Still no progress.
I’ve found something I don’t understand—no, that’s not true, I understand it perfectly but I—this is stupid, I’m so tired from practicing the th’an that I’m not thinking straight. I came back to my room directly after dinner, because of the aforementioned tiredness, but I wasn’t sleepy; in fact, I was restless.
So after trying to fall asleep for about twenty minutes, I gave up. I didn’t want to get dressed again and go to the common room, so instead I walked down to the observatory and sat on the ledge and let my feet dangle, and looked out over the pile of dusty gems that is Colosse in the light of the setting sun. It’s a beautiful city, but then most cities are, from a distance.
I put my hands on the pillars so I could lean out farther, and my left hand brushed something soft that wasn’t leaves. It was about waist-high (my waist) on the pillar above where the staircase begins and was the same color as the pillars. I picked at it, and discovered that it was a roll of paper the length and diameter of my middle finger.
I unrolled it, and remembered I couldn’t read their language just as I had it open and could see lines of meaningless, tiny script. So now I know how Vorantor and Aselfos communicate; there’s really no other explanation for this. The note was hidden exactly where Vorantor always stands, exactly where someone standing on the hidden staircase could tuck it away without himself being seen.
It explains why I never see them together, why I never find Vorantor wandering the halls like I do. They must only meet face to face when one or the other has something that’s too long to be entrusted to a note.
But now I have a problem. If I take the note, that could reveal to Vorantor that someone knows he’s plotting something—for example, if he and Aselfos have a regular communication schedule. Vorantor might conclude that the note blew away or fell down the cliff, but that’s too big a gamble for me to steal a note that might not have anything of importance in it.
The bigger problem is that I don’t know who I’d take it to. Cederic is the only one who knows about my suspicions, but he might be angry enough about my snooping around to refuse to help me. I certainly can’t take it to any of the other Darssan mages without involving them in something that could be dangerous; I trust them, but none of them has the right outlook for this, which is to say, none of them are devious and paranoid enough.
So I had to leave the note where it was, though I did conceal myself and wait long enough to see Vorantor retrieve it. Confirmation of my theory, but I still don’t know what to do about it. I’m going to observe a few more nights, see if those notes come with any regularity, and see if a solution presents itself.