The room was quiet, and Caijar wondered if the grabby-monster was still alive. The chest where he'd trapped it had only a single keyhole for air, after all. He carefully unlocked the chest, and slowly lifted the lid...
It jumped at him.
Caijar had been half-expecting it to attack, so instead of wrapping itself around his torso, it ran head-first into his fist. A moment later it dropped back into the chest, thrashing angrily. "Stop that," Caijar snapped.
The beast went still.
"That's better," he said. He didn't think the grabby-monster was smart enough to understand his words. Apparently, though, it was smart enough that it could be trained... and this one had been. "Well... You lasted this long. You can stay in there until I puzzle out something better."
He tucked a couple of stray tentacles into the chest and closed it again. Then he sighed, and stood.
Usually, he ate with his friends in a small serving room near the kitchens, but tonight was a formal dinner. That meant dressing nicely and eating in the grand hall. It also meant that Saisha wouldn't be there, though Janiva and Morius would. His cousins, Dabin and Seshil, would be there too. They weren't much fun at the best of times, and Caijar had hoped to avoid them until he learned whether they'd had a hand in putting the grabby-monster in his room.
Unfortunately, there was no way to avoid a formal dinner. Caijar's mother insisted that he must be there for the sake of appearances, while his father considered such experiences "training in diplomacy". Neither of them would excuse him from the event.
So much for my evening, Caijar thought. The meal would run for at least two hours, and after that he had to write his description of the use of armor-statues for Master Barigil. He could write that from memory, so at least he wouldn't need to do research; but it would still take time. Finding something to do with the grabby-monster would have to wait.