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Chapter 45A: On Foot Or Over Goat-Back


October 5, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder

They were really doing it.  They were carrying everything they had found, and they were taking it to an adult.  Enrie swallowed around a lump in her throat.

“There are so many ways that this could go wrong,” she whispered.  They’d picked the route to the House Monitor’s office least likely to pass by closets, because Gianci still hadn’t appeared and they didn’t know where he’d managed to lead Ilonilarrona.  “You guys don’t have to come with me if you don’t want…”

“Don’t be foolish.”  Saydrie’s voice was almost harsh, but when she looked at him, he was smiling, albeit crookedly.  “Whether I am in there with you or not, they’re going to assume I was complicit.  If this ends up helping the Bitrani people, then the higher-ups in Calenta will assume this was my goal.  If it ends up strengthening the Calenyen position, then the Cevati Bitrani are going to assume that I was intentionally helping you at the expense of my own people.  At least if I stand in there with you, I can state my own motives.”

“We’re team,” Taikie added, firmly if quietly.  “We’re a team.  And that means that I’m going to stand with you.  Even if – even if it means we get expelled.”  She swallowed.

“If we’re expelled,” Enrie joked weakly, “we can go and be pirates with Riensin and Kietsap.  I’m sure they’d have us, if – well, I’m sure they’d have us.”

“If we get expelled,” Taikie said with a smile, although it was shaky, “then I’ll ask Riensin to take us on his ship.  Although I really don’t think he’s all that interested in me.”

“I think you sell yourself short,” Enrie offered, her mind only half on the conversation. “I mean, he’s going to be a little careful around you.  Think about it like a spooked goat.”

“Hey!”  Taikie considered that for a moment. “…okay. I did spook him, didn’t I?  Loud noises and everything, and he hadn’t even done anything.”

“It was our fault, really,  we shouldn’t have been teasing you about flowers and going down to the water with him.”

“Speaking of, are you going to go down the water with Gianci?  Assuming everything here goes okay, of course?”

“Assuming everything here goes okay…”  She hadn’t taken the time to really think about it.  Everything had been so wild and so fast-paced lately.  “I think, if he wants to, yes.”

“Well, of course, if he wants to. I wasn’t suggesting you go all Empress Arinyanka and tie him to the back of your goat. Although that might be a good look for him.”

“Need a really big goat for that.   You know, I always wondered how that worked, if goats were taller back then or if Bitrani were shorter.” 

“Bitrani have almost always been taller than Calenyena,” Saydrie offered, “but even so, I think the ‘tying over the back of the goat’s withers’ is a translation error, or maybe just a historical artifact.”

“I’ve always wondered,” Enrie admitted.  “I mean, the artwork from the time, it always looks a little bit awkward.  A lot awkward, honestly.”

“Well, I imagine if we really threw people over the back of a goat, it would look awkward, too.”

“Maybe you can try it with Gianci later,” Taikie offered.  “To see how awkward it is.  But, um… we’re here.” 


  1. Rix Scaedu says:

    Oh Rin, how you have been remembered. 🙂

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