June 6th, 2011


Chapter 12 Part 1 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Originally published at MeiLin Miranda. You can comment here or there.

Temmin sent a message to the twins that night, by way of a sleepy footman. The next morning, a postulant Lover delivered the response; it sat on the library table when Temmin returned from a solitary breakfast.

"Disregard me," said Teacher, lounging by the window. "By all means, read your letter."

Temmin sat down and ran a finger over the Lovers' Temple sigil stamped into the wax. Breaking it felt like sealing his fate, though he'd sealed it the night before in his father's study. "Your Highness," it began. "Your presence is required at the Lovers' Temple from Farrday, the 34th day of Spring's Beginning, through Ammaday, the 35th day of Spring's Beginning to prepare for your admittance as our Supplicant." The elegant writing included no signature.

"That is from the Embodiments, I assume. Did you find your answer last night, then?" said Teacher.

"I would've thought my father told you this morning."

"I have not seen him yet, though I wager when I do we will have quite the spirited discussion." Teacher moved to sit atop the table. "What did you decide?"

"I'm taking Supplicancy."

A flicker crossed Teacher's dispassionate face. "You are sure? You may change your mind, right up until the moment you take orders."

"I'm as sure as I can be," said Temmin. "I heard...it sounds ridiculous, but I'm talking to a man who walks through mirrors, so...I heard a little voice calling my name. That's all." He looked up into the pale silver eyes. "I think I've been called. It feels like the right thing to do. Allis and Issak have been more trustworthy than my own father. So...I told them I'm doing it. Paggday--it's not my initiation, is it?"

"No," said Teacher. "That will be at the Neya's Day Spectacle."

"In front of everyone?"

"You must be sure of yourself. Public proclamation confirms that surety. You will be learning all about it when you are there on Paggday."

Temmin fingered the old red book, still lying on the table since his last lesson. "What if I'm wrong?"

"We pick a path, we walk it as best we can, and we change course if we find we have taken the wrong way. How gracefully a man adapts is one of his greatest measures. Shall we continue?"

Temmin opened the book.

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