February 26, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Olisama looked up at Piadro. Piadro looked down at Olisama. It was the ridiculous royal that broke first, surprising Enrie – and probably everyone else in this discussion group. “I suppose my parents would be irked if I caused trouble with the enclaves in my first year of school.”
Piadro chuckled, as if he saw right through her. “I suppose my family would be unhappy if I started trouble in my last year at the Academy – and with a royal-blooded Calleni, at that.”
“The point,” Saydrie put in, “is supposed to be to blend in, not to stick out.” He wasn’t smiling, but he looked as if he wanted to be.
Piadro laughed. “Right.” Saydrie had spoken in Bitrani; Piadro spoke in Cālenyen this time. “Have you seen what happens if I stand in the middle of a crowd of Calleni?”
“Calenyena.” Saydrie shrugged over the correction. “Look at Gianci,” he answered in Cālenyen. “You can fit in. The choice is whether or not you try.”
“Are we done?” Olisama interrupted, just as Piadro’s expression started to darken. “Because I have important things to worry about.”
“Well.” Riensin was wearing a ridiculous smirk. “You started this, so maybe you should say if we’re done. I mean, you do remember that you started it, right?”
“Of course not,” Kekdela sniffed. “Remembering things is beneath her.”
Not when Enrie had finally gotten them to break it up! She held up her hands high, the edges of her sleeves almost brushing her ears. “All right. Olimmosamyimosama, our business is done. ‘Walk away on clear roads, that when we battle again the fight be fair.’”
“You can only hope for a fair fight.” Olisama sniffed and walked off. Enrie watched her leave. “Piadro, do we have a quarrel?”
“Your family has a quarrelsome and obnoxious member or three or four,” he muttered. “But that is different from having a quarrel with you.”
Enrie had no intention of arguing the point; Olisama was definitely ‘quarrelsome and obnoxious.’ “Falivia?”
“I was just here to make certain Piadro didn’t mishandle any more Calenyena. He has a bad habit of letting his temper get the best of him, after all.”
Enrie nodded, managing to suppress a smile. “This is true. Then everyone here is clear, I believe. Riensin, Kekdela, Tesdes?”
Riensin bowed. “That was more fun than I’ve had in months. You should annoy people more often.” He was grinning broadly.
“Maybe you should annoy your own people from now on.” She’d managed to avoid a fight, but only barely, and she was sure there was more coming. “Saydrie? Tairiekie?”
“I am fine.” Saydrie nodded.
“I… wow. I don’t know how you guys do it. It was like watching engineering, only with words.” Taikie shook her head. “I don’t have any fight with anyone here. I just – I’m amazed.”
“That,” Falivia said with mock-solemnity, “is why your teammate is wearing Diplomacy House colors and you are wearing Engineering House colors. Everyone has their own skill.”
“You, um, you make things better, then?” Taikie guessed. Falivia laughed.
“I heal wounds when I can, yes. But even I enjoy it when I can keep those wounds from being inflicted.”