Real Estate Magnates

Selday is fun! I’ve met this half-Iss-Peranian-half-Valdyan boy. But that comes later. Let me marshall my thoughts. So, we were waking up in the hay loft of the farm up the mountain, and I went into the kitchen after having washed (they have two sources of water here: one pumped up from underneath the mountain, and that water is brackish, and one brought down from the river in a pipe, which is sweet; washing is done with the brackish water) to help prepare breakfast for Aldan. (Too much text inside brackets again, dash it.)

I got to chat with Aine about herbs and stuff, and she showed me her garden, which is gorgeous! It’s so big, and so well-organized, with vegetables, fruit, medicinal herbs and kitchen herbs each in their own place, placed to catch the right amount of sun and shade, watered with the sweet water from the river. I not only hired one of her sons to help me prepare my garden, but also made a deal with her to supply us with what we would need until my garden, next year, was up to scratch.

After breakfast, which was very good and pleased Aldan, we were shown the shortcut down the cliff. It was steep enough that I took off my shoes and went barefoot; it was a stairway cut out in the face of the rock, well maintained, but steep. It was a long way down, and half-way we had a drink of sweet water and looked out over the sea.

There was a BIG ship sailing into the harbour, and there were gray clouds coming in from the south-east. The local people had told us there wasn’t going to be any rain, but I wanted to make sure we weren’t caught in any storm perched up on the cliff-side, so we went down as quickly as we could.

Down at the pebbly beach, there was a small fishing village, only a dozen houses, and half a dozen boats. People were putting freshly caught fish in baskets, and it was easy enough to find the way to Selday; past a basalt or granite or whatever, hard stone in any case, promontory (or does that mean nose? it was a bit like a nose in shape) jutting out from the cliff. Or over that bit of slippery stone, but it was low tide, so we could take the easy way.

The fish market was awesome, if you like fish, which I don’t do, not particularly.

From there, we went up again, and passed our new property, where Serla, the master builder, was measuring stuff. We apologized humbly, and she wasn’t too pissed off with us, so we could tell her how we’d want our house.

I spent some more time at our new house while Aldan went back to do some stuff — I’ve forgotten what — and in that time I got propositioned three times by sailors from the big boat. It’s clear we’re going to have to make clear right there on our shop front that the only sweet stuff available from now on is candy, and not girls.

I also visited one of our neighbours, the pharmacist Alaise. We had a really good talk, and when Aldan came back, we offered to help her in case of emergencies — both having been trained by Doctor Cora. She also told us about the scheme of the local baron’s mechanic, Ajay, for bringing water to houses, and that certainly captured my fancy.

Afterwards, I went to work on my notes, as you can see, in our room in the Red Cockerel, while Aldan went out to do some fishing with Khapo’s son. When he came back, it was almost dinner time, time for him to earn his money.

This Ajay was actually in the Red Cockerel, so we agreed to meet next morning to view the site and discuss the possibility. I also thought it would be a good idea to meet all our neighbours and ask them if they would be interested.

Then two drunk sailors wanted to get in, but Aldan, very neatly, kept them outside and persuaded them to dance with each other. But that meant there was music and dancing! So I left my unfinished plate and went outside to see if there was someone I would want to dance with, or who would want to dance with me. And sure! There was this cute boy I was talking about. First we chatted about our names and our parents — his name is Ram, which he says means “Good Fortune”, but I know it also means “Money”, and pretty soon we were joking in the lowest of the low harbour Iss-Peranian. And he danced heavenly! Gifted, too, so I could ask him to teach me the local dances with semsin.

And when I made clear I wouldn’t mind him being a bit grabby, he was, which was good too. I haven’t been with a man since we left Turenay, well before the Feast of Timoine! So all that was needed was to check with Aldan. Aldan seemed to have picked up a nice girl, too, so I told Ram I needed to ask him whether Aldan wanted our bedroom tonight. Ram said that in any case, I was welcome to come home with him, though that would probably mean meeting his parents, and wasn’t I being a tiny bit direct about what I wanted?

Well, duh… In any case, after we ascertained that we were both not going to see this as the beginning of an immortal romance, I told Aldan I’d be gone for the night, and be at Ram’s place. At that point, the girl he’d been dancing with left, with another girl! But Aldan didn’t mind. He’s so undisturbable!

Also, part of our job is to “integrate with the local community”, and I was about to do a bit of proper integration, so there.

On our way to his place, Ram told me his dad was the harbour master, but when he was a sailor had liberated an Iss-Peranian slave girl, and married her, with him as the result. When we arrived at his place, there was light in his parent’s bedroom, so we just sneaked in, up and into each other without bothering them. The next morning, when I was trying to make breakfast for Ram, his mum walked into the kitchen, rather better dressed than me, but she was very friendly, and in fact, I wouldn’t mind her for best friend!

Then Ram’s dad came down, so I had to call Ram with my mind and ask him to throw me a sheet, so I could cover myself a bit. Ram’s dad is huge, and I had already met him, when I wanted to have my stock stored in a godown. We had breakfast together, and hugged when I left. It really was a lovely night, and I’m sure we’ll repeat it. And soon we might invite Ram to stay with us. We’ve planned a downstairs bedroom for me and Aldan together, and an extra bedroom for when I’ve guests, for Aldan to sleep in, upstairs.

So, Aldan and I met before our house, and went the rounds of all our neighbours, both this street until side-streets happened and the ones whose yards backed on our yards. On one side, there’s the pharmacy, then on the other side, we have a haberdasher. They were all pleased about not having another brothel as their next-door neighbours. We also have a doctor in the block, his yard bounds on ours, and we’ve promised him that we’d be ready to help him whenever needed, and he was very happy about that. Almost all of our neighbours were in favour of the water scheme, except for the little inn on the corner, but even they didn’t really object.

Then Ajay Sagga arrived, and we discussed the whole thing with him, and it turns out to be really affordable! So that looks like we’ll be able to manage.

Then we went out for a walk, and found a painter, Cynla, who was making studies for a painting of a captain, a ship and a big storm, I’m not sure how she was going to combine all of that. But Aldan had already met her, and then she was also making a small, quick portrait for a sailor, so I got this idea…

I asked her whether she could paint my face on one side of a panel, and my pussy on the other side, so I could send it as a present to Commander Moyri. I know Sworn are not supposed to care so much about people that that would give the Enemy a hold on them, but I still think that giving her something to look at before going to sleep would help making her sleep deeper.

After that, it was a long day, from the morning in Ram’s place until the afternoon!, we passed the guard’s house, and I boldly stepped in. I wanted some training! And that’s what I got. They were quite friendly and happy to have me spar with them with sword, and Aldan with fists, and then we got drafted! One day and night a week, we’re going to have to walk the rounds with the town guard! Or inspect ships for smuggled slaves, or help in emergencies.

So you can see, we’re doing our job! We’re getting to know lots of people around here, getting a place to work, have offered our help to people who welcome our help — only we haven’t met the Ishey ladies yet, or the Iss-Peranian Sagga’s secretary.

Now that I think of it, Ajay was quite silent when I tried to pump him about the situation at the manor.