Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,
Sythyry
sythyry

Originally published at Sythyry. Please leave any comments there.

Invite [25 Thory 4261]

Me:“Anoof! Did you see Ilottat today?”

Anoof:“I did, as it happens.”

Me:“Did you talk to him about, well, me finding
a lover for cover?”

Anoof:“We didn’t mention it. Something else
seemed more urgent.”

It is hard to describe how terrifying that sounded, given
that I hadn’t heard from Ilottat in a few days. I was sure
he had dumped me for, oh, … um … a nice quiet Rassimel
with a good Cloak of Another God spell.

Anoof:“Nothing like that, Sythyry. He
was a bit nervous and unhappy though, in that awkward way of
his.”

Me:“Oh, no…”

Anoof:“Somehow the Belweldies, Ysgwyd’s parents,
found out about your affair with him.”

Me:“Oh, no…” My first thought was that
he’d never forgive me for that. My second was that he’d be
demolished in various ways over it, and have no good reason
to forgive me for such injuries.

Anoof:“So they’re inviting you and him to an
informal little dinner tomorrow night.”

Me:“Oh, no…” In retrospect, I was being a
bit monotonous, but I am sure that the three of them had
different tones.

Anoof said reassuringly, “The Belweldies are rather the social
climbers — witness their marrying their daughter to a
count’s son.”

Me:“You say that as if it should be
reassuring. I do not see how having an adulterous,
transaffectionate son-in-law improves their social station.”

Anoof: [laughing] “You don’t? Really?”

Me:“I don’t. Really!”

Anoof:“Well, having a family connection to
Hezimikkinen can hardly be a bad thing in Vheshrame.
Socially or businessly. “

Me:“Well, I have almost as much influence with
Zimi as, well, a dried trout does. I’ve barely seen zir a
dozen times since I came to town. Zie said I’m not welcome
at zir wing of the Ducal palace, unless I’m
invited.”

Anoof:[Laughing and wagging his tail]“Sythyry,
that’s lots of influence. How many people in
Vheshrame get to see zir socially a dozen times in under a
year? Much less can expect the occasional invitation from
zir? You might not have much influence this year, or even
this decade, but your long-term influence could be great.
Zie’s not going to stop inviting you to holiday events
and suchlike, is zie?”

Me:“Not while I’m near Vheshrame, no. It would
be rude.”

Anoof:“Which is a degree of guaranteed access
that nobody else in Vheshrame has.”

Me:“Guaranteed, but useless. Zie does not take
me seriously!”

Anoof:“True now. In a decade or two that may
change. In any case, the Belweldies can hardly know about
that when they invite you to an informal little
dinner tomorrow night.”

This seemed an excellent time to panic, rather than argue.

Me:“Yeek! An informal little dinner tomorrow
night with my adulterous lover’s in-laws! What should I do,
Anoof?”

Anoof:“Be polite, yet aristocratic. Make it
clear that you are the sort of social connection that they
want their son-in-law to have. Don’t emphasize the details
of the relationship much — just emphasize that the
Belweldies are getting what they most want out of it. As
Ilottat is.”

It is very hard to listen to a Cani giving good social
advice when you are properly panicking. I continued to
babble variations on a theme of “What should I do?” for a
while. I believe Anoof repeated his advice eighty-seven
times before I heard it.

Me:“Oh … that sounds like a good
idea.”

Anoof:“For tonight, though … are you
free?”

Me:“I don’t know … am I free?”

Anoof:“Well, Ilottat would like to see
you.”

There was much relieved flapping around the room. Arguably
I should be quite embarrassed by how relieved I was that
Ilottat was not so angry with me that he’d refuse to see me.

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