Taking Sides

1627, Sea Season, Disorder Week


Context

Sea Season, Disorder Week, Windsday TrollLOLOL
Getting towards evening on day 3 of the trip to Alda Chur.

Follows on from Talk of Marriage.1This time X passes truth and some other stuff.


Events


When taking care of the zebras Xenofos seems to have something on his mind again. Again cousins, while visible to everyone, are somewhat separated from the others. “There was a question I really meant to ask earlier, but did not get to point. And then diverted by the discussion itself…”

She arches an eyebrow at him. “But you are ready to get to the point now?”

“No, not really. But I think I want to know more than I am afraid of the answer.”

She looks at him. “Should I be sitting down?”

“You seemed pretty upset by what Berra said, when we talked at Boldhome…” He inhales. “How are things now?”

She shrugs, but the nonchalant gesture is not mirrored in her eyes. There’s lingering hurt in her expression. Whatever happened between them, she hasn’t quite let it go.2X passed insight

His shoulders sag a bit. “Do you want to talk about it?” he asks quietly.

“She said that Serala makes me reckless and that my behaviour hurts the people around me!” Varanis blurts out suddenly.

“Do you believe her?”

“I… don’t know. I know I made some bad choices. I tried to keep Serala to myself for a time and that meant I was sneaking out. I was out without guards and well… without armour some of the time. And that meant I was breaking promises.” She scowls at the ground. “It wasn’t just putting myself at risk. If someone had come for me, Serala was vulnerable. And thinking about it… there’s a risk that I could be used against Kallyr. Think about the politics of it. If I’m taken, sure, you could ask Grandmother to ransom me and she would and I’d be up to my ears in debt to her. But what if you took that ransom demand to Kallyr instead? Put the Prince in a position where she needs to find the money to buy back her acknowledged kinswoman, at a point when her kingdom is struggling.” She sighs. “If I’m going to be going about the Pass as the Prince’s kinswoman, I need to accept the responsibilities that comes with. Otherwise, I should get myself back to the temple in Nochet and out of her way.”

“Only time we really have, Ranie, is right now… We live now. Not in the past, certainly in not some distant future, when we live at the edge of the sword. It could be reckless, it probably was, but nobody was hurt. I can not blame you for stealing a moment for you two.”

“It isn’t very honourable of me to take for myself at the risk of harming others.”

He shrugs. “Everything we choose to do or not do is wrought with risks. You can not put yourself in a safe cage even if it was gilded. I would not put you in a cage, she would not accept one for herself so she has no right to put a cage of words over you… “

“There’s a difference between being in a cage and taking stupid risks.”

“You and Serala could give decent opposition to most plausible threats. Your given word is an issue, if you promised her to stay under guard, she is right to remind you of that. If it is just something she decided for you, less so.”

Xenofos’ zebra looks its rider with some confusion. Today’s brushing is rather more vigorous than usual.

“I promised you, Xeno.”

“Then it is between you and me and she has no business hurting you even if she has opinions.” He looks at his annoyed zebra, stops the energetic brushing and pats the animal. “As much as I love her I have noticed she has tendency to mix up Truth and her own opinion.”

“I may not have made her a promise, but I definitely told Berra I’d stay under guard.”

He looks a bit sheepish. “Then I suppose she could remind you of that. I still feel she should not have hurt you and saying you hurt yourself is not really true…”

“She was speaking truth.” Varanis shrugs. “I promised to always listen when she speaks, even if I don’t agree.”

“But she should not hurt you Ranie…” scholar’s voice is almost inaudible.

Varanis shakes her head. “It’s a bit like when I forced you to stay at the Temple. Sometimes you have to cause pain to do the right thing.”

“There is a difference, Ranie. I don’t know if I can put it to words.”

She sighs. “I don’t hold it against her.”

He is quiet for a while. “In that case I will try to put in the past too.”