Mellia — Away With Venlar Viiii
1627, Sea Season, Harmony Week
Sea Season, Harmony Week, Probably Godday. [[[s02:session-32|Session 32]]]
“Yamia! When you get a minute, can we talk in private?” Mellia asks.
Yamia steps back, and with a tiny smile to the man who beat her, indicates her farewell. The man she was showing one end of a sword from another gets a brisk nod, and then Yamia comes over. Only someone looking for it would see how out of breath she is.
“Let’s go sit down,” Mellia suggests, “I just took a long walk. I need to ask you two if you have any limitations on tattoos.”
Yamia looks at Venlar, as if seeing whether he has any ideas. Venlar is already turning to go, secure in the knowledge his sister will follow. She does.
“Our family markings are on the face,” Venlar says, when he reaches a sun-warmed stone tall enough for him. He lifts Mellia up onto it, beside him. Yamia stays at an easy rest, hands behind her back, feet wide for balance. It is a position that tips her hips a little to open her lungs.
Mellia thanks Venlar. “So, seriously, do you have taboos about tattoos? To join the clan, you must receive a blue tree tattoo.”
“If it’s a new clan, then I don’t,” he says, and looks uncertainly at Yamia.
“If it’s a new clan, then I don’t,” she says, admitting the point. “This would be after the marriages, and our return here?”
“It might be today. You may be asked to talk to the Tree before the wedding. Thanks, that’s one less worry. Venlar, didn’t you want to ask Yamia something?”
“Yes,” he says. “You didn’t come down to the river. Why was that?”
Yamia thinks for a moment before saying, “I did not wish to meet the river yet. I have other things to do first, and am not joining the clan yet.”
Venlar nods. Being a trained politician he checks, “You do intend to join, don’t you? And there is not a problem with it?”
“I do, and no, but I will do it after your wedding.” Yamia gives one of her smiles, and Venlar nods, satisfied.
“I worried,” he tells her. “When I realised. I don’t want to miss you.”
Mellia smiles at Venlar. “Well, why don’t I go tell the Elders this and let you talk?”
Venlar gives her a smile in return. “Of course. I love you.”
Yamia manages not to roll her eyes.
“I love you,” Mellia replies. She leaves to go find Haralis.
Haralis is standing by the path to the Tree, eyes closed, hair loose and blowing with the wind.
“They say they have no restrictions, but Yamia wants to wait until after the wedding.”
“That is correct and proper,” Haralis tells her. “It is good that if may be done freely. The Tree will like that.” He smiles, briefly, looking relieved.
“I am glad. Is now a good time to talk to the Tree?”
“Tomorrow, at dawn, would be best. It will be nearer to waking then.”
Mellia nods. “I will try to be there then. Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“We will wake you,” he says, “If need be. I remember how young men are. And we have two other Initiates of your good goddess, enough to cover the usual emergencies.” He gives her another smile. “Go be in his arms. He is good-hearted.”
Mellia smiles. “Thanks. I will do that.”
Mellia leaves with a bow and goes back to Venlar.
Venlar is in discussion with Yamia, walking at her pace over the central open ground of the village, gesturing with his hands over something. He looks like he does when he is persuading people of something. Yamia looks willing to be persuaded.
Mellia catches up to them. “Hello, mind if I listen to this?”
“Of course not.” Venlar puts an arm around Mellia. “I was asking Yamia about planting here. I think we should have barley seeds sent, and emmer, but the river valley looks like it will be fertile enough for wheat.”
“That is a good idea, beloved. I don’t know what they’re planting now. Apparently I have today off unless something horrible happens.”
“Mostly, they plant what the river will allow,” Yamia says. “It depends on where he lies each season. But we should bring our own seeds too, and see how they work. You are right about that.”
Venlar says, “I was going to see the horses, and walk over some of the lands. We could do that together.”
“I would like to see them,” says Mellia. “I wasn’t here long on my last visit.”
“Now you tell her they would be prettier with her on it,” Yamia says.
“That was just what I was thinking.” Venlar blushes.
Mellia giggles. “I am not a good rider.”
“You could stand on the ground and still make that look pretty?” Yamia suggests.
Venlar splutters briefly. “Well, my sister may tease, but you bring joy where you stand. I should plant flowers in the shape of your footprints.”
Yamia gives a brief, amused, happy smile.
Mellia blushes. “Thank you both. You bring joy to me as well. Perhaps I should dig fish ponds where you walk.”
“They would have to be very small,” Yamia points out. “But we could ask him to lie down a lot?”
Venlar stares at Yamia. “Who sharpened you?” He seems in awe.
Mellia laughs. “There’s a thought.”
Venlar starts to say something and then he is blushing too much. “Aaaaah! Yamia!”
Yamia gives him an inquisitive look, with her usual sharpness.
Mellia smiles kindly at Venlar. “It’s just a thought, my love.”
“An unexpected one from my sister,” he mutters.
“You two should go,” Yamia says. “I need to talk about which hides will support you, and I have spent some of this morning walking them already.”
Mellia nods. “We will do that. Thanks, Yamia.”
Yamia watches Venlar for a moment longer, and then bows to him and walks away.
“Is that what having a family is like?” he asks weakly.
“It’s worse, usually. At least mine was. Of course they are all ambitious. Our family can be better.”
“The provisions for child blessing in the contract say that my family pays for the first blessing, so we can choose the day, and yours for the second. After that, we need to decide for ourselves if we’re doing it. My father will want someone born on a Windsday, I think.” Venlar offers Mellia his arm to walk her across to see the horses.
Mellia takes Venlar’s arm. “We will see what the gods send. I admit children would be nice, but then I get so busy.”