"So this is Riada," Karla said, looking around at the village Lucivar had chosen to call his own. "It looks happy. Prosperous. Familiar, too, but I can't figure out why."
"Agio's not far from here," Jaenelle said, lacing her fingers through Karla's own. "It was a Rihlander village, just like this one. Only landen, rather than Blood."
Karla nodded, looking out the window again. Perhaps she'd pick up a few more things while she was here, bring them home to Cora. The memory might hurt a bit, but she thought her adopted daughter would be pleased, too, to have something of her home from so long ago. "I'm surprised Lucivar decided to settle here," she said softly. "We were all too happy to kick the dust of Agio off our feet."
Dust hadn't been the only thing caked to the soles of their shoes. Not after Jaenelle had finished with the Jhinka.
"He didn't have much choice," Jaenelle said, a sad smile on her face. Her own thoughts mirroring Karla's, no doubt. "The valley that belongs to the Keep, Ebon Rih, isn't that big. Just a few scattered Blood and landen villages, and Doun, the largest city in the valley. But you can imagine how Lucivar felt about living in any city, I'm sure."
Karla snorted; a most undignified noise. "Considering his mother doesn't live all that far from here and yet he chooses to stay, it says a lot." She gave Jaenelle a sharp look. "How long has Marian been staying with her?" She didn't ask, Has Luthvian been completely horrible yet? which just went to prove that Karla was putting Mallory's diplomacy practice to work.
Jaenelle made a face. "I haven't heard anything to suggest anything other than Marian's settling in and healing up nicely."
"Then we're visiting because...?"
"Because just because I haven't heard anything to the contrary doesn't mean it's true."
"Aww, and here I thought you wanted to see Luthvian have to act like a gracious hostess to me."
"Well, there's always that, too," Jaenelle said, giving Karla a smile though her heart wasn't in it. "Who knows? Maybe we're worrying over nothing."
[Continuing the canon catchup for "Prince of Ebon Rih" by Anne Bishop, Chapter 6]
- Riada, Ebon Askavi, Askavi, Kaeleer, Afternoon, Wednesday (Fandom Time)