the four married-in Mahid girls still doing embroidery or stitching, along with the one Mahid girl who did not participate in any of the new Mahid activities.  “I require the attention of the four girls who are attempting to teach themselves how to skate.”

Sofonisba laid her cloth and needle down.  “Certainly, Senior.  Is there trouble from that?” Alaria tried to hide her nervous reaction and the other two had their heads down, packing their sewing baskets hiding their faces.

“No, actually.  The faib team have requested me to book official time in the steel bowl.  You’ve been sneaking hours of practice a day, according to the servants—“ a smothered laugh from one of the girls and quelling sideways looks all around. “—and the Senior Mahid has given me the job of discerning your skill."  I so wish this were Joras's job.  His 'misadventure' that made his fessas personality foremost and his skill as a faibalitziskai would have made him perfect for this.  I am a poor second best, but I am still Mahid, so it is my duty.   "The Coach shall be beginning the process of recruiting girls from the solas league shortly but would prefer having a solid Mahid first line.  Therefore we shall let the team see if you are capable of becoming one of the Onyxine Razors.”

“YES!” Alaria slapped her fan over her unseemly reaction.

Sorry I'm late tonight.  Another post later today! 

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