Late Yrick 2614

Dearest Dazi,

Ancient? Truly? I always knew you were smart. Clearly Kassia sees this in you, as well. Many people don't learn to read and write, Dazi, so don't take this for granted. Think of it, little one. If a person didn't learn to read and write, they wouldn't be able to write letters to their beloved little sister.

As far as boys, you'll know when the time is right. I was much older than you are when I began to show interest in them. There is no hurry, little one. I suspect that one of these letters, you'll tell me about an even younger initiate that you're not spending as much time with because some merchant's son has caught your attention.

Marcus is my best friend here, Dazi. We don't spend as much time together since he has been traveling a lot with his guard duty. He does give me a very willing subject when he returns with minor injuries. I accused him sometimes of getting hurt just so I'd tend to him. The grin on his handsome face told the truth of it. Of course, I could not be angry with him, but I made him promise to not do that anymore. It's not all sunshine for him though, for I make him taste my potions as I practice. I never do him any harm with them, but I can tell that they must taste truly awful. I've tried some and he's right. I've been spending some time with Clarissa, the current cook in the hall. She's given me some ideas that help with the taste. The good news is that Lady Catherine tells me that I have a good sense for making potions. That's more important than taste, right?

My fighting hasn't gotten much better. Marcus is so kind with his teaching so it's probably like Kassia with Irina. I must have learned all Marcus believes I can learn. I think he put it to me this way the last time we practiced and he had me on the ground with his dagger under my chin.

"Bekkah dear, your best bet is to make sure you have plenty of room behind you and then take advantage of it as quickly as possible."

I tried to show him, but it was pointless. I'm not a fighter at all, Dazi. I marvel at how anyone can do it for more than a couple of seconds.

I did beat him at Horses + Castles the other day. He couldn't believe it. He says I have a good mind. I almost always beat him at Doublebluff. He says it's because I'm the sweetest person he knows and he can't believe I'd trick him. I just roll my eyes at him and tell him that I have a sneaky devious side and he laughs at me. He actually laughed at me! I tried to act indignant and mad at him, but I couldn't do it. Maybe he's right. Still, he can't beat me in Doublebluff!

Oh! I finally got to be around horses! And no, I don't get to ride any. We're being taught to at least diagnose injuries and illnesses in animals. It's a start.

Now that I can call on Lady Attera's blessings, I've been spending some time in the village, mostly with children. Oh, how I love seeing their little faces and easing their pains! Nothing could ever be more rewarding, Dazi. I feel so blessed when I see a child's tears turn to a smile.

Take care, little one. I know someday we'll get together again and it will be as if we were never apart.

Your loving sister,

© Nivek
The Heartwood and all characters not otherwise expressly stated are © Kh'Lyh'ra Press / Mike Naylor