A late snack

“However it must be stated that the usage of the seven sigil transformation in combination with the principles of Kordur does not grant confluence to the Baghya Strand as was described in the previous chapters. As to why the aforementioned theories did not work, no final conclusion could be made”, Azadus sighed.

He had tried it dozens of times but never achieved any success. He has had such high hopes but now the only thing left, was to write a proper documentation, a documentation of his failure. What bugged him was that he could not see any reason why it did not work. He had asked colleagues to review his sequences of spells but none of them saw any mistake.

While he was thinking about what could have been the reason, the candle he had lit hours ago went out, leaving him sitting in the dark. Azadus cursed. He mumbled a few words under his beard and a small sphere of light appeared out of nowhere. He smiled. However old he was or whenever he cast that spell, he would always remember learning it as a little boy and the first time he succeeded. While attaching the sphere to the candle stick holder, he started to stretch and yawn. He noticed the void inside his stomach. “So many missed dinners and yet so much belly”, he thought. Maybe he should stop trying to figure out the fundamental principles of magic and focus on this phenomenon. He smiled and started his way to the buttery, wondering about what gluttonous adventures might wait for him.

A few meters on his way he felt lightheaded. Lacking something to lean on, he stopped and took deep breaths. He had overdone it again. The others had already left for dinner, seemingly hours ago but he had stayed and tried to prove his theory, maybe once to often. He needed more exercise, he knew and he needed to stop staying so long in the library. “Nothing some cold meat can’t cure”, he said to himself. Gaining more confidence in his feet bit by bit, he continued his way through the long halls of bookshelves.

As Azadus arrived in the buttery, he was disappointed. In his mind he was indulging himself in cold meat, fried bacon or maybe some fish but the only thing he could find was millet gruel, stale bread and old cheese. And not even the good kind of old cheese. But he could smell something delicious. He started rummaging around in the cupboards searching for some gammon, mustard and butter. Every once in a while he forgot that he lived in a monastery and that there were fasting periods. A barbaric relict, he thought. He had read about the former religious devotion of the cloister but since the concept of the five strands had been proven and found its way into society, many wonders could be explained and overall people had become more secularistic. But yet, some things never changed

“Missed dinner again?”
Azadus dropped the knife he just found and turned around in shock. “Erm… yes.”
“You know that it is Pahilo Bhoka and that you are not supposed to eat after sundown?”
Azadus relaxed. It was Pienna, one of the kitchen maids.
“Ah, but you know, since the earth is a round object, somewhere it is daylight, just now”, he countered.
“You have tried that before but I still cannot see that the earth is round.”
“Well if I had, then I would have told you that the radius of the earth is quite large and since we are tiny compared to the earth, we wouldn’t notice?”
“Yes, you would have told me that.” Her glance could pierce armor, Azadus thought.
“Ah, well, then I am sure you know that you could see the effects on the ocean, you would see another ship disappearing on the horizon with the bottom first.”
“I have never been to the sea.”
“You can be quiet a pest, Pienna. Do you know that?”
“Maybe, but I know that there have been some warnings from the Prior, regarding missing food.” They both laughed.
“What are you doing here anyway? Aren’t you suppposed to sleep?”
“We are preparing the Sveta for the Thulo party and it is my turn to check the fire and stir the broth.” Lamo paka’i’eko Sveta was one of the traditional dishes served on the large feast, ending the fasting period. It was said that a cook would die of shame, if he hadn’t cooked it for at least 24 hours or more. Resulting in a thick brown broth that could not only cure any cold but revive the dead.
“If you have such an honorable duty, why are you hunting down poor old men who have eaten nothing all day?”
“To be honest, I doubt that you haven’t eaten all day. But maybe there is a bowl of Sveta left for a poor, old, half blind, senile old man.”

Pienna opened the door to the kitchen. She took one of the bowls out of a drawer and filled it with the hot stock. It was thick and filled with carrots and celery and whole corns of pepper. Azadus could feel his stomach growling.
Pienna added some of the meat from the stock, which was already detached from its bone. “Here, have some bread. I roasted it a little on the fire.”
Azadus inhaled the warm steam coming from his bowl before dipping his spoon in. The smell was intoxicating.
“It is not done yet but it will be a very good Sveta.” They sat a while and shared some more food, before Azadus thanked Pienna and went for his chambers. Thankfully, she hadn’t noticed that he slipped some gammon in his robe.