Return 3 pt2

(chapter continued from previous post) “We seek only to learn what has happened here,” Narcissa said gently. “I’m a skilled healer, travelling to learn and to offer my assistance. It is difficult to know where to begin.” “Can you heal an earth-lord?” the young woman asked, and her laugh had a manic edge. “Because if you cannot, then we are all dead, we simply have not yet accepted it or stopped moving.” Motion, something bright white and larger than a mouse, drew Lysandra’s gaze to the nearer end of the stiff green curtain, but whatever it was, it was out …

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Return 3 pt1

Since it would be out of character for Narcissa to be seen helping with setting up camp, and since the barren lot was in a highly visible location, she decided to go for a walk. Lysandra shrugged to herself. As her sister’s handmaid, it was of course her job to accompany her. She wasn’t sure she cared for the idea, but scouting did make practical sense, and it was better than sitting around decorously while Tyrel and Kaveri did all the work. Floods and famine. In Enodia, a town struck by such a situation could count on a response from …

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Return 2 pt2

(chapter continued from previous post) Narcissa probably would have plans for the best use of what food they had. But these are kids. And they definitely aren’t eating enough. “Hold on.” He looped the reins around the pole and rummaged in the cart for a basket. Seating himself again, he untied the top. “It’s not much, but most of what we have is no use by itself. One handful each, and no pushing.” He scooped out a first handful of mixed tree nuts Kaveri, with sporadic help, had collected some way back. She’d forgive him. He hoped. Once, Kieran growled, …

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Return 2 pt1

With the heat down to merely annoying instead of oppressive and a faint thread of wind stirring the air into motion, the landscape here was simply boring. There was nowhere for highwaymen or large animals or other diversions to hide. Taking a turn at the reins did nothing to alleviate the monotony. Fighting made him feel bad, unless it was unequivocally in defence, and even then, the royal sisters had an annoying tendency to speculate about what underlying conditions could have created the situation. But at least it wasn’t dull. Scenery or wildlife or other traffic or, well, something, anything, …

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Return 1 pt3

(chapter continued from previous post) Kieran and Madoc and Mirren stayed on patrol around the wagon and cart; the others made sure there was a bowl of water for Madoc and Mirren under the cart, but Kieran drank from the trough. The sisters each had a cup of well-watered wine, and Tyrel and Kaveri shared a leather flask of decent ale, as they made themselves comfortable in the canopy’s shade near the animals. Inside the wagon was an Enodian invention: a pottery box, which rested on several sturdy feet within a larger box, and the space between them was filled …

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