As Joshua arrived at the Abbey, the monks came out to greet him. Joshua handed a letter from the high priestess to the head monk, explaining the situation. The monk looked at Joshua, a bit surprised, but did not question.
“Follow me; I’ll show you to your temporary quarters. Unfortunately, we’re a bit crowded and weren’t expecting you, nor your companion, so it’s a bit cramped, especially for two,” the friar said as he led them into the monastery.
“Thank you, Brother, for your generosity. Modest accomodations are all I need for the moment,” Joshua said. “Since it is my intention to stay a while, I only request that I might be able to get a separate room for the child before her third birthday; I found out last night of her gender and do not want any problems with my Brothers,” Joshua explained.
“Understood, and very astute. I’m sure we can manage to squeeze her in somewhere,” the monk said with a smile. The baby was gurgling and cooing in Joshua’s arms, endearing herself immediately to all who laid eyes upon her. “I must say, I agree with the priestess; this child is unique,” he said, gently tickling her chin. “How do you plan to care for her at the moment? She needs a wetnurse at this young an age,” he queried.
“Actually, I think a towel dipped in goat’s milk might suffice. However, if there is a wetnurse or kindhearted new mother near the abbey, I will not object; I need assistance in learning to care for her,” Joshua replied.
“There is a new mother whose husband runs the smithy for the abbey…perhaps we can speak to her on the matter later,” the monk pondered. “For the moment, I will take my leave and give you a chance to unpack and make your quarters comfortable,” he said, backing out of the room.
“Thank you, Brother. I would like to speak with this woman later, if you can help me,” Joshua responded enthusiastically.
Ilmarë yawned in Joshua’s arms, and dozed off. Joshua walked over to the cradle he had borrowed from the orphanage temporarily, and laid her down so he could begin unpacking. He thought about how different his life already felt, with this small bundle of joy only in his life a day. He only hoped he could raise her in the ways of the Light satisfactorily for her fate.