Ill-Met by Halflight[4 Hispis 4262]
In the arken trees, outside the Halflight Gate...
Me:"I'd like to give you the caterpillar jam a couple days early, and get this damned light spell taken off."
Me:"Can I talk to you?"
Me:"Are you even real today?"
I poked her with a stick. She wasn't solid. Either she was being particularly flimsy today, or she had left an illusion here for me.
A snake peeked out at me from a hole. "Hiio, Sythyry. And why are you poking my sentinal?"
Me:"Oh, there you are, Vae. It's good to see you. Taking a vacation from your arms and legs again?"
Vae:"The yes. The day after you visit, I never have arms and legs. Not unless I need them for something, and there's little enough that they can do that a tail can't do much better."
Me:"I knew you didn't like them. Are you thinking of living without them forever?"
Vae:"Not a bit, and that's a thing to scare me and sadden me." She switched to the Nice Language. "The boyfriend I find -- or girlfriend for me to be boyfriend to, if that's how it goes -- surely will despise me for that. The hidden secret will it have to be."
Me:[Also in the Nice Language] "Don't you think that Oixe, say, has some such secret of her own?"
Vae:"Not a chance have I of finding it."
Me:"You could tell her."
Vae:"And could I? And could any nendrai tolerate a freak of strangeness?"
She was already crying. Which was utterly unfair. Not only hadn't we had The Conversation yet, I hadn't even asked her for my favor.
So I comforted her with theology. Really. I pointed out that Oixe looked really freaky, with three heads and metal scales. So obviously Gnarn is making very exotic nendrai in this generation. Oixe probably is just as psychically nonstandard as Vae, and probably all the other nendrai that Vae could meet and date would be too.
Alarmingly, that worked. It's not all that many people who would be comforted by being told, "You're the freakish creation of a sadistic goddess." But, well, most of us aren't.
(On my way home, I actually bought some really nice incense -- saltpeter-free and all of that -- and went to the Hren Tzen temple for the first time since I've been living in Vheshrame. The priest was really sweet, too. Rassimel, alas.)
Anyways, after Vae had stopped crying and healed her eyes, and was coiled and coiled and coiled up around a tree, I did ask her to remove the light spell. Esory had done me the very kindness of buying a jar of caterpillar jam, so I gave that to Vae. And I brought her a big bean bun (day 5 of Rather Regular Rhoonef) and three sausages and three pickles (day 6). And of course got the obligatory embarrassing orgasm and both of us pretending it didn't happen.
Vae:"And will the lion come to eat me, think you?"
Vae:"The lion that eats girls who insist on the same breakfasts every day!" Oh, I guess the book ends with her Coming to a Bad End.
Me:"I hope it doesn't."
Vae:"The same hope have I!"
Me:"... because I don't think it would stand a chance against you. "
Me:"and then who would Yarwain and Thery threaten Ficina with, when she's too arbitrary and demanding!"
Vae:"The ridiculous and arbitrary demand will I now make of you."
Vae:"The visit from Ficina should happen, and soon. The wish to meet her is on me."