“I hadn’t thought we would be travelling by airship,” Samella’s father looked around in interest tinged with confusion.
“Well, we’re going to Mayrah. How else would we get to that height?” Samella looked particularly smart in a tailored travelling dress and perfectly in place.
“Dirigible.” said her father, “And first class – are you sure you can afford it?”
“Of course,” she smiled reassuringly at him, “And you meet a much better class of riff-raff in first.” She nodded to a passing gentleman with olive skin and black, leonine hair, “Lord Dagorlad.”
He nodded in return, “Miss Clyde,” and continued on his way.
“You disappear for three years with barely a word-”
“It was a series of highly unbelievable circumstances, Father. I explained that.” Over his shoulder she could see Bennett introducing himself to her mother and sisters. That was going to plan.
“For three years?” Mr Clyde looked disbelieving, “Then you reappear with instructions from my-”
“Father, please, not in public.” She put a gloved forefinger against his lips, “Mother and the girls will enjoy the trip. Two days each way in first class and a week in the most beautiful of floating cities, a gift to overcome our estrangement.”
His eyes conveyed worry about more important things but all he said when she removed her finger was, “The cost concerns me and value for money...” He trailed off in semi-guilt.
“Third class on a dirigible to Mayrah is like crossing the Palmyran Sea on a tramp freighter. Cheap, uncomfortable and only to be undertaken if there’s no other option.” She smiled, “Now come and watch the sunset over the Haelsion Mountains with us. I think it’s the best sight of the ascension.” She took his arm. “And you are going to approve of the young man talking to Mabel.”