"Yes..." Orien looks away, not wanting to think about tomorrow.
"Among Taan Erkhan's guests are Lektor Khian and his family."
"Lektor Khian?" Orien looks up, surprised.
"I believe he is a colleague of your Knawan Ysenna."
"Yes!" She had not expected to find solace in her uncle's words.
"His daughter is a scholar too, I believe," he goes on, "and his son works in the governor's office. Either of them could be a suitable contact for you, maybe even a partner in future."
"I... suppose," Orien manages as her uncle walks away. Had that been an attempt at encouragement? But the idea of talking to Lektor Khian - and maybe his scholar daughter - is attractive enough to compensate for the tedium of a polite dinner.