Lilinka had bathed and dressed the girl and now they were winding their way back to Schi's chamber. Ten women sat in waiting of their newest sister, each one more worried for the mere child than she had ever worried for herself.
Danily, with her crimson eyes and flowing red hair, leaned over and cupped her hand around Clashna's ear, "I can only imagine what he has in store for her, she is but a cloud of a child."
Clashna ran her fingers through her own red hair and looked over at her sister, "Yes, she is more rare a gem than any of us could have been, he needs to stop collecting or there will be none left for the good men of the lands." The thought struck her suddenly, "How do you suppose he found her? She is of none of our homelands."
Danily shook her head, "How am I to know? I have been here as long as you, and niether of have seen the sun nor moon- Dainya might know, she once spoke of a cloud like child."
Clashna nodded and stood up before bowing to Schi, he did not take well to his jewels not staying in their places, "Sir, may I converse with Dainya so that she may teach me her weaving?" Schi waved his hand and returned to his pipe, inhaling deeply and forgetting where he was. Clashna bowed once more before scuddling down the line to Dainya and sitting in the now vacant pillow that was once Gaiyla's. "Hello sister, will you please show me your crafts?"
Dainya gave her a knowing look and nodded, "Yes, I would be honored to share my craft with you." She pulled the girl into a hug, and whispered, "Of what do you want to know?"
Clashna returned the hug and responded just as low, "Have you knowledge of how he found her, the cloud girl?"
Dainya nodded, "Yes, we must first start with thick fibers, but I have none on me." She stood and bowed to Schi, "Master Schi, may I please escort sister Clashna to my chamber of supplies?" Another dismissive wave from Schi and the women were off.
The two women left the chamber together and began winding their way towards Dainya's supply chamber, her gift for her many years of service to Schi- she was his first and only wife. Dainya stopped suddenly, lifting a finger to her mouth.
Clashna obliged and stood still. The sound of footsteps could be heard growing closer, they were light, not that of a warrior. Dainya gestured for Clashna to intercept them. She nodded and turned down the hallway and around the bend. She reached them quickly and gestured closing her lips before grasping their shoulders and guiding them back to where Dainya stood.
Dainya took the little girl's hand and gestured for the two women to follow her. It was but a short walk, two bends of the tunnel and one shallow incline, before they reached her chamber. Lliliean looked in awe at the massive chamber, almost as grand as Schi's own had been. It was lined with nooks and shelves, each engulfed with various trinkets and tools, and other memorabelia. One thing in particular caught the young girl's eye. "Mellanor!" She cried and looked to Dainya for permission. Dainya nodded and released her hand, the little girl charging across the chamber to the sword. She lifted it in her two hands as if it were the very body of her mother, her brothers, her father. She knelt on the floor and began to cry, the tears cascading down her face and onto the sword like raindrops from a cloud.
The three women knelt next to her, Dainya to the North, Lilianka to East, and Clashna to the West. Each laid a hand upon the child as she sang the song of her people, the three songs intertwining into one mournful cry of homesickness, grief, and even joy in sorrow. As their songs closed, each laid a kiss upon the girl's head.
Lliliean looked each in the eye, "What are your names?"
Dainya lowered her head first, the eldest, "Dainya Schi, your sister from the North."
Clashna lowered her head next, "Clashna Nevari, your sister from the West."
"And I am Lilianka Marderete, your sister from the East. We welcome you and mourn you at the same time." Her face expressed a deep sadness. It had always been her nature to worry for those more vulnerable than others.
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