Chapter 90

“<…You’re the one who taught me to finish business before attending to pleasure, but whatever…>” Conmer turned towards Genrou. “Genrou, this is Fen’rosa Contre, founder of the Jiras-enza style of conversation – and my mother. If our given names sound similar, it’s because Conmer is the masculine form of Contre. I was named after her.”
“<Sorry, what was that?>” Contre’s grin turned sheepish. “<I don’t speak Eslish, remember?>”
“Of all the -” Conmer caught himself. He knew for a fact his mother was lying, since she was the one that had taught him Eslish, but she didn’t look like she was joking. Not speaking Eslish was a difficult lie to sell, since most Rosearn were fluent in three out of the five standard languages before preschool, and all five before first grade. Not speaking Eslish would block her from communicating with just under a fifth of the galaxy, the fifth of the galaxy she was currently in right now! No Rosearn was stupid enough to take a risk like that. Still, Contre was the type that didn’t try to sell a lie until she knew there was a market for it, so she clearly thought she stood a chance at convincing someone she really was that dumb. Conmer didn’t feel like ruining that chance. “<You still haven’t learned!? I can’t… You just – Whatever. I gave you a proper introduction, now are you gonna help me out, or do you want me to introduce you to the ninjas too.>”
“<Conmer!>” A hurt and disappointed look crossed Contre’s face, as she backed towards the currently invisible Meadow. “<I thought I raised you better than to narc on strangers! Honestly, such awful manners.>” She turned to Meadow and shook her head, gesturing with her hands to match. As Contre gestured, her arm casually brushed up against Meadow, sending electricity coursing through the ninja, who turned visible and toppled to the floor. “…You know, with my reputation, you’d think people would get wise to the old ‘pretend to talk your way out, then hit them with the EMP-slash-stun-glove-thing’ routine, but they never do. They never do…”


A note from the author ninja:

For Rosearn, family names are something very special. Something earned, not given. They’re a symbol of sorts, a badge that proves yourself heir to a lineage. A measure of status.

To have a family name, a Rosearn must have either won enough of one of their teachers’ respect that said teacher gives permission for them to inherit the teacher’s family name, or they must have enough confidence to make up a new family name – boldly declaring themselves the founder of a new lineage.

And if anyone is wondering, Jiras-enza roughly translates to calculated storm. It’s a style of conversation built around the idea of breaking the rules. The basic principle is that since most Rosearn learn how to avoid places that aren’t conductive to the art of subtlety (rather than learn how to thrive in them), you have an advantage over most Rosearn if you deliberately keep yourself in circumstances that interfere with subtlety. (Since you’re trained for the worst case scenario, and the opponent is not.) This is why Conmer chooses to spend so much time among “marks,” especially violent ones. Because it makes other Rosearn profoundly uncomfortable, and disorients them.

Oh, and before I forget, it’s a HUGE deal to be the founder of a style of conversation in Rosearn culture. A new style only shows up five or six times every 50 years. (Assuming you only count the foundings that anyone takes even remotely seriously.) Of these 5 or 6, most gather under a half dozen students and then die. In other words, a style that lasts indefinitely is only created once every ~300 years.

AS for whether or not Jiras-enza will make the history books… that remains to be seen.

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