Something New

I haven’t written lately, because I hate riding in the open countryside. I was surprised when Papa said we weren’t taking a coach, though I’m not sure why. He said we’d move faster this way and also because we sent our coach to Brightcoast to throw off Brayton.

This all makes sense, but it does not make a week on horseback any more fun. We’re a days ride away from the camp now. Papa, me, and Count Caleb. We’ve met up with General Martin now as well, and another royal guard named Elodie Wills.

“You aren’t used to this,” Elodie said as we settled in to eat. I nodded. “It’s better at camp, I promise, nothing like the palace, I’m sure, but better than this.”

“Why are we doing this?” I asked. She smiled.

“Camp’s place is secret,” she shrugged, and pulled out a cloth to clean her sword, “we had to make sure you weren’t followed.” I nodded. “Are you really a psychic? We have healer magicians at camp, I can heal a little, but nothing like that. No high magic.” I blinked at her. She was speaking so quickly.

I was so used to court life, I hadn’t thought about the distinction between high and low magic in a long time. Not since Sister Mara, who’d come to Cammadan with my aunt and father from their homeland Phania, had taught me when I was very small. She’d always said it was a petty distinction, usually used to make the work of women and uneducated folk seem unimportant.

“I well,” I said softly, “I have Dreams sometimes, and then things happen.” She nodded. “I suppose it’s high magic, but I’ve never thought of it as such. It’s mostly useless and kind of a nuisance.” She smiled. “You can heal?”

“A bit,” Elodie said, “if you have any magic at all you could probably learn.” I looked at her.

“That sounds like a very good idea,” Papa said settling in with us. I looked at him. “It would give you something to do, rather than just wait. Sister Mara said you had gifts, Marina, this might be one of them.”

“I suppose so,” I said, but something felt warm in me, right. I did like the idea of healing and having something to do.

“Elodie,” General Martin shouted, she snapped to attention, holding her sword out. “Someone’s coming.” I stared wide eyed. “Les,” my father looked at him, “can you get Marina to safety?” He nodded. Count Caleb nodded at Him. “Your Grace.”

“General,” he said, grabbing an axe and swinging it. I swallowed and took my father’s hand, running into the trees.

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