When Asbolus returned, he brought a kind of rough metal chandelier down from the ceiling, but instead of lightbulbs it was a circle of eight oil lamps. He was talking his time lighting them and hosting them upward again using a robe that was wound to a hook on the wall.
Jen had until now been more a person flirted with than flirting, but she was watching the older centaur with a glinty-eyed look that spoke of infatuation.
[I am trying to save the world, so why do I feel like I am stuck in a Narnia-themed rom-com instead?]
The satyrs were sitting near Smithguild feet on a rug. They were still playing the game which seemed like a combination of knucklebones and marbles, but also to involve an element of truth-or-dare. It seemed like Reg was just naturally included towards being a satyr as the difference between him and other others was becoming harder to discern.
Liquor was set up on a side table. Asbolus paused, his wide hand grasping the neck of an amphora as if he would like to throttle it.
Nelda stepped discreetly to his side. "I understand, you know. That it's not you, it's like a sacrifice you make for the greater good. But it's only worth it if this is something we can change."
She unrolled the copy of the mermaid prophecy.
He sighed and raised his handed to take the stiff scroll. "I have seen things that were deemed prophecy over-turned, but some will say they never were prophecy or it could never have happened. More often they fall true in the way that was expected or that makes sense in retrospect."
He held the picture up to the light and then continued. "My advice to you would be to try and bring about a fate that looks as much as possible like what was predicted without doing the same harm. It is as if fate does not like to be embarrassed, and you have to give it a way to save face and say – that is what I meant to do all along. I was just misunderstood."
Nelda stifled a sigh. [Now I have to worry about a prophecy's fragile ego.]
Typho reappeared in the doorway with leaves in his hair,
"What ha—" Nelda began. "Never mind. What was the question most people most wanted answering? You must have had time to tally it up."
"Well, yes." He didn't seem in a hurry to actually say it. "I had to make some judgments about which questions were essentially the same and which were different," he prevaricated.
"It's in your hand, Typho. Spit it out."
Looking down at the ground, Typho replied. "The highest ranking question was whether helping you would prevent the destruction of the world, as shown in the prophecy or cause it."
"Helping me?" Nelda stood stock still. "That's a perfectly logical question, but I'm still somehow insulted. I mean, I'd wonder it myself but I don't have the option of not helping me." [Stop babbling.]
[Do you really want to know the answer?]
"Okay," Nelda said resolutely. "I guess that's the question. Now I do feel like I need a drink."
I am at a week-long training on advanced statistical methods -- which is not leaving enough 'brain' for writing.
If you have thoughts to share, ideas, suggestions -- this would be a good time to share them with me!
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