I read your news of the discovery of wild magic artifacts in the Shengchao digs with great interest. I think the Council is wise in furthering all investigations into these ancient arts. Our ancestors understood magic in a way now completely foreign to our thinking, but if we are to stand against the rising tide, then we must gather every resource in our power. Wild magic holds a promise that gives me a hope I have not felt in a decade, since the failure of the Jurberi Collective. Know, as always, that you may call upon me for any professional or personal assistance I can supply.
Speaking of the personal, I have a very serious proposal to make to you. Thanks to the Daily’s tireless perusal of the lives of government figures, it has escaped no one’s attention that you will soon reach your twenty-eighth birthday, and that it will become incumbent upon you at that time to marry. No doubt, despite your distance from the Realm, you have already received many offers of alliance from eligible families. Nevertheless, I dare to hope that you will consider one more.
As you know, a tragic accident claimed the lives of my son and daughter-in-law seven years ago, just before you left for Shengchao. At that time I became the guardian of my granddaughter, Cordelimaera, who was just entering the Academy. She has since graduated and completed her internship with distinction, earning her a place in the Fifth Skillhouse. I have no doubt that she will be promoted to Sixth within two years. Although I am admittedly prejudiced, I think she is entirely fitted to be the helpmeet of a high ranking councilmember. The alliance between our houses would also be most desirable for all sorts of reasons, from the closeness of our country estates to the benefits such a connection would give us in Council negotiations.
Practical considerations aside, you know I hold the utmost respect for you as a Councilmember, magi, and human being. I can think of no man to whom I would rather entrust this most precious person, and I would be honored to call you my son.
However, if this proposal is in any way unacceptable—if your affections are elsewhere engaged or you find an alternate alliance to be a better choice—know that I will remain
The digs here continue apace, and the intelligence I’ve been able to glean from the Mandarinian researchers is in line with other deep magic findings. If fortune continues to favor us, there is a real possibility we will be able to complete the circle before Ilkara’s Day.
But now for personal matters. My approaching birthday has weighed on my mind, particularly since the matter is complicated by my distance from the Realm. If I were left entirely to my own inclination, I would not pursue matrimony at this time, or perhaps ever. My work is all-absorbing, and you know how vital it is. But I understand the need for the magical bloodlines to continue, and I have no intention of shirking this duty.
I have received other offers, as you guessed, but none that I read with such gratitude as I did yours. I accept without condition, and want you to know that your regard for me is fully reciprocated. When you became my mentor, after the passing of my own grandfather, I could not have asked for a better advisor or friend. Although marriage would not be my first choice, I rejoice that I may formally join your family.
If Cordelimaera is willing, I would like to be married a month after my scheduled return to the Realm. After that, Lastra intends to send me to an undisclosed location in further pursuit of the work, and as you write so highly of her talents, I am certain she will be useful.
I will do my best to make her happy.
Dear Magi Cordelimaera,
As I am sure your Grandfather has told you of our correspondence, I will simply ask if you will do me the honor of marrying me. Aside from fulfilling Council law, it seems to me an eligible match in every way. If you are so good as to accept my proposal, would you be willing to plan our wedding for one month after my return from Shengchao on Cramin 31?
I am your obedient servant,
deeply honored to receive your proposal of marriage and gratefully ac
Thank you for your proposal of marriage, which I accept. It’s so odd to imagine myself married to a man I’ve never met
Dear Magi Ardaya, Thank you for your offer of marriage. Of course I accept. Since we have never seen each other, I am enclosing a small portrait of myself that
Could you at least have tried to sound a little excited over the prospect of marrying me? It’s not like I was expecting a love letter—that would be ridiculous since we’ve never met—but a small compliment would have been nice, or a little gift from Shengchao, or a list of personal questions. Do you wonder at all what I look like? It would have been nice if you had asked for my portrait. I have a miniature of myself I’d love to send you that makes the most of my good points without lying too badly about my flaws. The Daily reprints a seven-year-old photo of you, and I can’t help wondering almost obsessively whether you still look like that.
I’ll accept you, of course, because I can’t really do anything else. Grandfather says there aren’t even any other possible candidates among the Council, which is why I have to marry you now, four whole years before my own birthday deadline. It’s so unfair women get three less years than men. I wish it didn’t have to be this way. I wish I were brave enough to actually send this letter.
Dear Magi Ardaya,
Thank you for your proposal of marriage, which I accept. I am sure the alliance will benefit both our families. I will schedule the wedding as you have asked. Please let me know if you have any other preferences. I look forward to meeting you.
Dear Magi Cordelimaera,
Thank you for your letter. I look forward to meeting you upon my return from Shengchao. I am sorry to leave the burden of the wedding preparations upon you, but my mother will assist you in whatever way you need.
I remain your obedient servant,
Dear Magi Cordelimaera,
I write on behalf of Ambassador Ardaya, who wishes to inform you that his return to the Imperial Realm has been unavoidably delayed until Desdi 30. The ambassador apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause you and reminds you that you may call upon Lady Ardaya for any assistance you may require.
Bruno Stowik, Embassy Secretary