Nolan wakes from a fitful sleep (I guess he missed the Amara/Cilla makeout session, thankfully) to find that his journal is gone. I SURE HOPE PAT DIDN’T TAKE IT.
There was a minute of silence. “Who’s Amara? Nolan said
that name in his . . . his sleep.”
Yeah so Pat took it. When she comes home Nolan is still dizzy and nauseous from spending too long controlling Amara. Pat tells their mom that she thinks Nolan is having seizures again, implying that more family drama is on the way.
Aaaaand the chapter ends. These Nolan chapters are getting shorter and shorter.
Back to the ROMANCE FARM.
Captain Olym had six servants on the farm, and
two of them prepared dinner: roasted duck and
spiced patties of roots, carrots, and onions.
Now I’m hungry.
Over dinner Cilla princesses it up and asks Captain Olym about her servants, blithely unaware of how that’s going to make Amara feel.
The distant sound of the servants across the house buzzed
in the background—laughter, the clinking of their plates.
Which room were they in? Olym had started to escort Amara
there before Cilla stopped her.
I need this one. I like this one. Forget the others.
Okay, that’s probably an accurate assessment of Cilla’s attitude, but I feel like Amara is being slightly unfair here- it’s not like Cilla is actually in a position to do anything about the servant’s plight right now. I guess she could order Captain Olym to set them free, but what if that caused suspicion or something? While she’s on the run her actual authority is severely limited.
“I used to run the farm with my family and some farmhands,”
Olym continued. “I had a partner, two children. My
younger daughter is apprenticing with the millwright. My
partner and older daughter died in a flood.” Bitterness laced
every word. “Three floods in ten years in Roerte alone. Two
dune fires that lasted for days. And the ministers still claim it’s
not the fault of their magic.”
Wow those ministers are douches.
Minister Ruudde offered her either magic or free servants to make up for the damage; Captain Olym decided that magic is bad news and went for the servants.
Next morning Amara prepares a bath for Cilla, which is a cue for SEXY TIMES
Cilla eyed the tub as if steeling herself. “No. What I want
is . . .” A short laugh escaped her. “Actually, I’m afraid to say
what I want, because you might give it to me. Why are you pretending
Amara hesitated. What was it Cilla refused to say she
You’re awfully clueless, Amara.
Amara vents a bit about her status as a servant and how that makes any sort of non-subordinate relationship between them difficult.
“And no,” Cilla went on, “I didn’t kiss you because I rely on
you. I kissed you because I covet you.”
HELL YEAH YOU DO
Just then Nolan interrupts to drop a plot twist!
So you know those surprisingly modern-sounding airtrains? Earlier Captain Olym talked about how they run on something called “Numeddiks”, a phrase the ministers apparently invented that doesn’t correspond to any word in any Dunelands language. Hey doesn’t that sound kind of familiar?
“Listen: my language has the same word. P-N-EU-M-A-DI-
K-S. It’s pronounced similarly, and it means exactly the same
thing. Pressurized air.”
Well isn’t that a coincidence.
If the ministers coined the term when they built the airtrains,
at least one of them is like me. Either they’re from your
world and visited mine, or they’re from my world and brought
that knowledge back to yours.”
Of course Nolan couldn’t be the only one.
Earlier I was speculating that all of the “spirits” are actually people from our world; Amara and co don’t go quite that far, but they do speculate that at least some of the ministers are OTHERBOUND to Nolan-esque types.
Questions within questions!
The next day Amara and Cilla sail set off again in Captain Olym’s ship, which sails straight into a massive magic backlash-induced storm.
Nervous laughter broke off when something slammed
into the aft wall. People jumped back as though waiting for the
wall to burst.
Maybe it’s just a friendly whale did you ever think of that
The passangers get into a brief argument over Alinean mages and their damn magic (I’m sure we all have strong feelings on that perennial thorny issue) and how the Alinean islands are super swell because the ministers keep the place technologically advanced at the expense of everyone else. This seems like less straight up magic and more like they’re just importing technology from our world.
Just then the wall smashes in and it turns out it’s not a friendly whale, it’s some stuff from the cargo hold shaking around. Amara calls Cilla’s name (or tries to), accidentally revealing her lack of a tongue. One thing leads to another and before long half the other passengers have decided to hand her over to the ministers in the hope of getting a reward.
How will our heroes escape this situation? Giant squid attack? Who knows! We probably need to spend a page watching Nolan eat breakfast or something first.