Levande [4 Lage 4261]
She was riding her distinctively undistinctive purple and
brown swifthorse, with her distinctively shabby and
well-made riding gear, and, if anything, she was a bit
fatter and less beautiful than before. She is probably
the richest and most powerful of my mortal friends, unless
Crown Prince Nestrune has decreed that he is my friend this
week. I saw her from my bedroom window, and flew down the
stairs to meet her at the front door, but Jarmiet had gotten
there first and caught me on the stairs.
Jarmiet:“Sythyry, the Countess of Gloun has
ridden up, in person, to speak with you. I’m pretty sure
it’s her at least. She doesn’t look much like a
Me:“Gloun doesn’t, so it’s probably
I evaded Jarmiet and landed on a decorative urn next to the
front door, where Levande was looking distinctly nervous and unnoble.
Me:“Countess! I was hardly expecting you to
ride here in person, much less so quickly.”
Levande:“Excellent, for I love alarming people
suchways. May I alarm you further?”
Me:“If I were to say yes, I would be expecting
something alarming, making it harder to alarm me. I shall
thus refuse you the privelege.”
Levande:“Then I shall, without permission,
eschew all court formalities, and even neglect to discuss
the duke’s wardrobe.”
Which was pretty much a command to speak plainly.
Levande:“Have you seen Thery lately?”
Me:“I have. She looks awful.”
Levande:“Her family is furious at her, you
Jarmiet brought us this and that, and we went into the
kitchen alcove to eat it. On the basis of Levande’s
commande, I am not calling it the Lightly Scaled Refectory.
This is challenging.
I told her everything I knew about Thery’s state of health
and state of mind, which is a fair bit more than I have felt
like writing down in here, because writing it down makes it
feel more absolute and permanant, and I still hope it can be
Levande:“That’s not very good, is it?”
Me:“It’s not very good. It’s not as bad as it
could be, but it’s not very good.”
Levande:“How much is Yarwain doing?”
I told her everything I knew about Yarwain’s
efforts. This week the healers recommend various
herbal decoctions and tinctures and whatnots, lots of shrimp
in cream sauce, and a fairly fancy spell cast on Thery three
times a day. Since Thery is not very mobile, this means
that a fairly fancy healer has to come to Yarwain’s
apartment three times a day.
Levande:“Yarwain had better sell a lot
Me:“I believe that Yarwain and his family have
taken out a loan, using the town of Quistma as
Levande whistled, low and dark. “That is something which
nobles do not do lightly.”
Me:“They do not. Yarwain’s family has welcomed
Thery utterly: so much is clear.”
Levande:“Right. What do we do?” She used
the inclusive ‘we’, inflected to refer to precisely the
people in the room at the time.
Levande:“You and me. Your maid may be
Jarmiet curtsied and fled.
With much shame, I felt rather like doing the same. I was
not quite sure I could go halves on something with the
I also rather wondered if I could switch the conversation
around to what I had actually wanted to talk to her about.