Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chapter 14 (of 43)

XIV


Dear Fangline,


What a pleasure it was to have you at the estate last weekend. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. The summer seems to be going on, doesn’t it? I think I’m counting the days until the midsummer festivals. Shouldn’t I?


Do you know the old tradition of lighting a fire on a hilltop on midsummer’s eve? You might think me ridiculous, but I’m going to do it this year. It just strikes me as perfectly whimsical, and I surely won’t have anything else to do on that night. Perhaps I’ll be visited by the spirits.


Can you tell I’m bored already without you here? Restless, perhaps. Al’bert is always good company, but not in every way, of course.


Maybe you’ll deign to join me, on the midsummer hilltop.


Languishing,


Camilla


* * * * * * * *


Dear Camilla,


The Fromage estate is always pleasant, and I’ll admit this recent visit was more pleasant than most. Hawking is one of my favorite pastimes. I have to say hawks inspire me. They seem so graceful, but are actually very efficient weapons. Woe to the creature that spurns a hawk.


I apologize for the delay in replying, but I’ve been busy with some things. I’ve actually started learning quite a lot about magic lately, as I’ve found a subject of which I can’t seem to get enough. Fortunately I have a tutor who is both brilliant and willing. Royal Chief Mage Zedwig is the smartest person I’ve ever met, and he continues to surprise me. He was a little hesitant at first, but now it just keeps getting better and better. Did you know he can link with the other Royal Mages and command them? Neither did I.


The other day I ran into him in the library. He didn’t see me at first, and I noticed he was reading “The Words of Life”. Have you read that one? I was forced to, early on. It’s by some crazed hermit philosopher who claims every action has an opposite effect, like a pendulum swing. Anyway, it’s drivel, and Zedwig put it away as soon as he saw me. I think he was embarrassed. I found it amusing.


Anyway, we started to talk, and we tend to talk about matters associated with telepathy fairly often (it’s a long, boring story why; don’t ask), and he mentioned that’s how he can efficiently order the other mages, in the case of defense, or at any time they might be out of earshot. I asked him if he could make them do anything he wanted them to, and he looked offended.


I don’t make them do anything,” he said to me. “I only tell them what needs to be done next.”


But could you, if you wanted to?” I had to ask him.


You’re talking about taking away their free will,” he told me. “I would never do that.”


Not in any circumstance?” I asked. It really was riveting, the possibilities.


Absolutely not,” he said, and if he looked offended before, he looked far more offended by this point. I really had to know, though.


But… theoretically,” I said, trying to ask carefully. “Could you?”


Zedwig’s eyes are a brilliant amethyst; a very rare color, you know. They’re most noticeable when he gives me the particular look he was giving me right then. I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I was bemused by his indignation. Still, he replied:


Anything is possible.”


He left rather abruptly after this exchange. I don’t think he was pleased with the conversation at all, but he still continues to teach me, regardless. Sometimes we have marvelous times; sometimes it’s just… strange. I cannot explain it.


I am literally astounded at the depths of his power. His potential is blinding.


Fire on a hilltop? Invite Al’bert and others. We should all have a good dance around it.


Cordially,


Fangline


1 comment:

spasticfreakshow said...

invite the others...cordially...

words from a man who is now interested in someone else (and the someone else is clearly zedwig of the pretty purple eyes club) - hahaha!

poor camilla. can't feel *too* sorry for *her* though.