Krero nodded again. “You have two more questions, Minakas.”
“Ay sor. Will t’ Imperator tell us how he’s holdin’ up ‘gainst these intrusive questions?”
Blessedly that got another real laugh out of him. “It’s not easy. But I’ve been managing it since I first got here. It helps that I love you all.”
“Course, sor. Might this ‘un ask, how ‘t Imperator thinks his own people ‘l react ‘tah this revelation?”
“Well... I can’t say for sure until I get there... part of me wants to say, I have no idea... but... I think they’ll be... shocked... surprised... I think... they’ll wonder how this can be...
“There are some, I think, who’ll rake me over the coals... Idiots, I thought -- and others... who will...” He choked into silence. “Sorry... bear with me...” It took some time to pull himself together. “Others who will be loving about it. If... if it could be put to a vote, how they’ll react, I can’t call it, obviously... I hope I will be forgiven.”
“Sisaria, go ahead,” says Krero.
“Thank you. Semanakraseye-Imperator, did Kallijas Itrean, Aitzas know of this prophecy before he became a candidate for the Imperium?”
“Semanakraseye-Imperator, what do YOU think your odds of success are in this healing endeavour?”
“Not going to spare me with easy ones, hmm? Phew.” He ran his hand through his hair. “My odds... I have no idea. I’m sorry... that’s the true answer. I... I’m taking it one step at a time... It’s like training, or fighting... I just have to keep my eyes on the path ahead. I know that can’t be a satisfying answer... but it’s the most honest one.”
Krero’s runner came back and whispered to him and that was passed on to Chevenga who looked a bit surprised. “Yes, Niku is willing to be interviewed about this,” he said.
“Semanakraseye, how do you think this revelation will affect your relationship with the Yeoli people?” A Yeoli.
“I... I have to say again, I don’t know, I can’t know until I get there. Tell the truth... I think, and I hope, that in time the whole thing will blow over and be forgotten, and my relationship with them will be as it ever was. You know, Surya... my healer... had me do a chiravesa... yesterday. He asked me to imagine myself twenty years from now... looking back on all this. Distantly. I... it was very hard, but I got the idea... so with any luck, it won’t affect my relationship with them at all, permanently.”
“Yes. Semanakraseye, now that you anticipate a normal, full life time, what plans are you making? Politically, not personally, of course.”
“Politically? To continue as semanakraseye of Yeola-e. It’s as I alluded to in another question... that is not really an ambition, or a plan. My people might have plans for me that I don’t know about.”
“Imperator, you said you revealed this - the certain version, as you put it - to your mother at age eight. After so many years of knowing that, how is she taking the news?”
“She’s ecstatic. She’s... I mean, you’d get it better from her, but she’s writer-shy, so she might not say anything. But she is very, very happy and hopeful. She was... when I was a child and then a youth with it, she was always there for me... she was the only person I could talk to about it for... until I told Niku, so, that’s, sixteen years, roughly. So every time I... hit my head against it somehow, or didn’t know how to deal with it, I would go to her. She’s lived with it for all that time. So when I say happy, it doesn’t do her feeling justice, I’m sure.” Kafiris had such a grin on his face as he scribbled. His readers would certainly want to buy the rag to read about this.
“Imperator, could you please identify your other guest at the table for these ones?” That was another Arkan.
“Oh... yes... Surya Chaelaecha. My healer.” He whispered in Surya’s ear. Surya didn’t look terribly upset. “He trained on Haiu Menshir for two years... after going asa kraiya right after the battle of Porfirias. Because his gift manifested.”
“His gift?” It was the same reporter, not waiting on Krero. He was obviously willing to risk it to follow up on that!
“Yes... seeing the aura. That means...” He turned to Surya. “You want to explain this?”
The whole lot of use writers looked hopefully at the healer. “What is meant by the aura,” he said. “…is the energy bodies that surround us, and are in us as well... it is the immaterial aspect of our life, that which separates from the body at death. I can see it... to me it appears as light, and colours... the various parts of it, as well as that which is individual to the person mentally, emotionally and physically.”
Chevenga spoke up.“And don’t worry, he’s not looking at yours right now. He doesn’t do it except when he gets permission. What it means, in effect, is that, when he gets permission, you can have no secrets from this man. I didn’t tell him what I have told you. He saw it.”
I could hear Intharas inhale and raise his hand. What was that look upon his face? “Go ahead, Intharas,” Krero said.
“Well.... I’ve never written a will. I’ve never had to, because--sorry, pardon me, yes I have. In that part of my life that is out of my life, in the Mezem... I wrote a will that would be legal in Arko. But I’ve never written one in Yeola-e because wills concern property, and I’m not allowed to own property.”
“Ah, no, I’m sorry, property concerns are fairly straightforward and not usually newsworthy. I meant . . . well, let me give an example. You knew your designated heir would be thrust into your situation at the age of, what, eleven? Which, granted, four years older than you, but had you left instructions or advice for him?”
“Well... what I did for him was tell him... so he knew to expect it... for me it was utterly unexpected. Instructions... I always told him one thing, that really... overarcs everything else... that is the only thing he needs to know from me, really, that answers all the other questions. I always told him, whatever anyone else might ever say, that he was good enough for me, and always would be. I told him that when he was very, very young... so that he would carry it in his heart for life. “I also have plans to write him--to write all of them--fairly lengthy letters, to be read when they reach sufficient maturity. I’ve done a fair amount of work on that already.
Author's Note: I'm posting early today because of travel mess ups (I missed my bus this morning!) And I may not be able to post on Monday or Tuesday, though I will try.
Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and please don't get killed on Black Friday, k?