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Yasmaili's Prologue 8

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amir's returning look is just as measuring. "And you're a mage, no small ally." He pauses to think. "How dangerous do you reckon Yasefe? Are you in danger for coming here? Not that I think anyone would've seen through the illusion, but you never know."

"No, you never do." She shrugs eloquently. "My brother is stronger than I am, he has more resources than I do, I suspect that the men he travels with would consider the wieght of tradition reason enough to assist him, and he is not the sort who easily lets what belongs to OTHERS slip from his grasp, let alone that which he considers his own. To counter that I have a few small skilks... and my wits." Her eyes flash with pride and scorn. "My wits have proved equal to the task so far."

Jamir nods, and a smile flickers at the corner of his mouth. "I don't find that at all difficult to believe."

He stops rearranging the rocks. "A poor time for Qenar: enemies from the desert, enemies from Avrezin, enemies from the Ashen Lands. We can only guard what is given us to hold. Are you willing to help in that guarding?"

Yasmaili becomes still. She has already declared herself a friend of this man. But should that mean turning her back on her desert home, would she be willing? But this was her home now, and though the sands sometimes still called to her, she truly felt no allegience for Yasefe. In fact, if his greed was causing trouble, she just might consider it was her duty to try restore balance.

Jamir remained quiet, watching her, but there was no judgement in his eyes other than the wish to have her as an ally.

"Yes." She has no difficulty meeting Jamir's eyes. "I will help guard Qenar." She lifts her hands a little helplessly. "I wish I could tell you more of Yasefe's plans, but it has been some time since I left, and if he was involved in this then I knew nothing of it."

"That's not necessary." He smiled. "The one who sent you to me is one of our agents, a highborn woman who thought she might put her more unusual skills to use.

"I would be... uncomfortable having Yasefe always close at hand, but I will do whatever task you find me best suited for. My magics are not strong, I am most experienced with the altering of my appearance, and other small glamours." She pauses. "It is my skill as a dancer that feeds me, but I fear such will be of little use to you."

The captain's eyes crinkle. "Directly, no. Indirectly--well, a dancer's presence in any tavern or well-travelled street is hardly to be questioned, is it?"

Her mouth twists into a rueful smile, and she shrugs her agreement.

"I would welcome an opportunity to improve my magical skills."

Harava sun

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