June 8, 2017

In Which Agathe Asserts Her Lead

April 21, 1204

"So... talked to your brother yet?"

As she did more than she cared to these days, Agathe sighed. Her betrothed was the Duke of Luperia, a titled man who could have wed a princess if she chose, who'd instead opted for the daughter of a drunkard knight and his mad wife. Oswald made an active effort, she suspected, not to invoke the monumental difference in rank, not to press and push and otherwise take any will she flung his way and twist it into his own. It helped that they agreed on more than they didn't, which may well have been the only reason he'd ever thought her a suitable bride.

On this, though, they'd found no consensus. And she wished he'd just stop bothering her about it.

"You know I haven't." And even if she had--even if she knew how to talk to the much older, more or less estranged brother who'd lived a kingdom away for almost her entire life--they wouldn't have spoken about that. She didn't know Searle, but she knew enough. "I see no reason to parade my mother's ghost in front of him all these years after her death."

"You can't tell me you're not a little curious about that diary."

"If I was, I'd learn to read Greek." Never mind found it sooner. She'd known that her mother had kept some records of... whatever it was her mother deemed worthy of record-keeping. But she'd left her father's castle when he'd died, and her planned marriage to a man with a title and a keep of his own meant that what would have otherwise been part of her dowry was now to be gifted to some cousin or another. Her approach to her mother in life had been to stay out of her way, and there'd been no point in pursuing her after death. It had been a chance discovery by a chambermaid, this diary--not the result of any endeavor of Agathe's.

Why couldn't Oswald just leave it at that?

"But your brother can read Greek."

"My mother treated my brother like garbage. That's why he was sent out here. Even if I was curious, I wouldn't make him translate the ramblings of someone who made his life a living hell."

"But how do you know he doesn't need the closure?"

"How do you know he does?"

"I don't--which is why you need to talk to him. Not to tell him to translate it, but to ask if he'd like to. Give him the option." Oswald folded his hands and leaned forward in his seat, simultaneously humbled and certain, a duality with which Agathe was intimate of late. "He did teach himself his mother's native tongue. That has to mean something."

"Perhaps, but it might not mean what you think. And it might not mean now what it meant then." If it meant anything. If Agathe had one hope for Searle, it was that he now found meaning elsewhere. "I won't pretend to know my brother any better than I do. I'd appreciate it if you followed my lead there."



Van said...

Still alive. Just busy. :S

Winter said...

Agathe has the right of it here. Their mother's life was so toxic to Searle that any secret of hers has to be expected to just make things worse. And it isn't as though he was actively seeking more input from a woman who tormented him until she died. However, Oswald isn't without his points. Greek doesn't seem a practical skill for life in Naroni or Dovia. Maybe the chance to learn all the hate wasn't down something in Searle's control would help. Still, though I imagine the diary will make an appearance, I'm with Agathe on erring on the side of caution.

Van said...

Agathe's smart to be cautious. She doesn't know Searle well, and given her parents and long-dead sister she may have some reservations about letting the last member of her immediate family get any closer than arms length, but with what she does no, the diary hurting Searle is much more likely than the diary helping Searle. If she does decide to pursue it, easier to feel things out first.