This kind of court dinner I not only could bear, but was actually enjoying. Kallijas had Laisa and her parents again, and his boy, I had invited Sera Liren and casually asked if she minded bringing her daughter to ‘fill out the table’.
Half the Assembly were here and some of the Ministers, instead of Aitzas families jostling for places under father's eye. Now, as then, there were minstrels in the gallery above playing light music on glass instruments, but now they could barely be heard over the talk, rather than playing to cover tense silence.
I found Ky smiling at me, behind her mother’s back and I seized on it as though she’d thrown me a line when I was sinking. “Didn’t the Imperator Emeritus devise the wing relay?” Ky asked Kall.
Kyriala spoke up. “I think it is something I shall learn how to do.”
Her mother was sputtering where she had almost spat out a sip of wine, holding her napkin to her mouth in horror, coughing.
Of course I was being silly. I mean Kallijas could ask to marry any girl in the Empire and she and her parents would fall all over themselves to get her to the temple. He was interested in Laisa and I was happy for him. I told my stupid beast belowstairs to shut up and stop being stupid. My heart slowed down, finally. Thank goodness that kind of idiocy was just a flash and nothing more long term.
"Kyriala!" Sera Liren managed finally.
"I'm sure it will be quite safe, mama."