Ranara and her little daughter Azabel move to Urtho's Tower when the latter can say six words ("up", "mama", "milk", "no", "now", and "please") and hasn't started to walk yet. Ranara sets up to teach little children to read, ones who don't have evident Gifts yet - Ranara herself has Mindspeech, is all, with about a classroom's worth of range. Azabel sits in on classes, worn on her mother's back or later plopped in a corner with toys or, when she's only four, plopped in a corner with a book, younger than the other kids in the class. When Azabel has in fact sat through her mother's curriculum she is turned somewhat loose, to walk very carefully up and down and around the Tower, exploring.
"Okay. You should probably understand it before you go ahead but I bet Healers are better at explaining this kind of thing than me."
"I didn't really do anything but you're welcome?"
"...oh! Well, I'm glad I could help then. I hope they can explain it."
And Skan can fly her home again.
"It's not that Urtho doesn't necessarily have reasons that make sense behind all his decisions," Aza remarks, "it's that nobody's checking up on him the way he's trying to check up on all of you guys."
"Who do you think sshould be checking up on him?"
"Well, me," says Aza. "But I wouldn't have to if there were someone else already doing it, I'm just doing it because nobody responsible was on that."
"Fair enough!" And Skan drops her off at her mother's house.
The session continues. Azabel and Ma'ar's class on long-distance communication is interesting, and definitely more challenging than anything else they've done yet.
As usual Ma'ar defaults to partnering with Azabel, but he's less picky about it these days, since he gets along fine with all the other students. And there's some competition for this slot, lately. Another boy in the class, Shann, two years older and from a local noble family, is starting to angle toward partnering with Aza almost every class.
...okay? She doesn't especially care as long as Ma'ar isn't left in the lurch, it's good that he's making more... acquaintances? Probably not friends at this point. She doesn't make a fuss when Shann heads in her direction.
"It's sort of odd that we're practicing long-distance communication with each other. I was expecting to be spending more practice time talking to my dad," she remarks.
"He's not, that's one of the things I wasn't expecting! I can Mindspeak people who aren't mages and I thought it'd be more like that."
"Well, I hope we get to it." She shrugs and consults the notes on the exercise they're supposed to be doing.
She doesn't especially notice any interesting qualities of the looks and since they're partnered up it would be weird if he were studiously avoiding her with his eyes. She doesn't comment on it.
He doesn't try to draw attention to it.
Two classes later, though, he sidles over and manages to arrange to be paired with her again. "I think this exercise is a step on the way to that spell you wanted!" he offers brightly. "For talking to people who aren't Gifted, I mean. Where does your dad live, anyway?"
"It's a little town called Wayfork."
"It takes a few days in a wagon - I'm really looking forward to being able to Gate."
"Yeah, I should be able to do it off nodes."