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A Castrovel Adventure: Part 3, Chapter 64

In which Vaeol uses her sister Risodess’s bargain exactly as she intended.

From the Daylog of Vaeol-Zheieveil Yaranevae be’Son
11. Evelae, 24,542 - Son   Today Remaue and Lanaryel left the City, with Less ahost. We agreed it best that they go ahead and reach Hivaea at easy stride. This deed, however, struck me maudlin, and I hardly got through the daytide, and unmerely from their loss. This whole plan’s weight has overborn me.   Laterward, I sat in the bathroom, hunched under the wellspring. Kaure found me there, and by one look deemed my mood dark. She unclothed, sat beside, and took my head into her lap while she stroked my antennae. I lay on the wet floor, and if I wept not, it was not from sorrowlessness.   Istae and Lady Taiase came at duskmeal, whom we welcomed dearly. They asked of my deeds, and I shrove them all undertaken. Istae was enthriven, and offered to bear my word to the other outriders, which I gladly atook. She said they uphold my sake, and will bless my deed.   Then I witted Taiase sitting still, this elder Sage-Queen who had lived and fallen under more ruthless hallcraft than we can even dream. I asked whether she deems wrong what I am doing. She answered she knows what I am doing. Then she asked whether I can meet the aftermath’s dearth. I weighed answer, and then said: ~Uzi loyime assamarru, uzi domi. Oe viea: zunm temi-stimya yothassya.~ - “Either I am faithful to my housemates, or not. And yes: I will pay any dearth to uphold.”   Taiase smiled sadly. She stood, walked to me, and kissed my brow. ~Yi zhealya roaef, a homae yane,~ - “Then you know my answer, my young friend,” she said with tears in eye, while I foresaw a dreadful towardness.     12. Evelae   Today, at Risodess’s bid, I waited on a gathership at the Hall of Matrons. Of need, I donned my best clothes, and not only a bodyshroud and browbead, but also my breastdishes, armbands, and greaves: truly much the high outrider. Draue and Kaure hosted me, looking so warriorly as all but harness and weapons, and if I behaply looked an elder warrior-queen with them my fierce harem-mates, that would seem no guilt. Here I joined my sisters’ fellowship, their afellowed matrons, underlings, and boon-seekers, and played the younger sister among the ladyhood. While I preferred speech only when another spoke, forbearance proved no trial among so many seeking the matrons’ goodwill. I kindly spoke of small things, and also all that Risodess had bidden me to say.   Lady-Mother also showed, whereat we couthly unheeded each other. I wondered what gamble Risodess played at so thrusting us together. Maybe to grow our worry? Maybe merely an outcome of this fellowship. Eitherwise, I could not tell. Yet also came Mistress Ane, doubtlessly at my sister’s doleful welcome, and here I misgave no unsureness. She greeted me shortly while I talked with Raiale, and then steered clear. Elsewise, she seemed thankful for this hap rubbing arms with the ladyhood.   After the moot-tide’s end, Risodess bade me follow to her house with Raiale, where in the elfyard a groom poured bubblemead. She praised my show, and that I had made a good start toward my new livelihood. She then said that, though she hoped I would not take offthank, she had already told Mistress Ane that Lady Erenyae’s freight was yaysaid for ship, and that this truce was reached on foreword of a toward boon, which word Ane would send Erenyae. The freight will likely go upflood within a week.   I thanked Risodess, and quoth she had well done half of what she had forespoken. Now she outstayed merely to overwin Lady-Mother to lift Oshis’s ban.   At my word, Raiale cringed. I swiftly made to wit and asked what befell.   Risodess lifted a hand. She spoke she can undertake to keep Oshis safe, and even that I may have right to meet him on trip to Elahat, though his comeback to Son will not happen soon. She added that, if I truly wish him here, my best way lies in standing for matronship as we had talked, for - she outlaid - the thing that may most likely get Lady-Mother to yield is overheft in hallcraft. When Lady-Mother needs my vote, she read, then I should ask for the ban’s overthrow.   I stilled as we met the breathtide I had foreseen so many days ago in Hivaea. Softly, almost unsoothly, I answered that, in else word, Risodess eyesomely could not give what she had forespoken.   