"I am to be married," she said aloud. "Xarxes, is this what I want? Or just what I must do?"
He rose from her book in silence, measuring her worth.
"Marriage joins two as one," he said. He wrote in the dirt with a dark oak staff, creating a river.
"This is one," Xarxes said. He wrote again. The terrain changed, splitting the river in two as it flowed over a newly-formed cliff. He stepped to its edge and beckoned to her.
"Two become one," he said softly in her ear, pointing over the edge at the twin falls joining together in a pool below.
"Should I marry then?"
"One can travel quite far alone, or together. Which do you prefer?"