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Chapter 44a: your jacket is loud…


September 27, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder

Enrie made it through the rest of their textiles class by the skin of her teeth, paying far more attention to the conversation of embedded aether than she ever had before. If they could embed it in clothing… oh, and she knew they could put it in text already, there was that note that kept vanishing, and…

If she made it through this, she was going to revive the art of aether-embedding.  She wasn’t sure what she was going to do with it, but she was definitely going to revive it and find something interesting for it — maybe coded messages, maybe a new fashion trend, maybe encoded messages in one’s newest fashion trends…

She had more important things to worry about.  Riensin and his team were going to meet them in a study room in the History classroom building, and there they were going to lay out the last pieces.  If they could stop into Pelnyen’s office on the way and peruse his piles for any last clues, that would be all the better, but…

“Can you sense aether embedded in things?”

“Maybe?”  Saydrie twisted up his face in uncertainty.  “It really hasn’t come up, and none of the Bitrani religious writings mention it — it’s generally considered irreverent or just plain wrong to embed aether into things, so it probably hasn’t come up much.”

“Ah.”  Enrie tried to hide her disappointment. “That must have been interesting, when the fashion in Calenta was to put embedded aether in everything.”

“All things considered, I believe it was probably one of the smaller arguments the two nations had,” Saydrie admitted.  “But that might be part of the complaint I’ve seen written that Calenyen clothing is too ‘loud.’”

“I always thought that was the bright colors.”  Taikie plucked at the hem of her uniform jacket.  “I know Bitrani normally wear duller colors…”

“We do.”  He looked down at his violet, scarlet, and sky-blue uniform ruefully.  “We prefer to stick to natural colors — and no, not the colors of mating birds.”  He wrinkled his nose as if he’d heard that one far too many times.  “But I think it’s possible the aether woven into older clothes might have had something to do with the complaints.”

“And maybe they didn’t know what they were complaining about,” Enrie considered — “they were diplomats and such, not priests.  I think the laypeople were a lot more separate from the faith, back then.  And maybe it got passed on as ‘watch out, their clothes are so loud, it will hurt your ears…’ and nobody ever realized they weren’t actually talking about the aether.”  Enrie pursed her lips.  “It’s worth a try.  I wonder how much information we’re missing because of embedded aether that has been…”  She frowned as they walked into a more crowded area.  On the other side of the group of students, she could see  Lady Ilonilarrona.  Didn’t that woman have anything else to do?  “The class is fascinating, anyway,” she changed the subject.  “I still wonder why the skill to do it fell out of favor.”

She turned left the moment  Ilonilarrona’s attention was clearly elsewhere, heading off into an old classroom wing and searching for an exit.

1 comment »

  1. Rix Scaedu says:

    Digging through collections of recycled royal attire could be interesting in more ways than one!

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