Sesskia’s Diary, part 93

8 Coloine, evening

I had nodded off when Cederic returned and prodded me awake, telling me I shouldn’t sleep in my clothes. The note was crumpled in my hand—I had to smooth it as best I could before returning it—and I told him what I’d seen and what I’d found, leaving out the part where Vorantor nearly caught me.

Cederic was very interested in the kathana I’d witnessed and asked me a lot of questions about it. I was surprised at how much of it I remembered, and I was able to draw the th’an Vorantor had used at the end.

“It was a transference kathana,” Cederic finally said, “to move things from one location to another. The spit…it is a way to allow one person to perform a kathana that would normally take two or three mages. It is easy, but we try to train ourselves out of using it, not only because it is disgusting but because it often prevents a mage from moving further in his or her training. Denril was likely moving those war wagons. It might explain why there was no other exit from that chamber.”

“But he couldn’t have been doing it officially,” I said, “or he would have used the circle chamber, and asked for help. So he was doing it for Aselfos.”

“That is far too much speculation,” Cederic said.

I thrust the note at him. “Maybe this will confirm it,” I said.

Cederic read it quickly. “It is a list of items, most of them martial in nature,” he said, “and a few that are unfamiliar to me.”

“I bet one of those is whatever the war wagons are actually called,” I said.

“Possible,” Cederic said. He gave the note back to me. “But not proof, unfortunately. It is unsigned and Denril’s name is not on it.”

“I could bring all the notes here,” I said, and Cederic shook his head.

“That is unnecessary,” he said, “and I don’t say that because I dislike you risking yourself, because you could certainly do it tomorrow—later today, I suppose—when Denril is gone. This may not be proof good enough to accuse Denril of collusion in whatever plot Aselfos is behind, but it is enough to convince me of his involvement. But, as I believe I told you before, we still don’t know enough to do anything but confuse things. And an attempted coup by Aselfos is not necessarily a bad thing.”

“What I’m worried about is that Vorantor is planning something to hurt you,” I said, “and I don’t like not knowing what it is.”

“This does not seem related,” Cederic said, “and if you were not able to find anything indicating what Denril might have in mind, it is likely there isn’t anything to be found. I believe it is nothing more sinister than trying to take all the credit for the melding kathana, and it doesn’t matter to me who gets the credit for that.”

“You said you thought he would try to make it fail and look like your fault,” I said.

“Which cannot hurt me, since those whose opinions I care for will know the truth,” he said, and brushed my hair gently away from my face. “What matters is that the kathana works, and we will deal with whatever else happens afterward.”

“All right,” I said, “but I’m going to keep an eye on him anyway.”

“You and Master Peressten can protect me,” he said with a smile, “and I will do my best to allow myself to be protected. Now, let’s sleep, and make what we can of what’s left of this night.” And that’s what we did. We probably won’t be making love tonight either. Damn Vorantor anyway.

The day was just like yesterday. More Vorantor planning his kathana and keeping Cederic out, more of us (meaning the Darssan mages and me) failing to get our magics to combine. I didn’t tell anyone what Cederic said about our efforts possibly being useless, which would have been cruel.

I went back after lunch to put the message back in its niche, then went to the observatory to see if Aselfos had left a new note. He had. I wish I could read. Terrael would teach me if any of us had time. If the world doesn’t end, that’s the next thing I’m doing.