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Elska-Chapter Three by Acton Bell
"It's so far from the city! How do they survive?!"
Since De'enth Us'guin Ilith had made a variation of the same comment every half turn since the journey had begun at sunrise, Kara did not feel compelled to answer.
Ilith flounced on the skimmer's seat, turning to face Kara. "Kara, how do they stand it out here? It's so far away from—Everything!"
Kara sighed, saved the data she was collating, and looked at her companion. "House L'u-cif-er's estate is only a third of a day's journey from the City, Ilith. And I'm sure you'll find it's well supplied with all the necessities and more. We are talking of House L'u-cif-er, remember. They do not go without what they truly desire." Ilith smiled at the reference to House L'u-cif-er's motto: Við taka hvaða við löngun. Láta annar vara sig. We take what we desire. Let others beware. "It's beautiful here, Ilith," Kara finished, looking out at the red-hued landscape. "You should appreciate the change from the City."
Ilith sniffed. "It's boring," she muttered before falling into silence.
Kara welcomed the respite to drink in her surroundings. House Ka'al had a minor estate outside of the City. Kara had spent most of her life there, exploring the sand cliffs, trekking through desert. It had been her refuge from the unceasing demands of her uncaring father.
House De'enth had no desert holdings, so Kara had now spent most of her life in the City. As much as she dreaded attending Ilith at House L'u-cif-er, she still welcomed the change of scenery.
Perhaps, Kara thought, I can spend the week exploring the estate. Ilith doesn't need my help to navigate House entertainments. No one will expect me to be present at any of the gatherings.
A dsk, as a general rule, was unacquainted with the innumerable niceties of House social etiquette. Because of her background, however, Kara was able to maneuver through society quite well. Her dual ability to navigate both House business and social affairs made her a very valuable asset to House De'enth. It was the reason De'enth Us'guin Debor had sent Kara with Ilith. The older woman had, of course, no knowledge of Kara's House origins or her previous experience with House L'u-cif-er. Although if Debor had known, she still would have sent Kara with Ilith. House business came before personal feelings at all times.
"Do you think we'll see Kaen very often?" Ilith asked.
Kara jumped slightly at the echo of her own thoughts. She forced herself to answer levelly. "L'u-cif-er Da'anil Kaen is Head of House. I am sure he will observe all formalities."
Exasperated hazel eyes turned to gaze reproachfully at her. "Must you be so dsk-ish, Kara?" Kara's dry, "My apologies, House Daughter" was ignored as Ilith developed her theme. "I saw him once at a House De'enth gathering when I was just a child." Ilith was fifteen. "He'd stopped in for a moment to discuss business with Head of House Llyrl and of course they asked him to stay for dinner, but he wouldn't." She sighed dramatically. "He was so handsome. Very aloof and mysterious.