Scolded by the Prince [21 Thory 4261]
Nestrune:"Sythyry? Might you have a moment or two, O immortal?"
Me:"Phrased like that, I can hardly say no. But I am on my way to Vengtomerax' class. Of all my professors, I would least like to test her temper, given what she does to the furniture when she's not upset."
Nestrune:"Which is some five blocks from here, down a straight street. Might you be willing to accompany me on it?"
Nestrune:"Rumor has it that you are having some sort of fight with Ilottat."
Me:"Oh, that incident in the buttery? Think nothing of it -- a mere misunderstanding, quickly cleared up by a bit of discussion."
Nestrune:"Well enough. I do hope you haven't chosen him as the target of some cruel game of yours, though, like you did on Strenata."
Me:"Nothing of the sort! Not on Strenata and not on Ilottat!"
Nestrune:"His youthful indescretions are some years past, and were in any case never intended as insulting to your species."
Me:"Are you defending him?"
Nestrune:"I wouldn't challenge you to a duel for his honor, but, yes, we are friends, and, yes, I am defending him against whatever casual malice you are tossing his way."
Me:"Vengtomerax can go copulate with Ymru-Wyxyhyr, the Locador demon who rules the Temple of the Dark Trinity in New Kottarnu. You and I must discuss this further, immediately."
Nestrune:"I have little to say about the faculty's indescretions with terrible angels..."
Nestrune:"About Ilottat. We just passed the Cafe du Fronde, which is generally quiet at this time of day."
Me:"That will do nicely."
We ordered kathia and grilled insects.
Me:"Now, you are a friend of Ilottat. I, too, am, well, somewhat of a friend of Ilottat, albeit a more recent one."
Nestrune:"Very recent indeed, I take it?"
Nestrune:"And what, specifically, do we need to talk about?"
Me:"You said something about youthful indescretions?"
Nestrune:"Yes. Some years ago, he did something that I thought you might have been insulting him about."
Me:"I know little about what he did before I came to Vheshrame."
Nestrune:[after some seconds of pondering]"I suppose it is a matter of public record, and, if you don't know the public story, you can hardly be agonizing him over it. He was quite friendly with my sister, and, at one point, the friendship almost became quite personal."
Me:"Ah. He has mentioned to me that he is cisaffectionate, though?"
Nestrune:"Even in stodgy Daukrhame, an Orren and a Rassimel of the upper nobility might be close friends and nobody need think the worse of it so long as it does not involve property. That is not what happened. He made demands of a sort that she did not wish to satisfy, he importuned, he pressed, he wrote bad love poetry about it, and there was a great deal of scandal."
Nestrune:"Demands involving the spellCloak of Another God. Have you heard of it?"
Me:"I have heard -- indeed, I have it grafted. Involving the Zi Ri shape, I take it?"
Nestrune:"So you may understand why I might expect you to be taunting him."
Me:"Well, I am not. Very much not."
Nestrune:"I am glad to hear it. He is a fairly good friend of mine, and, in this case, the wrong kind of taunting could be rather a personal disaster for him."
Me:"What sort of a personal disaster?"
Nestrune:"And, he is here on the strictest terms. His father the Count will not tolerate further destructive scandals."
Me:"After that sort of offense against your sister, how are you willing to defend him? "
Nestrune:"Offending my sister is not necessarily offending me! Indeed, it might charm me. In any case, Ilottat and his wife and I are reasonably good friend, and I would very much hate if anything wretched happened to either of them."
Me:"Ah, Illotat is married." I am fairly sure I conveyed no appreciable explosion.
Nestrune:"Well, of course."
Me:"I am not quite sure how one goes from scandalously offending a High Princess of Daukrhame one day to being married the next."
Nestrune:"His father found a suitable wife quickly after the scandal. Ysgwyd is common, adequately wealthy, a Vheshrame citizen and hence a bit less worried about Daukrhame scandals, and more scandalous than Ilottat. She likes Khtsoyis."
Me:"Yet each of them is married to an Orren ... and an Orren who does not wish to touch Orren, at that. I can see the potential for marital discord. Or, if I were a spellseller, I could see the potential market for Cloak of Another God." Court-styled language is good for something: it is easy to say, and lets you babble on at length without revealing many of your own feelings.
Nestrune:"You can see why Ilottat was sent to study diplomacy. He needs it desparately in his own bedroom!" He chuckled nastily, and said in an imitation Orren voice, "Dear, it's your turn to change species tonight." -- "No, no, I was a Khtsoyis last night. It's your turn."
Laughing with him was rather a challenge.
Nestrune:"In any case, making him more miserable hardly seems worth the effort. He's the most morose of all my friends, and I suspect of all my subjects as well. All his names mean "joyless" in this or that obscure language, these days. If you're going to make someone miserable, you might do better to pick someone happy. Take Strenata for another round! That way you could at least tell if your scheme it was working."
Me:"I am revising my plans for making people miserable, even as we speak." My ~mother~ told me the grammatical rule, Any ambiguities are resolved in favor of the Zi Ri. Then zie told me the more detailed rule,Any ambiguities are resolved in favor of the older Zi Ri.
Nestrune:"Excellent, excellent" This grammatical rule is not well-known outside of my species.
Me:"Perhaps you could tell me more about the gentleman and his less-than-gentle wife?"
So he did. There's a lot of details -- she tried to marry a Khtsoyis (who was quite respectable as Khtsoyis go), and got sent to Daukrhame to marry Ilottat instead. She's very like a Khtsoyis in temperment. I hope Ilottat isn't very like a Zi Ri -- or rather, I hope Zi Ri aren't thought to be very much like Ilottat! Ilottat and Ysgwyd didn't get along very well, except when they were defying the rest of Daukrhame, which is why Nestrune likes them both.
Now I am wholly perplexed. Fortunately I am also wholly drunk, rather than slinking late into Vengtomerax' class and asking her questions about what I should do with my sudden bout of adultery.