An exultant letter from Aidan

Being in love makes him poetic!

Alysei Aidan astin Velain, in Turenay, to Alysei Ayneth astin Velain, in Valdis.

Sister mine,

I am the happiest man in the world! Cora loves me! Well, perhaps the second happiest man after Athal, because he is a father and we are not permitted to have any children yet, everybody thinks we are too young. And we can only be properly together once a week, on the eve of the Day of Anshen, because of school –the first time we missed half a day– and because Raisse has to put us under a seal in order not to swamp the whole town with love, as we did when we first kissed. And that time it was really only a kiss!

Of course, now that we’re overtly in love everybody keeps giving us work that may not be intended to keep us apart, but it does have that effect. Cora works at the hospital every day after school, or goes with the midwife on her rounds, because she wants to become a midwife herself. (Either that, or a doctor for children; I think it’s the same thing where she comes from.) She’s already been rousted out of bed once to deliver a baby. She was concerned whether I’d mind, but why should I? It’s not as if she’ll have queenly duties like our sister-in-law. It’s stylish to be married to a midwife.

Also, Jilan the swordmaster and Liase the sergeant (who, by the way, took her master’s trial taking out two thugs who were clearly after Cora, but that was just after the Feast of Timoine so Cora was in Veray: some of us went on a pilgrimage to the Síthi temple of Timoine) have started weapons training for whoever is willing. Lots from the school, Jichan and Alyse and I, of course –we do miss Arin!– and the little girl from the Plains who turns out to be a mean staff-fighter. Also, several craft journeymen who were too young to get into the regiment or simply had to work. Jilan grumbles, as he always does, but Liase tells us we’re shaping up well.

I had to write my astronomy essay twice because I’d got it all wrong the first time, on account of not paying attention in class because I was dreaming of Cora. But the second time I kept my dreaming for afterwards, as a reward, and Seran pronounced it good enough.

Father is in love too; Cora blames it on our exuberance but I think it’s just because he’s now lost all the stuff that was holding him back and happened to meet the right woman. She’s an apothecary called Halla, nothing wrong with her, the right age and in the Guild. I like her a lot and so does Cora. I won’t write more because if it goes any further he’ll probably want to tell you in a letter of his own.

Dearest sister, give my love to Athal and Raisse and our little nephew and everybody I’ve forgotten, and keep a whole lot of love for yourself. I have a surfeit of it.