Lawgiver’s Blade: Chapter Three Part Five

June 12th, 2019  |  Published in Lawgiver's Blade  |  1 Comment

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“I knew you’d say that,” he said. “So I already cleared it with Kadria.”

He picked up the bowl of stew that Imalia had been eating from prior to the news of her husbands’s death and held it out to her. “And I know that the news has killed your appetite but you need to eat if you are to stand any chance of recovering your magic.”

Imalia looked at him for a moment and then slowly took the bowl again.

“You’re right of course.” She began eating slowly.

“We have plenty of stew, Mage Vessin,” Tamasa said. “Would you and young Kilit like some?”

“I would be grateful,” he said. “How much do I owe you?”

“You don’t have to pay, of course,” Denri said before adding. “I generally charge three fain for food and board.”

“I insist,” Vessin said. “I am not here on mage business like Imalia was.” He pulled a purse from his belt and pulled out six small coins “For Kilit and I.”

Denri hesitated which made Lilat laugh. “It’s fine to take the payment. As he says he is not here on mage business.”

“Very well, but you still don’t have to,” Denri said “But more importantly I don’t like this.”

“Taking my money?” Vessin said.

“Not that. I don’t like that two freak events causing related mages to burn out on the so close together…”

“Oh,” Vessin said. “That… yes.. it did occur to me and Kadria noticed as well.”

“Y-you think someone targetted us?” Imalia said.

“We think it’s possible,” Vessin said. “We all know that Kadria’s only preventing the mage war from reigniting because of her diplomacy and backup. I don’t think it can last – people are starting to forget the shock of the Harsini daring the sea crossing to try and invade Alait is passing.”

“Someone is trying to undermine her support,” Lilat said. “They’ll come to regret that.”

“Assuming it’s true.” Vessin looked down. “But this is a depressing turn of conversation at a time when my sister doesn’t need it. Let’s eat and talk of other things.”

“An excellent idea!” Tamasa said, “I shall get your stew and ale. Alidra, fetch seats for our guests.”
For the rest of the evening they ate, sang and told stories even after Imalia had fallen asleep again.

The next morning Imalia was still too exhausted to move so Vessin insisted on paying for another day’s board. Her skin had chilled again, so he helped her to a seat while Tamasa warmed her bedding with heated stones. Then they fed her on porridge, honey and more mulled ale. The pain lines that had begun to mark her face eased and she was soon asleep again. Alidra was going to offer to share her warmth with her again when someone pulled on her tunic.

She looked around and found Imalia’s daughter staring at her with her dark, serious eyes.

“Will you play with me?” Kilit asked hopefully.

That was how Alidra discovered that mage children like to play just as much as peasant ones. She looked over at her mother and Vessin and he nodded.

“It will do her good,” he said. “Take her to meet your friends.”

The other children were a little shy and nervous meeting Kilit but that melted away as they distracted her with their chasing and skipping games and they were soon all giggling together.

It was then that Alidra noticed a strange scratching on her skin and looked around to where Lilat was watching them with a smile. Natlin, the mother of one of Alidra’s friends was making her way towards Lilat.

“Why are you letting our children to play with a mage child as if she was a commoner?” Natlin said, there was a hint of a snarl in her voice. “It’s heresy to treat a chosen of the Lawgiver like a mere human.”

“Mages are human, Natlin,” Lilat said calmly. “And there is nothing mere about it. Magic is a divine gift but it is not a mark of divinity. Children play the same games among the glass towers of Keralyn as they do here in Shael. There’s no disrespect in making someone happy so harmlessly. Indeed they are doing Mage Vessin a service by keeping Kalit distracted and out of the way while they treat her mother. And given that the poor girl has just lost her father and nearly lost her mother a distraction and some fun is a service to her as well.”

Natlin looked torn between anger and surprise at that. “Are you sure?”

“Of course I am,” Lilat replied. “And Mage Vessin gave his blessings as well. Such contact is a good thing, it breeds empathy and makes it less likely that young Kalit will turn out to be a selfish, tyrannical heretic like that fool Andric. Not that she would given her family.”

Natlin stared at her in horror. “How dare you criticise a mage that way! I am sure mage Andric was not at fault.”

“So you are faulting High Mage Kadria for declaring him at fault instead?” Lilat snorted as Natlin shook her head in confusion at the question. “And I most certainly can criticise him. Firstly, nowhere in the Law does it say that peasants can’t criticise mages though I know many who think it does. Secondly, even if it did I am not a peasant. In the Law’s eyes I am not even a noble. The fact I have no magic now doesn’t mean I am no longer a mage. And mages are not only permitted but obligated to speak truth of their fellows. ” She pursed her lips. “Though we all fall short on that. Fear of another mage war has us biting our tongues.”

“Uh…” Natlin said. “You maybe… but we are nothing and should remember our place.”

“No one is nothing, not one person,” Lilat said. “The High Mage and the humblest peasant have equal value in the eyes of the Eight.”

“Heresy!” Natlin gasped.

“Heresy?” Lilat raised a eyebrow. “How is quoting the Book of the Law heresy?”

“That’s not… it isn’t!” Natlin looked confused but then her expression hardened. She marched onto the Green, grabbed her son’s hand and dragged him away from the games and back towards their house.

Alidra didn’t know why but her stomach flipped and the scratching on her skin intensified after she did that. Kalit ran up to her and grabbed her hand.

“I don’t like her,” she said. “Something is wrong. We should go and talk to Uncle Vessin. I’m hungry again anyway.”

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One Response to “Lawgiver’s Blade: Chapter Three Part Five”

  1. torvawk says:

    Kalit ran up to her and grabbed her hand.

    “I don’t like her,” she said. “Something is wrong.

    Someone seems sensitive.

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