It was working. The slave girl was looking more comfortable, despite the cold. She directed their focus to "Greenhouse One", commenting in her broken common about the first stage of plant growth. Linika waited a moment to see if this girl, Tasar, would add the word "germination", before confirming that she was correct.
"Yes, Tasar, seeds are the initial 'state' of fruit. But I don't know that I would call it the first 'stage'. Seeds can be kept for quite some time before the actual stages of growth are begun. That is called 'germination' and actually I don't think we want to risk that yet. I was only told to deliver them. I was not informed whether or not the family intends to begin sprouting them right away." She knew that the heat of Greenhouse One was not going to have any impact on that, but she wanted to see more and doubted that the slave girl knew any better.
But just in case, she drew on her innate ability to fabricate unverifiable details to stall for time. "But in such an exceedingly cold climate, it can trigger a stasis within the seed, so that a normal storage temperature could then be mistaken as a thawing season by the affected seed, and can actually 'awaken' it to the point that it might self-germinate. In truth, the whole package could start tying to root itself. Needless to say, very little could be saved. And that only with immediate action."
She slapped a look of mild concern across her face, relaxing it though as she continued. "But you clearly have more than one greenhouse, or you would have no need to call this one "number one", eh?" She gave an easy laugh and looked casually around, smiling. "I'm certain they are not ALL currently in a heated state. I think if I take a measure of how they compare, I can find the best place to ease them into a condition where they will remain dormant, without falling into stasis. If it will not get you into trouble, could you show me the others?"
They conversed in amiable tones for a while, Linika agreeing that a cold location would be best, but not one so cold as the out-of-doors. "I imagine that an unheated greenhouse would soon fall to the same sub-zero temperature as the air outside, even with the glass walls acting to brace against the wind." deceptive inspiration stuck her in a manner that allowed her not to have to hide the sudden thought. "Oh, hmmm....That's a point. Do you happen to know where the glass for the structures was obtained?"
Se made a face to feign embarrassment. "Oh, I'm sorry. No, as a slave you would probably not be made privy to such matters. it doesn't matter, I can tell what I need to see if you can just let me look at each one. You see, the glass provided by the blowers in Nashaki, have an acid binder that can slowly disperse into the air with repeated heatings and coolings, and can eventually be harmful to the flora within. Not many know this, and all too often, high ranking, privileged families just assume that the most expensive product is the best for their needs."
She made an exaggerated face, and dropped her voice to mimic some master-of-the-house caricature, "Get the finest money can buy. Spare no expense." She chuckled when she finished, returning to her own voice. "Most of the time, that policy is fine. But with greenhouse glass you actually don't want the very best."
An additional element of deception occurred to her and she allowed another somewhat concerned look to cross her face. "Look, Tasar, I suppose you are not looking forward to having to tell the master that if he spent a lot of money on the glass then, it was a bad business decision. I can tell by looking myself. there's just a small crafter's guild symbol that should show in the corner. Unless he actually bought Nashaki glass, he needn't even know. And if he HAS, I will be glad to be the one to tell him. I will even say that you were the one that brought it to my attention if you want. Will that be alright?"
She recalled that the girl had asked her about her cosmetics while she was thinking her deception through, and now a new one landed right in her lap with the girl's question. All the details about the greenhouses was useful, but learning about the social dynamics of the Aranaz family could be far more useful. She made as if only now recalling the question, "Hmmm? I'm sorry, what? my face? OH, the cosmetics!" She laughed as if it was a minor thing. "Just some make-up. We naer are maybe a bit over-the-top compared to other women, but it's nothing most women don't indulge in from time to time."
Again the look of sympathy, "But I suppose you are not allowed to do so. Ahhh. That's too bad, you're really a lovely girl. but I suppose the wife, or 'mistress' I suppose I should say, would be terribly taken back if you were to outshine her. I suppose she is from one of the noble families as well. High status in a man needs high status in a woman these days. Who is she, if I may be so bold?"