Despite the bright sunshine, the Queen’s Hall is dim. Smoke swirls around the cauldron, lingering over the central fire before wending its way out through the roof. I spot Hereswid; she is fingering her amber beads in the far corner.
My sister raises her head. “More to the point, where were you? Lying in the grass again?”
“What makes you say that?”
“It’s all over your sleeves. You could at least brush it off before you come in.”
I look down at the bits of soil and grass still clustered at my elbows and wrists. I brushed my tunic but forgot my sleeves.
“Did you want me for something?”
Hereswid shakes her head in disgust. “I have important news. Our uncle, the king, has given us a great honor.”
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