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A Blast From The Past

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Kaveh knew that the chances of her being his daughter were very low, and even if she was, there was nothing he could do about it. But it was difficult to stop the warmth that spread in his chest every time he saw her wrinkle her nose in focus, or the little smile that played along her cheeks every time she had a small success. For a girl that looked so human, Nahri had all the manners of Manizheh, though the two had never met.

It had been a long time since he had felt so happy. The past twenty years had been so overshadowed by constant fear, with Jamshid and secret dreams being the only reprieve, that to have such a tangible symbol of hope was... overwhelming.

Nisreen had scolded him many times over his inability to keep his eyes dry every time he saw Nahri, but Kaveh had truly no way of controlling it. His own son's abilities had been blocked, part of his identity stripped, but his childhood had been preserved and his life had been an easy one. To see the events so reversed with the new Banu Nahida brought up feelings of jealousy and empathy, a war raging in his chest every time he saw the two unknowing siblings together.

Normally, he'd avoid such conflicting feelings. It would have been best if he stayed as far as possible from Nahri without alienating him. But despite the negativity always lingering, and the way his stomach twisted at the sight of her, the joy she brought him was addicting. So he made a Grand Plan worthy of a Grand Wazir: He was going to bring her presents every day. Truly, it was a genius and simple plan. He would make sure she knew her allies while also blessing his own self with her presence. There was no reason it would not work.

Thus, he was not ready for this conversation.

"Have you lost your mind?"

"Now, Nisreen, there is no need to shout," Kaveh said.

"You are terrifying her!" Nisreen continued to shout.

"I do not know what you mean. I have brought her presents and watched some of her work. Nothing to be scared of."

"Yes, of course. That is not fearsome at all. Only extremely uncomfortable for a child that has been dragged across the world and dumped in a new world. And I told you to stop crying!"

"I am trying!"

"Well, try harder! Just today Nahri asked me if I could speak to you about leaving her alone.” At the wounded look in his face, Nisreen softened her tone. “You’re crowding her. She’s already being watched by the Qahtanis and the rest of the Daeva population. She’s being compared to her mother in every way possible, which is flattering but also stressful for a girl who until now was a servant.”

“But that’s why I want to be there!”

“She can’t even summon a flame yet. You’ll be the first I’ll tell when she makes a miracle.” With a sigh, Kaveh nodded. Then he tentatively lifted his eyes off the floor and to Nisreen’s face.

“Do you think...” he said quietly. Nisreen waited for him to continue. “I just- I keep looking for any resemblances to me."

"Oh, Kaveh." Nisreen guided him to a patient bed and sat down next to him. They sat quietly for a few moments before she spoke again. "I have not written to her yet. I haven't been able to find the time or the words. Perhaps it would be best if you wrote that letter."

Manizheh's response did not take long to arrive. Hidden within financial reports from Zariaspa lay the answer to his burning question.

It seemed Jamshid had a half-sister.