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The Unspeller and the Book of Days

The following day his mother brought him the polished bronze sphere that bore messages
summoned to it, a homecoming gift from Uncle Roran. The enchanted object glowed with tiny, faint runes.
He couldn't summon messages, of course, so she did it for him. Eagerly, he read the lines that
appeared on the surface, the words rising from the bronze like fish surfacing from water.
I wish I could be there to see you. I leave Morea in a few days.
Aesa reread it and ran his finger over the words. It was so like his father to only write a short note.
He found some ink and parchment and wrote out a reply for his mother to send.
Dear Father,
I am glad to be home, although it is strange. I was only gone one day, but for everyone else it has been a year. At least
I’m home. Be careful in Morea and come home soon.
He would have liked to write more, but he was it was hard to report on a year that he didn't
remember. He and his father were very much alike, he realized. He put the parchment next to the sphere and
fell asleep thinking about his father on a ship at sea. He knew his father was wise enough to only stay long
enough to buy the grain, but he hoped he would hurry. Though it took time for a Tuathan's magic to be
diminished by Morea, it was still a risk.
The sunlight streamed brightly in his room, and he knew it was late in the morning. Looking out the
window he could see Loken riding away from the barn, looking so much like their father that Aesa was almost
startled into believing his father had returned. Killian followed Loken down the path, for once not racing
him. Perhaps he had given up on that.
Gesta came into the room, holding a bowl of hot cereal in one hand and a flower in the other.
"That's very nice, but I was going downstairs anyway," Aesa muttered, eyeing the flower, hoping it
would wilt before his brothers saw it.
She set the bowl down and put her hands on her hips. "Nonsense. You might faint and break your
nose or worse."
A picture of him pitching headlong into the floor face first almost made him laugh, but she must not
have meant it to be amusing because she continued briskly, "Have some breakfast."
He fished out the spoon that had slid into the porridge. "Faint? I think not."
"It's Arkenian sickness."
He couldn't help the incredulity in his voice. "Did you make that up?"
"Well, yes, but that's because you're so rare. If anyone else returns like you they will probably have
Arkenian sickness. You're the first one though so no one else knows about it."
"I'm not sick."
"Eat your porridge."
She was as annoying as ever. Just to hear her become more adamant he perversely declared, "I'm
going downstairs to eat."
Instead of fighting with him, she looked a little hurt, so he grinned at her to show he wasn't serious
and dug into the bowl with more enthusiasm than he felt.
As he ate, he realized that she had changed a little, but he wasn't sure what it was. Maybe she had
changed the way she did her hair. She used to let it hang loose, but now she tied it in a knot at her neck, like
Dalynara. Maybe it was a new fashion that had sprung up in his absence.
The Price