Don’t Be Cruel

1626, Earth Season, Illusion Week


Of course Kesten has not strayed, but did he have to give Serenelda such a headache? Session SA2.17.


The trouble with Kesten, of course, is that he is such a dedicated warrior, and so devoted to Honour. Not that it makes him any less a husband, of course. He fulfils his duties exactly.

Exactly. His words are polite, his manner punctilious. In every point he is exactly correct. It could drive a woman to anger, if she had a temper. Nothing he does is ever spontaneous. No murmurs of love, no hand-holding, no poetry or song in her honour. He is contractual.

A man should know that flattery is not a lie. She does not want lies – she wants to know he loves her. Of course he does. She’s desirable – he desires her, and she is kind to him. She’s attractive, rich, confident. He should be prepared to say what is in his heart. Unless, of course, which is unthinkable, he does not love her.

That little song? Oh, she has heard it of course. He even made sure she knew it existed, as was his duty. No doubt the lower orders of the city have heard it too. She gives it no credence, naturally. He is… staid, and reliable, and would not think to trespass. Yet he did put himself in a position where people could believe the worst, and she will have to let him know she is deeply disappointed. She has been nothing but generous to him, despite his silence on so many things that could please the more fickle sort of woman.

Obviously the other woman involved is foreign. Wasn’t she the daughter of a chief? Or was she the nobody? Agri says they talked alone in the warehouse. Of course she believes in her husband’s innocence. All he has to do is tell her that the foreigner pursued him, is dishonourable. Why should that seem so hard to say, when it is so obvious to everyone else it is the best solution? Recalcitrance can only hurt her. And him, of course. A real Esrolian husband would see the Truth.