Fire day

Sev needed me more than ever today, and I scarcely had time for ought else. He worries me, and his moods are terrible when he has time for them. He does not show it to anyone but me, I think, but he has terrors at night and when he is not engrossed in some work, he has a way of falling into darkness such that I can hardly shine light on it.

Finally tonight I sent him off to be with his friends and have a man’s night, with the ceremony still a day away.

My preparations were as follows. Sev and I both have proper formal garb, his good armor polished to a gleaming bronze cast and my dress pleated in the latest fashion in cream fabric with a slight knap. I find the way it gathers over and under the breasts a tad unpleasant, but it is the fashion and my husband has a comely wife. A fertile wife as well, which is why both Pen and Pang have their good outfits freshly pressed and they’re to be bathed tomorrow morning. The servants have their orders in that regard.

I forgot to inform Heiye that he would be expected to accompany Pang to the ceremony, to wait on shore. I shall have to, for otherwise the boy will make a muddle of things. You do have to train servants

Slaves. I mean you have to train slaves. I am still not quite used to that. I’ve never had a slave before. It’s nice. The dependency, the obedience, it’s a nice change from the pride of old family servants who served your mother or your grandmother or whose parents grew up serving such.

I do hope the continued slow decline of the silver isn’t something one of the servants has done. It is possible it’s just going missing in the furor of the preparations and Sev’s return.

What else have I done today? I haven’t had a chance yet to consult with Pang’s tutor concerning his continued lack of progress. Perhaps if I told him he would receive a bonus upon Pang’s proficiency.

The litter has been hired for the procession. The cart for the servants has been hired as well, and in both cases raiments in peach and plum have been hand delivered to the rental stables.

I am glad our family colors combined so becomingly. His plum and my peach make the children look quite beautiful. Peach suits Pen’s complexion, though Pang will I think look better in plum if he becomes a bit more solemn. He will grow, I hope.

One of Pen’s birds got out of its cage today and had to be coaxed down out of the curtains. Another expense in the books, cleaning them. I had Pen do the calculations and deduct the bill from the expenses for her treats for this season. She was most stricken, but she does have to face reality. Everything has to add up or the whole world falls apart. It does no good to always have your mind elsewhere, flying with birds or in some fantastical painted world.

I must admit, I am exaggerating the faults of others today. Sev’s mood was not so black, Pang is not so frivolous and Pen is quite dutiful and takes an interest in wifely arts. I worry about tomorrow, about our public appearance, about whether things will go smoothly or terribly. I worry that one of our servants will disgrace us, or one of the children, or Sev, or I. I could not live with it. He’s worked so hard and done so much for all of us, I don’t want any of that to be ruined or thought worthless by anyone. I want everything to be perfect for him.

I want the prince and princess to love him as I do.

Dwelling will do no good. To bed go I.

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