Inglatine

Chapter 4 Part 9 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Lassa missed her moon. Twice.

She consulted a Sister in secret. "There must be something you can do, some way to stop the child?"

"We do not end pregnancies, especially royal ones," huffed the priestess.

Soon Lassa could no longer hide her blossoming belly from her lover. "You're with child? Lassa, you were not meant to be the mother of my children! You were to be everything but that! Did you not listen to the Sisters? Had you paid so little attention to their teachings?"

"You insisted even when I told you it was the wrong time of my moon!"

An turned purple. "You dare blame me for this! I have no use for you at present--I despise pregnant women. Go home to your father. When your confinement is over you may return."

Chapter 4 Part 8 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Almost a spoke after Lassa's awkward exchange with Inglatine, An appeared in the bower doorway; behind him came a page carrying a pretty lacquer box. "Gifts for my wife and her ladies to celebrate the blessed event to come." The boy opened the box to reveal several small cases. An opened one; it contained a mirror. The ladies-in-waiting each received one, silver chased with patterns in the Sairish style; the Princess's mirror was the same, though decorated with costly mother-of pearl and rich enamel.

Lassa's mirror outshone the Princess's. It had no case; its back formed a stand. Gems inlaid its gold rim. Inglatine didn't seem to care. She thanked her husband and placidly adjusted her veil. Lassa accepted her mirror, knowing she should not but afraid to refuse. An's attentions and gifts must soon be paid for, a thought both frightening and thrilling.

Chapter 4 Part 7 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Inglatine was just as dull and plodding as expected. She groped for words in her horrendous Tremontine until she lapsed into either Leutish or Old Sairish. Lassanna knew Old Sairish alone of the ladies-in-waiting; her mother had insisted her girls be educated as she was, despite Tremontine custom. Knowing Old Sairish was fortunate, if translating for a lump like Inglatine could be considered so.

Lassa sorted fine wool threads for Inglatine's embroidery, and helped put her to bed at night; the Princess insisted Lassa was the only one who could properly comb out her stubborn, impossibly yellow hair. Lassa soon found herself in the unwelcome position of favorite, but even as tiresome as Inglatine was, Lassa had to acknowledge her kind, gentle manner.

Court life made it bearable: dancing, feasting, music, entertainments of all kinds, often in the Sairish way even with the two countries on the brink of war. Though the King had spent many years in Sairland and its territories, his chief counselor Teacher insisted the Sairish should not only be opposed but driven back. Land gained was magic gained.

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