Tea and Sympathy [22 Hivvem 4261]
The News from Thelvion
Thanks for your inquiry. All is well here, or as well as it can be. I plan to stay with my parents for a few more days. I am going to tell Treeset (my Herethroy girlfriend) today -- wish me luck and think well for me. I do appreciate your help figuring this out. And I know you tried to warn me about the nendrai. Mother is still furious at it, but I'm pretty sure she won't hurt herself or anything. I'm pretty sure I won't hurt myself either. But if I do, it won't be a rash act.
I don't really approve of this 'as well as it can be', but I can't think of anything more to do.
Sythyry:"You've done quite enough already, Sythyry."
The News from Vae
I only have to see Vae every third day, but it seemed irresponsible to leave a miserable nendrai lying around moping in the countryside. She might try to make amends, after all.
Not that I can fly to the Verticals and knock on her door. Sometimes I pretend to be an adventurer, but I'm not really, and certainly not for a quick trip to the Verticals. But she's got a watching spell on the Halflight Gate. I'm pretty sure that it violates some law or other that she does. I don't want to tell her that either. She might make amends, and I might have to fly to the Verticals every three days.
Vae:"Hiio, Sythyry. You're looking remarkably indivisible by three."
Me:"Hallo, Vae. You're looking remarkably invisible."
She was, too. She appeared entirely invisible, except that she was wearing silk pajamas painted with ugly insects.
Vae:"Oh? No, I didn't bother with a body today."
Which is to say, she had turned herself into animate silk pajamas painted with ugly insects.
Me:"Well, if you'd be so kind as to acquire a body, I would happily pour tea for you."
Vae turned into a sort of misshaped Zi Ri, with acid-eaten wings and moth-eaten feathers. I'm guessing about the acid, but not the moths -- she still had some moths flying around her, taking bites out of her feathers with little fangy mouths. And yes, I do mean "her". She was a female Zi Ri. Which is almost as horrible as being intentionally eaten by fangy moths.
Me:"Well, that's quite hideous. Have some tea, and don't share it with the moths."
Vae:"Then I won't share. Why are you here today? We did a trade yesterday. Need another favor?"
Me:"Yes, another favor. This tea won't drink itself."
Vae:"Oh, I can do that!"
She turned a leaf into another teacup, poured tea into it, and turned the tea into a taptet wearing a crown and skirt of glowing leaves. He obediently picked up the teapot and started pouring it into his mouth, crying a bit as the boiling tea scalded him.
Me:"Vae? I meant, I'd like you to drink some tea."
Which, of course, required another ninth of an hour getting her to stop crying, and, carefully, not having The Conversation. By which time the taptet had drunk all the tea, except what was in our cups. So I asked Vae to expand that tea. She was fearsomely happy to do something helpful that was actually wanted.
And we played a game of diamond chess -- badly, on both our parts -- and played burn-the-leaf in the trees, and pretended we hadn't just broken Thelvion by mistake. She seemed a good deal happier by the end of the afternoon. I did, too.