A letter from Fekemme

Half of this is written in semsin, hard to get across in a language that doesn’t allow for it.

To Edhmem Sathafái, King of Velihas, in Baraz

Father, you were so absolutely right, I hardly believe it. You were already right when you told Mother that it was useless to go to Valdyas and ask for a princess’ hand in marriage for me. Everybody here assures me that even the eldest princess is no more than three years old and the other is still an infant, and even the princes, who are older, are far too young for Maha. Perhaps in ten years the little sisters can go to Valdis or Turenay to meet them and make up their own minds.

I have found my princess, and if she isn’t one by birth she certainly is in spirit [with a semsin picture of Lyse]. How can I have travelled so far with her without seeing that? –But I did see it, if not already when she turned up at Baraz then when we fled from the robbers of the Bee who wanted to rip my birthright from me, or when we worked on the ship, or when we were learning together.

Even if Mother would convince you to name Maha as successor, or any of the siblings, I shall still marry Lyse because clearly all the good Gods want us to be together. We have bespoken the next part of our learning in Sarabal, mine with the priest Rikhi who is the person most like me, except possibly you, that I have ever met; and Lyse’s with the baroness who is her kinswoman and likewise matched. The baroness is old and has no children, she did give birth to a son but he was lost at sea before he even became a man, and I have been thinking that if I am not needed for the kingdom we might possibly convince the king of Valdyas to name Lyse baroness when Naigha takes the old lady. But that is thinking in the clouds, not a definite plan, my definite plan is still to become king and make Lyse my queen.

This Rikhi is a very holy priest, and [semsin picture of Rikhi and his cave in Sarabal] I don’t know if he has found a holy place to live in, or he makes the place holy by living there. Fikmet –you remember her?– [semsin picture of Fikmet as she is now] healed herself of a great hurt in that place.

Will you be expecting us in Baraz before we start our learning? Or shall we go straight to Sarabal after we have delivered your letter to King Athal and other letters we have been entrusted with? Lyse will need our clan’s birthright, of course, and I can give it to her but I need to do that on our own soil. There is no hurry, though, because we don’t intend to have children just yet. Lyse is a grown woman and I am a grown man by now, but both of us are still too green to be parents.

Please tell Lelem that I thank him from the depths of my heart for teaching me to fight, and also for the other things he taught me.

Lyse is writing to Mother, and I hope she can read Ilaini because that is the language that Lyse can write. She is teaching me, but I couldn’t write a whole letter in it yet. Also to speak the language, strange without speaking in the mind as well, but it’s good for me because it forces me to be exact.

Father, give my love to everybody and keep a place for me in the woods.

Your son, Fekemme