I found Wren over by the tavern as I went in to do my normal stock check. I did my usual salute and enquired after the status of her patrol, however I had my suspicions, thinking that perhaps she ought to be in school. She prevaricated somewhat, but I did not press her, although I did ask if she had come for her maths lesson, that being the extent of my official business with her education. She averred that she had not come for that, but instead, to borrow some ingredients to make some cookies for her sister, saying that Aoibheann had given her permission. I expressed surprise that they did not have enough sugar and cinnamon up at the palace, but she said that the rats had eaten it all. Somehow, I doubted this was the case, but it is not for me to question the comings and goings of a princess, unless I am so instructed by her parents. I went into the kitchen with her, telling her to help herself while I made a cup of tea. I suppose I should have paid more attention to what she was doing, but I did not figure that much harm could come of it. Also, I was a little distracted by some half-finished attempt at baking on the table. No doubt it was one of Aoibheann’s cooking experiments, but it looked more unappealing than dangerous. Wren presumably found what she was looking for and left for the palace, making me promise not to tell Ember anything.
I had all but forgotten about the incident later, otherwise I would have double-checked with Aoibheann. Instead, we got into a discussion with Neelam and Mitternacht. Aoibheann asked when Neelam came from, a question she could not answer until I supplied a frame of reference for her, i.e. the Gregorian calendar, to which I added my own dates for reference purposes. Neelam said that she came from some 8000 years in my future, which came as a bit of a shock, especially when I contemplated the state of mankind 8000 years before my time, back in the Stone Age. This led to trying to explain to Aoibheann what a planet, which, in turn, led to a discussion about cosmology that almost developed into a fight between Neelam’s purely scientific view of the cosmos and Mitternacht’s “She who carries the sun and the moon” view. I tried to keep the peace as best I could, but in the end, wearied of it and left them to it. Hopefully, no blood was spilled after I left.