“Mother, you don’t need to stay with me! I’m perfectly fine with the Sereniteer here, taking my report!”
“But, Kyriala! You need to be properly chaperoned!”
“Mama. She’s a woman Sereniteer,” Kyriala whispered in her ear but even that didn’t stop her mother wringing her gloves and shawl in anxiety. And just the shame of being here, as well as not being entirely convinced of the... hmmm... integrity of a female Sereniteer. The Hall of Serenity was all but empty, since even the miscreants of the city seemed to all be outside for the post Ten Tens feast... when all the city was apparently full of good-fellowship and crime was something not to be considered in the wake of all that joy and sacredness pouring out of the presentation square. But it was still the main hall of Serenity where prostitutes and criminals of all stripes were brought to question and a lady was just never seen there.
Kyriala hadn’t expected that she would be giving her statement in the main hall, but she didn’t care about how it looked. I saw one of the Mahid that had been with Minis, in the square. He was watching the Imperator and his eyes were looking for Minis and Gannara... why is he here? Does he think the boys are here too? They, very sensibly, haven’t tried to contact me since that horribly florid goodbye letter from my ‘secret admirer’ .
It was almost a relief when a solas she recognized, Dagasas, who acted as Ser Perisalas’s second in the hunt for Minis, loomed up behind the earnest young Sereniteer. “Sharila, I have it, thank you. Serina, Sera, if you would come with me please?”
He escorted Kyriala and her mother into one of the small rooms she recognized from other questionings. “Kaf for the ladies?”
“No, Ser Dagasas, I need to make my report immediately or you might lose him! There is a Mahid out in the feasting crowd and you need to do something about it right away! She closed her fan with an impatient snap. “The longer you talk to me, the more time he has to move from where I saw him!”
Dagasas shook his head at her. “Serina, Serina... my superior is already preparing to scrape that man. You are correct in spotting him as a Mahid and as a threat to Arko. You have our thanks for your diligence.”
“Oh.” The urgency that had propelled her here collapsed. “So you caught him already?”
“Oh, good.” One less Mahid pursuing Minis. The idea of using the people chasing Minis to keep him safer was peculiarly satisfying. She opened her fan more quietly and wafted the cool air of the Marble Palace into her face. Beside her she could feel Mama relax and open her fan as well.
“So, you’ve done your duty, my daughter,” she said with considerable relief. “Ser, shall I take my daughter home safe, now?”
“In a moment, Sera. I just need to check our young Sereniteer’s work, taking down the Serina’s statement and then I shall escort you back out... to the feast? Or to your manor?”
Before mama could speak up and tear them both away from the square, Kyriala spoke up. “Mama, I should love to go back out to the square, please. I so rudely dragged you away from Great Uncle and Uncle and I should not wish to cut anyone’s celebration short.”
“Oh. If you’re sure, dear.”
“Then back out to the feast, Ser solas, if you please,” Sera Liren said.
“Very well, ladies.”
“Yes?” The old scholar looked up to meet his house-boy’s worried eyes, and the Sereniteer behind him. One of Perisalas Shefenkas’s Minis hunters. “Sereniteer Dagasas,” he said mildly. “Didn’t your – ahem -- superior just truth drug me a few eight days ago?”
The big man had the grace to look a trifle embarrassed. “A break in the case, Ser. We need to inquire again.”
“Well, then-- ahem. Shall we do this like last time? Surely you have enough witnesses here... and a vial of truth-drug with you that you might do this in the safety of my – ahem – own home?”
“Ah... of course, ser. That makes eminent sense.”
“All this fuss! Ahem. Just to find out if the former Spark of the Sun’s Ray has contacted me and for me to deny it once more. Ahem. Proceed.”