Mellia — In Nochet Viiii
1627, Fire Season, Disorder Week
Fire Season, Disorder Week, Freezeday, after the arrival of the groom’s party. [[[s02:session-41|Session 41]]]
Ahead, Kirse is showing Jengharl to a seat in a hall decorated with flowers. He asks her to sit, if he is to, which seems to please her; she has a seat, of course, but he is doing well as a polite guest.
There is a light meal prepared – bread and cheese and pickles and beer and wine, with a few spiced dips and sauces. For a wonder, everything is vegetarian. Mellia has a position at her mother’s side, which means that Kirse can entertain Jengharl – and Venlar has to sit next to his brother.
Mellia nibbles at the meal, mostly because she is supposed to be dainty. Venlar gets teasing looks and smiles.
Venlar manages the meal with bad grace. Jengharl is getting thunderous looks. He does not seem to notice, however, for his attention is on Kirse, and he is a model guest.
Mercifully, the meal is short; Kirse could call for several other courses, but she does not. Instead, she suggests showing people to rooms while some are still eating – splitting the group of men so that those who are still getting fed know they do not have to hurry, but everyone who watches knows that the group has been split up. Jengharl offers to keep his brother company, and is talking to Kirse, not Venlar.
Venlar looks at him in betrayal, and says, “I’d prefer to stay where Mellia is.”
“But you must be weary from your long journey. Please, rest. After you rest, we can talk, properly chaperoned.”
“I’m young – strong. I could outrace anyone here,” Venlar sulks.
“But our hostess’s wish is our bond,” Jengharl adds smoothly. “Come, brother. Women must weave and we must work.”
Venlar gives Mellia one last look to be sure that this is actually true.
The young blue god allows himself to be taken from the room. Despite having given Mellia one last look, he gives her another last look at the doorway, and then his brother points the way and Venlar obediently traipses out. Jengharl bows a farewell, smilingly, and follows.
“Well, that is one way to keep your clothes clean,” Kirse says in a quiet tone.
Mellia agrees, “I didn’t expect him to be wearing that much woad. Mother, we’re going to need tough chaperones. Venlar is very eager.”
“I think we may have to have a word with your Temple, if you want to be doing your duty there before we cheer the marriage.” Kirse looks thoughtful. “It was a very good idea to get him inside as fast as possible.”
Mellia says, “I think we must have a word with the Great Hospital. I fear Venlar is taking the ritual as a challenge.”
“As long as he does not defeat it…” Kirse shrugs. “But then, we knew he would be here. We are a great house of Nochet, and he is a man, with companions sworn to our protection.” She packs her worries away. “Keep a friend with you in the house, unless you know he is out of it. Now, go get into something more comfortable, I suggest.”
Mellia and Kirse keep Venlar at a distance