The Bird and Baby’s Tavern, Coghill
Nasrin is sat down at one of the tables by the wall, a cup of tea in her hand. Despite it being early in the morning, with little hustle and bustle around, she has still chosen one of the more private spots in the tavern.
Sehsis walks into the tavern, taking a moment to order himself some tea before taking a look around- Seems he too has the same idea about the secluded areas and on spotting her walks over, “Good morning”
Nasrin gives a lazy nod in return and sips from her tea. She pauses, before saying, “When does it stop being night, and when does it become morning?”
Sehsis sits down at the table, “Sunrise I would say.”
Nasrin glances at the window. “That’s what I’ve been thinking.”
You ask, “Just how long have you been up?”
Nasrin says, “Just about… Well… Uh, that’s a good question.”
Sehsis sighs a little and sips his tea, “I hope you at least managed some sleep, today will be another days travel.”
Nasrin says, “…I got -some.-”
You say, “Let us hope it is enough”
Nasrin gives a faint and sheepish smile. “Hope’s a nice thing, isn’t it?”
You say, “I will rephrase- it had better be enough, there are no inns along the route.”
Nasrin simply sighs. “I’m sorry, I tried but…”
Sehsis says, “Yes, yes I know. I forget I was the same at first. You…Learn to tolerate it.” He sighs, “My sister never gave me a straight answer when I asked, what exactly -did- you do?”
Nasrin ignores him, staring down at her empty cup of tea. “It’s just… I wake up, and I think this is all a dream, and I give myself a pinch. I’m so relieved because I can’t feel it, it’s all a dream, I’m still home!” She smiles faintly, pushing aside her cup. “But… then I realise it’s because I’m so cold I can’t feel -anything- and that’s when everything becomes so real and…” Her voice trails off, and she waves a hand vaguely.
Sehsis decides not to push the question just now, “It’s not permanent, I’m sure they will let you return if I can assure them your behaviour has changed for the better”
Nasrin cocks her head to the side. “You said you were the same?”
You say, “Absolutely, I hated the place when I first arrived. It was sheer stubbornness that kept me going- I couldn’t bear to face the ‘I told you so’ that everyone would give. You get used to it after a while though.”
Nasrin says, “Most of them back home said you were chasing rainbows and would never last.”
You say, “Exactly, that’s exactly why I could not give up.”
Sehsis sips his tea, “I would say the same to you- You’ll get used to it eventually. In the mean time try not to let it get you too far down, and prove to them that they were wrong in sending you away, that you are better than they think”
Nasrin nods. “The nerve of them to push me so far away… !”
You ask, “What happened?”
Nasrin looks at him as though the answer is blatantly obvious and says, “I got sent north, didn’t I?”
Nasrin stands on up and returns the empty cup, before looking to him expectantly.
You ask, “Yes you did…You’re not going to tell me why are you?”
Nasrin asks, “Do you promise not to laugh?”
You say, “I promise”
Nasrin says, looking rather bashful, “Well uncle, it’s like this: you’re the favourite of all my uncles!” Giving him a smile, she makes to leave.
Sehsis facepalms and quickly finishes his tea, walking after her.
He comes across his niece, who if anything is looking quite lost.
Sehsis walks down the road towards her, “I would thank you for not wandering off like that”
Nasrin says, “I didn’t think that far ahead, no.”
You say, “Word of advice, think then act.”
Nasrin says, “You should become a sage, or maybe a philosopher. ”
You say, “Obviously”
Nasrin looks on around at their surroundings, no more happier than them than she was yesterday.
You ask, “Shall we get moving then?”
Nasrin says, “Oh yes, please.”
At the Fork
Looking around at the immense trees and plantlife on either side of the path, she follows by her uncle’s side. “You never told me about the forests.”
You say, “They’re…Ubiquitous. So many trees is unnatural.”
Nasrin exclaims, “Exactly, and here you go throwing me into it all! Just look how tall they grow.”
You say, “Oh I’m hardly throwing you into it, there is, at least a path here. It’s the bit without the paths that you have to be careful of.”
Nasrin says, “It’s bad enough -with- the path… ”
Sehsis nods in agreement, “Roads are a marvel. Shame they have so few”
Nasrin remarks, “It’s not a very rich country, is it?”
Sehsis just shrugs, “I could not possibly comment on the overall economic state of the country”
Nasrin exclaims, “But that’s what you -do-, uncle. You’re involved in that!”
You say, “Yes, on a smaller scale, they have enough to buy what I offer, beyond that I couldn’t say”
Nasrin exclaims, “Wouldn’t it help you to know then? You live here too! You should be able to tell from the looks of things.”
You say, “I don’t live here. ”
Nasrin exclaims, “Say what you will but you practically do! Look at you, you’re even wearing -their- clothes.”
Sehsis shrugs then says in…what could be an attempt at imitating her, “Oh, this morning I pinched myself and it was so cold I couldn’t feel anything” he goes back to normal, “I’d rather be warm and so I dress for the climate”
Nasrin shoots a glare at him, before mumbling to herself.
Sehsis just gives her one of his ver brief little smiles before continuing on his way, “We’re almost there”
Nasrin mumbles to herself yet again, sarcastically. “Oh, we’re almost there. Oh, you can feel your pinches there. Oh, I’ll fit right in with my barbarian clothes in this next village. Bar bar bar…”
Sehsis just says in a cheerfully sarcastic tone, “That’s the spirit”
Sehsis waves a hand around at the houses, “Well this is Andale” he, once again, make the announcement in a flat, unceremonious way.
Nasrin takes in the sights around her, before turning to him. “Wow, this country actually has… somewhere a -little- decent. There’s even signs of life here!”
You say, “I know, shocking isn’t it”
Nasrin exclaims, “I was beginning to think this whole country was empty. I’ve been to bathhouses with more people than that last village!”
You say, “Andale and Chesterton are the larger settlements here, though you probably won’t be coming to Chesterton- I had already finished all I had to do there before receiving my sister’s letter.”
Nasrin says, “Shame, I was looking forward to it.”
You say, “Mhm. Sure.”
The light, which had been fading for some time, has faded almost completely. The sun has set.
Nasrin protests, waving a hand around. “Of course I do, this place is… nice?” She tries a not-very-convincing smile.
You say, “…Points for trying anyway.”
Nasrin says, “Give me a break. I feel like I’m about to fall over any second.”
Nasrin gives a small yawn.
You say, “This time, actually try and sleep properly.”
Sehsis says not another word and simply starts to walk towards the inn.
Nasrin rolls her eyes as she shuffles after him.