1627, Sea Season, Disorder Week, Freezeday
The two women hide away from the world as often as they can during Sacred Time, stealing moments together, knowing that the time is finite. Through it all, Varanis tries to speak to Kallyr, but it isn’t until Sacred Time ends that she’s finally called into the Prince’s presence. When she is free of her meeting, she seeks out Serala.
“She didn’t say no,” Varanis says without preamble. “But she didn’t say yes, either. I have a mission and she says that we can discuss my marriage options after I return. I rather got the impression that her permission is dependent on my returning with good news for her.”
Varanis explains that she’s being sent to the Feathered Horse Queen as the Prince’s Emissary and that she is expected to broach the notion of marriage between the two.
Serala snorts. “So.. we visit a priest and do the deed before you go off on your mission then?” She half snorts, “You should try and get her married off to the Luminous Stallion King, that would serve her right,” she notes. “That would be a source of endless entertainment to watch. I would be sad to see Kallyr inflicted on my Queen, but marriages have been made of less political need in the past.”
“I can’t go against her, Serala. I won’t.” Varanis’ reply is serious. “If I were to act against her an undermine her authority… well, it’s just not a good time for that kind of rebellion. I will just have to be successful, won’t I? So, tell me about your Queen and how I might win her heart, or at least, her hand, for my Prince. We can unify the Pass and then be free to love as we will.”
Serala does, indeed, offer what advice she can, telling Varanis of the Feathered Horse Queen and the Luminous Stallion King. Accepting of Varanis’ choice, even if it means they will be parted again. She is mostly quiet, simply enjoying the time in the Vingan’s presence. Spinning it out as long as possible before the inevitable parting.
Their time inevitably runs out. Their final kiss is full of hope and longing. When she tears herself away at last, Varanis’ eyes are glassy with unshed tears. “Be safe,” she tells Serala urgently. “No more dragons.”
“No promises.” Serala smiles a little. “A leader has to go where the battles are, you know it, I know it. We will be together again. Try not to pick up any diseases you wouldn’t want to share with me.” Unrepentant as ever, Serala flutters her eyelashes.
Varanis chokes on a laugh. She hauls Serala in for one more kiss. “Wait. Let’s not say goodbye just yet. Get Fin. We’re going to the Grape. You can see everyone before we leave tomorrow. I’ve been selfish and kept you to myself and now I’ll just have to share you so I can buy a little more time.” As Serala goes to collect her cousin, Varanis calls after her, “Tell him to be quick! Someone might have noticed my absence by now.”