January 13, 2017 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
“You really have had an interesting first year at school so far,” Elelakorra chuckled.
“Oh, no, this is nothing. Taikie got hit over the head with a pipe by someone —” Enrie caught herself and coughed “— misusing aether, someone who turned out to be a murderer. For this, all I had to do was dig in the library… with all of my friends helping.”
“Indeed.” Elelakorra looked down at the copies on her desk. “I assume you have the originals?”
“Of everything there is a copy of there, yes.” Enrie could no longer remember exactly what she’d told Elelakorra and what she hadn’t. “We couldn’t find all the pages, but we were in a hurry.” She reached for Tesdes’s pack, where half the originals were stored. “A more thorough search of the Library—”
“Very good.” Elelakorra made a cutting-off gesture and picked up her pen and wrote a short note on a scrap of paper. “I would like to keep this copy. You’re sure it’s accurate?”
“I am reasonably certain, but we could provide you with two copies and still have one for ourselves.”
“You think ahead. Good.” Elelakorra smiled approvingly. “I will take that second copy, then. You take the originals to this man—” She pushed the paper towards Enrie. “Just a moment, I’ll write you a note. He runs a confidential archive. What goes in, stays in, until you want to take it out.”
“That sounds… impressive.”
“Atetagivetet is a very impressive man. Do that, and go back to your Academy. I’ll speak to the Emperor and we’ll send you a messenger.” Elelakorra hopped down from her desk to look Enrie directly in the eyes. “It was a good idea to bring this to me, little cousin, and I am going to do my best to prove worthy of your trust.” Her eyes raked the room. “Of all of your trust. What Lyirnilalie and Ilonilarrona have done is unworthy of a royal daughter. You were right.” Her lips quirked in a small smile. “There’s far too much of that, lately. And I fear it will only get worse.”
She bowed to Enrie, deeper than their difference in rank deserved. “Lock up your papers; even the Emperor won’t be able to get to them there. I’ll do what I can.” She bowed to Libkazaarie and Korten and said, very simply, “Thank you.”
“Thank you for listening to our student.” Libkazaarie sounded just as open and just as sincere. It was an interesting look at her, and one Enrie was sure she’d be thinking about for a long time.
“Here.” Elelakorra turned back to her desk as if suddenly uncomfortable and dashed off a quick note on official stationery. “That will tell Atetagivetet who you are and why you’re there. And here.” She pushed a handful of large coins towards Enrie. “This will pay for the first six months. If you need longer than that, I will come up with something – or, perhaps, Librie and Kor here will have to come up with it for you.”
Enrie counted the money as she slid it into her pouch. It was a tidy sum; safely storing things must be a lucrative business. “Thank you, Honored Voice… thank you, cousin Elora.”
“Safe roads and clear skies, little cousin. You’ll hear from me soon, I hope.”