Seduction of Greshthanu (Day 44)
I was feeling fairly confident and reasonably happy the next morning as I circled around over the drakes and picked my quarry. “Hey, Greshthanu! Come mate with me!”
He looked up at me, and shouted, “What? No!”
I was so surprised, I nearly forgot to beat my wings. ”What?”
“I said ‘no’,” said Greshthanu in Mhelvian. “In Grand Draconic that’s ‘eill’, and in Ghemelian it’s ‘vask’. If you’d asked me me in the polite register it would be ‘wo diau vasku skan’, which is to say, ‘No thank you’.”
“But … last year you were trying to get me to.” I circled lower, and Ythac and Osoth made space for me to land.
“And you said ‘no’,” said Greshthanu.
“Because it was before the mating flight started!” I protested.
“That didn’t bother anyone else,” hissed Greshthanu.
“Even Roroku?” chirped Arilash.
“The basics, she learned them from Greshthanu or before,” said Llredh. “The advanced lessons, she learned one or two from me.”
“That hypocritical little lobster!” said Arilash. “How dare she insult me for doing it if she was too?”
“Well, she mostly mated with us,” said Greshthanu. “Not often a drake she wasn’t engaged to, and no dragonesses or small people.”
I spat lightning and scored Greshthanu’s face a bit. “Stop changing the subject. So now when it’s legitimate, you’re turning me down? Do you actually expect to have a chance to get married if you behave that way?”
“I wouldn’t want to marry a dragon who behaves the way you do!” he said. The other drakes mostly smirked at each other, except for Csirnis who simply looked concerned.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I whined.
“Do you remember Drupe-ek-Kavash?” he hissed.
“A hoven village, over there.”
“Exactly. The other day you went raiding. Wrongth the first: you went raiding. Not a drake, but a dragoness. Actually that isn’t the first wrongth you’ve wronged on this flight — you started out fighting me, as you surely remember!”
“I needed something. Something personal,” I said. “I wanted to be private about it.” Some of the dragons sniggered, and the rest pretended that they didn’t want to. My ‘private’ wasn’t very private.
“Wrongth the second: you paid for it. You did not actually go raiding, you went shopping. Wrongth the third: you overpaid for it. You make us all look like fools,” he said. Several of the drakes were nodding in agreement.
“Wrongth the most! You paid for it by burning a Trestean army station. And how very, very wrong that is! You killed two Trestean soldiers — or, rather, one medical assistant and one clerk. Also one Ghemelian sweeper they had employed,” Greshthanu declaimed. Yes, he half-spread his wings and raised his head high as if he were reciting something formally.
“So what? They don’t belong to anydragon,” I said. Several of the drakes nodded to that too, so I wasn’t totally without allies.
“Exactly. That is exactly the sort of thing that I despise the most about you.” Which got Greshthanu a few hisses. “You killed three small people for no good reason and you don’t even care a bit.”
“I wasn’t trying to kill them,” I said. “I don’t go rampaging and destroying for fun.” Llredh and Tultamaan glared at me. They sometimes rampage for fun, I think.
“You certainly weren’t overly concerned for their safety! You breathed a great big fireball on their building!” shouted Greshthanu.
“What, are you the Defender of All Hovens now?” There was much laughter from all the others, at both of us pretty equally.
“I care about basic ethical standards! Murder for no good reason is a wickedness! Buying a bit of ghee for three hoven lives is a wicked waste and a wicked imbalance!”
“I don’t have to answer to you about how it!” I said. Which was a pretty feeble answer, but my moral position was pretty feeble.
“I dread what would happen if you wanted a whole meal of roast camel! You would lay waste to all Ghemelia!” crowed Greshthanu. Everyone else laughed.
“And with Jyothky’s gourmet tastes … you’d better loot the place before she gets hungry!” said Arilash.
Good: Arilash was taking me seriously and having a contest with me.
Bad: She’d won it.