Dochein hanre, fourth week after the feast of Timoine

Money:

610/-/-balance
+ 48/-/- inheritance from Jeran the Miller, to be spent on good works
- 200/-/- reservation for the bath house
- 10/-/- paid to the temple of the god of money to buy a share in a ship
- 190/-/- a share in a ship carrying Valdyan wool to Albetire.
- 12/-/- apprentice's fee for Erdan who will become a cobbler
- 3/-/- reservation for first year of allowance for Erdan who will become a cobbler
--------
243/-/- balance

Note: the temple will inform me of the name of the ship and its captain. I have given out of the money in my pocket Erdan's master, the cobbler Rodan one rider for the festival of the most holy goddess Dayati. Still need to count what coins I have.

My Sister, your humble servant is attaining good success with my spirit work. On the morning of the dochein hanre, the mighty enchantress Raisse took your humble servant into her workshop and after drinking a restorative infusion from a herb called ironheart, we worked hard on closing places using semsin. This was occasioned by your humble servant telling Raisse about closing her bedroom when working with her beloved lord and master, as your humble servant wrote you before. In the same way, that is by keeping the room in mind and applying the powerful woven charm the mighty enchantress has given your humble servant, both on the room in her mind and the room around her body. This endeavor was crowned with success and deserved your humble servant a compliment from the mighty enchantress.

However, your humble servant is but a weak child and she could not close, or rather, seal up, the whole room as requested by the mighty enchantress, and fainted again. It is necessary to work harder, since this week your humble servant has fainted three times from being too weak.

Having failed in closing the workroom, your humble servant then was taught to follow the spirit of the mighty enchantress Raisse as her body walked around the town of Turenay. This was not hard, although the Valdyan language presented problems, since the mighty enchantress wanted your humble servant to know where the mighty enchantress was, and while your humble servant had no problem seeing the distance accounted from the work shop, she did know know what "where" was, since she had not been there.

On her return, my Sister, your humble servant was presented with an opportunity to carry out the last will of Jeran the Miller. The mighty enchantress Raisse had brought with her a certain boy, called Erdan, who wanted to be apprenticed to a cobbler. There are very many Valdyans, my Sister, who over-indulge in wine and beer, and the parents of this Erdan are no exception. They are unfit to care for their child, and would have stolen the apprentice price from their son if they would have gotten the chance. While Hinla and the mighty enchantress Raisse (whom Erdan called simply "Master" -- this maybe being the Valdyan form of saying "mighty enchantress") dressed and fed the boy, the mighty sergeant Lyase took your humble servant to the temple of the god of money where she retrieved twelve large silver coins for the apprentice fee. Having brought Erdan to his master Rodan, and having spoken to Rodan, your humble servant is sure that this is a good work and that Jeran the Miller approves. (Note: where do Valdyan people go to pray the Gods for the deceased? Must ask Raisse.)

My Sister, my beloved lord and master Aidan is very arduous, and it seems to me that he will want to marry your humble servant as soon as possible. As you know, we lost our bride price when we fled, and your humble servant has little hope of actually recovering it from the mighty servant in Essle. Hoping that she has pursued the prudent course, your humble servant has invested one third of her treasure in a ship sailing for Albetire carrying Valdyan wool, which, as you know, is prized very highly there. This should in a year bring high returns -- and if it does, your humble servant will have a small marriage portion to present to Lord Radan. Another third is earmarked for the bath house plan, which if it works out should not only keep your humble servant clean during her stay in Turenay, but also bring in a regular income and which might be counted towards her marriage portion, too.

On our returning to the School, a certain friend of Erdan, called Ferin who is born of the daughters of the most holy Goddess of Death, followed us, and your humble servant made bold to call him to us. It turns out that the children of Valdyas are taught reading and writing at the temple of the most holy Goddess of Death, but that the boys are made to leave once they know their letters, while the girls can stay on to become more learned. This is very strange. The boy Ferin wanted to be more learned, too, and he is gifted with the power of the spirit. The mighty enchantress Raisse brought the boy to a certain Perain, who is cleric to the Lord Vurian astin Brun, the father of the mighty Queen Raisse, the Flower of the North. It is not necessary for me to pay Perain an apprentice fee.

My Sister, your humble servant must find a way to become stronger in the spirit. Just looking at the boy Ferin already made her faint on the Kissing Bridge, and your humble servant was absolutely useless during the lessons of the gracious teacher Aylin, with whom your humble servant will visit the Síthi shop on Anshein hanre, that is, the day after tomorrow.

