The gods-cursed rain could make even the sunniest day seem miserably gloomy.
Since the region surrounding the capital of Fahrain had been engulfed in snow for the past week, an unusual cold had settled in the air from the drifts of unspoiled white, combining into some unlucky, chilling mess.
Normally, Reira wouldn't particularly care. She loved the snow and ice, and rather than huddle up inside hoping the chill would pass quickly, she was more often the type to run outside and dance, stepping lightly over the unmarred, beautifully smooth surface of the snow like some ethereal fairy. Snow didn't normally fall here, unlike up in the northern mountains, so this rare treat was exactly that - a treat.
Or it would have been, under normal conditions.
Unfortunately, Reira had had to sludge through the uncertain, volatile weather patterns of the past week, riding an important missive from the Master Mage to the port city of Myste, which had been struck by a deadly epidemic. The resident healer and mage had died; since it was suspected that magic was the root cause of the disease, only a trusted, powerful mage could be trusted to scout out the situation and report back to the Master Mage and His Majesty.
Rain, hail, and sleet, on top of snow; it made walking a downright hell (if hell was a frozen wasteland) and riding almost as much trouble. With her magic, it had been much easier for Reira... but there'd been no way to get the wet out of her clothes, not without a fire going. And no fire seemed able to start in the constant, gods-blasted
Still, it was just snow; even if Reira was wet and miserable and her teeth were chattering, she was so cold, water (and thus snow) was still her element, and it probably made her journey several times shorter and comparatively much less miserable than if she'd been a person who hadn't the Gift.
After stabling Helios and giving him a good rub-down and a large pile of oats and hay, Reira stepped inside the main house. It was rather regrettable - her boots would need a thorough cleaning before she could use them again, and her clothing (among them her favorite set of mage's robes) would never be the same again. But at least she was back home: she might finally be able to feel warm again.
Kastadel was going to owe her big
for doing this "little errand" for him.
"Master Mage! You better not be out attempting to seduce the Flower District's best again!" Reira finally shouted from the front hall, scowling when she saw no sign of her teacher anywhere. The toe of her right boot clicked impatiently against the floor as she looked around, wondering if he was off chasing some big-breasted, big-haired, silly doxy again.
And she'd told
him exactly when she would be back, too.