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 with Brythel collapsed in a cold wet heap on the floor of the bathhouse.
“Are you all right? What happened?”
The voice intruded on Brythel’s stupor and he forced himself to look up, struggling to focus on the sound and on the unruly mess of red hair.
“Drae,” he rasped out. “I’m sorry, Drae. So sorry…”
“Brythel?” Draethlen dropped to his knees and helped him sit up. “What happened?”
“He – he caught me playing music…” Brythel choked and couldn’t speak.
“Who did?” Draethlen asked.
“My stepfather.” Brythel’s eyes closed and he clutched convulsively at his lute. “He broke it.”
“Bry,” Draethlen cradled his friend against him, soothing him; even through the cold wetness of his uniform he could feel the feverish heat of Brythel’s body. “It’s all right, Bry. You’re going to be all right.”
“No. I’m going to die. I know that. But I wanted – wanted to do it here, where I had friends. In the orchard, where we taught Jorsen to dance…” His voice was fading and Draethlen felt his heart breaking. “I… I was happy there…”
“I’m going to go get help,” Draethlen said. “I’ll be right back.”
“No. Don’t…don’t leave me. Please, Drae. Stay with me. T-take me to the orchard. Please.” Brythel grabbed his arms. “I tried to get there myself, but I couldn’t. I was so cold so I came here to get warm first. Please, stay with me.”
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