Risodess naysaid, answering she would give me the mightiness to get my wish, but that more time is needed. I snapped it beseemed I was making my own winfulness, and reminded my forewarning of forswornness before my household. She answered I can win nothing without her help, and furthermore that, if I fear my household’s loss, she can help me find else warriors more biddable. I answered it must be fine to so easily buy warriors’ faith, and that furthermore I could not wait years for my rise, dickering in hallcraft, and awaiting hope, all while my manlove stays with knife at throat among outlaws, and besmirched by an evil wife (I let a hopeless note creep into my voice). ~Sheilm yarao aelindis, ozi domara!~ - “I want what you forespoke, or none at all!” I yelled. Then I swerved uncouthly and strode from the yard, giving my sisters no time to behave else than Risodess’s botherful voice aftercalling.   Against my latter boldness, I left Risodess’s house more shaken than I showed. I had outcomefully spoken war on my blood-kin (though I hoped they did not yet beware). I wandered the Ofu, unwilling to go home, yet aimless of relief. At last my strides led me to the Citadel, where I sought one whose wisdom I worship, whomunder I first learned when I chose to seek Outriderhood, and from whose words and deeds I have drawn liss.   Lady Iasaul, Headmistress of Outriders, was sitting with the newlings at mealhall, among whom I also spotted Raeonyl my half-sister. I neared and waited at edge, listening to the tale of Lady Vautaeal the Orange and the Gray Elfqueen, which from her tongue I had heard many times. Its words made me mindful, and I begrudged not the lag, for if anything, its kithness soothed me. She witted my coming, which was enough until she ended with the newlings and gave leave. Raeonyl swiftly hugged me, whereat we forespoke to tarry later.   When I headed back, Lady Iasaul was watching. She bore her years lightly and back ever straight, though her face has added some lines since last I had seen her, which has ever bethought me of a skyhawk, with her nose’s sharpness fierce before golden brow and dark eyes. At my bow she hastened forward and hugged me, for she had heard of my illness, and begladdened at my health. I beseeched rede, whereat she asked me to her room.   After she gave me seat, she poured tea, and wordlessly we sipped together. Since she waited, I began telling my riddle: I am foreset upon a path, though I must know whether in following it I would foresake honor. She answered this is a grim riddle, and she must know more to deem.   So I told her my tale, from the ~Komori’s illness, Lady-Mother’s mistaken stubbornness and Oshis’s banship, Lady Erenyae’s greed, and then my whole bold, mad plan. Lady Iasaul heard while the words spilled from me. If I shocked her, she showed not.   She sat while I stilled my hands’ shiver and strove against tears. Then, with another tea-sip, she quoth that, as I had said, I am foreset, and what rightly did I ask of her. ~Eayela assama ho shiraeara, o thaea evanim. Ziati diyeiesya tham: Dei vearme Kolamara-hoe?~ - “If this was merely between my house and blood-kin, I know my choice,” I outlaid: “Yet one qualm I have: am I setting myself against the City?”   Lady Iasaul slowly nodded. She read the answer may hinge by who answers, and that my sisters may deem my deed against the City, and also may even Lady-Mother. I nodded unforecaughtly, tightly waiting her own thought.   Then she raised a question: ~O’muzi: o diyahyele Mazhae-Vire, o’di hovearayele Mazhae, o’stiadeni moara ima, o’Zheieve eshe, eaemya hishorya Kolamarru?~ - “When the High Matron does ill, and the Matrons do not gainstand, how does a lone warrior, even an Outrider, bring fairness back to the City?”   Her words rang in my heart, and quelled all self-drightness. I fell on my face. Lady Iasaul came near and laid hand on my shuddering shoulders. For a long while we did not stir, but for me weeping and her soothing hand.   At last I asked whether I forelook betrayerhood if I lose, at which she asked back if I would let her bear word to Lady-Captain. Forecaughtly I shrove I had thought to outleave her, forwhy my misdeed would hold her harmless. ~O’loe yara o’si homae relesa.~ - “Trust those who love and worship you.” she answered.   Upright I sat and gazed at her ruthful face. ~Daea-ruaelme shi haele-sere. Si relesya-ruaelm.~ - “I lie under your hand” I sighed. “My worth is yours.”   Lady Iasaul reached forth and blessingly set set hand on my brow. ~Si zhaovussi noe-mei, oeo’roae eafe mie.~ - “Then go with the gods, and know we are your sisters.”   I left utterly shamed and weepy. If ever I have deemed myself worthy of my sister-outriders, now I know I am not. I must strive for their worthiness.   I end this log-writ late. Kaure did her best to soothe me, though she slept early, and I cannot. I half-fear Risodess may do something to offset my carefully laid snare, even though I know time holds my side. None give this game the earnestness it owns.

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