By the time they’d had their fill, Hiro had an entire stock of things to discuss, and the boys took to walking the ramparts in their conversations.
“I still can’t believe that mother hasn’t started trying to have me betrothed. By the time Govo was my age he’d already been promised to the youngest Madiss, and Brin had the Hearteye, and even Elis was gifted to a Deluge. You know, at this rate I might have to make do with the other Hattery girl! There’ll be nothing left of note by the time it comes my turn, and mother will be quite disappointed. I’m sure she means to take over High block via marriage, banding together all those of our social class.”
“We’re not even of marriageable age,” Pine furrowed his eyebrows. “I don’t see what’s so great about it anyway, you’ll just have a girl to feed and take care of. Why have a girl, who does near nothing I say until…you know, you have your own house…when you can simply have a servant? They’re just as well to talk to and for company, and in fact you have no obligations to your servants…and they don’t need pretty things to keep them busy or…”
“So simple minded!” Hiro wrinkled his nose. “Don’t you realize that with wife you have a companion for more than just conversing? Come, Pine, don’t tell me that they don’t interest you.”
“I don’t see the appeal,” Pine blushed.
“A lie!” Hiro poked at Pine’s ribs. “I’m sure there’s a girl that interestsyou…” he then leaned in closer, “If I must tell, I do have a rather fondness of Celaya Jorbicke.” He assumed his normal posture with a sigh just then, “but of course, mother would never want to pursue her for me, as her father doesn’t even work within the palace. I’m fairly sure that her only reason for being in high block is some small royal connection on the mother’s side… What a shame, she is quite beautiful.”
“As well as being three years our senior,” Pine stuck out his tongue. “She’d be so old by the time you’re right to marry.”
“Only three years, friend, and that’s not long at all.”
“Is there any possibility of pursuing a different topic?” Pine grumbled.
“But why? I’m sure there’s something that you’d like to confess to me! It’s been near a week since we last spoke, I’m sure that your heart’s been aching to seesomeonespecial.”
“I’m fairly sure you’re the only friend worth note!”
“You should be. Now, get it through that skull of yours that I’m wholly uninterested. Whoever I marry will be whoever is best for the family. That’s what it always is,” Pine shook his head.
“I’ve heard that outside high block,noneof the marriages are pre-determined.”
“None?” Pine raised his eyebrows. “How strange.”
“Well, it beats waiting for the correct girl to show up. Mother told me that ever since King Mederan took the throne, there have been rifts growing deeper and deeper between all the royal factions, and that’s why birth betrothals have lost so much favor! You can’t tell if you’ll still be friends in 16 years… Which is why they wait, I suppose.”
“I could ask my mother about it. Knowing her, she’s already worked out a deal and won’t tell me about it until the day of my wedding.”
“If there are any decent girls left,” Hiro pouted. “Though, I guess there are a few that they keep locked away nowadays. Your neighbor is something to look at.”
“Though according to your tales, she must be quite the handful.”
The boys stopped at a particular balustrade and made their way back down to the gardens. The pair made straight for the dessert tables and had soon spirited away an entire pie to share in secrecy.