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Chapter 48B: A Pause in the Road


October 28, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder

They stopped for breakfast at a small inn a twenty-minute wagon ride off the main road, a place Korten’s family’s family ran.  Nobody was asking any questions, except,  “where are we going to sit all of you?” and, to Korten, “why don’t you write home more often?”

The food was warm, tasty and filling, a sort Enrie had eaten many times on the road with her parents.  Most of the – Enrie and Gianci. Riensin and Tesdes – dug in, feeling right at home.

Kekla was still worrying and it showed in everything she did, the way she picked at her food, the way she kept watching the road.  “It’s going to be trouble,” she muttered.  “We’re going to be in so much trouble.”

“You can run away with me,” Riensin told her gallantly.  “You can paint portraits of all my pirates.  We’ll be the most famous scalawags in all of Calenta, with your portraits gracing every port town.”

That got Kekla to giggle, at least, but did nothing for Taikie’s rather different concerns.  “We’re going to miss class,” she was muttering, “and we have a test in History tomorrow,  and we’re going to miss it, and I only brought my Textiles homework with me, of course, I couldn’t bring my Engineering homework…”

“Taikie,” Enrie interrupted, “it’s all right.  We have the House Monitor with us; I’m sure that counts as a reasonable excuse.”

“They said on the first day that there was no excuse at all for missing tests!”

“I think  being chased through the night by people intent on stealing an ancient… puzzle from us is outside of the normal scope of school,” Riensin pointed out.  “And, like Enerenarie said, we’ve got the House Monitor with us.  I don’t think Libkazaari is going to write us up for this.”

“I might,” the House Monitor in question mock-scowled at Riensin, “if you don’t learn proper respect.  But not you, Tairiekie, dear, you’re fine.  You follow the rules far too well to be worried about this.”

Taikie peeked up.  “But what about the test?”

“We don’t talk about it, because of people like your rapscallion friend here, but you can make up the test.  This, I’d say, counts as a reasonable excuse.”

“Okay.” Taikie perked up a little. “Do you think, then, I could look under the wagon before we head out?  I think that I could fix the gearing so that it’s not so loud over bumps.”

Libkazaari shook her head, but she was smiling, and, more importantly, so was Taikie.  “You’ll have to check with the Stable-Master, but I can’t imagine him saying no to you.  Now eat your food.  We’ve still got a long way to go.”


  1. Rix Scaedu says:

    Being not so loud over bumps could be important later.

Leave a Reply to Rix Scaedu Cancel reply

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