A lot of other things that happened can’t be in this episode because they happened without Lyse present, and if Fekemme writes it Lyse will want to read it. But All Will Come Clear, later.
Just when we had got used to living in the palace something BIG happened. Well, we weren’t living in the palace, not really, we mostly went out to sleep in the hayloft instead of the stuffy bedroom with the soft bed. On the one hand there were all those pillows that were just waiting for a pillow fight, on the other hand, if we’d sleep in the stable loft, we’d be closer to Wolf, who wasn’t allowed in, and besides…
There was just more air, and the snuffles of the horses and the palace kitchen donkey and the other stable hands about as old as us, and so we moved our bundles to the stable loft.
But we did get settled, and even found jobs… Every morning, I’d work in the Palace Chancery on becoming a queen, I’ve got a notebook full of numbers about everything! How much it is to make a law and how much it is to build a school or a hospital. I’m not sure I really understand it, but then, when I’m learning with Aunt Senthi, her Mrs. Sidhan, she can help me learn about it, too, I bet!
And in the afternoons, I thought I’d go to the Donkey’s Head, and earn money as a waitress, so we’d have something saved up to pay for a pig to slaughter for our wedding and maybe a barrel of last year’s wine in Lenay, but then I thought, in an inn you don’t earn a whole lot! So I went to the sawpit where we’d gotten the building blocks for the prince! I thought, maybe they can use someone strong there!
And just when I arrived the master was kicking out one of the hands, for real! With his clogs! Turns out that the hand had been destroying sawblades like they’re made of straw, instead of good, expensive iron! And he hired me immediately, after I’d told him I’d helped repair a boat before and had used a saw, too.
That saw was the one we’d found in the deserted village in the mountains, the one I’d given to the loggers in Velihas, of course!
My first task was to bring the ruined saw to the blacksmith, to have it repaired, and then back to the sawpit, where I was set to work with one of the older hands, a really big and strong man. Well, since then, every evening when I went back to the palace, I had sawdust in my hair and the first few nights I was so stiff! Fekemme had to rub my shoulders and back, which was really nice, so it was worth all the work.
And I’m earning heaps of shillings!
Fikmet and Fekemme also have found a job, they go out all day and also come back with sawdust in their hair, and glue and lacquer and all kinds of small cuts to their fingers, they are working in a joiner’s place. And sometimes, after work, we meet at a place and have a pie together, and then go to have a bath, it’s real work we’re doing, don’t tell me it’s not.
And then in the evening, about once a week, we’d go out with the King, and he’d disguise himself as a blind musician, and call himself Arin, and we’d go to a little square where there are a bunch of inns, and and make music and earn even more money!
I’ve got nearly ten riders now!
And then it was the day of Anshen, and I had the day off from sitting in the Chancery and from the sawpit, and we went to the Khas village… That was where the big thing happened!
It wasn’t so much a village as a camp! All the Khas were soldiers, but they had taken wives from all over the world! But mostly, the Khas still didn’t speak anything but Khas, and they were soldiers, so they weren’t gifted, so I missed all the things that they said to Fikmet, or that she answered.
Fekemme, he went out with some of the soldiers to train with swords and things, and I, in the end, went with some of the women to do the cooking. Also, I asked them for more of those envelope-like thingies, because it was that time of the month again, it was six weeks after the last time! Fortunately, it wasn’t so painful this time, and Fekemme doesn’t mind the mess, and since I don’t want to drink the nasty tea and I don’t want to have a baby, this is the only time we can do the other thing, I asked the women in the camp and they all agreed that it is true, you cannot make babies if it’s that time of the month.
And we got a tent to ourselves, Fekemme had made sure of that, because we were going to stay the night in the Khas camp.
And that was also because of the BIG THING!
It was really big. I’m not sure how it happened or how they discovered it, because I couldn’t understand a word! And Fikmet was too excited to explain. But it turns out that the Khas mage who takes care of the King’s Khas Regiment, that the mage is a woman!!!
And that woman, she is gifted of course, otherwise she wouldn’t be a mage —
!!!!!!!SHE IS FIKMET’s MUM!!!!!!!
She really is, they read the markings on Fikmet’s mum’s tent together, and they are sure of it.
It’s really great for Fikmet! And now she’s going to stay with her mum for a bit, at least until we go back to Tilis to get married, and then she’s going to go back to her mum and stay with her, instead of going with us to Sarabal.
And now I’m going to lose my first real friend, well, not lose her, she’ll still be my friend, but we won’t be together anymore! Fikmet says she’ll come to us in Velihas, so it won’t be forever, but I’ll miss her so!
So the rest of our time in Valdis, until mum and dad come back to take us and uncle Athal’s family to Tilis for the wedding, Fekemme and me will be with just the two of us. It’ll be boring, we cannot be acrobats just the two of us, but we’ll still be able to go out and play with uncle Athal.