Saturday, May 19, 2018

Page 1765

((Triple Saturday -- Page 1 of 3))
It was a shame that that brightness had not lasted. Instead, it had merely transferred to the next generation of children. As it probably would again, she’d often thought.

When the knock on her door arrived, she stopped reading. “Come in.”

Hector entered, and Amelia set her pen down.

Wow. What a difference one month made. Had he gotten taller? Probably. The vitality of young people still amazed her, sometimes. Those clothes certainly made an impact, too. He hadn’t been wearing things like that very much before, probably because the boy had so frequently been assisting with the reconstruction effort. No sense in dressing up for manual labor.

It must have been the effect of these Rainlords on him, she figured. Either he was imitating their behavior, or he simply wanted to look dignified in their presence. Or both, perhaps.

She certainly knew what that was like.

“It is good to finally see you again,” said Amelia.

“Thanks,” said Hector as he took a seat on the other side of her desk. “It’s, uh, it’s good to see you, too.”

A part of her wanted to just launch into her proposal straight away, but again, she controlled herself. It wouldn’t do to overwhelm the young man. She had to work up to it slowly and clearly if she wanted to get his approval.

He may have been young, but that didn’t mean he was going to do whatever she told him. Meek and mild as he may act, she did not think that he had earned his reputation as the Darksteel Soldier by accident. And she’d spoken to Prince David about this boy, too. This was not someone she should treat like a child, she felt.

“Are you sure you have rested enough?” she made herself say. “I heard that you looked rather exhausted upon your arrival.”

“I’m still pretty tired, but I’ll catch up on sleep later,” said Hector. “I wanted to ask... ah... how have things been going while I was gone?”

“Here at Warrenhold? Fairly well, I suppose. The reconstruction has been progressing, albeit slowly. If you are asking about the country as a whole, however, well...”

“I heard about the, er, economic crisis or whatever...”

“Y-yes.” Amelia straightened in her chair. Was it too soon to go into it? She wasn’t quite sure. “Truthfully... I was hoping to talk to you about that.”

Hector tilted his head at her. “Why’s that? Do you think there’s something we can do to help?”

Oh, sweet Cocora.

Calm. She had to look calm.

“Yes,” she said slowly, “I believe there is. However... perhaps you would like to table that discussion for the moment and talk about your Rainlord friends or... some such thing?”

“...Why?” said Hector. “Does the order matter?”

“Ah... w-well...” Agh. This wasn’t going how she expected. It was too fast. She dared not hope that it might actually be going better than she expected.

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