The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 23

“You’re to be here for a few days, so perhaps you can help a bit with the cooking while you’re here,” Darma continued, “I’m always eager to learn as much about Sage cooking as possible. Some people say that it’s really your diet that’s the secret of your longevity. And you Sages are so secretive about your recipes. Oh, and let’s exercise together in the morning. Your exercises must surely be helpful too. Amida and Noone refuse to let me see them exercise. So secretive about that too. One other fellow—Eloh I believe—who stayed here briefly a number of years ago showed me some of your exercises. I hardly remember them. What do you think? Maybe not tomorrow morning, since Noone’ll be here. But after she leaves. What do you say?”

“Okay. I see no reason why not. We rise early though. It’s better in the early morning.”

Darma smiled broadly and said, “Wonderful!” and squealed a little with excitement. Darma then showed Salles around the house. The halls were narrow, not like the spacious halls of the cloister and Salles felt cramped, especially without windows, which were everywhere in the cloister, and always open throughout the spring and summer.

They passed Amida and Noone’s rooms, which were both closed. Then they came on the main bedroom. “Here’s me and Dorin’s room,” Darma said. It was a spacious room with a large bed covered in beautifully dyed sheets, with a wardrobe and a chest of drawers in the corner. “You’ll find it’s an absolute delight to sleep on this bed since it’s so warm and soft, it just wraps you up light a mountain of fur,” Darma said.

There were oil lamps on the walls high up and three fitted into a loose chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Currently, the room was still well lit by late day sun pouring in from a window. Some nearby tall buildings partially blocked the view through the window, but between them he could see the city extending in the distance with many lights beginning to glow in preparation for evening. She said to Salles, “Take a good look, at the view before I close the shutters for the evening.” He stepped closer to the window and breathed the dusk air. Darma stood near him and pointed at landmarks in the city: temples, markets, large statues here and there. “There’s so much I could show you. It would be so fun, wouldn’t it, to go exploring? So much you could discover. I do hope you shall have some free time for me to show you around.”

Darma closed the inner shutters and locked them and they left the bedroom to look through the rest of the house. Down the stairs was the dining room, where Salles saw a long dining table, and beside it a separate room with chairs where they would entertain company and sometimes sit and relax alone. Heading into the kitchen, they saw the man who had greeted them at the door was now preparing dinner.

“This is Onur,” Darma said, “He is our man-about-the-house. He sometimes sleeps here, sometimes at his own house.” The kitchen had dried grains in sacks and some dried fruits and cheeses and even some fresh vegetables. Onur worked on a large pot and cut some vegetables.

She then took Salles down to the cellar. There was a closed room where they stored some food and drink and then there was a second room where they had a toilet. It was a wooden seat with a hole in it. Salles wasn’t even sure what it was: looking down in it he just saw a black hole and he could feel a cool wind blowing up from within it. A stench poured out of it and Salles asked, “What is it?”

Darma said, “Isn’t it obvious. It’s what you use instead of the chamber pot. You sit on it when you’ve got to, you know, evacuate your bowels. Heck, you don’t even have to use the chamber pot. Some of you oddball sages prefer the chamber pot. I don’t know why. Eloh told me his butt always got cold. And he told me you make use of all that waste. Onur tells me that in the cloth-making district, the dyers go around and collect people’s urine. I told Eloh if he wanted to, I’d let down there on a rope and he could shovel out excrement to last him for years. These are old holes; our ancestors dug these holes looking for metals; who knows how far down they go. Eloh didn’t like the idea.”

They then went upstairs. Noone was waiting in the sitting room, drinking water and talking to Amida, who rose when she saw Darma and Salles. Amida’s beautiful black hair poofed outwards and she moved with worldly grace as she approached Salles. She eyed Darma suspiciously, but brightened when Salles began to smile at her. “Salles, it’s been a while,” she said and hugged him, “You finally get to see Lamosa and meet Darma. And Noone tells me you’ll be meeting Anders at the Premiers Open Table tomorrow. What a pleasure,” she said half sarcastically.

“Let’s talk more over dinner,” Darma said, “We’ve got something great for tonight.”

<-- Go to Part 22         Go to Part 24 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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