Vaareng and Mirinxan
[Something like this happened. At least as far as treasure was concerned. The details are private. — Jʸ]
Outside of Mirinxan’s hangar was a small hillock covered with mintish bushes. Vaareng lurked there, waiting for Mirinxan to emerge.
“Oh, good morning, Vaareng.”
“And a pleasant and decisive morning to you, Mirinxan.”
”‘Decisive’? An interesting turn of phrase. Why do you say ‘decisive’, Vaareng?”
“Because this morning you will make a decision, Mirinxan.”
“Predicting the future clearly is beyond draconic power, Vaareng. Nonetheless I feel that you may well be correct. Indeed, a decision is bubbling up within me even as we converse.”
“Mirinxan! I put it to you that you have been borrowing my lover!” Vaareng had no good term for Driaith.
“I suppose one could misinterpret the situation that way, Vaareng,” said Mirinxan.
“How do you mean ‘misinterpret’? Driaith is mine. You have been seen with him, engaging in behaviors which are traditionally precursors to romantic activities. The situation is wholly clear.”
Mirinxan curled his tailtip. “Less wholly clear than you seem to be aware of! Your second point, about behaviors, is correct. Indeed, we have frequently engaged in other behaviors, which are traditionally considered romantic activities. Or, in those cases where romance is inappropriate or unnecessary, simply quite fun.”
“Ah! This clarifies the situation. You must stop these activities and behaviors immediately. Indeed, it would be entirely appropriate if you paid me tribute as an apology for what must surely be an unwitting and accidental trespass upon me,” said Vaareng. (For the benefit of small people who might be under the misapprehension that Vaareng is whoring Driaith out here: he is not. He is taking the situation as equivalent to a trespass on territory, and asking for a similar apology in lieu of, presumably, a devastating battle.)
“An interesting concept! I absolutely uphold this as a principle which dragons must obey! What would you say was the proper tribute for a single act of trespass, Vaareng? And is there a bulk discount, as it were, or should each trespass be tributed individually?”
Vaareng saw weakness, and the chance to loot another’s hoard at no personal risk. “A single sapphire, one of the beautiful sapphires of Mhel, or the equivalent in value, would be a wholly adequate tribute. And there shall be no bulk discount: this is a matter of honor, not a commercial transaction.”
“Not a small tribute, but evidently this is more than a token matter, Vaareng.”
“It is a matter of grave importance, Mirinxan, and as such the treasure must be sufficient!”
“Then please be so good as to enumerate the occasions for which I must pay you tribute, good Vaareng, and we shall exercise the principles which you have set forth, in their full glory. And, as supporting evidence, the date and circumstances upon which Driaith became your lover.”
Vaareng provided four occasions of improper behavior of Mirinxan, and, with a large helping of ashamed nervousness, a synopsis of his involvement with Driaith.
“H’m. Let me see if I understand the basic principle involved here, Vaareng, for I may be a little bit slow and a little bit stupid now and then, and these things are best spelled out in details. You say that Driaith became your lover upon a particular date, by means of the initiation of intimate activities, which occurred upon that date and had not occurred earlier?”
“That is the essence of the matter, Mirinxan. Do not attempt to humiliate me with the details, for you, yourself, are involved in similar details.”
“I intend no humiliation, good Vaareng. At least, not concerning drakes who fornicate with other drakes. I have long since become innured to the concept, since that is, after all, our best choice. I simply wish to be entirely solid about the principles involved in our current transaction. And, after Driaith and you were intimate for the first time, all intimacies which I have procured from him are offenses against you and are worthy of tribute?”
“Precisely. You have stated the matter most clearly, Mirinxan. You have only to present me with suitable treasures and leave off from Driaith, and the issue will be fully resolved.”
“I should be glad to do so … but … a single problem remains, Vaareng.”
“What sort of a problem is this, Mirinxan? A problem of procrastination, perhaps?”