Master Elodin,” I asked slowly. “What would you think of someone who kept changing their own name?”
“What?” He sat up suddenly, his eyes wild and panicked. “What have you done?”
His reaction startled me, and I held up my hands defensively. “Nothing!” I insisted. “It’s not me. It’s a girl I know.”
Elodin’s face grew ashen. “Fela?” he said. “Oh no. No. She wouldn’t do something like that. She’s too smart for that.” It sounded as if he were desperately trying to convince himself.
“I’m not talking about Fela,” I said. “I’m talking about a young girl I know. Every time I turn around she’s picked another name for herself.”
“Oh,” Elodin said, relaxing. He leaned back against the tree, laughing softly. “Calling names,” he said with tangible relief. “God’s bones, boy, I thought . . .” He broke off, shaking his head.
“You thought what?” I asked.
“Nothing,” he said dismissively. “Now. What’s this about a girl?”