the case of the missing dung


Inner Ward
Castle Anvard


Lanisen passes through the gatehouse on his way back toward the staff quarters, carrying an empty satchel.

Dalia enters by way of the gatehouse, pausing at the well to take a drink of water.

Sareen speaks to a guard. “And you’re telling me that no one has come through yet with fertilizer?”

Lanisen glances to the side as he passes by Sareen, offering a small quick grin of greeting that doesn’t try to interrupt serious fertilizer business.

Sareen scowls and catches Lanisen by the elbow.

Lanisen looks startled, but allows himself to be caught. He glances at the guard who is the subject of Sareen’s ire, and back at Sareen questioningly.

Sareen asks, “Lanisen, you’ve been in the outer wars today, yes?”

Lanisen says, “Just, just passin’ through, ma’am, yes?”

Sareen asks, “And did you smell anything pungent?”

Dalia offers a smile and wave to both Sareen and Lanisen as she passes through the ward. A maid appears and she hastens to follow her.

Lanisen says, “Er, I didn’t– I didn’t notice anything?”

Sareen says, “Did you see the boy who delivers the fertilizer?””

Lanisen says, a little doubtfully, “I don’t think so? Um–” He shifts, glancing toward the gate. “Who, who delivers the fertilizer?”

Sareen says, “Taver’s boy.”
Sareen says, “With the hair that won’t lie flat.”

Lanisen shakes his head a little, making an apologetic face.

Sareen makes a face. “Plants don’t grow themselves.”

Lanisen says, “Oh.”

Sareen scowls at the guardsman, then turns to Lanisen. “And how are the dogs?”

Lanisen says, “They’re doin’ fine, ma’am. Breakin’ in a new helper, it’s been a day.”

Sareen says, “Oh? I suppose he’s mostly in the way. Helpers are to start.”

Lanisen admits, “A bit. She’s pickin’ it up quick, though, she won’t be for long.”

Sareen says, “She? Don’t think I’ve heard of a girl in the kennels before.”

Lanisen says, “She just started today.”

Sareen asks, “Where did you find her?”

Lanisen says, “Danall did, he was thinkin’ her little brother’d be a good help, but then he wasn’t particularly interested and she was, so.”

Sareen asks, “Hmm, how old is she?”

Lanisen squints, wrinkling up his nose to think. “I’m not sure. Fourteen, maybe? Fifteen? Little younger than I was when I started.”

Sareen asks, “Hmm, what’s she like?”

Lanisen lifts his shoulders. “Quiet, so far. Clever. The dogs like her,” he adds, and this seems to be very high praise.

Sareen says, “Hmm, that’s good.” She smiled. “But then they’re fond of you, so what does that say about their taste, I wonder.”

Lanisen makes a face at her.

Sareen asks, “I think I might send Reina down to the kennels now and again. Would she be in the way?”

Lanisen shifts his weight. “Oh, er…”

Sareen asks, “Would she?”

Lanisen hesitates. “I don’t– sorry, it’s…” He comes to a slightly confused halt and shuts his eyes for a second. “I shouldn’t– I shouldn’t think she would be.”

Sareen narrows her eyes. “Has she been causing trouble?”

Lanisen says, “No, no.”

Sareen says, “Hmm. I’m just thinking it might be good for her to get to know another girl a few years older.”

Lanisen nods.

Sareen says, “Well, you just let me know if it makes a problem.””

Lanisen looks startled, but he nods, though she’s not likely to see it.

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