calescent: (i ~ power)
Kiribel Miar Swan Ardelay # "Kiri" ([personal profile] calescent) wrote2014-03-11 01:40 pm


The princes stay for three weeks. Kiri and the elder make progress on Soechin. Isten's promised contentment unfolds like a flower in the sun as he comes to believe in the safety of the Ardelay house. Kiri and Jayce and once Aleko read books to Isten. The elder prince's presence noticeably improves the quality of the food, as he comes into the kitchen bearing tips and tricks from the palace chef.

After they have been there three weeks, the king calls them back.

Thereafter, they're usually at the palace for at least a quintile at a time, and never with the Ardelays for more than a couple of weeks. Kiri tries to arrange her time to be co-located with them as often as she can, but with four residences to divide her time between - the palace, the Chialto house, the estate, and the family home that it is impossible to pry Karls out of - she's not always successful. When she's got any leverage to do it with, she tries to keep them out of the path of their father. She and her Soechin study partner challenge each other to keep up with the language; she acquires a tutor, finds it agreeable, acquires more, and leaves conventional schooling, brothers in tow to share her educational accommodations.

When Kiri is twelve, Jerist Dochenza dies (fever; Kiri tries to break it, but she has to sleep eventually, especially after she catches his infection and winds up in bed for four days, a perfectly comfortable temperature but with streaming eyes and fatigue). His great-grandchild Auney Dochenza is the prime after him. Auney integrates into the group of five reasonably well, is still several years older than Kiri, and makes no significant waves in politics.

Then, when she is almost thirteen and the elder prince is fourteen, the latter... disappears.
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-11 09:20 pm (UTC)(link)
It goes like this:

"If I ran away," he asks, "would you come with me?"

"...I want to," says Isten. "But... if I did... he'd have to have more children. Wouldn't he?"

"Yeah," the elder prince admits.

Isten shakes his head and climbs up into his brother's lap and hugs him. "You've been there for me my whole life," he says. "And I love you. And... I'll miss you, and I'll be scared..."

The elder prince hugs him tight.

"...but," says Isten, with his chin resting on top of his brother's shoulder, "you're not all I have. And I'm better at staying out of trouble than you." He smiles, very slightly. "A lot better. And somebody has to be the next king of Welce. So go without me."

"I love you," says the elder prince, hugging him some more. "Are you sure? I could stay..."

"I know how much you want to go," says Isten. "It's a lot. You'd only be staying for me. So don't stay."

"Okay," says the elder prince.

He reads Isten a story - Isten still likes to be read to, even though he's known how to read for years. They go back to their separate rooms in different parts of the castle. And the next morning, the elder prince is gone, taking only his latest set of blessing rings and the most durable clothes in his closet. (And a considerable amount of Queen Risella's least favourite jewelry, but she has enough that what he took won't be missed for months, if ever. No one is going to connect the loss to his disappearance.)
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-11 09:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Isten can be found in his rooms, reading a book about the history of the blessing symbols.
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-11 09:34 pm (UTC)(link)
He looks up from his book, and contemplates her for a few seconds, and then puts the book down and gets up and deliberately walks into her range.

He doesn't want to talk about it - he doesn't want anyone else to find out - if she couldn't read minds, if she wasn't Kiri, he wouldn't tell her - but this is what happened. The elder prince wanted to run away, and Isten told him he could, and then he did.

(And now he is scared—he already was, he is constantly scared, but he always had his brother and now he doesn't anymore. He has no idea how the elder prince managed it, all those times he covered for Isten, knowing what was going to happen. If Isten had to do anything more active than letting his brother go and then never speaking of it again, in order for the elder prince to go free, he doesn't think he could. But he could do that much, and he did, and he's used to being scared. And, like he told his brother, he's good at staying out of trouble.)
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-11 09:36 pm (UTC)(link)
A hug would be really, really nice, yes.

Isten hugs her.
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-11 09:44 pm (UTC)(link)
"I'll tell you," he says. Mostly automatically, because he expects it's what she wants to hear. But then he's said it, so now he should keep his promise—and it's a good idea, and she meant well by offering, and it will be good to have someone who cares if he needs things. "If I can, if it's something you can help with."
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-11 09:48 pm (UTC)(link)

But he thinks most of the things he will need help with are things that no one can really fix. His father is his father and will keep on being his father, and it's hard to help with that, beyond what she's already done.
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-11 09:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Isten feels like some more hug. He hugs her some more. (And keeps being scared, in the back of his mind, continually. It's almost background noise to him.)
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-11 09:54 pm (UTC)(link)
That is nice of her. Isten wishes that too. But there isn't.

"It helps a lot that I can go to your house sometimes," he says.
pythbox: A book. (Default)

[personal profile] pythbox 2014-03-11 09:59 pm (UTC)(link)
"Thank you," he murmurs - pure rote manners, but he still means it. He means it a lot.

He hugs her one more time and then gets up and goes back out of her range, because he is still okay with her reading his mind but he doesn't know exactly when he won't be.