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Rising Action

That’s how we describe the movement of plot in a dramatic story, or a novel, in the classroom. The term is a simplification, of course, but then so are most dramatic stories. The evening began with what I thought would be a quiet conversation with Bella. I’d just come out of the sithen to take in the night air, and she was sitting there — or should I say hovering there, meditating.

Bella, meditating.

Bella, meditating.

Once she noticed I was there, we began talking. She wanted to know how I felt about being part of the sithen, what I thought I wanted to study. And suddenly I realised I had absolutely no idea. Bella herself wants to study healing, so she’s looking forward to working with some of the healers in the sithen, maybe even the Queen. But me? I told her I felt like I was so behind on the basics that I didn’t know enough to know what I wanted to know about eventually.

One thing that makes me happy about Bella is her straightforwardness. I don’t feel like I need figure out if there is anything behind her words, some hidden meaning, like I do with so many of the other folk I’ve met since coming here. She just is what she is. That’s so unbelievably refreshing, I could just sit and chat with her about nothing for hours, drink it all in, just enjoying the fact that there’s only what we’re saying to each other.

The evening had just gone completely dark, and there's something about night air: I love it.

The evening had just gone dark, and there’s something about night air: I love it.

Bella said she was thirsty then, and we went down into the sithen to look for something to drink. Even though the evening had just gone dark, and there’s something I love about night air, I followed her inside.

We found the food pavilion not empty — Prince Blaise was there as well. He said it was fine; we weren’t disturbing him — but he seemed really distracted by something for the whole conversation. Aislyn arrived then, and I finally got to introduce myself to her for the first time. Bella was still feeling a little odd about it all and said she worried we were interrupting something — where something probably meant something sexual, but she didn’t elaborate, thank the gods. The Prince said no; we weren’t interrupting anything, and Aislyn asked us to stay as well, but then Bella got a funny look in her eye and said she’d been summoned and had to go. Not sure what that was about, but maybe she’ll tell me later.

A brief conversation with Aislyn and Prince Blaise.

A brief conversation with Aislyn and Prince Blaise.

We stook there awkwardly for a few seconds, and then the Prince asked me what seems the be the equivalent question to “What are you doing in uni?” here — “What would you like to learn?”. I gave him a similar run-down to the one I gave Lady Siansa, but he had a different answer about trying to find out who my parents are or were. He told me that Aislyn is a powerful seer and might be able to help. I started to ask her all kinds of questions, but she waved me away and needed to meditate for a while. Prince Blaise told me that she often does this; it’s part of her duty to be extra-sensitive to the sithen at all times. And then suddenly, he went pale and got a funny look in his eyes. He said he was afraid he might have made a grave mistake and asked me if I knew Vedis. OK, that was out of left field. I told him that I knew of her, but had only met her a few times as she’d come into the Lucky Leaf once or twice while I was serving there. And then there was the night she and her entourage came to Alec and Isabella’s winter fête, but that didn’t really end well for anyone. That was the second time I’d seen the Huntsman, and my memory is really fuzzy around it. He said something about a portal he had to investigate and go through, not to tell Aislyn or she’d follow him immediately and put herself in danger, but to wait and tell her after he’d been gone a while. He asked me if I thought Vedis might be demonic, and I said there was no ‘might be’ about it: fuck yes, she is demonic. Whereupon he tore off in the direction of the feasting pavilion and I didn’t see where he went.

I waited around until Aislyn ceased her communing with the sithen, but it was so late by that point I just informed her where the Prince had gone and fell into bed. That’s what I get for waking up so damned early here.

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