Babies

Herbs:

This night my beloved lord and master Aidan fought again. Your humble servant had washed his shirt that your humble servant had borrowed off him and gave it him instead of the shirt he was wearing while fighting. He complimented your humble servant on the cleanliness of his shirt and the pleasant soap used in the household of the mighty enchantress Raisse. Maybe I should collect his washing and do those in the mornings, before going to school? Hinla had to laugh because she found me in the morning sleeping with my beloved lord and master's shirt (and the black-and-white cat wants its part of it, too, though the gray cat prefers to sleep against my belly), but my beloved lord and master assures your humble servant that that is not a problem, because maids are supposed to know everything. And, my Sister, this at least lets your humble servant sleep with the scent of her beloved lord and master in her nose. Sleeping alone is so hard! The mighty enchantress Raisse and Lord Radan have seen this too, and have been speaking to each other, but your humble servant knows not what they can do about the rules of the school and propriety.

Nanei Hanre

Note on lessons: putting up a seal is not too hard now. Managed to attend history. Went to market with Kheti and Hinla: Kheti wanted to cook & decided to cook trout for us all. Next week the fishing man will bring us a live carp-fish. Must pay more attention in Aylin's lessons, spent too much time comparing languages with Ebru because we could not understand each other when talking through the spirit. Leva did not allow me to do spirit work in the hospital but later showed me that power floats in the air -- tried to follow the power to find where it came from, but this is called "leaving the body" and not allowed for apprentices, and apparently dangerous.

My Sister -- your humble servant is so happy. Her beloved lord and master will be here any moment, to partake of Kheti's trout -- and to stay the night.

Naighei Hanre

My Sister, my queen, whose tresses shame the magnolia tree when it blooms, for one glance of whose breasts a thousand heroes fight and die, my accomplished Sister who hides her virtues in modesty: the most Holy Gods smile on you and on your humble servant, your sister Khora. Today the mighty enchantress Raisse told your humble servant she regards us as her youngest daughter. To be bewailed herself for not having had a mother, for her mother died giving birth, she has at least grown up in a country, in a place where children know their mothers directly -- outside tales in the nursery or in ancient literature. As you know, our Mother we have seen only once, at the dinner where the representatives of our husband came to discuss the marriage contract, and where we were bidden to dance for the Gods and our noble parents and their guests.

Maybe ordinary tradesmen like Zahmati and Roushan (and do you remember the rumours that this shameless pair not only refuse to get married, but keep twenty young men they share together! Your humble servant already has trouble walking to the baths when she has spent the night with her beloved lord and master. But then, my beloved lord and master Aidan has the strength of a hundred and Sinaya had to giggle not only when she saw the state of your humble servant's private parts, but also the scratches, bruises and bite-marks. The girls who learn dancing from me have been very polite in not mentioning those.) have known their parents -- and I realized today when I visited the down-town shanty town with Leva again that I have no idea how the poor of Albetire live. Maybe the women and daughters of the poor of Albetire aren't taught that they only exist to marry and maybe they do learn that they possess a spirit and will of their own -- as your humble servant is learning now.

My beloved lord and master Aidan was a child of five when his mother died, so he cannot remember her very well. I am wondering what the filial duties of a Valdyan daughter are, but my beloved lord and master is unlikely to know. Your humble servant promises she will redouble her efforts to please her mother Raisse now she has been accorded this distinction!

So many children... Your humble servant, my Sister, visited, as she told you just now, the poor quarter of Turenay, which lies very low and must be getting very wet soon as the river Nyssa is already rising. The wonder-working doctor Leva took your humble servant and we treated many children who were suffering from so many illnesses -- your humble servant is now very proficient in the cutting of festering boils and cleaning them out. The day after tomorrow we will go again, and again in four days. After that we will stay away for any number of weeks, until it's "special" again that the doctor visits. The wisdom and insight of the wonder-working doctor Leva is without parallel! She told your humble servant that if there is a doctor available every week, the sick will tell themselves they will go "next week", instead of now. The frequent absence of the doctor impresses these poor folk with a sense of urgency. However, many with acute illnesses must still be dying, as will the poor stone-cutter who has so much sharp-sided stone dust in his lungs that he coughs worse than our poor deceased husband. But the poor mothers must be so happy with their children -- they are sweet and pleasant to your humble servant without fail. Your humble servant only hopes that Raisse will teach her how to be a proper Valdyan mother before your humble servant gives birth.

