“Where’s the joke? I expected that to end off with a joke but you’re just leaving it on the emotional gut-punch I guess.”

“You know what they say, comedy is just horror with a punchline.”

Ey had time to deflect the projectile but not well; it embedded itself in eir upper arm, but since the alternative had been the heir’s throat ey couldn’t complain.

Not much anyway.

Ey couldn’t stop the initial yelp of pain. The heir whipped around.

“I’m fine,” ey insisted weakly, but xir sharp eyes were already scanning the brush for the attacker, not out of concern for xirself but because xe was not about to let this person get away with hurting eir.

“Do not use that term again,” ey snapped, then drew back guiltily. “I apologize, it is simply that you do not understand the language or the context behind that particular word.”

“Oh! I’m sorry. Is it something offensive? I mean the princex called you that so I assumed it was a term of respect, I meant no offense.” Ze bit zir lip. “What- what does it mean if you don’t mind me asking?”

“It is… not offensive, just incredibly familiar.” Ey sighed. “The closest translation in this language would be something like ‘beloved’.”