He ushered me in hastily. “Let’s go, let’s go,” he said, turning towards a stack of loose papers and thick folders. “I leave soon and need to make sure you know everything I’ve taught you. Mother Repetition and all that.”

I let the door close behind me. “Mother Repetition?”

He shot me an impatient look as he handed me a hide-bound scroll. “Repetition is the mother of learning,” he said. “Surely you’ve heard that before.”

“That’s a human saying,” I gently pointed out, stepping over a spilled pile of small books to take the scroll.

“Yes, well, what are you doing interacting with humans at all if you haven’t studied us enough?” His brows lowered and he looked almost hurt.

“Have you studied my people before interacting with me?” I asked mildly, rerolling the scroll and securing its cord to my shoulder strap.

He flung up a loose-fingered hand, the other reaching for a sheet of paper yellowed with age. “Of course not. I don’t have time for such things. What does that have to do with anything?”

I just looked at him.