Fire day

It used to be that every day I knew every thing that went on within my home and about my children. Now, with my children out and about, I rely on their foreshortened testimony and Heiye’s discreet words to tell me of their doings out and about town. They mix with odd persons, develop immoral habits, and are generally neglected.

I would feel more guilty if they did not seem entirely cheerful at the prospect. A certain quiet sullenness of disposition is more evident in its absence than it was evident in its presence, for gone it is.

I am at loose ends today with the children recently returned from their errands and speaking together cheerfully about this and that. Pen listens more than she speaks, but she provides a calm counterpoint to Pang’s excited gestures and words on occasion. Heiye speaks even less than she does, as is his wont, for he prefers to quiet his voice to hear himself think, a most admirable habit.

Meyni has resumed her work with a will, taking over her kitchen babe at hand with neither complaint nor comment. I have spent the day sewing, for there are projects aplenty, and passed back into her care the household records and purse, as is necessary and proper for the woman of the house to have. Even Sev’s mother, distrusted as too young and too pretty to have sense, was trusted with the household records and shared them with me amongst her other instruction. Sharing them with Sev as she did was more questionable, but it has not given him harm to my knowledge.

Heiye brought me a few rumors today. A flood in Ojia caused by the collapse of a dam flooded part of the garrison town and part of the capital city. I see Sev’s hand in that. It is said that the imperial guard has been more active in the lower city in the past months than usual, though I have not enough local knowledge to guess at that.

It has been stated categorically that the missing prince, Sev’s own favorite, is officially missing. There is a reward for information, and that is odd in itself, for the throne to show even such infinitesimal weakness at that. Sev spirited him away three seasons past, and I doubt that they will find word or trace of him.

I know whence Sev sent him, but that will never be written or spoken by me. I hope not to consign another journal to fire, but always my thoughts are too dear to me. I hear that the chambers beneath the city where the imperial torturers work are convincing when it comes to secret truths, and I should not like to give them direction.

I wonder what Sev wants done with the imperial torturers. I shall ask when next I see him.

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