Sesskia’s Diary, part 67

23 Lennitay

We need a rest day. We’re not getting one. Cederic lost that argument with Vorantor. Vorantor’s mages close to rebelling—I think everyone wishes Cederic were in charge. No note tonight.

24 Lennitay

Success! The binding th’an works! But there wasn’t time to either celebrate or experiment further to determine what size it should be, because it was a honey day and all of us, including me, were expected to put on golden robes and accompany the God-Empress to an amphitheater filled with citizens, then demonstrate kathanas for the crowds.

I now understand that the mages are also priests because magic is considered divine power, which the priest-mages perform in service to and with the permission of the God-Empress. I wanted to ask what would happen if the mages decided to rebel against her, set themselves up as the rulers of the empire, but that’s the sort of question that’s dangerous to ask.

The God-Empress stood on a platform that raised her fifteen feet above the amphitheater floor, waving her hand in the same complicated, flowing salute she’d used the day we toured Colosse. Even though Vorantor is “most high priest,” Cederic had to wear his red robe and officiate, which both he and Vorantor hated. It’s increasingly clear that Vorantor is deeply jealous of his “old friend” and regrets bringing him back to Colosse, not that he had any say in the matter. I don’t know if Vorantor always felt this way—he isn’t a bad mage, actually he’s very talented, he’s just not in Cederic’s class and I’m sure that bothers him. And I can’t really blame him for that.

Well, yes, I can, but that’s because I dislike him and his habit of doing things that are the opposite of what Cederic suggests, just to spite him. Cederic never acts as if he notices, just politely accepts whatever Vorantor decrees. I’d say I wish Cederic would spit in his eye sometime, but if he ever lost control to that degree, I’d be too shocked to appreciate the spectacle.

I’ve been practicing the fire th’an in my room before I go to sleep at night. It’s getting easier, but I’m trying not to relapse into that state of gut-wrenching anxiety that nearly destroyed everything. Ten more tries, and then it’s bed for me. I checked the observatory already—there was a note. I really wish I could read.