Saranni stood just outside the classroom that the apprentice said
Journeyman Ueltin was in. She lifted her hand to knock and then
lowered it again, feeling hesitant. It was not a typical feeling for
her. Usually once she had decided to do something, she moved forward
with confidence. Confidence was key, her mother had always said. Act
as if what you are doing is right and no one will question it. She
squared her shoulders and knocked on the door.
"Come in, please," Ueltin replied. He was currently using the room for
his own rehersals and prepare for the classes he was going to teach
for apprentices. Allegro chirped his own welcome.
She opened the door and stepped in, "I hope I'm not disturbing you,
Journeyman." She felt her stomach twist in anxiety. She should not be
here, this was foolish. It could ruin everything. She should forget
the stupid singing and forge ahead with the task she'd been sent to
Emerald Falls to achieve. What was she doing here? Still, she moved
further into the room before stopping.
"Good day, Saranni, you're not disturbing. What can I do for you?"
Ueltin replied and put his guitar aside.
Saranni resisted the urge to twist her fingers together. A nervous
habit she'd had as a small child but which had been trained out of her
early on. "Well," she paused and then cleared her throat and
continued, "did you mean it? About the practicing, I mean."
She suddenly despised how nervous she sounded. A Lady was never
nervous, she could hear her mother's voice saying. A Lady knew what
she wanted and had the confidence to see it done. "I would like to
hire you to help me practice for the next choir audition, Journeyman
Ueltin, if you are available," she said, her chin raised.
"I did volunteer, didn't I?" Ueltin gave her a disarming grin. "Take
seat," he pointed a chair. "I'm not assigned to give regular classes
to apprentices, not yet anyways, so I have rather free schedule.
Trying to determine what project to take up for master's knots."
Despite herself, she was curious, "What sorts of projects do people do
"That varies and much depends on harper's specialization. An
archievest could come up a new way to file things, a composer would
compose a grand piece of music and an artist would paint his greatest
painting," Ueltin replied. "Me, I'm a teacher and a singer who
dapples in instrument making, so it's harder to figure out how to
prove my skills."
Nodding her understanding, Saranni replied, "Well, I guess it would be
difficult to come up something concrete when your specializations are
rather abstract. Aside from the instrument making of course. But you
said you just dabble in that."
"When you're on the road, sometimes you have to fix or make your own
instruments. I do enjoy working with my hands. But, enough of me, you
wanted singing lessons."
"Yes, I want to audition for the choir again and need to do better
than the shameful performance I gave last time," Saranni replied,
"How much actual singing you've done lately?" Ueltin asked.
"Since arriving at Emerald Falls last month? Almost none," she
admitted. "My father hired a journeyman when I was younger to teach me
back home, since he decided to..." she paused a moment before
continuing diplomatically, "bring me home. He left when I was fifteen,
but I would often sing for my parents or when we would have guests
after that." Now she frowned, wondering if she had done as badly
before those guests as she had in the audition.
"And you're how old now? Women's voice change when they age too, not
as apparently as mens but it's there. Eilomar is known for being
demanding, insulting and perfectionist. What's good in ordinary
people's ears is substandard for him," Ueltin asked and explained why
he wanted to know it.
"Eighteen now," Saranni replied. She didn't think she sounded
different, but would she even notice? If it was a subtle enough
difference, maybe not.
"So you're fully matured now," Ueltin nodded. "Why don't we try
singing. Let's see if I can pick up what offended Master Eilomar so
much," he took out his guitar again. "Pick your favourite song to
sing, I'll accompany you with this," he patted the instrument.
She chose a song she often sang during after dinner back home, as she
sang, her eyes drifted closed and she could almost see her parents at
the head of the table. The holders seated below. The low lighting of
the glows. She could hear Ueltin accompanying her on guitar and it
sounded nice. She could play, herself, though guitar wasn't her best
"That was lovely," Ueltin said when the song ended. "There was times
you were trying sing higher than your voice allows. You have nice,
warm adult woman's voice and you tried to sing like girl. Precisely as
you were taught Turns ago. With little bit of practise, you'll learn
to use slightly lower range for your advantage. I can hear a dark,
sensual timbre in your voice. We need to develop that and you'll make
mens knees turn water with your sound."
Saranni found herself blushing at the journeyman's words. They were
quite forward. But more than the words themselves, the sound of his
voice speaking them was captivating. She cleared her throat and said,
"I would like that. To improve my singing, I mean. That's why I'm
here," she stammered and inside she was aghast at herself. She was
blathering like a simpleton!
She made an effort to get the conversation back on track, "What are
your rates for lessons?"
Ueltin told her the standard fee. "Let's make a deal: if you don't
make it to Eilomar's choir, let's seen, within next two months, I'll
give you your marks back."
She smiled, "Sounds like a good deal." Though, if she had anything to
say about it, it wouldn't take two whole months.
Last updated on the May 3rd 2019