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Chapter 6b: Strange Neighbors

2

September 28, 2015 by Lyn Thorne-Alder

Enrie watched Lovdyo flee the Tower, one boot still half-untied, a look of sick panic on his face.

That, she thought, had not gone as well as expected. As a matter of fact, it had gone far worse than she’d thoughtit might.

“I wonder what it is that got into him?”

Enrie looked over. Gianci stood a few feet away, watching Lovdyo much as Enrie was. How much, if anything, had he overheard?

Gianci, like the rest of them on this floor, was a first-year Diplomacy student, and, like Saydrie and Darnio, he was a Bitrani transplant. He stood almost a head taller than Enrie, and more importantly had eyes like early-summer storm over the ocean: blue and grey all at once.

Right now, he was frowning at Enrie.

“He’s been very jumpy lately,” Enrie offered, completely honestly if still disingenuously. “I don’t think he gets along well with his team or his roommates.”

“It’s hard,” Gianci agreed slowly, “not to get along with the people you’re surrounded by. They say that you don’t have that problem?”

His accent, Enrie noted, was non-existent; he spoke Calenyen like a Calenyena from Lannamer.  She’d only heard him speak a couple times before, mostly from the other side of the common room.

She was also staring sidelong at him. She cleared her throat. “I get along well with my team and my roommates are sweethearts.” If she was going to generalize, she’d rather generalize on the side of the positive than the negative. “You… don’t?”

She was a Diplomat in training; she was the daughter of diplomats, and that was the best she could do?

He didn’t seem offended. He smiled at her, crooked and thoughtful. “Does your team-mate, Saydrie?”

“Well, he gets along with us fine, and I think his roommates are pretty nice to him.” Enrie thought about it. “None of us get along with Art House, but there was that… scene.”

“And then there was the problem with the goat, yes? On his Tower.” Gianci raised bushy eyebrows at her.

Enrie winced. “There was the goat, yes. Which wasn’t against him, obviously. That is, if the goat had been done by our team, it wouldn’t have been against- bushrabbits.” She looked away, studying the end of one braid.

Gianci laughed. “You’re still going to pretend that it wasn’t you guys? When everyone in the entire school – except perhaps the teachers – wants to pat your Tairiekie on the back?”

Enrie smiled cautiously. It had been a nice laugh, deep and rumbly. “Well, if we admit to it  then we can get in trouble, and Instructor Pelnyen would really like to get us in trouble.”

“Ah, that.” His smile vanished. “Yeah. You really do go against everything that he believes in, you three.”

“…he seems to believe in the All-Thought School of Philosophy…” Enrie offered. She had a feeling that wasn’t what Gianci meant, however.  She thought he was warning her off.  Of Riensin’s Secret Project?  Or something else… “I don’t know what else he ‘believes’ in,” she offered, hoping to fish more conversation out of Gianci.

Instead, he chuckled down at her. “I like the world you live in. Can I join you there sometime?”


2 comments »

  1. Rix Scaedu says:

    This one might be worth keeping – and royalty has a history of marrying Bitrani….

  2. Marina Brave says:

    Aw, En, I think he’s talking about Pelnyen being racist maybe? Come now, no naiveté.

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