February 19, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Olisama was staring at Enrie with obvious rage and, more than rage, confusion. “Do you honestly not care what you’ve done?”
“I care.” Enrie lifted her chin and glared at her cousin. “I plan on graduating Edally Academy on merit. I know what happens to cheaters in the royalty, and I have no intention of being among them.”
“Cheaters? Cheaters in the royalty get ahead. They wipe the history books clean of their mistakes and keep going. I don’t know where you got to be this naïve, but you’d better grow out of it before you end up hurting someone else.”
“She sounds like a royal to me,” Riensin commented. “Honorable, getting forward on her own goat, not on someone else’s…”
“Oh, good, the naiveté is contagious.” Olisama rolled her eyes. “That’s not how things work anymore, if they every did. That’s some sort of children’s story, the sort that nobody over the age of three or four actually believes in.”
Enrie took a breath. “Olimmosamyimosama, I trust you will believe this: if you ever lay a hand on me again, I will take it as a person challenge against not only me but my entire family. You won’t win that challenge.”
“Oh, by the Three with a bow on top, our family is nothing compared to mine. You’re so very barely royal at all—.”
“Checked the family tree, did you?” Riensin stepped forward. “Why? Were you worried?”
“Hrrmph!” Olisama glared at him. “What would you know about family concerns and royalty? You still have sand between your toes and seaweed in your hair!”
Enrie opened her mouth, but Kekdela beat her to it. “Well, if Riensin has enough partners to go down to the beach with, what business is it of yours? Unless you wanted to go get sand between your toes, too? I’m sure someone would walk you down to the water if you asked nicely…”
Olisama was turning an interesting puce color with rage. “That’s not what I meant, you ignorant layabout!”
“Oh?” It was Saydrie’s turn. This would all be so much more fun if Enrie wasn’t expecting retaliation from the rest of her relatives sometime far too soon. “Perhaps your idiom is too regional? Were you saying he is a particular devotee of Tienaabaa?”
The deity of the sea wasn’t particularly known for sand, but maybe it was different in Bitrani religion. It was still pretty clever, especially for the way it made Olisama clench her fists.
“Oh, what would you know, you stupid Byittie?”
Olisama was too focused on the way Enrie’s and Riensin’s teams were taunting her; she hadn’t noticed more people were coming up behind her. She must have been very focused, because Piadro was very hard to miss.
He loomed over Enrie’s unfortunate cousin with Falivia. This time, he remembered not to put his hands on anybody. “Would you like to repeat that?” Only an idiot would not notice the Bitrani accent or the voice that was deeper than almost any Calenyena student.
Olisama sneered at Saydrie and did not turn around. “I said he was a stupid Byittie, because he is. What does Tienaabaa have to do with fishers?”