Murghal allowed as how the war had not gone very well. He was one of the main targets of the Tresteans. “Though I did not use extnuvia against the Palisees — lies, all Trestean lies! If I had such a thing available, which I did not, I would not have needed it against such a pitiful foe as the Palisees.” It seemed to be the moment to inform Murghal about veriception, just to save time when he considered lying about something we cared about. Yes, he had used extnuvia, some sort of rare mineral which compels hovens to eat themselves, against the Palisees. He regretted it greatly; he should have saved it for the Tresteans.
“So, what are you doing out here?” He is hiding from the Tresteans. He has supporters in Ghemelia — many supporters — they will rise up and destroy the Tresteans. Now a few of them bring him food and news every week or so. Fortunately the Tresteans are fools and degenerates, so they cannot find him.
“They don’t sound like they’d vote for Uncle Holder,” I agreed, but I made him tell me the full truth anyways. He’s got a few active supporters, though there are plenty of people who would probably follow a native — any native who had a chance, really — against the conquerers.
Ghemelia is rather a hellhole though. Everyone has some reason to hate everyone else, and the Trestean conquerors most of all.”
“If we were feeling nice and helpful, we’d set the place in order ourselves,” I said.
“We’re here to get married. We are not going to go conquering. I can’t think of anything I’d like less than trying to set a place like this in order,” said Ythac in Ghemelian. He had joined us about as the war was going terribly, but mostly been quiet. “I’ve studied governments and all, I know how to do it right, but you have to start with some bit of unity.”
Murghal looked crafty, and started trying to talk us into attacking the Tresteans.
“No. We’re going to live in our cave — the one that was yours — and enjoy each other a lot. We’re not going to fight anyone,” I said.
“Except each other,” added Ythac. “And you, if you keep trying to run away.”
“Anyways, it’s time for you to do your nightly duties,” I told my new slave.
“What are his nightly duties?” asked Ythac.
“I don’t know. Go to the cave and see what you’ve got that’s good for polishing scales. I want my fiancés to look their best.” I used the plural because Osoth had landed beside me, and Csirnis was circling overhead.
“I am beautiful and elegant!” said Osoth, rearing up and spreading his intricately-patterned grey grey grey wings.
“And dusty and bloody,” I said. “Murghal, go polish my fiancé until he’s all shiny.” That’s a job for three or four well-equipped and well-trained small people per dragon, so it was pretty hopeless. I couldn’t think of anything else for him to do though. He looked like he’d mostly be good as a secretary, not a laborer, but my social calendar just said “copulate with fiancés” every day for the next twelve years. Anyhow you can’t let slaves go idle. I think that Murghal actually polished Osoth’s left knee a little before Osoth decided it was useless and sent him off.
Oh, and there wasn’t much loot. Murghal had a variety of weapons, for shooting bullets and smallish purple twistor rays. He had some nice spices, but not enough for even one meal for all of us, and he said he didn’t really know how to cook in any case. He had some books, but neither Ythac nor I was much interested in hoven pornography. (I should have brought some dragon pornography … not that I had any on Mhel … maybe Arilash has some. Not that she really needs it, and not that she’d be willing to help a rival particularly.)
The others had been drifting in, so we stopped chatting with the useless new slave, and set up our haphazard home for the next duodecade. Arilash and I took over Murghal’s cave, and made him sleep outdoors. He complained a bit at the lack of secrecy, since he’s in hiding from an entire army. He’s being silly though. What could an army of small people do against nine dragons?
Well, this is what the mating flight is about, and what the codas are about too.
Let’s see. Greshthanu gets one for first flirtation. Llredh two for first copulation. Ythac one for finding the caves, and one for exploring them. That’s about all.
|Fiancé||Last Time||Change||This Time|
I was going to start everyone at 0. But I was really impressed with how Csirnis came to Mhel, and I’ve liked Ythac for years, and Tultamaan’s forelegs are just so awful to look at.
Oh, and if anyone else’s counting fiancée points… I think I lost one ‘cause Arilash had the Triangular Cyclonette, and three from fighting Greshthanu, and two more for letting Arilash get the first legitimate intercourse. Maybe I get one back for my part of getting Murghal, I’m not sure. I don’t even know if the boys are counting fiancée points. Maybe that’s a girl thing.