January 1, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Not every student went to every class at Edally. Enrie knew that; she’d seen the empty chairs and seen people wandering across the center courtyard through classroom windows.
It was one thing to know it, however, and an entirely different thing to implement it. For one thing, as far as she could tell, the students that skipped classes had teammates that either skipped with them or just didn’t care.
Enrie was pretty sure Taikie would skip a class only if the entire Academy was on fire, and even then she might be hard-pressed to not try to get to class. She didn’t want to risk Saydrie getting in trouble or bringing any attention to himself. And she didn’t really want to explain to either of them why she didn’t want to go to class. Thus, she had to find a way to skip without them noticing.
It turned out to be easier than she’d expected. She was halfway to class when Olisama and her hanger-on, Kagnyaa, accosted her.
“What, exactly, was that little scene in the dining hall yesterday?”
Oh, good. “You two go on to class,” Enrie told Taikie and Saydrie. “This is going to be boring, and there’s no reason for you to be late.”
It was a bit insulting, but that was her goal. Olisama had set the tone, and Enrie had every intention of being just as obnoxious as her cousin.
“Are you sure?” Taikie shifted from foot to foot.
“I’m certain. Really, I don’t want you guys having to listen to this. It won’t turn into a fist-fight, I promise.”
“I wouldn’t stoop to fighting,” Olisama huffed.
“I know.” Enrie smirked in response. “Go on, Saydrie, Taikie. I’ll be fine here.”
“If you’re sure…” They left, looking back until they were around the corner.
“I’m sorry.” Enrie smiled insincerely. “What were you saying?”
If you want to show someone you don’t think they’re nearly as important as they think they are, her father had told her, just be polite while you take care of something else first. Anything else first. A letter to the Emperor. Painting your toenails. Doesn’t matter.
Olisama was steaming. “Finally. As if… no, first things first.” She drew herself up. “What sort of ridiculous, childish brawl did you think you were getting into there, in the dining hall? We do not do such things! It brings dishonor on our family!”
Enrie gaped in surprise for a second. “A moment. You think you-“ she could hardly believe it – “get to tell me what being a member of the royal family is about?”
“Well, I clearly know better than you do!”
“Yeah!” Kagnyaa put in, hot on the tail of Olisama’s huff.
Enrie laughed. It was a bit rude, true, but she didn’t feel like stopping herself. “That is certainly an interesting premise. If you’d like to bring it before a council of our peers, I’d be willing to bring a counter-proposal.”
“What?” Olisama’s snappish tone almost covered her confusion.
“We’re royal of birth and name. You think you know what that means. I think I know better.” Enrie raised her chin. “This is an academy. I’m sure someone could hear us out on the finer points. Let me know if you want to bring it to a debate.”
“You can’t honestly think that what you were doing is the proper way for royalty to behave!”
Enrie stifled her chuckle this time. “I think it’s the proper way for Cālenyen to behave. Excuse me, I have to get to class.”