“Hey, Cass, how’s the copper going?”
The youngest Panassian glared up over her book, the usual twinge of annoyance at first but quickly replaced with the practiced civility of a noble lady.
“It’s going well, Quillan. And how goes your own training? My sister tells me you’ve been spending a lot of time out of the house. I feel I haven’t seen you in months.”
“It’s going amicably, I guess. I’ve been working with the resistance so I haven’t had the opportunities I might like for such things. All that time with Fallow has made my pewter usage a lot more efficient, mind.”
“It’s something,” she smirked, sliding a leaf of paper into her book, “but I assume I do not owe the pleasure of your conversation to enquiries about allomancy?”
Quinn blushed slightly. Even after months of his own socialising, he still found it offputting how easily his intentions seemed to everyone else.
“Well, I wondered how much you knew of matchmaking.”
“Matchmaking? Please tell me you’re not about to ship my sister off with another pirate!”
“No, no, of course not,” the words fell out in a tumble, followed by laughter by the pair as they recalled Hyrum.
“We shouldn’t laugh, Quillan. She hasn’t had love like that before and you’re supposed to be improving your relationship with her, not gossiping about it in the library.”
“You’re quite right, little miss. No, I’ve been wondering about it for some time. In part I’m quite aware that I have a certain political power and we might find some good comes from me pairing off with a noble lady, and I’m wondering about the process.”
Cassielle blushed slightly, asking in a quiet voice,
“Do you have a house in mind?”
Quillan stared back at her, his eyes boring into her own before blinking and looking away.
“It would be an entirely political thing, so I can’t say I’ve thought about it much more. I’m just curious as to what I’d be expected to do and how to act.” He paused slightly, mouth part open, before continuing, “I also think Pidge has someone he likes I just won’t do him the discourtesy of asking who, or chasing it privately, so I can at least dig for information and share it with him so he doesn’t expose us. Plus,” a grin forming on his face, “I’m quite of the opinion that Kwabez and Alhara would be a good match too.”
“Lord Ruler…” Casielle sighed at the ceiling, “Have you ever, perhaps, thought you shouldn’t get involved in other people’s lives?”
He blinked. “Never.”
She roller her eyes slightly, then turned her mind to the problem.
“Well you know Alhara better than I. Given some of the stuff I’ve picked up about the Terris I suspect she won’t appreciate your involvement very much, but you can do as you wish. In terms of nobles…well the honest if unhelpful answer is it depends.
“Houses tend to match up young men and women through factors of status and resources. Rich families with high status will marry the same so as to become richer or more influential, while those who lack resources may marry off a son to the daughter of a poor if well-respected family so that both benefit in some fashion.
“Once they’ve been matched, it’s kind of a trial of obedience and patience. If you end up with someone you can live with, you’ll do as is expected. Flowers, letters of love, visits, meeting the family…you get the picture. Stewards sometimes deal with that if the suitor is an important heir or just too busy for it.”
Quillan walked over to the window, looking out towards the city of Austrex on the horizon. He thought about Molsier and Krea, Hyrum and his unknown love, the noble couples he had seen.
“It seems sad that nobles can’t marry for affection. Part of me can’t believe I could pity nobles…but I do. It must be horrid to harbour an unenactable affection for someone.”
“Unenactable? That’s not a word, Quinn.” She stood up and walked over to stand next to him, growing taller in her age, she still stood only up to his shoulder.
“It’s true we don’t marry for love. Sometimes people get lucky, it’s true, but it’s rarer than mistings. But that’s why we’re trying to change things right? Everyone’s lives will improve: it won’t be just Skaa who benefit, but hopefully we’ll open up the noble houses to a less restrictive lifestyle too. I mean, take me and Bella. We both essentially ran away from home.”
“That’s true…thank you, Casielle. I’ll let you get back to your back.”
With a quick bow, Quillan stomped off into the house, calling for Pidge.
She shook her head when she settled down again. Boys.