October – 1022 YD
The knocking on Tàvae’s door went unanswered. After several minutes of waiting, Kesia let herself in to a cold house.
__The fireplace stood black and empty, blankets strewn across the rug before it. Two candles were draped over their holders, let to die unsupervised. Kesia frowned and examined the rooms, of which there were few, before going to the library—the double-height, rounded room with shelves that spiralled the walls: her aunt’s pride and joy—but that, too, was unoccupied.
Outside, the stable was empty. At this Kesia returned home with confusion; she had arranged to spend the day with Tàvae, for since commencing her carpentry apprenticeship had little time in the evening for her aunt’s lessons. Saturdays were dedicated to her tutelage.
__Ànlisia was by the hearth. ‘Good morning! Where were you?’ she rested her book and looked at her daughter with compassion. ‘Tàvae left a message for you this morning.’
_ Like most mornings since the sun began to rise early, Kesia had been at the stones. ‘Walking.’
_ ‘Kesia, Tàvae has had to join Kengar. It will likely be months before she returns.’
__Kesia’s stomach dropped. No.
__Ànlisia stood. ‘She knew how disappointed you would be. I’m sorry, pet.’
__Her eyes pricked, yet she felt anger.
__‘You have leave to use the library, and she has left a list of books for you and Mellena to read.’
__Kesia glared at the fire.
__‘She tells me Kengar will return in summer to continue your training, as fits with your new apprenticeship.’
__ ‘He will?’ The flip in emotions caused her throat to jerk; she swallowed tears.
__ Ànlisia saw. ‘Darling.’ She squeezed her daughter’s arms. ‘Things will find their balance in time. Are you enjoying working with Lonan?’
__‘Yes,’ she sniffed. Her mother hadn’t asked after her work at all since beginning. ‘He is lovely. His work is beautiful.’
__‘Well! Kengar is often coming and going. It’s good to be busy.’
__Kesia nodded, forming a smile. She excused herself and went to tell Mellena the news—but she was off tending the sheep with trademaster Oran. She returned to the stones instead.
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