First Day, part 8 [1 Trandary 4261]
Well, Dustweed and Tethezai seem none the worse with each other for whatever revelations were revealed and histories were storied. Dustweed's kilt had not fared nearly so well. Zie had sat on a treestump, squashing a large slug beneath zir chitin-armored (and hence unfeeling) rump, and ground it quite thoroughly into zir clothing. I had one more set of ribbons that Strenata had talked me into buying, so I had no quarrel with going home for new clothes.
I started out riding on Dustweed's shoulder, since, after all, I had just done her two-thirds of an hour of a favor. Every gaze in the city was heavy upon us, though. Dustweed and Tethezai are notorious, each in zir own style, and I am notable enough in mine. I hope they didn't think that it was some very disturbing version or perversion of a Herethroy trio -- after a few very curious looks by a number of Cani in plum waistcoats, I decided to fly, awkward or not.
Dubaille was at home, feeding his two children on porridge with prunes. The children looked rather miserable. I could hardly blame them. The porridge smelled burned, the prunes looked sour, Dubaille's voice was ragged as he coaxed them to finish up so they could go to the temple, and I was sure that they had been taken away from a much nicer lunch at Lady Quissenden's.
Tethezai, who is entirely full of kindness, offered to help Dustweed change clothes. Given the choice of (1) standing guard over Tethezai and Dustweed for another two-thirds of an hour or (2) watching Dubaille torment his children with inadequacy, I fled. Escaped! Flapped my wings and skipped out the window! It was the only thing to do.
The family of plum-waistcoated Cani noted my swift passage with some interest. I daresay there will be more rumors about me by eveningtime.
However, a bit of knocking around discovered that Seeks-Inihithre Strenata was up and about from her nap.
"Why are you seeking Inihithre? It's still on Craitheia, where it has been for four thousand two hundred sixty years."
"Less about four hours, Sythyry ... Besides, they might have moved it. News takes two or three days to get here from there. That's plenty of time for a band of brave, defiant, determined Orren to pick it up and, oh, scoot it off to distant broken-off Juneia."
"You're named after the city Inihithre, aren't you? Not, oh, a large arkenwood sculpture of a roasted fish of that name, done by some berserk and particularly-starving starving conceptual artist somewhere that I haven't heard of."
When Strenata laughs from the common flavor of happiness, she laughs like light wooden bells being struck by pine mallets. When she laughs at the ridiculous, she laughs like light wooden bells being struck by frozen mice held chopstick-wise by a pair of flutes. (Disclaimer: I have not actually heard light wooden bells being struck by frozen mice held chopstick-wise by a pair of flutes, but never doubt my theoretical powers.)
"Well, I'm a particularly-starving starving conceptual actress somewhere that you haven't heard of. I will let you buy me a roast fish and name it Inihithre if you like."
I looked at the name in her hat, and decided that that was a particularly good arrangment. Especially since she wanted to change clothes again, and told me to simply turn my back and write for a bit, and is making odd squeaking noises behind me as she tries to squirm into a green tube dress sort of thing that is a size and a half too small.