Mirrored from Sythyry.
After our exhibition of transaffection, we flew, slithered, bounced, and walked into a smaller classroom, along with Mump and half a dozen of his students.
Me: “And now — we consummate our deal! We have provided you with your desired classroom demonstration. Provide to us what we want!”
Mump: “Certainly!” And the next two-thirds of an hour was given up to a catalog of cities or even regions in which transaffection is less despised than usual, or even somewhat acceptable.
Me: “I am delighted to discover how many such places there are! I have only heard of two-thirds of these, and of that two-thirds, I did not know they were all so tolerant!”
Mump: “Well, to be perfectly honest, I have only visited a few of them in person. I spent three days in Vheshrame once, but I suppose that wouldn’t be an adequate vacation spot for you. Nonetheless, the information I present is unimpeachable. It is derived from the poetic record by the most advanced methods of socio-prosody.”
Me: “Hm. Hanija is off in Kathbeia, which is a side-branch from Mrasteia, and not too far off. I have heard of it before, but more for the unusual tenor of its dialect of Ketherian, and the brilliance and distinctiveness of its artistry and cuisine, than specifically about transaffection.”
Mump: “It is equally distinctive in its transaffection! I have volumes upon volumes of Hanijan poetry in which a Cani or Herethroy proclaims love for an Orren or Rassimel — and love, mind you, in terms which range from the most ætherial to the those which Inconnu would be hard-pressed to exceed. Love poetry which is not the least bit censored, nor — in Hanija — the least bit shocking! Though it is rarely exported, save to the other cities in Hanija’s cultural penumbra.”
Inconnu: “Can I see?”
Inconnu: “I pout quite cutely, in a way that I never do when I am merely among friends. In mid-pout I catch the eye of a Cani boy, and, wordlessly, seem to arrange a detailed rendezvous for later that evening. How I manage such things, whilst playing such a broad characture of the transaffectionate slut, when the more cultured and elegant members of my party, including the blue-feathered lizard who is quite blatantly putting words in my mouth, have far less success, is beyond at least the lizard. Nonetheless, the result is unambiguous, since even the aforementioned lizard knew what was happening immediately. How do I do it? How can I be so, so sexy and yet so callow? Nobody knows!”
Mump: “So, are you going to Hanija?”
Me: “Brilliant cuisine, open transaffection, and not too far off. And all without any need for a vertical journey through less-than-safe territory. I should think so!” It did seem ideal, and I was quite happy about such a convenient choice.
Mump: “Excellent. Might I ask a minor additional favor?”
Me: “Anything, my dear Mump. Anything!” I should never do that.
Mump: “It has been recommended to me that some of my students should go there — or somewhere — for a period of study and research. Could you take them along? Have you sufficient space in that flying candelabra?”
Me: “My dear Mump, my candelabra is as big as Barency inside. There could be not the slightest bit of trouble. I should be delighted to help!”
Phaniet: “There are a few concerns. We’ve got a number of monsters and para-primes aboard: a nendrai, a Locador demon, and some Elfimel refugees from a Heaven of Mircannis.”
Mump: “Well, you’ve got children aboard, the situation cannot be so severe as to endanger a few mature adult students who can well take care of themselves.”
Me: “Certain chastities may also be emperilled as well. Not everyone can resist Inconnu!”
Inconnu: “Can anyone, who is not an Orren?” One Cani squirmed quite nervously in his seat.
Mump: “I’m sure all of my students can take care of themselves.”
Phaniet: [quiet whisper] “Boss, I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
Me: “Phaniet, you’re just being jumpy. We can handle a few students for a week or two. The worst they can be is a bit rude.”
Phaniet: “You’re the boss, boss.”
And thus it was arranged. Only afterwards did I realize that Phaniet is usually right to be cautious, when she is cautious.