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The Nineteenth of Tal, Sixteen Seventy-Four.

“As I declare, so must it be.” I have heard those words more times that I can count, nor would I wish to recount them all for I am assured it is well into the thousands. I am well acquainted with those words, that phrase, and one day I will use it. That is a declaration of a Noble Lord, their word is the word of the King, it is in essence sacrosanct. If one Greater Lord states that it takes a single day to walk the breadth of the kingdom then it is true. A shrewd and cunning lesser to such a Lord would merely say that they’d left their place of departure the day before as to not provoke their lord’s ire.

The caretaker of the Temple is a kind and well meaning woman which is the sole reason she has spoken with our Lord Regent. She informed him of the ‘altercation’ that took place in the temple. I have only seen him that angry once, when our cousin broke the chandelier and I have not seen her since. He himself inspected me, not a physician. Imagine my humiliation when I was requested to disrobe before him and the temple caretaker. That was a day ago, three days after the incident, and the bruises had blossomed. I was of a mind to keep it quiet and not to mention it. No one would have found out since I no longer have a maid who helps me dress or to draw my bath. Once Uncle saw the damage his fury was terrifying, he snapped his favorite pipe and bent the fire poker in his rage. Our Lord Regent has called for this man’s head.

A large number of Pagri have come to town over the last few days. They come to perform one of their rituals and Uncle has called for a festival to be held in the name of the Star-Born Deities. It is a small token of thanks to the caretaker and it allows the Pagri to worship their old gods without violating the treaty. I have asked if I might invite Margret to the festival and he looked at me with eyes so hollow I was terrified, I could have asked him for nearly anything and I believe he would have said yes.

The man was captured and has been detained, I do not know how he fairs nor what his punishment will be. What does it say that I am torn between wishing him to hang and wishing for him to be released, no harm was done but I may be forced to claim a touch and his life. I don’t know if I could bear that. If I was a different Child of Venus, if I was not nobility, I would’ve been absconded to a bower of others like me and I would be knowledgeable of their customs. I have no council, I am alone and unaided. I am afraid.

Because of the price on the man’s head it is now publicly know that I am a Child of Venus and Uncle has been swarmed with letters and telegrams proposing and asking my price. As if I could be bought, like a common cur. That is not to say that I do not have a price but I know for a fact that our dear Uncle is currently torn. Would he rather I wed to a noble above my rank, if so logically he would keep these lands and act as regent in my betrothed stead, or would he rather I wed one of an equal or lesser station? If the latter I would rule as lord beside my wedded love and Uncle would gain little in retrospect. It matters not on this issue, now that it is known that I am Venus-Born I am an even more attractive prize. And one would do well to not forget that our Lord Regent may wed me himself as it is his right.

This thrum of correspondence has made me curious, the men nine days hence who were here during my isolation. If it was unknown that I am Venus-Touched then who are those men? Why did they bide with Uncle?

Envoys bear perfumed letters dusted with poison, be careful whose correspondence you trust.