Monday, August 1, 2011

528 - A Gigantic Flame

The Imperial flight to Yeola-e was impressive in the golden, late afternoon light as we spiraled up to begin our journey to see Chevenga go asa kraiya, that odd, mystic thing that Yeoli warriors sometimes do. They formally lay down the sword, as if it were part of them that they had to have cut away, or severed from themselves.

I tried to imagine Kallijas doing that and could not make my mind work that way.  Instead I hooked my thumbs into my harness and let my flyer do his duty.

The flight was all red and gold, Regent Imperator, my moyawa and all.  Kallijas, of course, had the most gold upon his wing, in the foremost position, though it was gold paint, down to the tail end all of red of our servants and guards and entourage.  It was only twenty wings, which for a traditional Imperial visit, was a tiny group.  I was not in a position to see but people said that the full flight looked like a gigantic flame, flickering against the sky.

I personally didn’t think it was such a good idea to have a designated position for the Imperator.  It made him more vulnerable, but we would be far above any springald shot anyway, so it was probably all right.  And we were travelling to a peaceful, friendly—well, quite friendly in its way – country, going to visit family and friends.

Joras was with me, since any solas that he’d hired were not yet sufficiently trained as far as he was concerned.  Kallijas had his usual elite, with Idiesas acting as his right hand, since he, himself, was a good left.

The Mahid debate was still going on and right now Joras was looking a bit strained, at least as far as I was concerned, since there was no one else to truly take over his duty so he could rest.  I tried to tell him it was all right, that I was surrounded by Imperial Elite, but he’d just nodded and gone right on stretching himself thin.  

Kallijas would get a different reaction.  I told myself not to be offended that they expected him to look after himself.  I knew that I was nowhere near the warrior he was, and likely never would be, but it was also unlikely that any assassination attempt would target him anyway since his tenure was so obviously and clearly temporary.  They’d go after me.

We were not going to relay this time, since it was both of us and we had no need to cut our entourage to the bare bones of what was possible, since so few people knew how to do that.  And especially since Kallijas had asked Serina Si Rusa and her chaperone to accompany us.

It was still only a few days away from the city, where the trip had once taken moons, even by ship at some times of the year.

Ili pouted when he found out that he could not go.  Kallijas had announced to the Assembly of Arko that his alesinas was going asa kraiya and had invited both of us. But even the Assembly would have woken up and choked on the fact that both Imperator and Imperator in Waiting and the Coronet Regal could not be in company, out of the Empire, at the same time.  But it was not as if He or I would be more than a few days away should a crisis occur.

It was also unlikely that someone would go after both of us together, in Yeola-e.

Kall had risen from the Crystal Throne to announce this and then excused himself formally, giving me my signal to excuse myself as well, which was good because it gave us both time to arrange to go.  When the entourage had launched, Kall was so beset with work that a Page came pounding up from the Assembly Hall for him to sign something, but he was already in the air and had to circle down and relay the name of the Minister he was to go to.

I saw the boy’s livery, bright against the black slate tile of the launch roof, falling away as we rose.  We would likely hear of the long term repercussions of this, once we returned safely, but in the meanwhile I imagined quite a few of the Assembly people would be having fits about both of us going together.  Some more quietly than others.

It would probably be the last time the two of us would be allowed to do something like this.  Of course, we could always come back with the idea that if Chevenga hadn’t done this, we would both be attending his funeral instead.  That would probably have stopped them, at least for a few moments.

It took us four days to make the trip instead of three, because of a combination of weather and some of our entourage being delayed.  To be honest several people tried to fly themselves and didn’t have the Niah sense for it.  We sent a messenger to the grounded wings, to send several people home, since they were clearly not able to keep up.

Since we were an official ‘state visit’, we landed at the Hearthstone Dependent and it was during the Assembly session, so once we were unharnessed we were shown to the gallery so we could see the proceedings.

Chevenga was standing in front of his chair with both of his arms out, chalk, and he looked very tired and strained.  When the Assembly was released we came down in the crowd and Kallijas almost elbowed his way toward his alesinas.

Kallijas, throwing propriety to the wind, caught him in a crushing hug and held him, Chevenga holding him just as hard, burying his head into Kall’s neck.  It was like seeing something split into two halves made whole.

They were locked into this column of hug that looked strong enough to hold up mountains.

Am I so loved?  Gannara… and Farasha… will they come back?  Will Kyriala…. My mind hiccupped to a stop at that point.  What did I want from Kyriala?  I wanted her to be my wife, certainly, but I also wanted her to be my friend.  I wanted… what we’d had the night before Gan and Fara left.

I want to be able to throw propriety to the wind and hug the people I love.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh... such a powerful ending.

    Like every post! @_@