1629, Sea Season, Harmony Week, Clayday?
Varanis and Lenta talk before camping by the Six Sisters. Session 4.08
Before the ward is set up the Humakti are already guarding and horses and other mounts are taken care of. Lenta is following Varanis and Manasa, leading the horse she rode today. The two women are alone for first time today. First time for several times as a matter of fact.
Varanis says, “I need to brush Manasa down. I hope she’s not in the mood to try taking off my fingers.”
“I will help with her” Lenta nods at the new horse. “What is she called, I missed the name?”
The Vingan shrugs. “I haven’t decided yet. I suppose I’m waiting to see if she’s as temperamental as the rest.”
The Ernaldan pets the mane of the mare “Thanks for carrying me today, gal with no name.” She starts rubbing the mare down. “You were a pleasant ride.”
The redhead snorts. “I bet you say that to all the girls.”
The Ernaldan is standing with her back to the Vingan, but Varanis can see her ears going bright red. After a short silence she says quietly almost with a whisper “Varanis?”
“Yes?” the Vingan replies absently, looking for a place to tie Manasa’s reins to.
“I… I am sorry. I failed to keep my word of not clinging to you. But thank you for not pushing me away the other night.” Her ears are, if possible, even redder.
“Hmm? Oh! Well…” Varanis stops her search to look at the younger woman, her expression inscrutable. “It wasn’t only you. I think the night and the drink caught up to us both.”
Ernaldan glances at the Vingan. “Oh…. I thought… Well, but I must answer for what I do, and what others do is theirs, but… ” Her cheeks are burning. “But thank you for not pushing me away. I’ll try to make sure it does not happen again…”
“Lenta, it’s fine. We’re adults. You’re Ernaldan and you’d just died and come back and it was a holy day AND we’d been drinking. You did nothing you need to be embarrassed about.”
The Ernaldan turns around and faces the Vingan, her kohl slightly smudged. “Everything you say is true Varanis. But I promised you… And needed so badly to be held…” Explanation is broken by tears.
Varanis puts a rock on her mare’s reins and orders the animal to stay still. Manasa snorts, but doesn’t go anywhere. The Vingan then turns her attention to Lenta and with a soft sigh, she opens her arms. “Friends can hold each other,” she offers.
The little Ernaldan walks hesitantly to embrace Varanis. After crying silently for a while she whispers “Thank you.”
The arms enclosing her tighten a little. “I’m sorry you feel so alone,” Varanis murmurs.
“I don’t. Not before. Not in the house or the temple. I am afraid.”
“You don’t have to come with us to hunt the broo,” Varanis offers. “You could go to the Nunnery and offer some support there while we are in the hills. No one would judge you.”
Lenta shakes her head. “If you were not coming I would be seeking out other people to come here…”
There’s another soft sigh. “Then be afraid and use that fear to make you cautious. No getting caught out alone again. To defeat broo we need to be smart and work together. We also need to be willing to listen to those with more experience. Berra and the scout have both fought more broo than either of us have. We need to listen to them.”
Lenta slowly releases her grip of Varanis and nods. “The broo are not the cause though, even if they are the immediate threat.”
Varanis allows Lenta some room, but peers down at her. “What’s the cause then?”
“The blockage under the Sisters needs to be cleared.” Lenta sighs “I thought we could make sure Mellia has her wyter and have her safely at Blue Tree before something would need to be done about that but it seems I was wrong. I wish she was not here, but somewhere safe.”
At this, Varanis nods. “I’d send her away if I thought she’d go.”
Lenta shrugs. “I don’t feel like I even have the right to ask. Could you?”
“I’ll consider it.”
Lenta nods, blows her nose and wipes off some of the destroyed kohl with a kerchief. “A practical thing that may be good for you to know. I wrote to my family about my debt to Mellia’s shrine. Irillo has a copy. If something happens to me and him, retrieve it. In case the one I sent to Nochet does not reach my grandmother.”
Varanis shudders. “If something… Mellia will just bring you back again.”
“Hopefully I get to arrange that matter myself, but now you know.” Lenta feels her face “Did I get it all off my cheeks?”
“Mostly.” Varanis holds out her hand for the damp hanky.
Lenta hands the kerchief over. “I don’t think there will be any problem but with our families less than cordial someone may find the situation awkward. So Irillo has a copy and that is mentioned in the letter.”
“No need to sweeten it with soft words, Lenta. Your mother despises me. She’d probably have me stabbed if I delivered that letter. But, I will make you this promise as long as you promise not to do anything stupid.”
Lenta nods. “She probably does. She has not written anything since I left though so I can’t say for sure. But you do not need to do that yourself, you have things to do in Sartar.”
Varanis applies the hanky to a streak of kohl that Lenta missed. “There. Better now.”
For some reason Lenta starts to blink. “Thank you Varanis.” Carefully she applies a new lining to her eyes.