April 20, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
“Thank you, Gianci.” Enrie bowed politely, but her head was reeling. Revolution. Were they really talking about that?
It couldn’t be the first time, could it? Not with the Bitrani still so unhappy after so many centuries under Calenyen rule. “Thank you,” she repeated. “I have to…” She gestured at the Library and hoped that explained it sufficiently.
“Of course.” He bowed back to her. “Just…” he frowned suddenly. “Be careful, all right? There are a lot of people who won’t be as understanding as the Cevati Bitrani you’ve run into already.”
“There are a lot of, ah, not-very-understanding people in the world.” Enrie bowed one more time, just because this conversation was getting strange, and took her leave before he could say anything else.
Taikie and Saydrie were waiting for her in the Library, in their place down in the History section. Enrie was chewing on her lip by the time she got there. “Gianci stopped me,” she told them in a whisper. “He had some interesting — if not helpful — things to say.”
“Ooh?” Taikie leaned forward over the table. “He’s quite interesting, isn’t he? I can never tell if he thinks I’m annoying or he likes me.”
“I have the same problem,” Enrie admitted. “And,” she admitted as quietly as she could, “I think he’s rather handsome. And sometimes rather interesting. But he wanted to be sure I knew that things like the Treaty that we’re not looking into could cause a lot of problems right now.”
“Then it’s good we’re not looking into it. Right?” Taikie looked between Saydrie and Enrie. “What is it?”
Saydrie was frowning. “That means they’re up to something, and they didn’t want me to know about it, but they were fine with him knowing about it.”
Enrie flushed and turned her back to them, looking at the bookshelves. Taikie made a confused noise.
“Wait, Gianci is telling Enrie Bitrani secrets now?”
“Well, he didn’t tell me anything directly,” Enrie rushed to point out. “He just hinted around some issues with things like the treaties. Besides, we’re not here to talk about treaties or Bitrani at all. We’re here to talk about this problem with cheating, right? And what sort of plan of attack, so to speak, we want?”
She grabbed the history book she wanted and sat down across the table from them. Saydrie was still looking dour, but she couldn’t really say that she blamed him.
“He said they don’t trust me, don’t they?”
She ignored the book she’d pulled out and nodded instead. “Yes.” Enrie cleared her throat. “Yes, he did.”