A Short Chapter Where (Almost) Nothing Happens

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Text to Speech:

“<Sigh>…” I hear Pat sighing. Again. He seems to feel down today, too. He's been like that the last two days. I'm finished with my documents for today. Kat's and my lessons about our foreign relations are about to start soon.

“Pat, would you please deliver these finished documents?” I ask.

“Yes, sure,” he mindlessly answers. He takes the documents and leaves the room. Silence.

“Is something the matter with Pat?” I ask the others, “He's been like that the last two days!”

“Patrick has been different?” Luna answers, “I noticed he sighs a lot more in the last two days… His performance is the same as always.”

Luna is as emotionless as always.

“He already behaved differently when he first brought in Swift,” Kat answers, “I guess he hasn't even realized it yet…”

Realize what?

“Swift? I guess he did have some influence on Pat… But what do you mean by he hasn't realized it?”, I ask.

“What…”, Kat shakes her head, “I'm talking about him falling in love with Swift!”

“Wait? Really?” I answer, “Pat falling in love? That's hard to imagine! I mean, he usually is all about professionalism and high society… Oh, I see what you mean…”

I've never heard him complain about Ailuranthrope high society before. He only started that when Swift was around a few days ago…

“Two males falling in love is not helping towards the ultimate goal of creating offspring,” Luna says, “I suggest finding them suitable partners.”

“I don't think that's an issue here,” I answer.

“What about Swift?” I ask.

“He just got to know him, so probably thinks that's just how Pat is. So I don't think he noticed it.”

She's right.

“Should we tell him?”

“No, don't,” Kat denies, “it's none of our business. Unless they do something that gets them into trouble, of course. Pat sure has been acting differently, but he still does his work properly.”

There must be something we can do…

“Is there nothing we can do?” I ask.

“Let Pat take care of Swift whenever Swift is here!”

“Yes, that's easy. And what else?”

“And… nothing else. Maybe protect them from Pat's parents. They might come and protest about ‘how unbecoming for high society’ Swift behaves. You must have heard rumours about how his parents can be. I wonder how things will develop between the two of them…”

“I've only heard rumours. But what would they be asking? As the keeper, Swift is a state guest. And we certainly can't have Pat not be present every single time Swift is around!

And if they were to remove him from here, it'd signal to disqualify Ailuranthropes for lots of state positions altogether… They should know that! If they ever come and complain, I'll just tell them we'll have Pat teach Swift about Ailuranthrope High Society etiquette.”

At that moment, Patrick storms in. He seems to be in distress. He's shaking.

“What happened, Pat?” I ask him.

“My parents sent mail…”, he answers.

“Where's the problem with that?”

“They are coming for a visit soon…”

“Again, where's the problem with that?”

“Both of my parents! Both of them! They never do that! They don't get along! At all! The only reason why they'd do that is they want to talk about my marriage! I'm not ready for that!”

“Are you certain it's about marriage?”

“Yes, as I said, my parents rarely get along. They only go together whenever it is needed they act as a couple.”

“In any case, have guest rooms prepared for them. When will they be arriving?” 

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