Chapter Eight: §6

(Continued)
Hills north of Gesula

The flock ambled along the droveway, Mellena and Oran following steadily.
__It was late afternoon. They were discussing Mellena’s unfinished apprenticeship while making their way to the night yards. Oran encouraged her to take up again with Kengar. A pair of Molossus hounds walked before them, occasionally trotting forward to rouse a reaction from the sheep.
__‘But what of you?’

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Chapter Eight: §5

Continued (December – 1026 YD)
Gesula, Lenyol

Mitchas cantered into town, gliding past the workshop. Kesia had heard the hooves and moved to the window; on seeing him ride uphill toward Kengar’s, she dropped her chisel and raced along in his wake.
__She found her uncle’s door open, and overheard their exchange.
__‘What do you mean, gone?’
__‘We were travelling to Miggest, and set up camp south of Bescon—’
__‘By Archoak Forest?’
__‘What remains; it burnt in October. Tàvae asked to continue on, but the sun was falling and the horses spent. When I woke in the morning she was gone.’

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Chapter Eight: §4

Continued (December – 1026 YD)
Gesula Forest, Lenyol

A blue fairy-wren skipped the length of a fallen tree, perching on the peak of its unearthed roots. He chirped and sung, twitching and spinning on his twig-like legs. Kesia whistled; he replied, then flitted off to impress others in the forest.
__In his wake, the song of the forest rose. She listened quietly.
__A flock of parrots passed over the canopy, twittering merrily, forcing her eyes open; the sun had reached the treetops, illuminating the white branches of the ghost-trees and basking the forest in the golden light of daybreak. Kesia shivered.

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Chapter Eight: §3

Continued (December – 1026 YD)
Gesula, Lenyol

Kesia and Mellena worked with Kengar for days on end, impressing him with what they had learnt and practised over the years. It was not long, however, before their rediscovered zest for weaving was overshadowed by their commitments. Kesia had orders to complete for her Alendae clients; Mellena had the flock to tend; they had lives to lead.

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Chapter Eight: §2

Continued
(December – 1026 YD)
Gesula, Lenyol

Kengar returned at last. Seeking his wife, he came to Kesia’s house. Kesia listened as Ànlisia explained feebly that Tàvae had departed the previous day with Mitchas, perhaps to Offenure—or Alendae, it was so rushed—on some unknown yet urgent business. Yes, they had used Mitchas’ horses. No, they had not given a return date. Yes, Tàvae was fine. No, she hadn’t appeared anxious. She had merely asked for some things to stock her herb-purse. Would he like some tea? Not to worry, Mitchas would surely return soon, and have better information.

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Chapter Eight: §1 Spinning

December – 1026 YD
Gesula, Lenyol

‘I don’t understand what you’re saying, Tàvae!’ Ànlisia, alarmed, was throwing supplies of preserved food in a satchel at her sister-in-law’s bidding.
__‘I have made the most terrible discovery and I always felt they were watching me, since I left, and sometimes my books moved overnight—my heart whispered that they’d been in—but why should they? And so I never really feared, never knew—how—how perilous—’ Her breath caught in her throat like the clogged cry of nightmares. ‘Mitchas will escort me to Miggest at his own peril. There he is now, saddled and packed—’ She began pillaging Ànlisia’s herb cabinet.

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