Posting from Book 7 of The Academy of the Accord this month. Things are a bit tricky since some of this book runs concurrently with the end of Book 5 (and the start of Book 6) but focuses on a different student: Brythel. Like Yhonshel, Bry is a Tuanae, both wizard and Warder, and Yhonshel is his mentor and partner – they share a bond like that of a bonded wizard and Warder pair.
This hasn’t been edited yet so just pretend it’s good, okay?
Brythel (age 14 or 15 – I need to get a timeline together) went home for winter break. Unfortunately, his father caught him playing his lute (not a “manly” enough activity to suit him) and beat him severely. Brythel is trying to get home to the academy.
Brythel remembered little of the next two days, other than being cold and wet and hungry and too afraid to stop and eat, and not sure that he wanted to eat.
On the first night he got tangled in a thicket of brambles and lost his shirt to their thorns; stumbling as he got free of them he tumbled down a slope to a pond where his boots got lost in the muck.
But he didn’t care. He had his lute and he was on his way home and then…
And then what? In a moment of clarity he realized that he had no way to pay for tuition. Maybe he could find a way, and if not…
It didn’t matter, he realized; he wasn’t going to survive. He was shirtless and barefoot, and sleet and freezing rain pelted him, and his chest and ribs hurt with every breath, and he wasn’t entirely sure that he didn’t have something broken inside.
But he was going to make it back to the school, to the only place he had ever felt safe or happy. The orchard, he thought. This journey had started in an orchard and it could end in one. The orchard, where he had played as they taught Jorsen to dance. And where Jorsen had played music with him, with a flute he had fashioned from a tree branch. Other than Yhonshel’s rooms, he had been happiest there.
Jorsen. A sad smile crossed his lips and he choked on a sob. Jorsen was his best friend and he felt like he was letting him down as much as he was Yhonshel. Maybe he could find a dry spot during the day and write him a note to tell him that he tried.
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