Calibrated Allies

And to my shock, they did apologize—some of them not bothering to feign sincerity, but it was clear to them that the turn of the tide was against them, and they must pretend I was not a slave but a person for just a bit, just long enough to satisfy the sensibilities of the others. I made note of which these were, to be careful of them from then on.

One does not get sent, an island boy who grew up in slavery, to the glorious fatherland's glorious university without some awareness of identifying enemies.
The Lady of the Lake

This task had not been set to us but to him. How long might one live if they denied a god? Susanoo could not drown me in these waters, nor could a blade pierce my heart, but he commanded all of Yomi, and what tortures he might devise there I did not wish to know.

My fingers sought the memory of a scarf around my throat, then slid down to Sun Lin's thin shoulder.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Her Field-General, and Their Wounds
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Baru Cormorant sorts her existence left and right, so that she can forget the proper things by turning.