So Roroku and I were spared the “You must come home!” conversation.
So here’s the conversation they did have, instead.
Me: «As far as I’m concerned, I now proclaim both of you, officially divorced and simultaneously widowed. You both have the right to remarry, for what that’s worth. Roroku, um, you’ve only got kysps around, so I don’t know how you’ll manage that, and you probably shouldn’t tell me. And Gyovanth, I have not the slightest idea how you will find a mating flight at your age and reputation, but if you want an urning marriage, you’re in the right place.»
Gyovanth: «Urnings are vile! I breathe and excrete upon them!»
Me: «If you think that, you’re in the wrong place. But you can decide that for yourself. Anyhow, I am going to shut up and just relay messages. If you have anything you want to say to each other, say it now. I can do this again if you have something that needs to be said, hoard locations or the activation words of magic rings say. But I will not do this again simply to let you try to emotionally bite each other after today. Go to!»
Gyovanth: «Roroku! You are the worst wife ever! You whine and complain, you are without skill or grace, your hoard is thin, your copulations are like thin jelly!»
Roroku: «And guess what, Gyovanth? You never have to deal with me ever again! I’m not your wife anymore!»
Gyovanth: «Bah, marriages are perpetual! They cannot be dissolved by a word from a worm-queen!»
Roroku: «You are incorrect about the law. Besides, the queen is just giving official recognition to something I have done. A word from a queen, plus an insurmountable separation at an infinite distance! Gyovanth, you must realize! I am far away, infinitely far, transcendantly far! Almost far enough away so that your moral stench does not reach my tongue!»
Gyovanth: «Unnatural dragoness! What sort of a wife says such a thing, much less does it?»
Roroku: «An ex-wife — a triumphantly-ex wife! Besides, if I have any skill in excessive and overdramatic insults, I learnt it all from you. You rarely said any other thing to me.»
Gyovanth: «You are disgusting and horrible, you are the worst sort of criminal, you wallow in slime, you have coupled adulterously with Vaareng!»
Roroku: «Oh, I admit the adultery! It was inevitable and strategic though. I could not endure the thought that the last dragon I ever twined with would be you.»
Gyovanth: «I am a grand times the lover Vaareng will ever be!»
Roroku: «In offensive pungency, yes, you are. In supplying amatory satisfaction, the ratio is reversed. No, Gyovanth, you cannot dispute me; I have data!»
Gyovanth: «Your data was achieved by dishonorable means and is thus invalid!»
Roroku: «That’s not how validity works. Not how honor works either! Consider Vazvẹŗìth and Snedsaaña, consider Heðex and Maranorse!» Those being famous couples in which marital infidelity had been used tactically and successfully, to the greater glory of one or both of the couple. Vazvẹŗìth and Snedsaaña were Gyovanth’s second cousins once removed, incidentally, so I’m counting that as Roroku scoring an extra point.
Gyovanth: «But now! What a miserable fate awaits you! You will pour forth your inadequacies and woeful weakness upon Kyspert — the world that you stole from us! From me!»
Roroku: «Also I stole all your beloved magic rings, which is to say my magic rings, since we were married at the time. And Vaareng’s Mintwall Shield, too; I feel a bit bad about that. And think upon your own fate! Shameful it is in some degree to fail to get married. But how much more shameful to be such an awful husband that your wife would rather depart the dragon-worlds altogether than be married to you!»
Gyovanth: «The shame is entirely yours! You fled from me — you could not face me!»
Roroku: «The laughter and mockery of every dragon everywhere: these things are yours now! I at least will never see them again!»
Gyovanth: «Who will mount you now? Who will twine with you? Who will bite your wings and bid you be good?»
Roroku: «Precisely the dragons whom I wish to, Gyovanth, which is to say; none. Who will twine with you now? No dragoness, I wager! If it is anyone, it is some-drake who will demand to mount you half the time, and you will let him and think yourself lucky if it’s only half!»
Gyovanth: «Not so! I am heterosexual — I am married!»
Roroku: «No longer the latter! How long before the need in your hemipenises drives you to be no longer the former? Will it be weeks — or hours? Hah, but who would have you, even among the horny, horny drakes of the Exploring Company? Everyone knows how you treat your lovers!»
Gyovanth: «Your bluster is without merit, and it is vacuous! I am sure to be desirable by all dragons! It is I who will have my choice of them!»
Roroku: «You were never desirable, save that you had lands and title and wealth. And now I am queen of an entire universe: more lands and title and wealth, when I feel like getting them, and none of putrid falsehood-veriception-like Gyovanth to go with them!»
And on and on like that. They went at it for hours as I relayed their words to each other. If Roroku had fought back like that inside her marriage, she might have had a more equal one. But coming in last in one’s mating flight, as she had done and I only barely escaped (if that), is a heavy bruising thing, and none too good for the ferocity or the self-confidence. One cure for which seems to be, humiliating and escaping one’s enemies.
Ah, well. At least I am her friend as well as her enemy, which is more than can be said for Gyovanth.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.