“Far from combobulated, the placable maiden batted an eye and turned a hair before lifting a finger to brush the clothing of the heveled, but otherwise gainly youth. That’s (a brief counting on the fingers) seven! A personal high!” Postlavanderon had been pulled into the game and was obviously enjoying himself.
“I have to protest batting eyes and other bodily movements. Those are phrases. This is a game of words.”
“Were we that distinct when we wrote the rules?”
“Alas we encrypted no enchiridion. The rules are mere air, and are therefore iron clad. Words only. If I allow phrases, I will be forced to suffer the presence of significant bagatelles and harmless swoops.
I will retaliate by asking, apropos of nothing, if, perhaps the word prevent implies the magical ability to fart before eating the beans. If prefer is a scattering of sparse down, and if a prelate is religiously tardy. I doubt you could gurgitate that.”
“Gurgitate! That’s only one! My turn again and you will fall behind.”
“I protest! I turn to Shortbread for a ruling! Gurgitate is from re-gurgitate, not de-gurgitate. It is not a dis-negative and so could not have been my turn but was obviously one in a list of disallowed words that I was listing to you in hopes of educating you in the fine points of the game.”
“He does have a point, sir. Regurgitate is a repetitive, not a negative, so gurgitate cannot be a dis-negative. If it were to be put forward as your companion’s turn, he would be scored a zero.”
“You see. . What! Zero! I could not possibly score a zero in my own game. I am far to erudite and charming. Obviously Shortbread, here, agrees that it was not my turn.”
“Very well, you may have a turn, but only if you agree that I scored a seven.”
“I will lump them together as an amusing diversion and give you one for the three. A five is a respectful score.”
“Call it a six and I will forbear to enter into arbitration upon the point.”
“Yes, and remember who the only person available for arbitration likes me better than he likes you.”
“Ah, piracy. Six it shall be and a pox on three out of eight of your houses.”
‘Is that literature?”
“I hope not. I didn’t mean it to be.”
“If I may interject, sirs. It is time for lunch and there is a suitable patch of sand ahead. Perhaps if you reclined while I prepared, you could reach an accord.”
“Let me scatter the vermin first, SB.”
“From sand, sir?”
“Never sit anywhere outdoors trustfully, my fine muffin, and few places indoors.”
Narnemvar made the familiar sounds and gestures and a series of small crabs disinterred themselves from the sand and departed. A small haze joined them.
“What was that wavering?” Lavvi asked.
“Fleas?” Satbada was too well trained to shudder bodily, but apparently his voice was allowed. He made no other comment, but vowed to never sit hereafter without asking that perhaps understandably odd person to sweep ahead of him.
For a moment Satbada considered that he was considering asking a sixth level mage to do housework at his order, and was considering it in a patronizing way at that. Then he decided that it was as proper as anything else about the man. If he had been speaking, perhaps his voice would have shrugged. His body certainly didn’t.