Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

Vaareng's Fate 3

«Queen Jyothky? Have you a moment?» Vaareng’s conceptual handwriting was quite wobbly.

«I have several, if that’s what you need,» I answered. «I am flying to Vlechinse, for purposes that had better involve a great deal of delicious food but probably won’t. Or perhaps I’ll hold an anti-contest: the least cooperative ambassador gets roasted, stuffed with garlic and mustard, and is the centerpiece of my next meal.»

«Do you do that?»

«No. But this is a good time to talk, anyhow. What is troubling you, Vaareng?»

«Driaith. And Mirinxan. And a sapphire.» He wrote one version of what had transpired, which was, if not altogether accurate, at least no more wrong than the one I have written based on three versions. He ended with, «And what does that mean?»

«I’m going to guess it’s a peace offering. Driaith seems to love both you and Mirinxan, and to want to keep you both, if you’re willing. So Mirinxan has decided to stop fighting you. He’s not going to beat you — no, don’t get puffy and proud, Vaareng. Beating you would mean making Driaith abandon you, and Driaith won’t. You can’t beat Mirinxan either, for Driaith won’t abandon either of you. So the remaining sensible choice is for Mirinxan to have amicable relations with you.»

Vaareng’s words looked confused. «He wants to twine with me?»

«Probably not. I will guess that he wants to to not spend the next few gross-years fighting with you over everything and nothing, and, instead, to spend them in more fun things. Which is to say, nearly anything else.» Most diplomats ask for more, but if they can settle for that, they have done well enough.

«What should I do?»

«That depends somewhat on what you are trying to do, Vaareng.»

«One thing I could do is attempt to get back into Driaith’s good graces. I think I offended him.»

«You certainly did offend him! But it sounds like he wants you to make a promise you can keep. If you resume your physical involvement with him, either make it mean something, or make it explicitly mean nothing beyond your hind legs.»

«Which one should I do?»

«Whichever suits you. Are you going to abandon him for the occasional adulterous scraps of dragoness you can find? Your chances with Arilash are not so good, and I’m going to be out of circulation soon — you cannot imagine how happy I will be, to be out of circulation — but there are a few others.»

«I should like an ally,» he wrote, slowly. «I have been alone against the worlds and every dragon in it since my maturity. I do not think I am winning. There are a lot of worlds and dragons, and I — I have no unusual virtues or strengths.»

«And that is an important thing to realize. I don’t have either, incidentally, or not on my own anyhow. What I do have is allies. Starting with my husband Nrararn.» (Actually starting with Arilash and her collection of lovers. She doesn’t want to rule anything herself; she wants me to run everything for her personal comfort and enjoyment. (So I do.))

«But — Jyothky — he is engaged to Mirinxan.»

«Well, you could have two allies.»

«But if he marries Mirinxan, what becomes of me?»

«Probably about the same as if you married Driaith. The three of you live together and pretend that it makes any sense for three dragons to marry. Do you know about Kuro?»

«I do not know about Kuro. Who is Kuro? What is Kuro?»

«Kuro is a blue-green-orange drake who is Llredh’s boyfriend, and sometimes Ythac’s too, I think. I do not ask them for the details. They would probably tell me. Kuro lives at their palace, and is frequently seen in the company of Llredh, and … I am not sure exactly. He doesn’t come to all the formal occasions, especially not the ones that call for married dragon couples only. But those who issue invitations, have learned to invite him along with Llredh and Ythac.»

«So I would be like this Kuro? An … accepted catamite?»

«A dragon whose sort-of-marriage is generally accepted. Now, Driaith isn’t going to be king, nor is Mirinxan, so you aren’t going to be quite as etiquette-bound as the actual royalty. We’ll probably just pretend the three of you are married, except when that doesn’t make sense.»

«H’m. Driaith could marry me. Perhaps Mirinxan could marry me, so that he and I are attached to Driaith in equal and symmetric degrees.»

«That’s certainly an interesting approach.»

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