Some natives are not gushing
Our next stop was the citrus-fruit-fanatic Lord Erian’s White House and village. That’s what Lady Jerna calls him, and when we we travelled through his domains we could see she was right… Endless groves of oranges, lemons, limes and weird crosses, there were trees with fruit as big as a head of cabbage!
Lord Erian had ridden out to meet us about half-way from the border of his domain. He was gruff and kind of unfriendly. Changes he didn’t like, he made sure we knew about that. But of course, a baroness, appointed by King Athal, you cannot refuse her your hospitality.
More grumpiness when he learned I was Moyri’s wife.
Extra grumpiness at the Ishey we had brought with us.
Dinner, yes, but hardly any talk. He was the worst host I have ever met! And when I tried to talk to him about the Guild of Anshen, and how there are so many children these days, and so few of them getting training, how did he handle that in his domain? Because I could see he was gifted, but it’s so hard here in Idanyas to see whether people have had any training!
The country feels like soft fudge, all give and no spine. Anshen really needs the Nameless, and us Semti, we really need opposition, I guess? It’s something we’ve been thinking about and discussing time and again, Moyri and me, and we’re really coming to the conclusion that after the egress into the world of the Nameless in Dol-Rayen was destroyed, the ban on the Nameless in Idanyas is a Bad Thing, and harms the place.
But, yeah, changes, people don’t like them, and this would be the change of a millennium… I don’t believe we’ll ever get that far!
But Lord Erian astin Rhydin also refused to agree that he was gifted, himself, and that made me so mad! I went out to the lower tables, and asked everyone with a gift, our party in front, to go to Lord Erian and greet him with semsin. Then I went into the kitchen, and asked everyone in the kitchen who was gifted to do the same. And then I went to the fire, and I prayed, and I asked Anshen to touch Lord Erian, too.
And Anshen came to me, and kissed me on the cheek and nodded, and went.
I should have felt it was a blessing, and it was a blessing, but when I saw Anshen go out of the kitchen door and join the queue of people going to Lord Erian, it felt like Anshen was leaving me!
And that only started the panic… I was bothering this lord and all his people, and making them do things they would never have thought of — and would this make problems for Moyri? And would he be angry with me? And I had just vowed I would stop being the most meddlesome person in the whole wide world, and I was doing it again! And the kitchen was so devoid of Anshen that even the fire was dimming…
I panicked for real. When the whole show was over, Moyri came to find me, coiled up next to the kitchen fire, waiting for Anshen to return. She put me to bed, and comforted me, and cuddled me, and made me fall asleep in her arms.
In the morning, I felt drained. Moyri told me that was no surprise, because in the short time we’ve been in Idanyas, I’ve healed a leper village. five dozen chalk pit workers (some of them ex-, but that doesn’t make it easier, only harder), became a doctor, taught dozens of apprentices an evening and then — all the other things.
I nodded, and said that for the rest of the journey, I probably should stop being five beings at a time, and only be my wife’s wife for some time… No sheriff, no confectioner, no guild master, no doctor. Only the baroness’ wife.
My wife agreed, and we proceeded to be very wifely with each other, and I’ll tell you this: kisses get better the more often you kiss each other. And kiss we did. And then Roushan came in to make us all pretty, but I told her I was over-tired and was staying in bed, so she had only Moyri to do.
I got a bit of breakfast, and slept, and then a bit of noon meal, and with the pieces of chicken seduced a stray striped cat to join me in the bed, so there were again two pussies in bed, and slept, and then Moyri came and gave me a bit of dinner, and there were three pussies in bed, and then I slept…
In between I did manage to send Maile out to the Priestess of Naigha with my book and schedule to talk about remedial nursing training in the hospital in Selday, and she came back with the news that the Priestess had a daughter of eleven years old, so she’d join us in a year, maybe two.
Good! And when Maile had gone, I slept more, but she came in early in the morning. She also told me Jeran had set up office in the Temple of Naigha and was checking villagers for disease, want and wounds. Also good! And our band of teenagers was out showing off their semsin skills. Very good, too! I could just stay in bed, and rest, and rest…
When Moyri finally came in that night, to sleep, they had all already done their prayers in the kitchen, with Lord Erian, and all I had to do was a quick Tain Duyen Anshen, and he was around, and then Moyri made love to me, very gently, without expecting me to do anything back, just made me bask in her kisses, caresses and cuddles.
Of course, in the morning, we had to get up very early, but Moyri is getting back her military manners, and doesn’t find that that hard any more. And we took our leave from Lord Erian, who was substantially friendlier, and even said to me that he thought that I was a bit of a hero, for what I’d done in the chalk pit village, and gave me a bottle of bitter orange brandy for me to enjoy with my wife.