My Dinner With Ilottat [13 Thory 4261]
Ilottat generally matched the room. He had worn a dark blue
Daukrhame dress uniform, knowing full well how good he looks
in it. Truth to tell, he would look a bit better if didn’t
stoop quite so much. This is something that can be ignored.
And three bits better if he didn’t look
quite so nervous. This too can be ignored.
[Ilottat's occasional excursions into other World Tree
languages are translated into other terrestrial languages.
His mistakes are mistranslations. -bb]
He got there a minute or two after I did, and saluted me
with a formal Daukrhame court salute. I had no idea about
the proper response from a Zi Ri, so I gave the Vheshrame
equivalent. That made him nervous. He mumbled something
like, “I’m very glad you could come hodie, that is,
today. I’ve been wanting to meet you for some while now,”
and sprawled in one of the chairs, and took off his boots
and, as mentioned, threw them across the room without
seeming to realize that he had done so. Fortunately they
landed quietly — as mentioned, the Oblique Room is very
“Well, I’m quite glad to meet you too, Ilottat.” The table
was set for two Orren-sized people, which is to say, there
was a huge-to-me chair at a position I couldn’t possibly
use. “Could you turn this chair around? It’s easier for me
to sit on the back than the front.”
“Well … Oh! I’d be glad to. J’avais oublier, I had
forgotten to mention to the staff that you were Zi Ri.” He
glanced significantly at the bed. “You know. Not with
that in here.”
I didn’t know. I waved a wing. “Oh, I wouldn’t worry about
it. We’re rare, and not that many establishments are really
very well set up for us. I was on the back of a chair the
last time I was here, too. I don’t think Hezimikkinen ever
comes here, or they would have something.” Or that’s
roughly what I tried to say. I was babbling a bit myself.
His nervousness was contagious.
He looked awfully disappointed. “You’ve been here
“Yes, with the Countess Gloun.”
“Oh! Well, if there’s a real countess in the
picture, I don’t suppose …”
“Oh, just for tea, downstairs. I’ve never been up here,” I
said. I am pretty sure I persuaded myself that I didn’t
have any idea what he was getting at.
Well, dinner was excellent, even at that particularly
early hour, even if we did have to serve ourselves.
And he did relax considerably. We chatted about classes,
and the food, and friends, and art, and whatnots, and Prince
Nestrune. He’s only slightly more fond of Prince Nestrune
than I am, which he thinks is a problem, since he’s going to
serve the Prince as a diplomat and spy. “That’s why I’m
studying linguistics here, sapete, you know. Sorry
about all the stray bits of vocabulary that get into my
Ketherian — it’s an occupational hazard. I hear it goes
away after a few years.”
Which was all fine, and just as good as any date I’ve had
at the Sloop in Soup or Candledance.
Except the food was better. Much better.
And except that, after we finished up that burning frozen
arkenflame dessert, he barred the door and used one of the
bound spells to block any listening from outside the room,
and said, “Well, um, would you like, er, fornicatio