May 16, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
“You can’t do this,” Ulunumani repeated. “Do you know who I am? Do you know who he is? Do you know who our parents are?”
Saydrie answered for Enrie. “Who you are — who your parents are — is exactly the point.”
“Oh?” Ulunumani took another step forward. Enrie didn’t turn around, though her shoulder blades were itching. “And what do the Bitrani Enclaves have to say to my mother? Or to Govenor Aitenkente-Aven, Ienezhienen’s mother here, the Governor of the South?”
Oh, dear. Enrie kept her back straight and did not turn around. She wasn’t going to let Ulunumani see that she’d hit a nerve.
Saydrie didn’t sound like she’d hit any nerves on him at all. “I don’t speak for the enclaves, of course. I’m just a first-year student. But if I were going to guess at their words, it would be ‘fight by the rules you’ve set up.’” He, too, turned his back on Ulunumani. Enrie glanced at his face; he looked pleased with himself and a little worried at the same time.
“There are rules for a reason,” Taikie added on. “Especially when we’re students. We’re learning here. That’s the goal of an Academy; to prepare us for life. I wonder what it is you’re learning by convincing the instructors to cheat for you?”
It would have been a nice lesson, if Ulunumani had any sense of shame at all. Instead, the girl just laughed at Taikie.
“I’m learning that I can get away with anything I want to. It’s something you ought to learn, too. Because if you get in my way, well… you’re already known to be clumsy and prone to being places you shouldn’t be. I wouldn’t be surprised if you fell down a steep set of stairs some day.”
At that, Enrie turned around. “So you’re saying you have no intention of going to House Monitor Libkazaari with your cheating?”
“I’m saying it doesn’t matter if I do or don’t. It’s not as if anyone is ever going to get me in trouble for it. They don’t dare.”
“Thank you.” Enrie nodded, the smallest possible bow she could make. “We’ll be sure to be careful on any slippery stairways, or with our backs to any open doorways.”
“And well you should!” Ulunumani shifted, though, as if feeling like she’d gone too far when it was another royal looking at her. “Someone might, I mean…”
It was good to know she wasn’t perfect. Enrie smiled again. “We’ll see you later, cousin.”