This excerpt comes just after Liam has entered the politcal arena of hsi city and attended his first ball. It’s the day after, and Kiran meets with him to feel out the budding politician. Tell me what you think, please!
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“I avoid the crowds after a council meeting whenever possible,” Kiran said, tucking his book into his side. He crossed his legs on the couch and faced Liam.
He to avoid the Council itself whenever possible, Liam thought. Would that I could do likewise. “Yes. The crowds last night were… stifling.” Liam ran his tongue around his teeth, shuddering slightly.
“All the feeders and leeches, you understand,” Kiran pressed, eyeing Liam. “Have the Flights approached you yet? Unfortunately… witty mother with bad teeth, rather”–he motioned with his hands–“well rounded daughter?”
Liam nodded quickly, tugging on the ends of his sleeves. He cleared his throat, resisting the urge to pull at his collar. He wiped at his lips self-consciously, trying to blink away the memories.
“They’re some of the worst,” Kiran said. “Bottom stagers, the lot of them. They don’t belong up this far.”
Liam jumped at this, hands suddenly shaky. “So… who does?” he said, trying to shift subtly towards Kiran. Towers! This is harder than I’d thought it would be. Does he know I’m for the reforms? Towers. He started tapping his knee, raising one eyebrow and hoping it looked sophisticated.
The boy stared at him for a moment. The corners of his lips twitched upward.
“I don’t know…” he said. He looked lazily over at Levi. “What do you think, Levi?” His servant bowed deeply and straightened again.
“I wouldn’t assume to say, sir.”
Kiran snorted. “I’m sure you wouldn’t.” He kept his face turned away from Liam, scrunching his lips in attempt to contain a smile.
Eventually he turned back to Liam, face composed again. “What do you think?” He asked again.
Liam cleared his throat, facts and speeches and arguments running up his throat to get clogged in his mouth. “I…” He started tapping his foot against the carpet. Words fought each other for precedence and beat against his teeth for release. Towers! “I think the lower stages should be allowed free movement,” he said, mouth dry. The room felt hotter than it had a moment ago. “They’re not harmful to us, and it would benefit the economy of the city. I think the passports and guards sent to the second and third levels are an unnecessary drain on the city, and could be better utilized elsewhere to–”
“But what about up here,” Kiran insisted. “Tenth stage, eleventh–that sort of thing.”
Liam stopped short, licking his lips. I give up. Subtlety be dropped, I need an ally. “I think the Council could use better representation for the lower stages of Ovenar. I think the Houses have become bloated with tradition, and perhaps need a new pair of eyes to guide them.”
Kiran smirked, laughing quickly before straightening his face again. “Good. Don’t do that again, honesty will generally get you killed in the Council. Now, how do you feel about reading?”
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Thanks for reading–and please feel free to ask questions about it,