May 21, 2019 8:43 AM
Emma and Ivan in Chronicle
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"Yes, all sewn up. He is not expected to relapse."

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Was that a joke or an actual possibility? ...probably a joke, he's all non-stone now. She smiles. "That's good. Does he know what he's doing next?"

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"I assume he'll be... around, doing... something? He wasn't a knight and he's a little old to go to school for it, I'm not sure what else a collateral relative is supposed to do."

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"Administrative... something...? I know ruling is work, just not... what kind."

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"Me either! Milo had better not get eaten by anything that thinks princesses smell tasty, because if he does I'm in for it. Maybe I could make Reko do everything."

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Names, names, names... Reko? She hasn't heard that one. Has she? Please let this not be the stupidest of questions. But context clues exist, she supposes. "Uh... is Reko the other duke?"

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"Right. Other half of Raxwell's his."

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"Does he normally do everything? Or are you hoping because you just... don't want to be a duke?" She sounds a little bemused by the last.

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"He runs his own half and does a good job of it too. I really, really don't want to be a duke, I'd hate it."

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"Huh," Emmalina says thoughtfully. Then she looks apologetic. "Sorry, I don't mean you should, I just, uh. I think that would mystify my parents." She smiles a bit crookedly. "Probably a good thing." And then, less crookedly, "And besides, you make an awfully good knight already."

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"Thanks! Knighting suits me."

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"What's your next, uh, knightly activity?" She blinks. "What are those even called, if they're not a full quest?"

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"Errands, sometimes. Uh, I don't have anything down for the next week, I padded my time estimate for this one and then some to allow - dad time. After that I do some work with the palace guards and sometimes escort people places."

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What does that hesitation mean? Is she supposed to be asking about his dad or dropping it? Small talk is so hard when it's not with, by and large, the same castle full of people you've known your whole life. "Well, I don't have anything down for the next... uh, ever. If you wind up with free time and want-" she almost says company, pictures the giggling face from earlier, and amends to "-a friendly face."

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"I appreciate that. You're neat."

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Emmalina... should probably not be as floored by this as she is, she decides. People get compliments all the time, right? Her tutors used to be impressed with her sometimes! Morath was pleased with her princessing! And 'neat', what does 'neat' even mean, really? But still. Eeeee.

Conversational lessons to the rescue. "Thank you! You're pretty great yourself." She does not add on the bit about how rescuing her clearly proves this, because she's been getting the suspicion she's maybe already thanked him to death for it. She can't quite resist adding, "It's not like I have pressing time commitments; not much call for watercolor or embroidery like there is for knights."

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"You'd be surprised how many embroidered things we have in the house, and we must get them somewhere and I don't think my aunt makes them."

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"Does she not like embroidery, then?" Princesses are expected to know how, but maybe they don't have to, once they're married, if they don't want...? That sounds rather nice.

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"She wasn't a princess to begin with, that might be it."

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"Huh. Probably." Emmalina thinks about it. "You know, I think I'm jealous?"

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"Of her not being a princess?"

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"Yes? No? I don't know. Yes, I think. It's... It does seem like at least it would come with less of a... a constant list of things your parents expect, maybe."

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"Non-princesses' parents can have expectations too, but maybe less - heavy ones? Since there's less tradition and stuff?"

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"You know, if I never hear my mother say the word 'tradition' again, I think I will be perfectly happy."

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"That's probably achievable!"

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