" Was your party... alright?" Nova asked, voice a bit haltingly awkward, the next day. " Kirie made me pick the music. I didn't know what kind of music you like, so."

" Ah, that was you? It was nice," Prima replied. " I normally just listen to whatever the girls like."

" Girls this, girls that," Nova complained. " How do you stand being around women all the time? I wouldn't be able to deal with so much ceaseless nagging."

Prima leaned against the railing next to him.

" Nova, how many women do you actually know besides Irdat?" he asked pointedly.

He counted on his fingers.

" Hannan... Ah, Kaama's mother, though she's somewhat decent to be around... And I think I may have met a few sisters while I was in Thera and Rasha..." His brow knit in concentration. " Could I count the DASS's women as well? If so, Kirie and Neda, as well as your little clique, come to mind..."

" You're completely socially illiterate. You can't go around acting like everyone is as bad as Irdat if your reference pool is like ten people."

Nova shrugged.

" It's not like I particularly need to seek out a woman's company," he said. " During the war they all kept themselves locked up taking care of children, anyway. There weren't any opportunities for it, unless I was running into things like Hannan."

" Who even is this 'Hannan', anyway? I've not heard you mention her before."

Nova shuddered.

" Horrible. Despicable beast of a woman. She worked under Lyena-Ifrit for a while, and was later an advisor for me when I became Lyena. Every day in her presence was a new terror."

" I thought you just said women all stayed at home during the war?"

Nova folded his arms.

" Hannan gave up her right to do so," he said shortly. " Though I suppose it's what she wanted in the first place."

" What do you mean?"

" I would rather not talk about such things," Nova replied.

" Nooooova. Tell me!"

Nova huffed.

" You're a better parent than Hannan ever was," he said. " Better to disdain a child and pretend it doesn't exist than kill it."