Swamped Chapter 66 Page 21

You think on what he just said – about how Common borrows from several languages. You also start to wonder if what you’re saying is being translated to him.

And you know a couple of languages outside of Common and your native tongue. You found it a useful skill to pick up for listening in on people who think you can’t understand them, and it didn’t hurt your chances at getting ahead in the Bogknights. So maybe it’s worth seeing what happens.

“Just so we’re perfectly inkraht. Are you ehktra that you’re a volos?”

“That is correct. My specific duties are admitting new priests to our temple, and identifying those who can move on to higher levels of the priesthood.”

Well. That would fit with all this being some sort of test.

“And how do you understand what I’m saying? Is that a temmat, too?”

That’s actually slang. In Kandrian, a wizard is a “temmatri“, so informally, temmat is often used to mean “what wizards do”. You wonder how he’ll react.

“A what?”

Interesting.

“A magic spell. Or do you just know my language that well?”

Unlikely, considering how smoothly he handled the other substitutions. But you don’t need to mention you were already testing that.

“If only! But no, I am fluent in your Common, but know little about the languages it is built from. Perhaps once the Master’s work is complete, I will have the time to study others.”

You don’t even need a translation spell to know he’s being deliberately vague about what the “Master’s work” actually is. You can see it in his face.

But you can also see that he’s really interested in language. That should help you in stalling, at the very least. You don’t know what you’re stalling for, exactly, but there’s no telling what he might let slip.

Where should you guide the conversation from here?

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Suggestions:

This municipal priesthood sounds fascinating. Pump him about duties and what it’s like in the priesthood, dropping hints that you are a fellow scholar of language and might be a candidate for service.

Do you expect to have much free time when the Master’s work is complete? To what extent is scholarship a duty of your priesthood? What aptitudes or conditions define members’ ability to move higher in the order? Can outsiders join your order?

And yeah, might as well pull out the delivery, but keep the symbol concealed until your curiosity about the priesthood is satisfied.