Mirrored from Sythyry.
“I did not become your deacon for the purpose of making teleport gates in some city that’s halfway between nowhere!” yelled Flaenstra, loudly enough so that Phaniet could hear it from across the hall.
“I know perfectly well why you chose to become my deacon,” hissed Glikkonen. “It was a terrible reason. But, as long as you are my deacon, you will do what I require of you. That is what it means to be a deacon.”
“You may make any use of me you wish! You should do! You must do!”
“I will do! What I wish of you is to stay in Kismirth for a year or two, help Sythyry and Saza with their teleport gates, and make sure that nothing goes wrong, and that everything is proceeding according to theory,” snapped the wizard.
“That’s not at all the right wish!” wailed Flaenstra.
“It is a perfectly respectable wish! Of course you have no use for ‘respectable’. Well, neither do Sythyry and Saza, so you will be in good company,” said Glikkonen.
“You are trying to set me up with them!” shouted Flaenstra. “Do you think I am inconstant and ridiculous?”
“I think you are constant and ridiculous! I have never given you the least bit of encouragement, yet you persist in treating me as your lust-mongie!”
Flaenstra must have been livid and flat-eared. “Not the least bit? What about a thousand bits! Starting with employing me as your deacon after I had described my everlasting love to you! You have praised me no fewer than six hundred and twelve times to my face! Four thousand six hundred nineteen smiles, which I can subdivide into eleven major and fourteen minor categories! Shall I go on?”
“You shouldn’t go on, but I’m sure you shall,” said Glikkonen. “I told you that I wouldn’t treat you any differently from any other non-Zi-Ri deacon, and I haven’t. I told you that you had not the slightest chance of romance with me, and you haven’t. And now, I need someone in Kismirth who understands enchantment, to keep an eye on my enthusiastic and skillful but occasionally careless and doom-ridden grandchildren, and that someone will be you.”
“You need someone in Kismirth who understands enchantment — and Locador, and gate-making! You need in Kismirth — Dargent-Sporray, not me!”
“If you refuse, I will indeed ask Dargent-Sporray to take on the job,” said Glikkonen in an ominous hiss.
“Then I shall refuse!” crowed Flaenstra.
“If you refuse, you shall no longer be my deacon; you shall no longer be in my employ at all,” said Glikkonen. “I have no use for a deacon who does not do what I require.”
Flaenstra wailed and threw herself on a couch. “I should resign! I should leave off your service!”
“If you regard my service as a way to my bed, yes, you should!” snapped Glikkonen. “If, as you have said any number of times, you find it valuable training and valuable assistance to primes everywhere, a source of wealth, an access to tools that no Rassimel your age could afford, and all the other things — independent of your little crush — then you may stay. But you shall stay in Kismirth, as long as this project runs, because I need someone with your talents here, and — deny it though you sometimes try — you, yourself, have your talents.”
“I’ll stay,” said Flaenstra sullenly. “But I don’t like being scraped off your paw like sticky guntry-shit.”
“Unfair! If I were scraping you off, I would simply tell you to leave, to depart, to begone! Another few conversations like this and I shall do so! Besides, guntry dung isn’t that sticky,” said Glikkonen.
Phaniet reported this conversation to me, adding only, “You are definitely zir grandchild. I can’t imagine you handling that situation any better than Glikkonen did.” Which stung a good deal, largely because it was true.