A Long Road Chapter 13 Ficbit – Trouble

:You really think Kero’s going to spend all night looking for them, Alberich?: Crathach followed Talia and Dirk into their quarters and a hail of six-year-old questions, indulging in a shiver as the warm fire began wafting chill air out of his Greens. :Rolan seems confident those two are off the grounds. Or at least that they’re not his problem.:

:Sleep well she will not, until the hole in security she has identified,: the Weaponsmaster confirmed. :Sleep well I would not either, but correct you are. Informed me, Kantor also has, that Rolan has much to discuss with the herd. And that the Groveborn suggests we should Father Gerichen to our council invite, to determine how best to break it to the Lord Patriarch that…:  Alberich’s mind-voice faded a moment, into wordless incredulity. :That spirits in Haven linger who have not justice found, and demand their own priest be acknowledged.:

:…What?: Crathach managed.

:Know, I do not. Ask, I would rather not. For tonight the danger averted is. Sleep, I intend, that tomorrow we may with clearer heads this conundrum attack.:

Probably wise, Crathach knew, bidding his friend a good night as he wrapped his hands around a steaming mug. Gods knew he wouldn’t be seeing his own bed for candlemarks yet. There were things he had to discuss with Talia while the impressions were fresh in their minds.

After the Monarch’s Own had some precious time with her family.

“Oh, mulled cider… thank you, love.” Sitting in the chair nearest the fire, Talia kissed Dirk on the cheek, hugged her son, then took a sizeable gulp. “Mmm. I hope they’re getting warm, too.”

“Who’s getting warm, Mama?” Jemmie blinked up at her, all curls and six-year-old curiosity.

Talia ruffled his hair, and took a smaller sip, sighing. “Two young men who have a very stubborn attitude about using the front gates.”

“I don’t know,” Dirk mused. “If I’d found myself in as much – er, trouble, as they have, I’d want to sneak around too.”

Jemmie scrunched his brows down, then turned a very Talia-like frown on Crathach. “Are they bad trouble? People were rushing around, and it was too quiet.”

Double-check the boy’s getting ground and center lessons, I’d lay odds he’ll be an Empath in a few years, Crathach noted. “I wouldn’t say Wei Wuxian and Wen Qionglin are trouble. But they’re trying to get away from a whole crowd of nasty people who want to start trouble, and I bet a responsible young lad like you knows how that goes.”


14 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 13 Ficbit – Trouble

  1. Oh yes, decompress and then debrief. Good plan! And, woo, that. Wei Wuxian as the priest of the unquiet dead is accurate. Though I do admit that my first thought was Speaker for the Dead. (Yes, I read the first two Ender books. No, I don’t think I enjoy his writing style for them. I did thoroughly enjoy his Women of the Book of Genesis series though.)

    And more than a few people are determined that there will be no more Gift training that slips through the cracks. In a way, Orthallen sabotaging Kris’ confidence in her control was a help, because then she broke down out in the back of beyond, where luckily they got snowed in and he could boot camp her ground and center. Imagine if it had happened in Haven. Though three judgmental ghosts that didn’t show themselves beyond lots and lots of Staring. Talia is going to be the most sympathetic towards anyone on the wrong side of the Vrondi web. (As I recall, those same three ghosts had to also work to divert the spell that nearly killed her for being a deadly threat to a Herald during an argument with Kris when her Gift went haywire. So. They weren’t completely useless.)

    Alberich has an uneasy feeling about this, and he’s going to be pleased that someone finally proved his point about that gate. He was all for security through obscurity, but he wanted a guard on the inside of that gate as I recall. What if Wei Wuxian had been malicious? (Of course, if he’d been malicious he’d have just used the river. No one, No one is going to sleep well if he spills those beans. Not even the cultivators.)

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Having a rotating group of Companions hanging around that door is probably the best of both worlds as far as security goes. Outlanders attempting to use the door won’t find it odd that there’s a groups of ‘white horses’ hanging around, and people in Valdemar don’t always acknowledge/realize the Companions aren’t special horses. (As we know from Kero’s first run in with her eventual lover. Which is also her first encounter with the magic suppression field. She was going to call Companions “spirits” but couldn’t get the word out and switched to “special.”)

        And the Companions could both discreetly pass on warnings and, well. Them hooves be sharp and horses are heavy beasts. Like I said, having Companions guard it would be the best choice.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. :facepalm:

        Oh, duh.

        Why put noticible guards on something you can just have the companions watch?

        Build something to give them a REASON to hang out there, that doesn’t require much upkeep, and just teach the foals “if you see someone in that area who isn’t a herald, raise hell.”

        Liked by 3 people

  2. If I was Kero, I’d order a subordinate to double the guards and go to sleep. There is a point where rational judgement is impossible and a senior officer stalking around is just going to increase paranoia.
    Are undead spirits entitled to form their own congregration and demand a priest be respected? I don’t think that the Crown actually gets to tell the living or the dead what religion they can join and conversely they don’t certify priests.
    Also is WWX a priest? Does he think he is a priest?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kero’s… working on that. There’s one last thing she needs to straighten out first.

      The Crown does get to investigate “religion or scammers”, they’ve done it before. Ghosts, though – that’s new.

      It’s a little tricky? Technically WWX is a shaman, dealing with the dead and helping them find rest. That said, shamans also fall under the “priest” category in Valdemar, legally – at least given what we see with the two Swordsworn who end up in Valdemar in various centuries.

      (Wei Wuxian will be very surprised.)

      Liked by 5 people

      1. “So the ghosts told the Companions we need to acknowledge you as a priest.”
        “Ah… so… what if I don’t want to become a priest?”
        “Um. It’s not a matter of becoming. They said we have to acknowledge it, not that you have to do anything different. Were you going to stop?”

        Liked by 6 people

      2. All cultivators realize that ghosts exists, and some of the dead need help, and some need to be dispelled. However WWX genuinely feel sympathy and compassion toward the dead and tries to help them achieve justice and peace of mind. Its easy to see why the ghosts think he deserves offical recognition and protection. Wei Wuxian might not think of himself as a priest, but he is obviously founding a school that believes in treating the dead and the living with respect and consideration, and upholding their rights.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s