Skaria frowned. "Anti-nature?" she asked. "As in they avoided the outdoors?"
"No, nature in the philosophical sense. They didn't believe anything had a set collection of inherent characteristics. Any difference was the result of outside influence."
"Any difference?" Skaria arched an eyebrow.
"Behavioral, social, cultural, mental differences. Not physical ones," Indra clarified.
"Seems kind of strange," Skaria said.
"Yes, it is. Upon my study of the anti-nature philosophical movement, I'm pretty sure they're the result of too much navel-gazing and over-thinking simple issues. Not everything deserves to be contemplated and considered. Some of it is just stupid," Indra said.
"First time I ever heard a scholar call something stupid." Skaria said. "Anyway you're avoiding the question. Why did you put Laidu and Kyra together?" she asked.
"Why do you think? It would be obvious to a blind man! You've seen Kyra. Any time Laidu talks to her, she gets all flustered and blushes. And you've seen how protective Laidu is of Kyra." Indra rolled her eyes. "By any standard, his protectiveness has far exceeded professional levels of attention."
Skaria nodded. "Yes. We know this."
"What you don't know is that they confirmed it with me. Separately, of course. Just don't tell anyone. They asked me to keep it secret."
"Whatever. I mean, it's not as if it's a really hard to guess secret. Stay in a room with the two of them for ten minutes and you can guess." Skaria paused. "Frankly, it's starting to get annoying."
"Precisely my thoughts," Indra said. "So I decided to do what I could do. I decided to... how shall I put it? To instigate something. To prompt them to evolve in their relationship. To subtly encourage them." She leaned on the railing next to Skaria. "Honestly, I feel like Laidu is going to be a positive influence on Kyra. I think she needs someone like him. And I think he needs someone like her."
"So that's your plan. Get them together," Skaria said. "You're playing matchmaker. I would not have guessed that coming from you."
"Yes," Indra said. "Though it is not I who has made this match, but it is I who detected it and I who wants to see it come to fruition. I like Kyra. I want her to have a better life."
"Oh?" Skaria said. "I may be a bit of an outcast, but I seem to remember the proper standard for the upper class being a Caeldari man. Dark hair, blue eyes, fair skin. Not no hair, yellow eyes, and bleedin' scales. Don't you think you could be making this worse for her?"
"Maybe. But I do not think that matters as much as it used to. She seems to have a thicker skin now. Most of the nobles and heirs and heiresses I know are pretty easy to upset. Kyra doesn't seem to have that anymore." She smiled. "At this point, I doubt she's going to care if some of those stuck-up heiresses didn't approve of her love."
"That could be," Skaria said. "Of course, if you're wrong... she'd be committing social suicide. You want to live with that?" she asked.
"I am not forcing her," Indra said.
"You're just pushing her. No, sorry, encouraging her." Skaria glowered. She was angry, yes, even when talking about love. "I don't feel comfortable with you blundering about and experimenting with another person's life! You don't think about that! About if you ruin her life!"
"How could Laidu ruin her life?" Indra asked. "We are no moral saints ourselves. But can you find anything reasonably objectionable about him?"
Skaria stopped. "No," she said. "Besides his... condition, he's bloody fantastic. But he is a killer."
YOU ARE READING
When Laidu, a half-human, half-dragon Ranger, rescues a mysterious girl from slavers, he doesn't know it but he's in for a world of trouble. Teaming up with an insane scholar, a chatty assassin, and two mercenaries, they go to take the girl -Kyra- h...