The Sorcerer's Bride Chapter 21: Elirius

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People were often surprised when they learned that a sorcerer was so devoutly religious. Kaldrek had never understood this, as religion had always helped to anchor him.

He was well aware of the fact that his bloodline sometimes made it hard for him to relate to other people. That it would be so easy to start viewing himself as superior. However, religion had given him the need to understand and practice compassion, which was a good defense against self-superiority.

As such he owed the fact that he was not a complete self-absorbed lunatic that needed to be kept a careful eye on to his religious beliefs. It had served as a crutch while he was still figuring out a certain level of normalcy - and now he had become utterly devoted to it.

All this said might explain why he always looked forward to Elirius. Today was no exception - in fact he realized that he was just a little bit more excited than usual. After all, he actually had someone to sit with for the first time in a long time.

This was why he got up before the crack of dawn, got dressed, and woke up Zylvia. His wife blinked her green eyes and looked at him sleepily, "Kaldrek? What time is it?"

"Time to get up?"

"...It's still dark out."

"It won't be for long."

She stretched as she got out of bed, "Alright." He found himself watching her with a smile as she pulled out some clothes. She disappeared behind the screen. He could hear the rustling of her clothes though.

Standing up, he began to gather together the stuff they needed. The sun was just beginning to rise as Zylvia finished getting dressed. She looked lovely in a green dress that matched the shade of her eyes.

As she picked up her brush, Kaldrek took it from her, "See? I had about the right timing." He brushed her hair for her, and helped her tie it back.

"All ready," A sweet smile graced her lips as she looked up at him.

They left the castle as they headed to the city's temple. Zylvia seemed to enjoy Kaldrek's enthusiasm and was trying to hide her grin. He decided to pretend he did not notice.

Other people from the city were arriving at about the same time. Inside the temple there was no distinction of status or rank, all were welcome and treated the same. Kaldrek knew there were other religions out there and had even studied them a bit but this was the most popular one in Carendlus as well as in their allying countries. At least half of the city came to their worship services.

He chose a spot and put his and Zylvia's cushion on the floor of the temple. He sat down on the cushion crosslegged as Zylvia sat down in front of him. She was smiling sweetly and looking around as she did so.

Kaldrek watched the other families as they sat down in their units. Xi'eli put a lot of value in the family, particularly on marriage. The wife sat in front of her husband on the same cushion. Children would sit on other cushions surrounding their parents. The configuration of this depended on the number of kids.

He found this fascinating to watch. After watching the children of several families he turned and located his best friend. He wondered when the castle's nursery would have little princes or princesses in it.

It was then he noticed that Zylvia had an odd expression on her face. It wasn't a look of happiness or of discomfort. It took him a few minutes to put a name to the look. Wistful. She had a wistful look on her face as she was looking at some kids.

Did Zylvia want to have kids? She had casually mentioned that she thought he would make a good father, though he had decided that she was probably just being polite. Maybe he had been wrong with that assumption? Had she actually been hinting at the fact she wanted to be a mother someday?

Looking at the city's children a frown appeared on his lips. Kids? With Zylvia? He was not sure how he felt about that. It was not that he didn't like children. Just that he was really unsure he could raise a child properly. Not that he wouldn't like children. He rather thought he would like a cute little girl.

Kaldrek realized that he was probably overthinking this. For one thing, he and Zylvia were not even intimate, so they really couldn't have kids. So there was no reason to dwell on impossibilities.

It wasn't much later when the city's chief cleric of Xi'eli, Dev, began to speak to them. He stood in the center of the great round building, dressed in a blue robe. He spoke of how all things revolves around Xi'eli, the Centermost. Of the compassion and love that he had of what he had made. And of the duties that they had towards him.

It was already noon when the teaching was over. Kaldrek felt rather light hearted as he left. He had no duties for the day, so instead he decided to spend the rest of the day with Zylvia. After all, she was his wife, and as such he had a religious duty to spend time with her.
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