Justinian stared at the hunk of bread before him. “They’ve been getting smaller,” he stated at last. “There is no longer any doubt.”
“There never really was,” said Sacripant. “Now just be quiet and eat it.”
Quiet looked at Justinian sympathetically. “You can soak in it the gravy if you like,” she suggested
“Quiet, I’m from the Breakers where we pride ourselves on… improvising meals from very little,” said Sigma. “But even we do not call water that you put a hunk of smoked meat in ‘gravy’.”
“You’re missing a taste treat!” declared Quiet brightly, dipping her piece of bread in her mug.
“I think I’ll pass on taking culinary tips from Ghouls,” said Justinian.
Quiet frowned mid-chew, and pointed . “Is that what I think it is?”
Justinian sighed, as he regretfully lifted his . “Well, that would depend. What do you think it is?”
“A crack about Ghoulish funerary practices,” said Quiet, blue eyes narrowed. “It’s ritual, not… dinner practices.” She frowned to herself. “Hell, most of us don’t even do it anymore. It’s most rustic out in the boonies…”
Sacripant turned to her. “The boonies? Quiet, that’s the entire Blasted Heath…”
“I’m not having my homeland insulted by an Accursed Marsh boy!” snapped Quiet. “We used to be the center of an empire!”
“So did we,” said Sacripant quietly. “I admit it wasn’t one of the flashier empires, or even a long lasting one, but it was an empire. With an emperor and everything.” He pointed to his chest. “My family even went to his tomb once. We had a picnic.”
Justinian managed to swallow his piece of bread. “Don’t mention picnics. As my friend, Sacripant, don’t mention picnics.”
“Hey! You’re not getting out of this because my fiancé changed the subject!” snapped Quiet. “You owe me an apology for insulting my people!”
“Right.” Justinian nodded dully. “I’m sorry for thinking that Ghouls eat more people than they actually eat.”
“That wasn’t much of an apology,” said Quiet.
Justinian rubbed his forehead. “I really miss the days when you didn’t talk.” Quiet merely continued to glare at him. “Right. I am sorry. It’s the lack of food. And the siege. I hate this siege. It’s… mind-numbing, and dull and terrifying all at once. And it’s making a lesser person.”
“Apology accepted,” declared Quiet. “Now, do you want some gravy?” She pushed the mug towards him.
“I’m good,” he said quietly. He glanced at the Ghoul and the Marsh Erl. “So… you’re engaged now?”
Quiet nodded, and gestured towards Sacripant. “He insisted in making an honest woman of me. I thought it over, and decided to give it a try.”
Justinian stared at her. “Aren’t you… a noblewoman?”
Quiet shrugged. “Sort of. It’s complicated. The family weren’t that happy, especially about him not being a Ghoul, but then, he’s not a religious lunatic who’s trying to overthrow the social order of Irem, so on the whole they consider him better than my LAST fiancé.”