Woe for Real-Eel, cont. [15 Chirreb 4261]
Real-Eel:"I was wondering something, though, Vae."
Me:"I don't think that's a good idea, R-E."
Real-Eel:"I'm prepared to pay."
Me:"No, you're not."
Vae:"How is it you dispute that with her?"
Me:"I know more about the price than she does. Or than you do."
Vae:"Not I understand...?"
Real-Eel:"I don't understand... wouldn't I be paying the price to the nendrai?"
Me:"Well, no, you wouldn't just be. She's not a person, as far as the law goes..."
Real-Eel:[with waxing indignation] "That's ridiculous. She's nearly as much of a person as you or me!"
Me:"Well, legally she's not. She's more of a foreign city-state."
Real-Eel:[With waning indignation]"I ... what does that mean?"
Me:"It means that Vheshrame is officially worried about trading issues with her, for one thing. Commerce is supposed to go through me at the moment, pretty much."
Real-Eel:"That's insane and ridiculous and cruel. Is the Duke so poor that he he has to get his share?"
Me:"Um ... no. His share would only be two or three lozens so far anyways."
Real-Eel:"Well, that's a ridiculous demand, and a greedy one, and ..."
Me:"Um ... R-E? Don't say anything you don't want the Duke to hear in about a third of an hour."
Real-Eel:"You'd tell him?"
Me:"I wouldn't even be asked. Do you imagine that the Vheshrame guard isn't watching us with a dozen different scriers? They're very worried about Vae."
Real-Eel:"Well, this isn't any danger to the city -- it's not even for me! Vingi needs to get home in a hurry, for some court case against his family."
Me:"Maybe you can ask the Duke for an exception? Or Kaim-Su? Kaim-Su is easier to get ahold of -- he's probably just inside the Halflight Gate."
Real-Eel burbled unhappily at me for a bit. I burbled unhappily back at her. Honestly I don't know what the right thing for this situation is at all, but the duke is pretty clear about wanting to limit commerce with Vae to, well, someone he can control. Some Zi Ri he can control.
Real-Eel:"All right, you win, Zi Ri. I'll go talk to Kaim-Su. You're not being the best friend I ever had though."
Which stung, since I had, in fact, just saved her from getting punished by a thoroughly irate duke.
And she rode Nestrune's horse off to the Halflight Gate.
Vae:"Should I be upset at that, Sythyry? For it's not very free for me, is how it seems at me."
I had forgotten that she was sentient and standing there listening, despite being a little pig.