Mellia — In Nochet Xiiii
1627, Fire Season, Disorder Week
Fire Season, Disorder Week, Waterday. [[[s02:session-41|Session 41]]]
Diary/LogA few minutes later, Venlar excuses himself to go see to a private matter, a polite euphemism. Jengharl asks Mellia, “Would you like to spend a little time with guards out of the way, playing? There is a variation of what you were doing which is interesting to me, as a warrior who is often in the centre.”
“I would love that.”
Jengharl arranges that with the guards, putting one on the balcony and one outside the door, keeping his men company. “Right. So…” True to his word he does rearrange the fighting pieces, but he is also listening, and the doors are very closed now.
Mellia whispers, “Varanis has an older sister who is to marry Fazzur. Kallyr sent the cousins to stop the wedding. I think Grandmother arranged it.”
Jengharl blinks, just once. “Uh. Right.” Suddenly he is turning pale.
Mellia looks very frightened.
Jengharl says quietly, “Oh.” Now he looks a lot more like a young man without much idea what to do next, and then he nods. “I see. I might need to write to you – anything from Venlar, open it privately? I need time to think.”
Mellia nods, still looking scared. “I have faith in you.”
He puts out a hand to squeeze hers. His is cold. “I’ll work out what we have to do. It… you are not alone.”
Mellia squeezes back and smiles weakly. “I am more afraid for the cousins. They’re doomed either way.”
“I’m afraid for what father will say. And what Venlar will say. What I heard was that she had been kidnapped, not that she had been sent.” He looks cautious. “Why do you think that your grandmother arranged it?”
Mellia says, “When I told Grandmother that Mirava would be rescued, Grandmother pointed out that her children by Fazzur would rule a greater Dragon Pass.”
“That’s not arranging,” Jengharl says, although his voice does not hold a lot of hope.
Mellia adds, “Grandmother didn’t admit to anything, but she clearly thought the marriage was a good thing.”
“Marriage, not kidnap? Did she use that word? Did you use it first?”
“I honestly cannot remember that.”
“I hope I misinterpreted things.”
Jengharl closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and opens them. He still looks alarmed. “I need to find out. My father… he won’t want to marry into such a family, or be married to one.”
Mellia looks like she wants to cry.
“We’ll find a way. I promise we will see you married.” It might be rash, but it has been said.1Jengharl passes both Air and Love Family.
Mellia clearly is soothed. “Thanks. You may have to ask for an audience with Grandmother.”
“I need to think, first. Never arrange to ask a question unless you are prepared for the worst answer. In the mean time, trust in me. And in your lover. We – I will do the thinking. Then I will tell him what we need to do, and let you know.” He glances at the door. “We should see if he is back from his visit to the lowest of earth.”
Mellia nods. “The guards will be getting twitchy.”
Jengharl gets up to let people in from the balcony first, after checking for flying Orlanthi lords, just in case. Then he goes to the door. Venlar is not there, but the guards are. The game is already set, but he starts to move the pieces back. “That’s good enough to beat him, but only once.”
Mellia agrees, “He’s much better than I am.”
Venlar returns a couple of minutes later, and gives Jengharl a suspicious look. “If I had known you would be one of her guards, I would have taken care to be a better brother, in my youth.” Jengharl murmurs, “Lose this one, brother. Make it real.”
Mellia does her best to appear cheerful.
Venlar manages to draw out the game a while, but makes sure that he does lose, and the game counters become even. Three games all.
“I feel I am being ganged up on,” he says. “But as I love you both, I shall let it happen.”
Mellia smiles at Venlar. “You are absolutely right.”
He, at least, is unworried, only in love. After asking for one final match, he loses that too, much to Jengharl’s obvious amusement.
Mellia snickers and prepares to take her leave.
“A kiss?” Venlar suggests. “And not one of brotherly friendship? Jengharl is bearded.”
“I had a great time. Thanks for thinking of this. What shall we do tomorrow?”
Mellia kisses Venlar, carefully. The guards are watching.
“If bed-play is out of the question, perhaps we could go buy something for my mother?” He looks hopeful.
“Shopping it is!”
“Well. I tried…” Venlar escorts Mellia to the door.
Mellia gives Venlar one more kiss and leaves.
He leans against the door, watching her, while the guards fall in. “Come, brother. You’ll trip over your tongue. That is undignified.” Jengharl gets ignored.
Mellia tells Jengharl about her suspicions about Mirava