A Castrovel Adventure: Part 3, Chapter 63
In which Vaeol makes a deal with her sister Lady Risodess
From the Daylog of Vaeol-Zheieveil Yaranevae be'Son8. Evelae, 24,542 - Son Today began our plan’s next step, whereby I clothed so heedfully I could, in a plain but tasteful bodyshroud, with my seer-bead upon my brow. Yet I withheld my greaves and armbands, and also the halter and instead left my left breast bare, as befits a wife. Then alone I set forth to my sister Risodess’s house. There I waited among the beseechers and underlings. Unforecatchingly, she made me wait until last, wherefor I could think two reasons: she wished to let me sour, and for our talk to be sundry. Knowing my Lady-Sister, both forestand evenly worthy. She welcomed me into her elfyard, bedecked not only with a hometree twined with flowering glowroses but a wellspring carven like an overgladdened Korasha bubbling over a Damaya’s belly. My Lady-Sister acknowledged my worship, though did not give a seat like hers. She asked why I came. I answered that thoughtfully she already knew. Among our siblings, Risodess and I hold the greatest soulmight and have both learned at the Ihezhoshu, against the other truth that I look most like our mother, and she, with her darker bronze stripeless skin and green hair, looks most like her father, for which I have wondered she begrudges me. Those skills, however, she has brooked well in her matron’s livelihood. I can only dream the unwitting, worthy wretches whose secrets she has stolen or flayed from mind. In childhood, I early bewared her wickedness to dither or enthrall me, wherefrom some of my shamefullest yesterwhits stem, and had learned to ward myself shut, which ever I do within her nearness, and dolefully now. She also knew, though even now I witted her mind feeling my edges, seeing what hints she might glean. She began by saying she had heard I yesterday had sought truce with Lady-Mother, and asked how it had befallen. I answered it had outplayed as she might forelook. Tightly she smiled and nodded. I then asked her help to heal this breach, and she asked back why. ~Yio, a Mitae, athallina-ma volyela hiona .~ “Forwhy, Big-Sister, this game plays even deeper,” I outlaid. ~O’eiesi Erenyae-Irre roaef.~ “I think we both know Lady Erenyae.” At that name, her inthrift sharpened. She asked my business with Erenyae, whereat I told our fare to Elahat, her threat over Oshis, and her foreword for me to seek seat among the Matrons, though I willfully outleft the whit about the freightbark now withheld here, which she wishes free. Instead, I bespoke Erenyae’s foresight of me no longer as a Citadel reeve, but as the High Matron’s daughter, whom she could upset as a basket-matron to win further insway. Risodess heard all thoughtfully. After a long breathtide she beread that seemingly I have a choice: I may do as Erenyae bids, even to my weal, and from what my sister knows, she may become a canny friend; or I may merely forsake Oshis, and Erenyae’s might over me will fade like Heaventide mist. I yaysaid her forsoothness, but that it foreguesses willingness to lose my manlove. Not only would I save him, I outlaid, but I am oathbound to my household to do so. I then reminded the day after my risehood as Outrider when Risodess had called me hither, even as now, and had bidden me reckon to gain lovers and underlings, so that one day I may stand for the matronhood. ~O’ahi anyelara haem o la domonyela,~ “Little I could do if they forsake me,” I warned. Under breath, Risodess muttered an unkindliness about warriors. Then she spoke that forsoothly I want all: my feud with Lady-Mother mended, my manlove free and household whole, and Lady Erenyae paid and friendly to set me apath to matronhood. She then asked why I had come to her, wherefor I answered she knows better these hallcrafts than I. Then I gave the foreword I had planned: I put forth that, if she do all I beseeched, inmeaning Lady-Mother, Lady Erenyae, and Oshis, I would become her underling, cleave her fellowship within the Hall, and uphold her first, even over Erenyae. She would have me, all my nameworth from the Formian Wars, the Aslanta’s questfare, and Queen Taiase’s find, and even my trials against Lady Semuane and Kazos, and all our kindred wed within the Matrons’ Hall. My sister’s brown eyes glittered. My foreword showed her dream: our kindred, under Lady-Mother’s name and Risodess’s leadership, overholding the City’s foremostness, as almost princesses unmatched. Oddly, I reminded from early childhood, though my young yestermind is hazy, that Risodess had been Efadi our grandmother’s