Sesskia’s Diary, part 106

15 Coloine, breakfast (not that anyone’s able to eat)

Something strange happened. Cederic came to sit with me for a few minutes—I’m glad he’s realized that his going entirely without rest helps no one—and I leaned against his shoulder and pretended the world wasn’t about to end. He smells of fresh linen and, faintly, of old paper, which is one of my favorite smells, and now it’s doubly so. I had Terrael’s board in my lap, and Cederic picked it up and twirled it in his fingers, just for something to do, and then he stopped abruptly and held it at arm’s length to look at it.

Then he swore, and leaped up from where he was sitting, and ran out of the room before I could ask him what was wrong. He took the board with him, whether because it was important or because he forgot he was holding it, I don’t know, but it left me with nothing but this book to entertain myself.

If things weren’t so urgent, the way everyone stopped in mid-step when Cederic left would be funny. One of the Sais rallied them, but it’s clear everyone knows that if they’re going to discover a kathana that works, it will be thanks to Cederic’s genius, so him tearing out of here like he’s being chased left everyone bereft, including me, since everyone else’s leaning on him is metaphorical, and I nearly fell over when he got up. So it must be important.

Nothing else to write. I’ve accomplished as much as I can with the pouvra without actually taking part in the kathana. I don’t dare wander over to see what the mages are doing and possibly interrupt them. I’m going to look at the painting and think about what spring will look like. It’s six months away, according to my count, though I’ve said I don’t know if Castaviran seasons match up with mine. But how could they not?

Then again, how can the desert around the Darssan be grassy plains in my world? I don’t know. It all seems pointless when it’s possible both plains and desert might be destroyed.

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