November 18, 2015 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Enrie had thought it would be difficult to lost Riensin after dinner. He was so interested in what they were up to lately – or whatever his motivations were, he was following them around.
But it turned out Kekdela and Tesdes had other plans. They each wrapped an arm around Riensin and tugged him out of the dining hall.
“You promised us a study session,” Tesdes pointed out.
“You promised me you’d sit for a portrait,” Kekdela coaxed.
That left Enrie, Taikie, and Saydrie free to go off in search of potential treason without any lookers-on – not even Pelnyen, who seemed to have vanished from the dining hall after Instructor Kaatetzie’s incomprehensible point-scoring.
Saydrie looked nervous as they headed for the Library. Enrie didn’t blame him – she was nervous too. It had been bad enough before Instructor Iebenna had sneak-attacked them with that little tidbit at the end of class.
Nether terms nor incorporation.
Saydrie was right; Enrie was a royal all the way through. She liked to pretend she was distant from all of that – her parents were Diplomats and she had spent so little time anywhere near Lannamer; she was so far removed from the throne that the entire city of Lannamer and most of the upper coast would have to suffer a massive plague before she’d be anywhere near inheriting – but whether or not she wore the fancy fashionable clothes and braids, whether she insisted on her whole name and a Lady she hadn’t earned yet or not, she had always known in her heart she was Better, Different, Descended from Greatness. After all, only the descendants of emperors and empresses could have a vowel at the beginning of her name, and Enrie could count any number of those in her family tree.
If her nation wasn’t a nation… if the great empire of the continent of Reisassan was not in truth an empire… what would that make her?
Well, she’d have to find out. If nothing else, her mother had always told her: “Find out the truth before you start framing your lies. For one, the truth might work better than the lie would have. And if it doesn’t, the lies will be that much more informed when you tell them.”
“So, that folk song. It’s in the Bitrani history section – the library has one, even if it’s not catalogued with everything else. Bitrani history’s important to the whole empire.” Saydrie sounded defensive. Enrie put a hand on his shoulder.
“It is. I can understand why they want to shelf it separately, but I think it’s foolish. The Bitrani had a lot to do with forming the empire.” If it was, legally, an empire. Enrie swallowed. “People get very bent out of shape about stuff that makes no sense.” “Well,” Saydrie shrugged uncomfortably. “It depends on how you’re looking at it, I suppose.”