Partoldi pursed her lips.
That would just about finish her though she wouldn’t admit it for some time yet. No 1 had ever beaten her at pawn-dha before I had. We were nearly even in games won and lost. It seemed to fascinate Sem Partoldi and she asked me to play frequently. I obliged, while never forgetting the subtle power of fascination possible to those who were fascinated by this game. Sem Partoldi interested me because she was truly different. She was complex. Perhaps she was the devil. I remarked, “Your hair is quite respectable tonight. Did you remember to feed your wunpaqs?”
Annie chuckled as I knew she would and let her sparkling eyes jump from Sem Partoldi to me and back.
Sem Partoldi cleared her throat. Further answer she disdained. She concentrated on her next move. None of those she wished to make were possible to her. Her hair was
arranged nicely, divided into equal and equally gelled peaks and spirals. The wunpaqs must have been content. They exuded the gel and joyed to groom their Eoeun when they were in a good mood. They were, however, fractious and often in other moods chittering loudly from high nests inside the Eoeun domes, twitching their tails irritably and throwing down the inedible parts of their food upon unlucky Eoeun heads and shoulders, cups and slippers.
“Is that where you were today?” Regis asked as Bartholomea returned, “out on the river?”
I nodded settling my plate on my belt and breaking off a piece of steaming pie. “Excellent, Bartholomea. I appreciate your care.”
“Friend Ince, always!” Bartholomea was fervent, and so pleased.
“I cannot live on the glory of 1 race forever.”
“Why not? Sem Partoldi intends to,” Regis spoke boldly.
“Oooh!” Bartholomea folded her ears at her niece. “More respect.”
Regis ignored her. “You’ll go, won’t you, Ince? You don’t ever stay in 1 place or 1 lot, do you?”