Sulmere, why did you force Vialio to do all that religious stuff? Forcing someone to do something she hates is not going to end well. Didn’t you think of that?

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You’ve never raised a kid. I’m usually not presumptuous. But you have very clearly never raised a kid.

You do the best you’re able. You can’t take them any place where people depend on quiet for any reason. Where there are social rules that they don’t know yet. Or… that they just don’t care about yet. Not that I have a lot of points of reference, but Vialio was not an easy kid to raise.

They say that the rituals we did were embarrassing? Or that they wish we hadn’t gone on all those trips to cultural points? They do not know what it is to be embarrassed. The mortifying moment when this tiny little person who you are responsible for walks up to a complete stranger, reaches into a purse they are carrying, and pulls out a bag of lubrication beads. That is a feeling that they do not know. And they pull it out of the purse upside down, of course. And they pull it out hard. Tiny little projectiles flying everywhere, popping and leaving slippery, slimy goo on every surface. And of course they were the scented kind.

There’s nothing you can say which makes that alright. I mean obviously you have to wonder why they had an entire bag in their purse. Everyone else who saw what happened would wonder that as well. But it’s pretty obvious that it’s none of your business, and the contents of that purse really really should have stayed there.

And of course it wasn’t some meek little person from the west. Vialio had pulled this from the purse of a mountain. Some monster from Khanst that looked like they were carved out of solid stone. So… yeah. That was absolutely terrible. We worked it out… but broken bones. That was the worst. Actually, it wasn’t the worst. The worst I wouldn’t tell someone that Vialio might have to interact with in the future. Because I know what it is to feel social shame. And they do not.

But you know what they liked? You know what kept them occupied? They loved ceremonies. And no matter what they tell you, they absolutely ate up all of the religious texts and histories. If there’s one thing that Vialio loves more than anything else, it’s knowing something that you don’t. And this was a treasure trove of stories and details that barely anyone else cared to learn. For all their moaning about me being religious, they know more about Siasha than I ever bothered to. It was more important to them than it ever has been for me, right up until the point where they turned around and decided they hated it.

Also. “They.” Not “she.” We don’t use your gender system.

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