A Long Road Chapter 7 Ficbit – Tea and Courtesy

“I think it’s important because Ancar’s starting to push again,” Kerowyn answered. “We need allies. The cultivators have faced blood-magic before. Chosen Lan Wangji will do all he can, but he’s just one man, and not a full Herald yet.” She spread empty hands, dismissing the worry. “No one has to make a decision now. It’s a long trip. I wouldn’t try it until winter’s over. You have months to think it over.”

Nie Huaisang nodded, and smiled at the lord. “In the meantime, you could introduce me to Lord Ashkevron? I understand Mina’s from a branch family, not in line for any inheritance, but it wouldn’t be proper to arrange such matters without at least asking what the main line would approve.”

“Hrm. Yes. Well.” Lord Darragh brushed a stray fleck of lint off his vest; glanced about as if he’d finally realized he was grumping at two foreign diplomats from the middle of a Palace hall. “I think that could be arranged. In a few days, perhaps….”

Kerowyn watched him stride off, like a lean hound who’d been pulled off the trail because. Eyed the two still behind their own doorway, Nie Zonghui still in position to protect his sect’s heir. No servants in sight, sabers in easy grabbing range, and they had not invited Lord Darragh in.

Granted, I wouldn’t put it past the man to barge in without telling any of the pages he was coming, Kerowyn reflected, but someone should have seen him anyway, and slipped ahead to warn our guests.

From the look of those twitches, the Nie had not been warned. Not good.

Did someone slip up? Or is it that damn “can’t think about magic” again, and someone forgot the mages themselves?

Kerowyn was honestly hoping for a slip. If any mage that got inside Valdemar would be forgotten, they’d have a real hole in security.

She straightened, and nodded politely to them both. “Mind if I come in?”

No matter what Daren said, she did so have polite manners when she wanted. She waited for them to be gracious, sat when they asked, and indulged in a cup of Jianghu tea with true pleasure. About as bracing as the sun-brewed drink scouts used, but a lot gentler on the throat. “That was neatly handled,” she said at last, after they’d had three formal sips. “Lord Darragh won’t be the last one wondering what the hells you think you’re doing. People in Valdemar don’t travel much outside Valdemar, unless they’re Heralds on a mission. Anyone risking this is going to get odd looks for the rest of their lives. Even if they come back.”

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16 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 7 Ficbit – Tea and Courtesy

  1. Sect lands _are_ all the way down in west Velvar. If you don’t have a cheat to shorten the travel period, that’s a very long way to ride.

    Has Vanyel gotten any vrondi coming to the Forest of Sorrows to complain about the foreign mages-with-counters yet? IIRC he told them to watch _and report_, although I could be misremembering.

    -Albert

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They were told to report to any Herald-mage, but I don’t think they report to him, After he died, the Vrondi were completely self-directed, which presumably would not have happened if they were reporting to Vanyel.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. ::suddenly envisions Valdemar as the Shire and nearly melts down trying to decide who would be more upset by that::

    My bet’s on the cousin that stole the silver over Baron Shouter, but that’s mostly because she fights dirty….

    Liked by 3 people

  3. If any mage that got inside Valdemar would be forgotten, they’d have a real hole in security ⬅ This is setting off all my *Vathara fore shadowing alarms*

    So as long as they think as WWX’S as just a cultivator it’s fine, but as soon as he’s thought of as a mage the geas will hit and they’ll’ll have a hard time thinking about him until Wei Ying is there in all his Yiling Laozu glory.Ouch.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Wrong thing in that if the lack of warning wasn’t spell inspired, then someone deliberately forgot to send notice?

        Who would they be trying to cause trouble for, the cultivators or Lord Darragh? Or is it an attempt to get rid of two birds at once?

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Put it this way. Winds of Fate makes it quite clear the Council was railroaded into letting Elspeth go off to find mages to drag back to Valdemar. By the Companions. There’s got to be some Councilors and no few Lords absolutely incensed by having their power yanked out from under them.

        And now some “mages” have shown up out of nowhere, not even associated with Elspeth, and who knows what they really intend to do to Valdemar, hmm…?

        Liked by 4 people

      3. To be fair to the Companions, they knew where to find some mages, and the Powers that are patron to Valdemar could tell that other mages weren’t about to wander in, since cultivators didn’t exist in canon.

        On the other hand, NHS and LWJ started their trip to Valdemar months before they reached the Palace, so in this crossover the gods might have told the Companions something else than in canon. Certainly Kellan got a heads up to head to the border on Search, some time before LWJ arrived there.

        On the gripping hand, if Selany and Talia are in agreement, they can override the Council.

        -Albert

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Actually, my take in this AU is that the Companions know darn well they need regular mages for the foreseeable future, hence Elspeth goes forth as canon. Kellen grabbing a cultivator is more of an insurance plan for blood-magic aftermaths, and backup magical help in case the Plan to deal with Falconsbane goes… badly.

        Like

  4. Hmm, both options for the lack of warning are Not Good. If it is the forgetting mages thing, not great for future relations with the sects. If someone slipped, especially with potentially very important and powerful allies, that is almost worse. At least Kero is aware there may be a problem, and can investigate, but still not great for negotiations. Hopefully she explains at least a little to Plotting-Nie, so he can both be aware of possible issues, and to show some trust/treating them as allies.

    Liked by 2 people

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