Saturday, April 14, 2018

Page 1690

((Triple Saturday -- Page 2 of 3))
You mean the rumors about an actual “affair” within the Richland Affair?’ said Voreese. ‘The forbidden and sexual kind of affair?

I am afraid so,’ said Axiolis.

Ooh. And you’re saying Sai-hee was involved in it?

Yes. And so was one of our kin. A bold and brazen lad by the name of Eric Olmos. I met him on the occasion of the Generational Rite.’ Axiolis paused to look over his audience again. ‘Which, I suppose, you may be unfamiliar with?

It’s a coming-of-age ceremony, I presume?’ said Garovel.

Yes,’ said Axiolis. ‘A chance for the families to gather and present their children who have recently reached adulthood. Eric was only one of twelve whom were presented on that occasion, but you would hardly have guessed such, had you been there. Most people at that age are timid as a lamb in front of so many relatives whom they have likely never met before, but not Eric. He adored the attention--and handled it gracefully, as well. Rarely have I ever seen such a naturally charismatic young man.’ His hollow gaze fell on the still-meditating Diego Redwater. ‘That one there is not entirely dissimilar, I suppose.

Diego opened one eye and looked around with it. “Is that flattery I hear? Because I sure wouldn’t mind some right now.”

You should not be allowing yourself to be distracted by our words,’ said Axiolis.

“Oh, c’mon, I have to pay at least a little attention to what you guys are saying. What if we get attacked?”

I’m sure Zeff would be happy to slap you,’ said Axiolis.

“Mm,” said Diego. “As generous as that offer is, I don’t find it particularly motivating for some reason.”

Regardless,’ said Axiolis, ‘I brought the subject up, because I suspect that Eric’s charisma had something to do with why Sai-hee fell in love with him.

Ahhh,’ said Voreese. ‘Seduced by a younger man, was she? At least, I’m assuming he wasn’t nearly as old as her, considering the Richland Affair was only about seventy-five years ago, and she’s currently, what, pushin’ six hundred?

Something like that,’ said Axiolis.

So what’d this idiot do to piss her off so much, then?

He promised to leave his fiancĂ©e for her. And then he didn’t.

Ah. A truly classic douche maneuver. That’d do it, alright. But if she knew he was already betrothed, then I mean, she’s partly to blame, too.

Again, I cannot speak to the validity of the details, but the story goes that his parents had arranged a marriage for him to a young woman among the Richland aristocracy--the very same ones whom they had recently helped secure new territory. And when the aristocracy heard about the possibility of Eric’s elopement, they increased the promised dowry by such a substantial amount that it caused Eric to change his mind. “For the future of House Olmos,” was the argument put forward.

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