April 30, 2015

In Which Celina Achieves the First Fundamental

September 2, 1191

"So. Your first semester has treated you well?"

"I think so." Celina squirmed, hoping Karlspan didn't see it. She supposed there were worse things a betrothed could do than ask mundane questions, but... it was still a mundane question. She didn't want to talk about school. Everyone else already asked her enough about school! "I'm not sure I like Brother Rambert's marking style, though. He doesn't seem to take kindly to original thought."

"No, the best way to do well in Brother Rambert's classes is to write all of your essays the way you think he'd write them." Karlspan sighed. "High on himself, that one. You'd think he was regular clergy."

"Karlspan! I don't think all regular clergy members are that way."

"Not all of them, but enough of them. I don't know why you'd find the notion controversial, though; aren't some of your cousins Kemorins?"

"Yes, but they're also part Mokonri. A Mokonri knows better than to make trouble."

"But why is it making trouble, pointing out the flaws in the world?" A fair thought--and not one that had never crossed Celina's mind. But she'd just never been a rebel at heart. "Seems to me that those we call troublemakers now are the ones history will call heroes."

"Yes, I suppose there's merit to that. But not everyone has the instincts for tackling the establishment. Perhaps some of us are better off supporting from the sides."

"Yes, I think the key to the progress of civilization is full self-awareness on the part of each individual." He winked. "Perhaps you and my sister will make a good team when she gets here. She loves nothing more than ruffling feathers, but has difficulty toeing the line. You could be the one making sure she keeps her head on straight."

"I hardly think your sister is my responsibility."

"Oh, my sister is her own responsibility and wouldn't have it any other way. But all the same, you might balance her out."

"Or she might balance me out, you mean."

"Not so much. You're already balanced enough."

"Oh." She knew what the word meant in that context. "So you think I'm boring."

"Quite the contrary." He stood up, then offered a hand, pulling her up to his level. "I think you are a well of good thought, and that the world is thirsty. Just because you're not inherently anti-authoritarian doesn't mean you don't have some earth-changing idea in that beautiful brain of yours."

"Perhaps I shall write a book, then," she muttered, half-sarcastically.

"And perhaps I shall sponsor you." That... was not so sarcastic. He swept one hand up to her face and placed the tips of his fingers gently beneath her chin. "I know you're not exactly thrilled about our arrangement, and I will admit to some fault in that--I'm hardly the romantic sort, after all. But I must tell you that I don't think I could have found a better match for myself, if you don't mind me saying. I can talk freely to you, and know that you hear me, and I enjoy and learn when you talk freely to me as well. Of all the things important to a marriage, I believe that in particular is paramount."

In spite of herself, Celina let out a small smile. "It's up there for me too. Now that we're on the same page there, maybe it will be easier to work out some of the other fundamentals."

"I should hope so." He kissed her--briefly, but firmly. It was more business than pleasure, but not entirely unpleasant. "Do you think we should go eat now?"

It was getting close to the dinner hour. And perhaps they would speak more candidly in the inn, with so many others around. "I'd like that."


1 comment:

Van said...

I'm a little behind on extras, so don't expect to see them on my Tumblr until some time late tomorrow night/early Saturday morning (tomorrow is day three of a four-day work opportunity that I figured I'd better take because I'm honestly not optimistic about finding anything else soon, so I haven't had a chance to fire up the game in the past few days).

(Also, Flames need to channel the 1980 US Olympic team.)