The giggles warned Nie Huaisang before the crowds could part enough to catch a glimpse of either Trainee Blues or out-of-class color. Either they’d had the bad luck to cross paths with yet another flutter, or the last ones had nerved themselves up for another attempt.
Oh, I have had enough.
The nearest building was two stories high, a bit much for his level of cultivation – but the fountain in the square by it was tall and solid, a carved stone candlemaker with one large spigot and a trickle of ornamental water like wax running from his candle.
One leap to the top of a stone hat, use that as another step, jump-
He stumbled on the roof, a bit of undignified flailing that would have had da-ge sigh, and pick him up by the collar like scruffing a kitten. But he made it.
Nie Zonghui touched down on the roof a moment later, sputtering priest in his arms, kitten-basket and all. Not even breathing hard, though he’d jumped straight from the street. “So which way was it to this temple of Thenoth?”
“Put me down, young man, what are you-?” Father Gerichen glimpsed bright dresses passing below, and stilled. “Ah. Never mind. A perfectly reasonable reaction.”
Even in a foreign language, Nie Huaisang could hear the chuckle. He throttled the urge to stick out his tongue, the way Wei Wuxian would have-
Would have. Before Sunshot. Before everyone had lost light and laughter in the blood and dying.
Oh da-ge, I miss my friend!
He cleared his throat. “You said Herald Talia wanted to know something about our customs?” Something she hadn’t simply asked them. On the one hand his still-raw nerves felt insulted. On the other – it was probably politics. And in a city as crowded as Haven, it was hard to find a place to ask delicate questions without risking someone spreading twisted rumors of the answer.
We should ask the Queen on a hunting trip to build trust… though one of the Court ladies had an odd reaction when I asked if the Queen hunted, I’ll have to listen for rumors about that. And there don’t seem to be yao about for a proper night-hunt anyway. Pity.
A/N: An “odd reaction”. Indeed. *EG*