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Arah Abu 26
The Mistress of Singers awarded Khariss with the Private Room after what she did this morning’s chapel. The Alis attended today, the first time he has been in the city in months. I saw the tears on his face when she sang, and tonight we heard that me made a huge donation to the Cathedral! If there is one older man I would not mind marrying, it is the general. He’s even more exotic than those gorgeous traders from Ikibz! From what father says, he’s also a good man, the kind Khariss wants, so maybe she’ll get to marry him, but I know Bishop Abianes hates him. The Alis must really be a good person for the bishop to speak that way when the general is not around. A shame that this war has started, otherwise I am certain that he’d be here every day and maybe he might notice me as well.
Still, now that there is a real war, maybe we’ll get besieged, and soon we’ll be able to watch our knights leading sorties into the enemy and routing them! Wouldn’t that be glorious? Just like in the stories father used to read when I was young! I can’t imagine any army would last too long against us. Khariss cried a bit at the thought of the fighting, and I guess she’s right that some of our men might die, but really! I told her that we could go up one of the high towers and that maybe we could sing to the soldiers from way up above. Wouldn’t that be spectacular! They would be so inspired!
The Princess only wrote for a few more paragraphs, all about the glories of war, how likely she and Khariss were to be the saviors of the entire army, and how she might choose to take the knight who ‘vanquished’ the most enemies as a secret lover.
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Arah Abu 9
We sang in the service for the first time today, and Khariss and I both had solos! I’m glad mine was first. If I’d had to follow her, dear gods what a disaster that would have been! No one should ever have to sing after her. What power in her voice! Everyone in the nave was bawling and rapturous at the same time. If it hadn’t been for our training, all of us Singers would have been too. She must have more magic in her voice than any Singer of Janal ever!
It’s a shame, however, that we’re committed to be Singers for the next three years. Father said he received a dozen proposals for my hand before the liturgy was even an hour old. I imagine Bishop Abianes is seething; he must have received a hundred, and at least half must have included larger dowries than my father would receive for me as just a princess! If he’s patient, he’ll likely be the wealthiest man in all of Escalon when Khariss finishes her first term.
Khariss, of course, already thinks she might stay for a second term. Maybe she can remain a singer long enough for her father to give up. I bet she could pick whoever she wants for husband if her father would just get out of the way.
(After two more paragraphs expressing her displeasure with Bishop Abianes, the princess actually wrote some very insightful comments about taxes, the nobles, and what should would do if she were to become Queen. It would certainly be worth having a crystal ball to see if she became jaded or tried to implement her ideas.)
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Arah Abu 6
I made it! Khariss made it! They made us wait two days, but the other two girls are being married off to bishops. Good for them! They’re of low birth, so naturally they’re thrilled, even though the bishops already have grey in their hair. Khariss told me that’s how her mother married her father. Her mother is quite young, and as much younger than Bishop Abianes as these girls are than the men they’ll be marrying tomorrow. I still don’t understand why her father seems embarrassed about her mother; sure she was of low birth, but she was almost a Singer of Janal!
I’ve changed my mind about who I want to marry. I understand why Khariss just wants a good man; that’s all I’d want if my father was a man like Abianes. Funny how she talks about what a great man he is, as if he was a good man! Ugh! My father is a good man and a great king. That’s the kind of man I want to marry, someone who is good and wise but also handsome. And young. And good with his sword, or at least a good horse rider. I don’t want to marry a bishop. Khariss really needs to pay more attention to details about the men she likes if she wants to survive court politics.
(Another sentence was started, but clearly something distracted her and Eilina’s next thought was never completed. That might have actually been a good thing…)
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