You will forgive me, I hope, if this letter betrays some distraction; Inenmar has just received unexpected guests and I cannot be sure of finding any amount of time uninterrupted in the next days. Do you know the Lady of Julti? She and her husband are traveling to take the waters at Summerspring, and have honored Inenmar by choosing to break their journey here for some days to recover from the rigors of their journey thus far.
With themselves and their retinue, we may have to open some of the rooms in the oldest wing of the keep. They are not comfortable rooms, but they are spacious.
My aunt and the Lady of Julti are great friends; they have already taken over the central courtyard, where they sit even now in the shade of the arcade and discuss I know not what--nor do I wish to know. Have I told you that my aunt is pregnant? It makes her more critical than ever; I am glad of this visit if only for the fact that it gives her someone else to talk to, and keeps her from criticizing my arrangements unduly. But I feel that something more may come out of this visit. I will speak with the Lady of Julti tomorrow, or perhaps the next day, and we shall see what will come of it. For now, I can only observe that there are many more convenient stopping places on the road to Summerspring, which leaves much room for speculation.
I have hopes that my guests will stay at least until the Feast of Flowers, which is only a little more than a week away. It is always best to celebrate the feasts with friends.
Curse the vagaries of the winds. There is much I would say to you concerning your meeting with the Empress; however, as the meeting is today and even the wind does not blow so quickly as to allow you to receive yesterday what is written today, I will refrain until I receive your next letter, in which I hope you will tell me everything that passed. For now I will only say, though I know you know my opinion already, that I would not trust the Empress nor anything she has to say for any longer than the time she was directly within my sight.
Do you think that your father will remain steady in his choice of Thanael? In truth, it is all one to me--to my mind, there is little to choose between them. The evidence of Lady and Dragon may be telling, but there is more to leadership than to games playing. I do wonder if your father's frequent changing of his mind may not lead to trouble later, however.
It is no use attempting to write more now--I am called away to settle a dispute over which rooms should be given to house our guests. The young Lady Julti, the Lady of Julti's daughter, has opinions on the matter. It seems that for reasons of her own she wants a room that is already occupied by one of my cousins, and though this particular cousin is not currently in residence, I hesitate to give away the room.
I shall anticipate your next letter eagerly, for I am all concern as to what the Empress might want with you. I bid you take care, and trust only those who are worthy of trust.
From Inenmar on this bright and most busy 21st day of summer,
I remain yours most assuredly,