From Khora’s notebook

Eleventh week of Timoine, part II.

Sometimes Khora’s thinking is so alien to me, and yet so plausible, that it seems that all the Valdyans are wrong and should take a leaf out of her book. For instance, about the king’s and Aidan’s sister Ayneth:

She seems very strange to me: she told me she “sneaked away from Valdis” without even taking her leave of the King and Queen. Which also means she did not carry any letters for us! The princess has governed the Kingdoms for Athal when Athal was in Iss-Peran, and perhaps that has tired her out. Whether that is because woman should not govern, or whether it is because she has no husband, and the care of a country is big to carry when one does not have a husband or wife to share the burden with, I do not know.

(In fact she did take her leave of the King and Queen: as soon as she was sure that everything would go right without her she said to them “you can manage, can’t you? I’m off to Turenay, then”. They weren’t writing letters to anyone yet at the time, or she’d have carried them.)

And yes, she was fed up with the regency, and glad to be able to go where she was about to go when she was suddenly called to be regent. Otherwise she’d have gone with Radan, almost two years ago. Now she is indeed tired, not because women shouldn’t govern, or because she has no husband (or wife, indeed; she does have a lover, who is away to the war– it’s the baroness of Lenay); just because she’s nineteen, and was inexperienced when she started, and though she’s a good organiser, organising full-time for a year and a half does tend to wear one out. What she needs is a few solid weeks of no responsibility at all, after which she’ll be so bored that she is bound to think of some undertaking. Perhaps we can have her set up a mail system.