I’m Back!

It’s been a few weeks but we’re finally settling in and I am back! Sorry for the wait. Here’s a little snippet.

“Sebastian woke panting from a restless dream and propped himself upon his elbow. He swore that a flickering shadow flitted out of the corner of eye, but when his gaze tried to follow the shadow Sebastian found that it was already gone. The rogue rubbed his eyes as they and his ears adjusted to consciousness and struggled to make sense of waking life.

Kahina drew back the fold of the tent and entered as Sebastian sat up and yawned. Light peeked through the flaps of the tent and made him squint while he waved a greeting to the sorceress.

In her hands were a basket of bread and a silvery kettle, steaming hot and sporting a long, elegantly curved spout which arched outwards from the base and rose to the throat of the pot.

Kahina set down the basket of bread and poured from the kettle into a pair of cups. Sebastian watched in fascination as he dipped the bread in oil and ate it, chewing through a night-dried mouth.

The golden liquid stretched and narrowed into a thin stream as she raised the pot higher and higher until it was nearly two feet from the cup she was pouring into, creating a rich foamy layer on top of the beverage which released aromas of sweet, fragrant mint and calming green tea.

Sebastian took the cup that Kahina handed him and drank from it. His insides relaxed as the fresh, sugary liquid filled his mouth and washed down the clinging bread. The rogue sighed after he swallowed and took a deep breath.

“That tastes amazing,” he said. “I think that’s the best tea anyone has ever made me.”

Kahina smiled in a way that touched her eyes and waved a dismissive gesture with her fingers facing downward as she poured a second glass for herself.

“My grandfather would have done better,” she told him. “I tried my best to learn from him but I am not as skilled at judging the tea. Though I will say, it is easier when you have quality ingredients.”

Sebastian shrugged and finished his cup before setting it down and looking out from the tent to the waving plants in the morning breeze.

“Maybe he would have, but I think yours would taste better to me, if only because you were the one who made it,” Sebastian said.

She blushed, but Sebastian was too preoccupied with his drink to notice and only lit up when she poured him another glass. It was enough, for now, to distract him from the sense of anxiety in his heart that he hadn’t been able to shake.

The train began to move again after breakfast was finished and Sebastian and Kahina sat in the lead carriage and chatted as they watched the land move by. It grew drier as they moved away from the coast but the land was green and grassy and was an agricultural center for the nation.

She could tell that something was on his mind, but Kahina figured that Sebastian was just excited to finally be in Voliban. If she was honest, she was feeling rather livened herself. The old imperial city had been a great hub for trade even centuries ago, traders from as far as the emerald Khanate of the west and Barbarian raiders from far to the south met and bartered there.

The sun edged onward into the sky and turned shadow into light. Soon she and Sebastian were shielding themselves from the sun and lounging against the wooden boards of the carriage.

Kahina rested her chin on the back of her intertwined hands and stared outside while Sebastian napped. The afternoon sun was making her sleepy as well, but the sorceress was determined to see the city first–And then it came.

Against the farmer’s fields and grassy rolling earth, trees appeared.

Voliban lay upon the banks of the river Sud and rose like a monolithic testament to the might and culture of the pre-Romal imperial dynasty. The walls of the city were a ruddy, earthen tint and sat on the slopes of an ancient hill.

Soon the road twisted and met the river and followed along its banks and Sebastian woke from his slumber as the road became paved and their ride rough…”

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