January 21 – 1027 YD
Coils of wind broke from the centre of Alendae Palace’s Great Hall, and a pale purple haze swelled in its centre. There Kengar appeared.
__‘The Lord of Alendae summoned me with regards my niece,’ he stated to one of the guards.
__The guard stammered some response and exited, leaving his colleagues to their stunned silence. Kesia was deeply relieved by the sight of her uncle, and temporarily dismissed the manner of his arrival.
At the High Table, Kengar spoke with the High Duke and the weaver Breckin at length. Kesia sat across the hall inside a set of castle guards.
__Her arrest had been swift, though peaceful, and she had spent the night in the Great Hall. There she had feebly explained herself to Breckin, a member of the guard and an acquaintance of her uncle’s. A messenger had been dispatched, and after a circular conversation there was nothing to be done but rest and await Kengar.
__‘We cannot allow young weavers given to delusions to roam the city!’ Lord Nóe suddenly cried out, thumping the table.
__‘My Lord.’ Kengar bowed slightly, firm of voice. ‘Perhaps we should speak privately.’
__The High Duke obeyed Kengar’s serious tone and led him to a chamber behind a curtain.
__Not five minutes passed. Nóe stepped beyond the curtain. Kengar followed suit.
__‘Release her,’ Lord Nóe commanded.
__The guards immediately abandoned Kesia’s side.
__‘You may go with your uncle, Kesia.’
__Kesia startled at the High Duke’s use of her name. He examined her briefly, seeking and perhaps failing to find—then quit the room.
__‘It is always good to see you, Kengar.’ Bricken shook Kengar’s hand. __‘Until next time.’
__‘Yes, Bricken. Thank you.’
__Kengar crossed the hall and embraced Kesia. ‘Come, Kesia. Let’s away.’
Afternoon came. Kengar and Toran loaded the cart, leaving Mellena and Orla to keep Kesia company and distract her—’What if I had killed someone?’; ‘Is this the beginning of madness?’—with the beautiful Léim.
__They departed the city soon thereafter, aiming to reach The Crossroads before nightfall. This they did, gladdened by the Wanderer’s music. Dinner was had as the sun began to slide away, and Kengar excused himself and Kesia from the group. ‘Let us take a walk.’
__They left the camp to wander the fields. Far off to the south-west the tail of the Barlon Ranges pierced Intiae Forest. The sun descended behind them to form a sharp silhouette.
__‘Otàmil was given to visions,’ Kengar opened. ‘Very rarely.’
__‘Did they come to light?’
__‘He would not relate them to me. Once, in—I suppose it doesn’t matter where— he attacked an—a kind of colleague. Quite brutally. What he had seen I never knew, but he was fierce, and regretted it terribly, for the—man—was badly scarred.’
__‘I ruined the goods of the market-sellers. I might have made amends, but I fled like an assailant.’
__‘The Duke will see it is righted.’
__‘What did you say to induce him to free me?’
__Kengar stalled. ‘Well, just—he knew your father. Otàmil was well known in the court.’
__‘Oh.’ Kesia turned away, and frowned at the mountains. Otàmil was a stranger to her. ‘Alright.’
__She walked away, wanting time and space.
__She had no desire to return to the city after the incident. Perhaps the time had come for her to finally complete her weaving apprenticeship and set out as Mellena intended. She stared at the mountains, captivated by the scope related in their distance.
__Then a bird took flight from one of the peaks, followed by its mate. She awed at the power of her own vision—before doubting it, for the ranges were forty miles off.
__‘Can you see them?’ Kengar whispered, grasping her around the shoulders.
__Brennan’s words echoed across time: How could I make out an eagle at such a distance?