Marilyn opened her mouth first. “But how can you–”
“Fine,” Valerie interjected. “But if you’re unprepared, you’re the one who pays the price. Remember my words if you end up lying in your own gore before a Vandal.”
“Valerie!” Marilyn said angrily. “Brian… you’ll come to see why what we do here is so important. I know it’s different than normal human life, but… there’s really nothing more rewarding than fighting for justice.”
“You’re both talking out of your ass,” Sparky replied. “You don’t know what life is like as a human, and you can’t pretend that you know whether that life was less meaningful than ours or not. And Valerie, it’s not your place to decide what Brian does in his spare time. That’s between him, his mentor, and Clever-hooves. As far as I’m concerned, the son of Silver-Dancer has a bum deal. You’re all treating him like some hero has come home at last. How can he possibly live up to this reputation you’ve imagined for him?
“I’ve got a plan. How about all of you go into human society tomorrow, and start going to school and work on getting jobs in the ‘real world.’ See how well you’re put together on day one. Then you can tell new guy how he should feel and what he should do.”
“I’m just telling him for his own good,” Valerie retorted. “The sooner he wakes up to what he needs to do, the better.”
Sparky rolled his eyes. Marilyn just looked sort of contemplative.
“I’m not saying what you do isn’t important,” I said at last. “It just… It’s not what I pictured myself doing, that’s all.”
“Brian!” Moon-Singer called out, putting a hand on my shoulder as he approached me. “I see you’ve met some of the other ætt members your age.”
“Uh… yeah,” I replied a little awkwardly, turning around to face him. “We were just talking about classes and stuff while we ate.”
An odd expression crossed Moon-Singer’s face. He glanced briefly toward Sparky and then back at me. “Well, since you have so much catching up to do, I’m going to be teaching most of your classes for awhile. I’m going to be your mentor from now on.”
“Are you sure it’s a good idea to appoint yourself as his mentor when you yourself are the Master of Resolution? It doesn’t seem like a very objective decision,” Valerie observed.
“Clever-Hooves agreed that it was a good idea,” Moon-Singer said. “Of course, maybe we should just appoint you Master of Resolution. Seems you’re quite the expert.” Valerie frowned. “Come on, Brian, let’s get started. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”