Lyse at her best!
I was so surprised! Not only was Lathad better — but Rovin, he gave me a clump over the head, friendly-like and told me to go to Turenay, and if I decided not to be back in time to take the boat home, well, I’d better write him a message at the Fish and Otter, or else!
And I thought, I could take Fikmet to Valdis, and that Khas village near Valdis, and then we could come home on Father’s boat, of course. So why not?
And the ox cart was ready for us, and Lathad said, he was ready, so we got on! It was awesome! The weather was so beautiful, not too hot, no rain, and Lyse, she was also called, Lyse, she was the drover, she wasn’t fussy or anything.
So we got ourselves sticks, and went wolf-hunting and mud-larking and catching frog spawn and we found baby foxes! And we caught snakes and then we came to a farm, and there we stopped and could wash. Only the boy, he was looking at me when I washed, like boys do when they think you’re easy because you’re ugly, so we slept in the hayloft, with the mice and cats, but we had awesome food! And there was a horse that was so broad, a woman and two children sat on his back, legs pulled up!
And the next day, we played at robbers, only when we robbed someone he was a nobleman, he was Arin, and he wanted to hear everything about Veray, about the people who had hit Lathad, so we told him and he put us on the back of his horse and made it race, and it went so fast, it was great! He was very nice and he has a wife, she is Síthi but very nice and a baby and a small child, she is called Sita.
So we got into Turenay, which is like weird, because the walls are wood, not stone! Then because it was late already and Lathad and Lyse would sleep in the farm outside Turenay, it was Lyse’s son’s farm, and we were inside, he took us to his house.
We left our clogs outside, and went up, and there was a kitchen on the second floor! And his wife, she is very pretty, and two children, and I cuddled Sita and Fikmet cuddled the baby, while Arin and his wife, she is called Keti, they cuddled. And there was pie, but there was only cheese in it, no meat, because Keti is Síthi and they don’t eat meat, so they are all very thin, but it was very nice all the same.
And the next morning Arin took us to the hospital to talk to the doctor, and to Raisse, Raisse is the boss of the guild of Anshen, she is a weaver. She is not nice, but also not very bossy, just very much boss. And she looked at Fikmet and asked her questions about semsin and who taught her, and I told about my big brother. I am too young to know whether I am gifted, not like Fikmet who is going to be a grand master, but everything she has learned, my brother has taught her!
And then we went to the hospital and met doctor Cora who took Lathad’s head and looked at him, and suddenly his head wound was gone! Just like that! And she is very small and had to stand on a stool to reach to Lathad’s head, even though Lathad was sitting on a chair, she is very small, but very pretty!
And then we went out, and Lathad went to talk to people at the school for semti, but we played skipping and knucklebones and marbles and everything at the little square, it is a good place but very strange! Because there is a fountain which is a tin statue of a girl lifting her skirts and she is pissing and the water comes out of her between-her-legs! And people go and fill their buckets and kettles!
But the tinker’s wife’s midday dinner soup was very nice all the same! The statue was ordered by doctor Cora and the tinker’s wife’s eldest son has made it, it is his master’s piece, it is of tin.
So when we were playing again there were people coming, and they were dressed like nobles and it was the King and the Queen and the King’s brother! And their children, Vurian, Rovin and Radan. And we played with them and Vurian asked us to come with them because his auntie was going to give him his own horse!
So we came with him, after talking to the King and giving him all the letters, from my brother, from Oghir, from Maurin and from Ayneth, and we got on a cart and went out of Turenay.
First we passed a place where a new palace was being built! There were Ishey, but they were not fighting or quarrelling, but building, and the Ishey have their own king, and one of them, he was called Veh, he invited us to their palace for dinner, and we will go tomorrow night. Ishey are very strange, their skin is black and the men have tits even before they have beer bellies, I saw that when I looked at Veh.
And then we went on to Lady Hayan’s farm, she has lots of horses. Some of the horses have a mother horse from Velihas, and they have a little knob between the eyes, and that is almost a horn! Their grandmother horse was a unicorn! They were sweet and nice and we could brush them and everthing, and prince Vurian he rode on his new horse and his brother Radan on the pony, but Rovin, he is the milk-brother, he didn’t care, he wants to become a builder of big buildings.
And then we went with a bunch of boys from Velihas who work for Lady Hayan. They are very nice and the princes went with us, and we roasted rabbits and so and next morning Fikment wet and did her knife-throwing with them. But I didn’t want to sleep in their long house because they were all boys, no girls. And I know that boys think that ugly girls like me always say yes when they want to kiss, because we’re ugly and don’t get kissed, and I don’t want that, and when I say that, they never believe me, boys are stupid, and still try to kiss me and see whether I’ve already got tits, which I haven’t, just muscles from punting the boat.
So we slept in a room with a real bed instead! And breakfast was just awesome, with porridge and bacon and bread and broth and everything! I was still eating when Fikmet came back from throwing her knife.
And we walked back to town and found the baths, the free Síthi bath and washed our clothes and ourselves. There is a hedge around the bath and the bath is warm, and there are lots of people, also a boy who sells pastries.