“It’s due in three days, so I’m gonna work for as long as I can. I’m not going to let anyone take the job of making Myne’s hair sticks away from me... because I think this is the only way I’ll ever get to see her.”
When Tuuli was at the Gilberta Company, Benno had apparently told her she would have even fewer opportunities to see Myne once she started spending more time in the castle. Knowing this, Tuuli looked at the hair stick with a firm glare, her blue eyes filled with resolve.
That night, while Gunther was drinking, Effa told him what she had spoken to Tuuli about.
“...She said that Myne is going to be spending less time in the temple, so we won’t have as many chances to see her. We might not even get to watch her from a distance after the ceremonies. And even if that wasn’t the case, so many of our neighbors are going to the autumn baptism ceremony that we can’t go ourselves, right?”
Effa thought it unlikely that anyone would connect Myne with the tiny High Bishop; Myne hadn’t spent much time with her neighbors, her funeral was over, and there was a considerable distance between the floor of the chapel and the top of the altar. Plus, according to Lutz and Tuuli, she carried herself so differently that she was almost unrecognizable. But having her family show up at the temple all the time would no doubt arouse suspicion. They would look weird peering into the temple after ceremonies, and if asked what they were doing, they would have no good answer.
“I know we have to keep our distance because of the magic contract, but I want to see Myne up close. I’m just really worried about her,” Effa said.
“Yeah. You’re the only one who doesn’t get to see her in person.”
As a soldier, Gunther had been assigned to accompany and protect the priests heading from Ehrenfest’s temple to Hasse, which would give him opportunities to see Myne. His excitement actually made Effa a little jealous.
“How about you go with Tuuli when she delivers the hair stick?”
“I can’t do that with Kamil at home.”
“You could ask someone to take care of him for you. Tuuli got to see Myne and she’s still real inexperienced, so I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
When she was growing up, Effa had often helped her dad, who was a former commander of the gate, at work. Her duties included serving tea at soldier meetings where various nobles were usually in attendance, and the language and manners she had learned from this put her on the same level as Lutz and Tuuli when it came to etiquette skills. If she asked the Gilberta Company, there was a chance that she would be permitted to accompany Tuuli to the temple to watch over her while she was still practicing her manners. But once Lutz and Tuuli had fully mastered polite behavior, Effa wouldn’t be given permission to visit nobles no matter how many times she asked.
Children grow up so fast. This really is my only opportunity... Effa thought, feeling an indescribable sense of panic in her chest.