The royal family never receives packages. People aren’t allowed to send them; it’s too dangerous. Anything could be in there, and probably was-it was no secret that about half of the other Tribes weren’t too thrilled about being under our thumb. I was about to go look for a guard and ask him what to do with it when I saw the name inscribed the top: Anhia.
Someone had mailed a package to me in the royal family’s mail pit.
I stood there for a moment, peering in.
It wasn’t safe.
It wasn’t smart.
But by sunlight, it was mine, and I wasn’t just going to lose it. There was no one around to see...no one...I looked one more time, and carefully moved the package to the very end of the mail pit before reburying it in paper, choosing a scroll with a fancy golden seal to mark the spot. No one else collected the royal mail; that was my job alone. It would be safe until I had carried the rest of the mail in.
Never had I finished my job so quickly. I grabbed the package along with the last armful, still carefully concealing it in a pile of parchment, and was just outside of the mail room when--
“Ah! Anhia! Carrying in the mail?”
No, no, no! Not now...anytime but now!
“Need any help there?”
I turned around, slowly. Reluctantly. Praying that the pile of scrolls and envelopes would conceal the package until this unfortunate encounter had drawn itself to a sorry close. Ugh, there he was, Thyzen--guard-in-training and my biggest inconvenience of the past two years (and that’s including the hours spent lighting the throne room).