plantfairy bell in sesat
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Once she's given an order to a servant and made sure no one will be getting the books dirty she picks one out. It's not chosen to be easy to read; quite the opposite. Mile wants to find out if she can choose anything too difficult. So here's the book about urban planning. (There are not any other books about urban planning known to Sesat.)

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It doesn't occur to the basket child immediately that she might be supposed to read it aloud, but she is sure staring intently at it and turning pages at a plausible rate.

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At this point, Mile basically believes that this tiny child can not only read things most adults would struggle with but do it silently. She asks her to read some of it aloud anyway, though, and asks some questions about the content.

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"Oh, sure, are you one of the people who doesn't know how? This part is about having streets at different angles to each other! It says -" And she reads it.

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Mile smiles in a way that shows more in her eyes than her mouth and waits for a reasonable stopping point before clarifying that she's read this before and was testing her mysterious houseguest.

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"Oh." She resumes reading silently.

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...Well, that's remarkably convenient, really. If she likes reading, Mile is just going to let her do that until the servant can report back about her complete lack of history.

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She likes reading, or city planning, or both!

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What an absolutely adorable creature who apparently appeared out of nowhere. Mile has heard a story about a child that never grew up, but even if this person is secretly thirty, that just makes it weirder that there's no evidence anyone's ever met her before. Maybe the fair folk did it somehow.

Well, nothing for it but to introduce her to the rest of the household. The servant who found her is named Suni and Mile's husband is Tana (everyone who doesn't call him by a family relation or a term of endearment calls him Greybeard, though he doesn't have a beard) and their sons are Zaira and Feris and the other servants are Tena and Emi and Lili and Tana (everyone calls him Other Tana, though he does have a beard), and some unspecified set of the servants (one of them is definitely Emi) have a baby named Elu.

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"That's a lot of names. Can I have something to write them down on?"

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She takes them all down neatly. Draws family-tree lines.

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"Don't share this kind of thing around too freely," Mile warns her. "People get to know each other but when strangers come to town we don't like them to know who's related to whom and how."

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"Why?"

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"Well, you don't want them using your fondness for someone against you, do you?"

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"I don't want... anyone ever using anything against me, but that's mostly about the 'against me' part and I don't see how a family tree would much affect that."

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"Well, if someone who hates you finds out what you like, they know what to take away to hurt you, and if someone who hates you knows about a person you like, they can hurt that person, and it's typical for people to care about their parents and children and siblings and spouses."

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"If someone hates me that seems like it's already pretty bad all by itself! Why would someone hate me?"

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Sigh. "All sorts of reasons, and more broadly there are reasons people might turn against you without feeling hatred about it - to list just a few, you might have something someone wants, or you might have insulted them or someone they care about, or you might have hurt them, or they might just be cruel, or they might think you'd get in the way of something they want to do, or, especially for girls, it can be because they wish they could marry you."

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"Because they wish they could marry me?"

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"Probably not at your age but as you get older."

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"Why would that make them hate me? Wouldn't somebody want to marry me if they liked me?"

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Mile sighs. "You really are full of questions, aren't you."

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"If you have a book about it that would work too."

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"I don't. I'll explain later."

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