May 18, 2014

In Which Roddie Doesn't Know

August 12, 1185


He must have lost track of time. He hadn't expected Alya and her siblings to be back from school yet. It felt like he'd barely been back at Isidro and Riona's since his mother had forced breakfast down his throat back home. She'd said he didn't have to go to school if he didn't feel up to it. Maybe the time had passed on the road. He didn't quite remember leaving his parents' keep.

But Alya was here, now. She and the others must have come in through the stables. They must have spent their breaks wondering where he was, dodging Roddie's classmates' questions about why he wasn't there. Alya or Shahira might have gone to Lady Camaline to explain, if she didn't already know. The baron was her father-in-law, after all. She'd probably guessed.

In all likelihood, so had Alya. "Ilvina died."

"Oh." Sure enough--sympathetic, but not surprised. Like his mother, his father, his Aunt Aerina, Riona and Isidro both. Why had he been shocked? "I'm so sorry."

People always said that, as if it were ever their faults. Ilvina's father was the one who ought to have been sorry--but so far, all Roddie had heard about his incarceration was that he'd spent it scowling at the guards and berating some doctor and cursing Roddie's mother for some reason. He'd likely forgotten he had a daughter. Asshole.

"I... I barely knew her, Alya. I met her barely over a week ago. And now she's dead." He'd never really know her. Had anyone really gotten to know her, in the short time she'd had? "It's just... I don't know."

"No one knows." He heard the scuffle of her skirt against the cushion as she sat down, though he hadn't heard her footsteps drawing nearer. "I just... I hope wherever she is, it's better than here."

Amen. Whatever Ilvina's afterlife, it couldn't have been worse than what she'd endured in the land of the living. If it was, then whoever was in charge was a heartless, sadistic son of a bitch.

For all awful things happened, Roddie didn't want to think someone like that was calling the shots.

"I hope so too."



Van said...

It's only come up a few times explicitly, so just for the record: Roddie is Isidro's squire, so he lives with him and Riona (though he still sees his parents on a regular basis). Brothers Falidor and Donnie have a similar arrangement with Searle and Lonriad, respectively (though Donnie is still a page).

Winter said...

Roddie is a sweet kid. He has a nice mix of his father and mother on show here - Severin's empathy and Nora's edge. And Ilvina's afterlife has to be better than her mortal life. It just couldn't possibly be worse. But, it was just a little bit better at the end, thanks to Roddie. He did a good thing here.

Van said...

Roddie did get the best of his parents. As for Ilvina's afterlife... it's true, there's no way it could be worse than what she had to endure in life (canonically, I'll just say right now that yes, it will be a good after life--and her next soul cycle will be a vast improvement as well). It's true that Roddie did make the end a little easier, though. He deserves much credit for that.