Not that your humble servant is already with child, my Sister. We know how much we miss our child who with four months in the womb already was ours. But I have been obedient and drunk the Valdyan herbs every morning with the beloved maid Hinla. Our beloved lord and master Aidan wants to become a father, especially now that he has seen the happiness of his brother and of the Queen. Your humble servant did tease him a little, in order to bring up an important topic, as I have seen the Valdyans often do, in the follow manner: on the eve of the Anshein hanre, my Sister, when I was lying in the arms of my beloved lord and master Aidan, I told him we would have to start thinking about a name. Of course, your humble servant meant a name for herself, but she expected him to think of a name for a child of his, which would be imminent.

But your humble servant is no longer between non-being and being, she has grown beyond the in-between, and a new name is appropriate. I have essence now, and all that I receive helps me become somebody. Now it seems the Valdyans do not change their name according to their situation and position, which means it is a strange thing to contemplate for my beloved lord and master. Valdyans always feel they need to answer a question immediately: which I have often noticed when asking for time to think. But there is time to think always, and I cradled my beloved lord and master Aidan's head between my legs to prevent him from thinking overmuch during our only night together. This seems an aspect of the art of love that my beloved lord and master did not know of -- do Valdyan noble children not get an education in the essential arts? Still, there is no comparison possible or proper to the clumsy lout and oaf who deflowered me in Albetire, and my beloved lord and master has never referred to our mistake, for which I am grateful.

Oh -- and like a thunderstorm, a monsoon, pressing down the grass in the gardens is my lord and master. A week of abstinence (if that is the right Valdyan word), followed on your humble servant's neglect of her duty the week before -- and then fighting at the school of war, and then seeing his humble servant in his own shirt, that all made the clouds break, not only his, but your humble servant's, in a way your humble servant had not thought possible previously. Raisse has told her daughter that her daughter needs to learn to seal up herself, because her daughter is getting stronger, and last night put a strain on Raisse.

Note on money: I spoke to Sinaya and invited her mother and sisters to Raisse's house on the day of the god of money. I visited Raisse in her cubicle in the bath house where she was with her sister, Riei, and told her this, fortunately Raisse (or should I write "Mother", must ask Aidan) agreed. In the evening, dined with Lord Radan and his Lady, Halla. My beloved lord and master and your humble servant arrived at the idea of inviting them at the same time, which is surely a good sign, for the ancient poets speak of love as the state where two souls think the same thought at the same time.

Most beloved Sister, we know we never were overmuch interested in listening to the court gossip, preferring to spend our time with the slaves and their children -- for which we suffered!. But one piece of gossip is worth being noted. Not only have more than half of the women students in the school chosen to imitate your humble servant in the matter of dress and paint -- but so has the gracious master Aylin. Tonight, after dinner, before giving dancing lessons, I put henna in the gracious master Aylin's hair. Yesterday we went to the Síthi shop to buy cosmetics suited to the gracious master Aylin (since she had been borrowing mine -- a great magnaminity of hers to allow your humble servant to give her her cosmetics, allowing your humble servant to display generosity fitting to a queen for once), and today the school was talking about the possibility of Aylin having become enamoured! Oh -- if it were true! I wish my gracious master every happiness!

My dancing class went very well -- your humble servant has to guard against being too severe. These Valdyan girls will never learn to dance properly, but one or two have talent, especially the farmer girl Ayne. I taught them to dance with their spirit, too, which is something they only should do for their husbands (our poor husband liked to see us dance, but only with Aidan I learned how a young man actually will react to proper dancing), otherwise Raisse will certainly become angry with me. Valdyan men are not ready to be danced for otherwise! Besides, it would be improper.

Oh -- I wish I had time left! Your humble servant happened to glance through a book in the library while waiting for the gracious and wise master Aylin to ready herself for the visit to the Síthi shop I already told you, my Sister, about. It seems that the fashions of Valdyas have deteriorated much during the last few years -- two hundred years ago, it seems, the nobles of Valdyas were dressed much more elegantly. If your humble servant has the time, she should make clothes in that fashion, not just for herself (who has not enough length and too much width to fit), but for the gracious master Aylin, who looks already so much like a noble from the court of the great Queen-martyr Mialle, Have the long skirts and dresses come from Aumen Síth or from Velihas? Or Idanyas? Nobody in Iss-Peran would contemplate swaddling their greatest treasure, their legs, in so much cloth without any chance of a knee peeping out!

I hear Raisse coming up now -- time to blow out the candle.

Mizrein hanre

Babies

Your humble servant also asked the wonder-working midwife why she did not bring homage to the Mother anymore: for some time your humble servant feared she was with child, and that the child had died already. But it turns out that the herbs I drink with Hinla prevent the blood from being offered.I feel bad about not bringing the offer, but if Aidan prefers not to miss one week in a month of visiting me, I will be Valdyan and obedient at the same time.

