>>36825670>The waiter returned as quick as he had answered your initial call, putting an empty glass before each of you, then a pitcher of water in the middle of the table, followed by two full glasses on your side.
“Merci bien!”>He pauses, then gives you a short nod and hurries off.>”Do you think he understood?”
“If one of the most ancient unicorn establishments in this ancient unicorn city cannot find waiters who know the ancient unicorn tongue, I worry for the future of our great nation. We need at least one place we can refrain from the common creole.”>”We speak in that ‘common creole’ even now.”
“We don’t have to! Surely any unicorn in this finest of establishments could carry a conversation with us.”>”You and I demonstrate far greater fluency than the average unicorn today.”
“C’est pas vrai!”>“I suspect even the tavernkeep cannot understand it.”
“We talk in it all the time. You may be right about the waiters though. Stallions.”>You give one of the full glasses to Raven, and follow it with a knowing look.
“Drink, then tell me; was it a stallion who sent you here?”>Raven looks between the glass she’d last emptied, then the new full one, and sighs.>She takes a sip and looks back at you. “Of a sort.”
“Of a sort? What’s that mean?”>”The Adjutant would not, strictly speaking, meet the definition of ‘stallion’.”
“Ahhh, the human told you to take a night. And you listened, ça alors!”>”I have not had a night to myself in some time.”
“It shows. You hardly know what to do with yourself! I suppose this is the first time you’ve kissed a spirit this year.”>”Easily.” She takes another sip, while you slug down half your glass. “Multiple years, I think.”
“And to think you’re indulging now, while he does the work you should be doing. Raven, where is your sense of duty?”>She pins her ears. “We work for different rulers; he does his job, not mine.”
“Ah, relax, a jest. If that rankles you, you need to drink more.”>She relaxes, albeit slowly, and takes another few sips as requested.
“Better. What a sorry state you’re in, when you don’t even know what to do with yourself on a night off.”>She stared into her glass, without answer.>You, meanwhile, polish off your drink.
“Good thing you have me around. When was the last time you attempted to enjoy yourself?”>More silence.
“That long? Figures.”>”I could complete other tasks with this time.”
“Raven, dear, what about living?”>”I live to serve.”
“You take that oath far too literally.”>She’s quiet for another few moments, then says much more quietly, ”I have nothing else.”
“Maybe we should change that.”>She looks up at you, something between confusion and hopelessness crossing her face.
“How about this; tell me about Anonymous. I want to know more about the one who even THE Raven Inkwell obeys.”>”I know you trade in secrets. I shouldn’t be giving out… details.”