Ruzi climbed from the branch he was on over the railing to Shunati and Sinta’s balcony. He turned to assist Vaila if he needed it. Lately, the boy had been following him everywhere when he was at the palace.
He heard the adults stop talking. It was likely they were talking about him, either his mom or his eyes. Usually, Sinta insisted everyone spoke Elvish in their rooms to help Vaila learn it, but there was a flag out indicating that Menthan could be spoken. Thailyn wasn’t fluent in it and had trouble. This way they didn’t need to translate. That meant they were talking about his eyes.
“Guess what?” He asked excitedly.
“What?” Thailyn indulged him.
“Ruzi used his mage sight!” Vaila announced.
Ruzi frowned for a moment. He’d wanted to tell them, but it was no big deal and he didn’t want to ruin the mood.
“I did. It was only for a few minutes, but I could see magic.”
Thailyn grinned. “That’s great,” he said enthusiastically.
“How are your eyes?” Shunati asked.
“They feel okay. Do you want to check them?” He moved closer to the healer.
Shunati checked him and nodded. “Not bad. I wouldn’t push for longer until your eyes get used to the change.”
“Let me see,” Thailyn requested.
Ruzi rolled his eyes and moved to his dad.
“I agree and for now, only work on it when you’re with a healer so you can be checked.”
“Yes, Dad,” Ruzi sighed.
“It’s just a precaution.”
“I know. I’m used to you being overly protective. Thanks, Ann.”
She smiled. “Glad I could help.”
“I think it’s a good idea too,” Shunati said.
“Okay,” Ruzi agreed.
“Do you think you could teach Lamdi to talk with someone in a coma so if she does go to Erilu she can find out who my birth father is?”
Sinta and Shunati glanced at each other. “Ruzi, I know Deyama said something about that, but it’s doubtful the elders will allow it,” Sinta told him.
“Her family doesn’t want her healed. That’s the elders’ purview, not the queens,” Shunati added.
“Sinta’s her family too,” Ruzi pointed out.
“Brothers have more say than cousins.”
“What about sons? I’m her family and I want her to be healed.”
“Ruzi, you’re a half-breed. The elders won’t recognize you because of that.”
“They recognize Ann. She’s a half-breed.”
“She’s not Erulian.”
“Neither am I. I’m Menthanlan.”
“He has a point,” Ann agreed. “The law states that foreign half-breeds shall be recognized as per the laws of their home country.”
“But he can’t go up there. Even if the law protects him, there are those who would ignore it,” Shunati pointed out. “Pisha’s brothers attacked both Sinta and me because of our relationship and I’m just a round-ears.”
“I could scry them,” Ruzi suggested.
“You can’t hold the spell long enough,” Thailyn reminded him.
“Perhaps Ann could talk with them when she goes up there,” Emeton suggested.
Ann frowned. “Me? Why am I going up there?”
“I don’t know if you are yet. Before she left, Deyama asked if you’d be available to go talk with the elders about the school and the home.”
“But I’m not involved with either. Bacna would know more about them.”
I pointed that out, but Bacna has trouble traveling and speaking Erulian. You do both well and you’re better known there. The elders are more apt to accept you. And you can scry those who are involved for questions.”
Ann nodded. “I can. And I can plead Ruzi’s case.”
“Maybe Ruzi could write a formal request for Ann to deliver,” Shunati suggested.
Sinta smiled. “It would be the proper traditional way to do it and it would impress the elders. I can help him translate it.”
“Okay, Ruzi you write up your request and defend your reasoning. If Ann goes up there, she can take it,” Thailyn instructed.
“If she doesn’t, I’ll take it when I make my next report,” Sinta offered.
Ruzi nodded and smiled. Finally, some progress would be made. Possibly, just maybe, he’d get to see his mother again before he went blind.
“I’m going to get started. You guys can go back to talking about me now. I’ll see you at home, Dad.”
He hurried back to the balcony and jumped into the tree, startling a noble woman below.
“Ruzi!” She exclaimed.
“Sorry, ma’am. I have important work to do,” he explained as he scrambled down. “I don’t know how long I have to get it done.” And with that, he was gone.
Ann watched the boy scamper off. “He’s gone,” she said once he’d entered the front wing of the palace.
“Vaila, why don’t you go find Cari and see if she wants to play,” Sinta suggested.
“I think she’s down in the training hall with Andy,” Ann added.
“Okay,” the boy agreed and started to the balcony.
“Take the stairs,” Shunati called after him. “You’re not tall enough yet.”
Vaila sighed, “Okay.” He turned towards the door to the hall.
“Now, you were saying?” Emeton prompted Shunati once Vaila was gone.
“Ruzi’s eyes were worse than what he was letting on at the challenge. They’re deteriorating faster than what we expected.”
“Is it the exercises?” Ann asked.
“No. Maybe his attempts to switch visions. I think Thailyn or I should do some comparisons of his eyes before and after he works on it. Lamdi can help, but we have more experience with nuances.”
Thailyn nodded. “Agreed. I’ll work with Lamdi on checking him.”
“What happens if he goes blind before we can make the potion?” Emeton asked.
“Then there’s nothing we can do,” Thailyn said.
“I’ll have Rem push Rejenn to double his efforts to find his dad,” Emeton promised.
“Thanks,” Thailyn said.
“He’s my daughter’s brother. That makes him my son too.”
Thailyn nodded. Emeton was a dragon brother, but he rarely claimed shepol.
“Sinta and I have both been trying to remember any hint of a man Pisha might have been involved with. We both spoke to her while she was seeing him.”
“Assuming she was seeing him,” Ann pointed out. “She might not have known him.”
“Pisha wasn’t the type to sleep with someone she didn’t know,” Sinta assured them. “And given her mood, she seemed like she might have met someone. She claimed it was just good to get away from her family, but even then, I doubted it. I just never saw her with anyone.”
“Rejenn tracked down some of her old classmates. There might have been some human men she studied with but it never seemed like anything more.”
“Please, keep looking,” Thailyn requested. “We’ll do what we can to keep his eyes working, but we won’t be able to do it indefinitely.”
“We’ll find him,” Ann promised. “And we’ll get the fluid from Pisha too.”