A Long Road Chapter 13 Ficbit – Sensible

Talia’s read the histories. But I imagine no one’s talked about it. It… hurts too much. “I don’t know all Alberich did; I was too busy killing Tedrels to stay alive, and then trying to Heal anyone I could. But he and Kantor held their post, kept Selenay alive, when I know – gods, I know! – they wanted to charge into the fray right after our King. They loved Sendar. But they loved Valdemar, and they did their duty. So yes. I know how a man can do what will hurt him and those he loves, because there is no better choice.”

Talia nodded once, eyes dark in a way that said she was committing words to memory, marking souls that still bore unhealed wounds.

Yes. She needs to know. “I don’t think I’ve ever hated being a Healer as much as I did that day,” Crathach mused. “The Tedrels killed Taver. Talamir wanted to follow him. But I couldn’t let him. Valdemar had lost its King, and Selenay was so young. We couldn’t lose the Monarch’s Own. So I hardened my heart, and made the only choice that would save our land. And I wept later.”

Talia let out a slow breath. “We’re going to talk about this later, old friend. You need it.” She set her mug down, and tilted her face toward the fire to warm each side in turn. “So if we’re going to let them sort themselves out, we need to lighten Wei Wuxian’s duty. Can we offer the Wens sanctuary, given the risks they’ve warned us of?”

“Battlefields are as close as I’ve ever gotten to understanding politics,” Crathach mused. “Remember that Wei Wuxian and Wen Qionglin have been holding off a siege for two years, and survived three years of war before that. They’re afraid. They’re right to be afraid. But they may not be judging the danger well. Alberich thinks our chances are good.”

“Anyone who’s survived burns, may flinch from a candle-flame,” Talia agreed. “I’ll discuss this with the Queen and Prince-Consort, and then the Council. I want to take them in. But it would help if I had reasons beyond ‘we need more friendly mages’. Why would giving them sanctuary help Valdemar? And would they be able to live here? Companion’s Choice is a matter of law. But they’re afraid of guardian spirits.”

Crathach held up a contradicting finger. “They are properly cautious. I’ve been on the battlefield when Companions cut loose. And you’ve seen Rolan attack. Being wary of creatures as smart as you are and able to stomp you into bloody paste is a sensible reaction.”

That earned him an amused snort. Good.

“And if either of those two were actively afraid of Companions, they wouldn’t have let those young ones bumble all over them,” Crathach went on. “I suggest we take them – and Lan Wangji, and the Nie – at their word: they wanted to be sure Kellen’s Choice was voluntary. Wouldn’t we want the same, if one of our Border youngsters got swept up as a Karsite Army recruit?”

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19 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 13 Ficbit – Sensible

  1. I love your writing, and have read just about anything of yours I could get my hands on. One of my joys is seeing what you’ve written everyday. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. (raised eyebrow) What Crathach says sounds very logical, but IIUC 1) It’s not concern about *physical* danger and 2) WWX and WN are confident *they* have nothing to fear from the mental/spritual danger of Companions.

    oh, my.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Crathach held up a contradicting finger. “They are properly cautious. I’ve been on the battlefield when Companions cut loose. And you’ve seen Rolan attack. Being wary of creatures as smart as you are and able to stomp you into bloody paste is a sensible reaction.”

    :applauds:

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Or an Enforcer as in Friends Across Borders, and why that isn’t considered canon is beyond me. That series had me laughing at points, and that the writer is trying to not contradict the worldbuilding just makes it more awesome!

    Thank Goodness that Talia has both Cratach and Albriech. There is a big difference between reading about conflict and being a part of said conflict. They’ve seen war, the difficult decisions they had to make, and the effects of what it does to a person.

    Liked by 1 person

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