best-loved, who had set Lady-Mother on the High Matronship’s path. Even though I was not trying to read her thoughts, I knew I hooked her. Yet instead of shrift, she merely spoke that she would reckon our talk. Then she bade me blessing and that we should again speak soon. Lissomely I took leave. Afterward, my homecome became timely, for a guest was waiting: Mistress Ane, whom I had right ere spoken with Risodess as Lady Erenyae’s thane within the City. Straightway I greeted her fairly, and bade us speak alone. After I yielded her mead, Mistress Ane spoke me so kindly as almost grovelingly. I answered I had forelooked her coming and was thankful, forwhy I had been unsure how best I might reach her. She answered I may send a groom to her shop at Dale Street’s lower end, whereon she would set moot-tide. The trademistress then asked how things have furthered. I shrugged and answered so well as one may forelook. When she asked my meaning, I outlaid that my mother still withholds my boon, and right this same belltide I came from begging my Lady-Sister, whomwith I have stood astrife my whole lifetime, and on whose goodwill our beseech now hangs, and thus yes: all behappened rather as I had forelooked. Mistress Ane laughingly praised my wry fun. She then asked (though she straightly named not Lady Erenyae) what word I would send back. I asked her merely to give my goodwill. Falteringly she atook, and added she would likely have new word soon. Then she bowed and took leave.Much as I had foreseen this moot, it bothered me. I full-wit I have bound time to fulfill my fetch. 9. Evelae At slumbertide, a wordbode came from my sister Risodess. Since I was half-waiting, I was soon ready and went forth alone. I came to her house’s sunderroom, where she was speaking with her daughter, my oldest niece Zhaene, who greeted, kissed me, and left. She forelooks to grow into a fine maiden, and I wonder will soon start her firdlinghood. Risodess asked me what betided since our yesterday talk. I told her of my moot-tide with Mistress Ane, who was seeking news on our business. Risodess nodded, and said that Mistress Ane has been seeking much knowledge. She added we should work to choose which knowledge we let, and then gave me a list of things I should do: steads I should go, folk whomto I should speak, and words I should say. I forespoke to do all she bade. My sister then asked, as I had foreguessed, whether Lady Erenyae or Mistress Ane had spoken of a freightbark withheld here in Son. Haltingly I yaysaid. Risodess asked why I had not told her. I answered such boons made me uneasy, as if it might unrightly meddle with City business. ~A miline kaure,~ “Blithe little sister,” spoke Risodess: ~Ollonis o’romassi eiesi-ya lomya verru.~ “You would do well to leave all such thought to me.” I bowed and asked what she would read. Risodess eyed me hardly and said this freight is no small thing, since a sake was already outnamed before the matrons. Then she outquoth I have not the self-mettle to play this game as it must, forwhy Lady Erenyae will prove a harsh overlady, she warned, and neither Risodess would forbear foolishness. I knelt and outspoke that she must bid, and I shall do. Risodess deemed a long breathtide. At last she nodded. ~Olla, a miline. O’illi hise o zayelm. Mi vi maeavise.~ “Well, little sister. You shall do as I bid. Now I own you.” I bowed my head, whereat she bade I should let her three days to settle things with the matrons, and if Mistress Ane seeks me in this while, I shall tell her so. I yaysaid all. Then I left her house, with Risodess in a smugly better mood than I long reminded, and me feeling rather wickeder than I like. 10. Evelae Today started with Remaue bearing word to Mistress Ane’s shop, telling in three days the freight shall be loosened. I then readied to pay the next dearth: Risodess’s list and all the folk she had bidden me speak with. I dreaded the readiness to go forth and hated the words and the fawning faces as I spoke, even more than the haughty ones, and moreso their thoughts cloying within. Yet the word was easy broadly the same each time: after my ~Komori~ illness and feud with Lady-Mother, I truly rued our breach. Then I asked Risodess’s benamed worthies their uphold. Our purpose was straightforward: this deed was seeding my bonds within the City to stand for matronhood, along with letting gossip flow back to Mistress Ane. I took, however, a small strayal from Risodess’s play-word: I also told how Oshis had been unfairly banned, and without sake-trial, on Lady-Mother’s word, for I was planting my own seed as well for my plan’s next step.