Nihondras Day: Cheating Across Saga [9 Nivvem 4261]
Last night was a very, very late night indeed, even though it didn't end quite that late. If I were not properly equipped, I would have dreaded today considerably. Trying to perform enchantments and diplomacies without sleep or kathia would be, potentially, a bit too exciting. Fortunately, I am a lizard of power and means!
The Street of the Seven-Eyed Gargoyle was a bit crowded with some sort of Rassimel street festival, getting a bit of an early start on Nihondras Day. This was, I believe, the Society for the Appreciation of Dried and Preserved Fruits. Every Rassimel grocer in town I suppose, and many others, had set up carts in the street, and were selling dried apricots and dried cherries and dried prens and dried raisins and candied turnip and candied onion and candied illiocampus and candied apple and almond paste, and, for the non-obligatory ingredients, dried and candied everything else that could possibly be dried and candied.
(It is now noontime, after Enchantment class. I imagine that, later in the day, I shall be an entirely spherical lizard, stuffed with dried apricots and dried cherries and dried prens and dried raisins and candied turnip and candied onion and candied illiocampus and candied apple and almond paste and assorted non-obligatory ingredients. Actually I'm pretty worried about what Ghirbis Vlaan's Nihondras Day cake will be like -- I am sure they do things differently in Yistreia. It will surely be too spicy to endure.)
(Oh, and for those who spent their nights in revelry or cookery without benefit of Extra Sleep in the Morning: Nihondras Day is the celebration of the invention of the oven by a gentleRassy named Nihondras, in the third year of the world. Or, perhaps, the second year. The exact year is somewhat in doubt. In any case it must have been before the fifth year. If we (Zi Ri) had been around then, well, what could be more natural for us to invent than the oven? As a bedchamber, and then, prehaps secondarily, as a cooking device.)
(In any case, it is celebrated by Rassimel baking or buying Nihondras Day cakes and giving bits to all their friends. Nihondras Day cakes are complicated cakes -- we let the Rassimel follow their wishes entirely -- and full of dried and candied fruits, and traditionally stuffed with almond paste. I'm sure that Gounne Gousse makes a fruitless one stuffed with sweetened ptarmigan liver or something.)
Which, of course, meant that Jinthinia and I didn't want to leave Across Saga just then. Not that she's that shy about being found out, but, well, she had been dancing on the edge a bit with Ojjo, and didn't want extra risk today. Also, by that point in the evening, she and I didn't really want an extra two-thirds of an hour delay (from struggling through the crowd) before ... well, before.
So we rented one of Across Saga's back rooms. Neither of us had ever done that before: Jinthinia never had felt like spending the money, and I never had had the suitable sweetie. It's not all that much really, three lozens for an hour, or seven for two hours "and the deluxe", which surprised both of us -- and should have warned both of us. We got a small assortment of winks and tailwags and knowing grins when we slunk through the back curtain.
Well, the room wasn't fancy, and it wasn't even all that clean. Hastily-remade bed. Two used candles to light. Chair. Pitcher of water and basin. Clean towel. Mostly clean towel. The deluxe was a small pitcher of perfumed wine (use obvious), a bowl of clear oil (use obvious), and some grooming supplies (use obvious), plus a pitcher of hot water (use obvious) set outside the door a third of an hour before the time expired.
Well, not to brag and not to brag, but we cheated Across Saga and we cheated Across Saga.
Cheating #1: A moderately-enthusiastic Orren woman doesn't get incapably tired as fast as an extra-enthusiastic Orren man. Actually, I suspect that this is a general characteristic of mammalian women and men. Clear oil (use obvious) is obviously useful in encouraging this. I hope they changed the sheets after us, though.
Cheating #2: Extra Sleep in the Morning stretched the two hours to three. That saved us (a) four lozens, which the three-hour Extra Deluxe package would have cost, and (b) whatever humiliation and embarrassment would have come from discovering whatever little extra bonuses and inducements come as part of the Extra Deluxe package. I don't know what sort of erotic enhancers Across Saga thinks are properly wonderful and delectable, yet sufficiently inexpensive.
After two and a third hours of our allotted two hours -- when things were more snuggly and squirmy than desparately urgent anymore -- she whispered to me that I should come to L'Épée Épicée as her invited guest on the 12th. I don't know that club, but, given the name, it's probably something like the private part of Across Saga, but, well, spicier.
At any rate, after washing up in the De Luxe warm water -- which broke the time spell, which is fine, 'cause Across Saga was already wholly cheated -- we struggled through the crowds of dried-thing-buying Rassies, off to our separate beds.