Yraemr Manor, Yraemar, Delaslattin, the Gjaalestadht, Morning of the 17th Day of the Fourth Month, 1089AC.
“Uncle Markusz really outdid himself with this gift,” Vanessza says, her lilting voice echoing off the chambers of the plush carriage that she shares with her mother. “He was right about the suspensers for the axes! This ride has been the smoothest ever and I love the crushed velvet-plush seats.” She beams at her mother.
“Suspension, axels, and for the wheels, dear child,” Ro, the Epic Hero, says evenly.
“Oh, whatever.” Vanessza waves her hand dismissively. “I’m not an engineer or wheelwright. But, I do love the pattern on the curtain!” She exclaims as the carriage enters the courtyard of the manor.
Sighing, Epic Hero rubs her hand from her forehead over her eyes, running her thumb and forefinger over an eye each (exclamations and chatter had been the entire four day ride from Soelshjarta, Solsken), pinching them on the bridge of her nose for a moment. She takes a long breath, holding it for a short count and then releases it in steadily.
The carriage lurches to a stop in the courtyard, approximately ten paces from the carriage’s right side door to the manor’s primary entrance. The driver’s assistant climbs from his perch on the bench above the horses and rushes to the door of the carriage, opening it and standing to attention. “The Vaektare ab Maluszken, Heir Apparent of Solsken, and her issue, Vanessa ab Malusken have arrived.”
Teryn touches his the tip of his middle finger of his right hand to his brow and then bows low as Epic Hero and her daughter made their way from the carriage. Molly, always looking for the chance to wear her blue dress, curtseys, her lips curled into a small smile.
Epic Hero stands to her full height, swaying slightly before starting her walk toward Teryn. “Grav ab Delaslattin, it is wonderful to see you again,” she says, nodding.
Vanessza, walking in step behind her mother, snakes her right hand out, grabbing her mother’s wrist.
“Vanessza, dear, what are you doing?” Epic Hero says between her fixed teeth; Teryn’s brow raises.
“Who’s that in the window?” She juts her left hand toward the window above the manor’s door
Teryn turns on his heel, folding his arms across his chest and tilts his head up. Molly shrugs, her brows furrowed. The curtain in the window sways a few times.
“Oh, please tell me you saw him,” Vanessza says softly, leaning her cheek against her mother’s shoulder.
Ro stands straight, her head raising and taking a sharp breath. It holds her in her chest as the curtain sways side to side. Molly turns her head to Teryn and snorts, folding her arms behind her back and rocking on her feet.
“Just a trick of wind and probably of light, Vanessza; the combined brightness of the plains, river, and glass can often fool the most observant of people,” Teryn says, turning back to the others. “Shall we?”
“Yes, Grav,” Epic Hero says, her hand locked with Vanessza’s, breaking her held breath.
“Mother, you look pale,” Vanessza whispers. “You saw it, didn’t you?” A small smile touches her face.
“Yes, Vanessza, I saw something. A trick of yours most likely, and you were sent to Magiskhjarta so as to not waste your talents and here you are using mind tricks and illusions,” Epic Hero says, growling low.
Vanessza’s eyes widen.