Upstanding Young Man

“You were appointed what?”

“That’s right,” Valko hummed, chest puffed out. “Reeve of Trade.”

Ianthe rolled her eyes. “Ugh.”

“Aw, don’t be like that. It means someone recognized my importance around here.”

“Teles certainly is generous…or desperate.”

Valko only sounded a little indignant. “Well, there’s been a growing need to organize the trickle of outsiders passing through Luisant, what with the Mists growing weaker.”

“At least you won’t go wandering off in them again.” Ianthe scoffed under her breath before admitting, “It is troubling, though.”

“Yeah,” Valko fretted. “Things have been rather hectic.”

Even if he believed he was competent enough, there was still a thread of insecurity that wove itself through him. Yet he clung to the feeling of being helpful, wishing to contribute all he could, especially when his superiors were busy with more pressing matters.

“Well maybe it will finally manage to keep you out of trouble. You may even come to be respectable– if you’re not careful.” Ianthe teased before a realization dawned on her. “Aren’t you not supposed to handle coin?”

Valko was, unfortunately, often in the habit of embracing the new, especially with so much change happening around him. He sought it out frequently. His passion had always oscillated between the archaic wisdoms of the past and those that the future held out as a lure. Presently, his inner pendulum had swung to the latter. It wasn’t like he was the only Vecatran to find allure in the modern, either. So much change wouldn’t really affect him, would it?

Still, Valko was not keen on losing his mind this early in life. He’d at least hoped for another decade or so before that happened.

“Uhm, well, technically yes. I mean, I can handle things in a pinch, but if it becomes a regular thing, I could really use-“

“My help?” Ianthe asked. “After everything, you want me to do favors for you?”

“Yes, exactly, you get it!”

“I don’t know,” Ianthe mused, checking her nails. “Why should I?”

Valko stooped just enough to look up pleadingly at Ianthe. “Pleaaaase? I can make sure you get your pick of fine goods before anyone else.”

Ianthe raised a brow.

“After the town is provided for. Great spirits, you think so low of me?”

A beat of silence hung over the two for a moment.

“Okay, yes, fair point,” Valko waved his hand, before taking a more sincere tone. “Please? It would mean so much to me.”

Ianthe regarded him sternly before a smirk twitched her lips. “Fine, I can help you.” 

Valko lit up. “You always were such a peach! Thank you!”

He reached to embrace her, but Ianthe shoved him away, turning in a huff. “You owe me!”

Valko stood there stupidly as he watched her stomp away. More-so than any semblance of pride at his new responsibilities, it was the ever so subtle softer look in Ianthe’s eyes that truly lifted his spirits.

Leave a Reply