"Literally what do you think I'm going to do if I'm not supervised."
"Oh. I'm sorry for your loss."
"Uh, thank you? I didn't know him very well," read: AT ALL "but-- yes. It's sad."
She's going to get a bad grade in talking about death, something that is reasonable to want...
Uh. What do you say when you talk to people who are grieving. Wei Wuxian has known enough dead people in his life that he's pretty sure he's supposed to know this.
"So you... got his spot and now you're an enclaver?" Jiang Cheng says in a tone more normally used for people who have committed minor felonies.
She has made a terrible mistake somewhere here. She has half an idea where the terrible mistake is, but no the whole idea and--
--what would someone smarter do here--
--she has been here less than a week and she is already already alienating people and aaaaaaa--
"That's about it, yes."
"That's weird. Normally if an indie gets an enclaver's spot they don't become an enclaver."
"Maybe her parents knew someone, Jiang Cheng, stop being such an ass. Here, sit with us. Jiang Cheng and I are alchemists and Lan Wangji is incantations track, what are you aiming for?"
She will take the chair, thank you. Hopefully the chair will not eat her. (Better to assume more things are going to eat you than actually are, instead of the other way around.)
...this is a question she should have an answer for. And know what all the options are. Help. "--I'm still feeling out my options."
"That's cool! My affinity is corpses, Lan Wangji's is combat, and Jiang Cheng's is animals. What's yours?"
She does not know exactly how much Mr Xiao spent to find this out, but the fact she does not know implies the amount. (He was always very frugal, right up until a month or so ago, and got very unfrugal as soon as he worked out she was magic. She wishes she did not know what that implied.) He said it would be important preparation, and she would need every advantage she could get and he would do the best he could to help and--
"--Mine's death too."
"Awesome! Death buddies! Isn't it the coolest affinity?"
So, on the one hand, she definitely agrees. How things die, on both the large scale ("why do things get old?") and small scale ("how did this particular person die?") is the most fascinating thing ever. And it's good to be interested in death, her father always said, because everyone is going to be dead one day. Best not to be too scared of it.
... but other times she has said things along those lines, it has gone... a way. (Not that it's too bad, really. Less friends means more time for studying! That's a bright side.)
She takes a gamble. If he thinks it's cool, then at least one person won't judge her too much. "...it's pretty cool, yeah."
"What animal did you bring with you? I have cockroaches because they eat anything."
...you know, all these questions, while awkward now, are giving her a better idea of the shape of what she's missing. That's something.
"...I was told not to bring any." Which is mostly true. Mr Heng's description of malia was vague, and amounted to 'avoid it, and be very, very careful if you do have to use it, outside of cheating your food.' And there were more pressing things than working out how to get insects in her pack.
"Oh, you should definitely trade for insects, like half the in-affinity spells I've ever heard of are about reanimating zombies."
"..I'll keep that in mind." What is she going to do with zombie crickets? They'd probably be a bit too small to be useful.
"Okay! Intro to Lab. Want to be study partners, si-mei*?"
*Translator's Note: Fourth sister; the word for "four" sounds like "death" in Mandarin.
"Sure! Study partners would be good." She needs all the friends and allies she can get, from what's she's heard. And she's good at studying. She can be helpful and not be the person in need of help, hopefully. It would be more fair.
"Apparently we are supposed to make--"
"Why are you disappointed. Are you sad you can't blow your head off with it."
"I want to learn to make something cooler than soap."
"Hopefully we'll learn something cooler soon," she says, playing along. (She is still somewhat boggled by magic anything.)
"The purpose of the first project is to teach us to measure ingredients, invest mana in items, and learn transmutation."
"Yeah, if you're lame."