After doctor Naw-Fan performed her examinations of Ro-Ro-Ku (which were perfectly normal again), and dined, and left, and after Ka-Twu-Thu and Dze-Ts-Kwy were asleep in a tangle of legs and tails, Ro-Ro-Ku went to the kitchen. She pulled the oven’s inner barrel out, and held it aloft with one tentacle while she replaced the broken pods with the other.
“Isn’t it hot and heavy?” asked Ka-Twu-Thu from behind her, who had come awake from the noise.
“Not too hot or too heavy,” said Ro-Ro-Ku, whose fire breath grants her the best oven-mitts in the universe.
“Still, I wish you’d waited. We were going to do three days of baking today. Now we’ll have to buy from a bakery. We can afford it but it’s a bit of a waste.”
“It’ll be hot by tomorrow.” Ro-Ro-Ku slid the barrel back into the oven, and leaned in, and breathed a careful bubble of fire. “See? It’s up to temperature already.”
Ka-Twu-Thu peered at the flickers of firelight (kysps never use fire in their homes; too much of their material culture is made of wood) on her guest’s face, and sampled the heat with a quick tentatail pat. “So it is. Thank you, Ro-Ro-Ku, for taking care of it so efficiently!”
Ro-Ro-Ku smiled. (She never explained to me what ‘smiling’ is for kysps.) “I am glad to help out where I can!”
Dze-Ts-Kwy said nothing when Ka-Twu-Thu told her, but added that incident to her list, and circled it.
«She saw you breathe fire, Roroku?» I asked.
«More or less,» she wrote back.
«Should I tell Rhosmanthus the illusionist, so that he can work some obfustication to make this look normal? Not that I can think of what he might possibly do at this point»
«Don’t bother Rhosmanthus,» said Roroku.
This should have been a clue, but as I am a tremendously stupid dragoness, I did not notice. Instead I told her about my preliminary work on her divorce: the hundred and five dragons we knew about who had to be informed and variously propitiated, and how the investigation for others was going. She was duly pleased, and a bit overwhelmed.
«I’m not going to have much of a hoard, after paying all of them off!»
I answered, «I’m going to try to split the costs between you, and Gyovanth on the grounds that he caused it, and the throne of Hove.»
«Gyovanth will never pay you. His hoard is on Chiriact, and you cannot reach it,» Roroku wrote.
«Hence ‘try’. He might be cooperative for some mysterious reason. Such as, I could get him in on an older-dragon mating flight at some point — the ordinary heterosexual kind with three dragonesses and six drakes — and there’s no such thing anywhere else.»
«So many negotiations you are making for me, Jyothky! So many expenses and complexities!»
«No better way to prove my utter superiority to you for your insult, or to help out an old friend! Or both!» I answered. I estimate about one part of the first to a half-dozen of the second.Support this project! Show that you’re reading it by exchanging notes with the characters, other readers, the writer, and occasional other entities at sythyry.livejournal.com. And/or buy Bard Bloom’s books on Amazon, especially Mating Flight and World in My Claws, the prequel to this story. Also: Glossary and Dramatis Personae.