In the evening, my Sister, Sinaya visited us with her Mother and sisters, and also Lord Radan and the gracious lady Riei. We seem resolved to enter upon the bath-house venture, having enough money together to buy the bath house and start on rebuilding it. Every 100 riders will give one share; one share means one percent of all the money that comes in. This will leave Sinaya, who is becoming a friend of mine, and her family a large income, as well as give your humble servant and my beloved lord and master a steady income.

Your humble servant was honoured by Sinaya asking her to be allowed to be present at the marriage of your humble servant. I did not dare promise that it would be so: I do not dare think of the future too much in any case. I would like to talk to Aidan about our future, but he is not sure what will happen either. I must finish the school; maybe afterwards we'll go to Valdis, to the royal court. Or maybe Leva and Lyse want me to stay here. And I hope I can stay with Raisse for as long as possible.

Timoinei hanre

In the morning your humble servant was taught the different kinds of spiritual seal, namely:

In the afternoon, the wonder-working doctor Leva took your humble servant to the poor quarter for the second time: on Dochein hanre we will go for the last time, at least for the coming few weeks. Your humble servant did most of the simple work on the children, but late in the afternoon a young man came to fetch us for his mother, who was very sick and either has stones in the bladder or kidneys or a dangerous growth in her belly. Her belly is very swollen, but there is no baby in there.

This evening, my beloved lord and master was allowed to visit me, so we could try to be in love without affecting all of Turenay and the villages around it. The curtains-seal seems to offer the best chance, but my lord and master can, whenever he so desires, make me break all seals. The ancient precepts on the art of love warn not without reason against losing self-control! But at the same time, this control is considered a form of deceit in Valdyas.

hanre nafur

My Sister, the wonder-working midwife Lyse did not want to take your humble servant on her rounds this afternoon because she had already spent the morning working with the wonder-working doctor Leva on a woman from the poor quarter called Serla who had stones in the bladder.

These stones were very big, as big as the bone knuckles children play games with in the street and they must have caused Serla much pain. She came to us yesterday when the wonder-working doctor Leva and your humble servant were in the poor quarter again, treating the sick that do not come up to the hospital themselves. We treated her thus:

Treatment of big bladder stones

Your humble servant then waited with the woman until she was awake again.

The woman did not have a fever when I left her and was able to speak to her lord and husband.

Fortunately, your humble servant was in time for the lessons with master Aylin, who looks very pretty and elegant now. Having done much spirit work already, master Aylin only asked your humble servant to show in the spirit this morning's work to the other students. They do not seem to want to become doctors themselves. You humble servant is not sure why she is not affected adversely by the things that affect her fellow students so strongly, like festering wounds, blood or cleaning up after sickness. On the other hand, when Raisse showed me the different kinds of spiritual seal, one of them was made like a spider's web, and that made your humble servant very sick when she touched it with her mind and hand.

The afternoon of hanre nafur, my Sister, your humble servant went to Lyse as it was my afternoon to go the rounds and I was very desirious of visiting Hinla and seeing her son. Lyse deemed your humble servant too tired to do any real work so took me only to see Hinla and then made me go home again with Lyase and two soldiers.

The mighty sergeant Lyase will not be able to work much longer but she still practices fighting and your humble servant is very, very afraid that a blow will land on her belly and hurt the child. My Sister -- I finished the shirt for my beloved lord and master and also the almost finished the summer dress for Hinla. Your humble servant could not find in the library the book she wrote you about earlier, with the pictures of the elegant Valdyan court fashion, and instead found another, maybe older, book which was full of long dresses. Also, a book with designs by the gracious lady Rieie, also with long skirts and dresses.

Your humble servant must guard against improper behaviour! Tonight her beloved lord and master walked with her to the kissing bridge, where we kissed and perhaps did more to each other than Raisse would have approved of. And that while we also have received leave to be together on the night of Timoinei hanre, in order to work on our seals. Raisse did chide your humble servant this morning, which your humble servant had well deserved, because your humble servant had seduced her beloved lord and master to make love to her in the morning, and accidentally broke through her own seal. Your humble servant now understands the conditions that cause the breaking of seals much better.

Oh, my sister -- it is now five weeks since your humble servant declared her love to her beloved lord and master and my love wells up unceasingly in my heart and I feel like kissing everybody all day long. When I try to pay attention to my lessons, my thoughts go out to Aidan, and sometimes my whole spirit follows.

This will not do! Your humble servant promises she will school her mind and behave better from now on and also pay better attention to her lessons. The teachers at school are very forbearing with your humble servant and her beloved lord and master and our displays of affection, but we should be more proper.

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