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.
Picking up from last week, Brythel has made it to the school’s grounds.
He drew a deep breath and coughed, nearly gagging at the taste of blood in his mouth, but ignoring it as he stared around him, getting his bearings on the campus that he knew and loved.
The castle was up the hill ahead of him; it looked dark and foreboding but he knew it would be full of warmth and love and… And the hill seemed impossibly steep and he dropped to his knees with a sob, turning his gaze to the tower that he knew held Yhonshel’s rooms.
He blinked and shook his head, rubbing his eyes. It looked like there were lights on there and he struggled to his feet. Yhonshel would help him. And even if he couldn’t, he would give anything to feel his arms one more time…
He stumbled onward, blinded by the wind that drove sleet and freezing rain into his face, barely feeling the icy needles that struck his skin. He was so close.
And so cold.
He raised his eyes to the tower again – it didn’t seem to be any closer and despair gripped him. He would never make it up the hill to the castle. He wasn’t even sure he could make it around the hill to the orchard.
A dark shape loomed to his left. The bathhouse. He stumbled toward it; it was always warm and he could rest for a bit until he was warmer and strong enough to make it to the orchard…
A wall of heat and humidity met him as he stumbled through the outer rooms and into the room with the pool of hot water, where he collapsed against the wall, clutching the lute.
He would just rest here, just for a little while…
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