Everyone went quiet, though the servants didn’t stop their work and right then lifted the heavy collar free of Minis’s shoulders, breaking his surprised stare. He regained his voice once the muffling hair and collar were wrestled over his head. “Don’t tell me he’s being called to the Temple!”
“He... he’s been working on the new part of the Temple and I can’t say for certain. He’s unconscious for now. It is only an urge that I have.” He looked nervous and miserable. “Believe me, I don’t want him. I’d be crazy to accept charge of him. But I feel I need to. I’m not even sure he’d be safe for me to try and keep in the Temple but...” He shrugged.
“Radas I do my best to pay attention to your urges.” Minis got up slowly, feeling as stiff and creaky as if he’d been working out. “But I need to attend to myself, first. Please wait.”
The Imperial Robe wasn’t that heavy but it would be awkward in the garderobe so it too was carefully removed. The inside of the garderobe here in the heart of the Marble Palace, and for the Imperator’s exclusive use, was gilded on every surface, including the seat. The light above made the interior glitter madly and Minis closed his aching eyes on it, shutting out the excess light, just as he shut the door and shut out people’s earnest attention.
He sat down, putting his hands over his face. It’s an easy solution. Hand him over to the Temple after he’s scraped. Is it too easy? He murdered my guard and nearly kidnapped me. He suborned that solas into darting me after the Ascension ritual. The Temple did save me.
Even as his bladder ached with relief, his head ached as if the ritual collar had had a tight band that had just been snapped open.
The Gods answer my prayers. I will give him to Radas. The Temple’s demands trump all wishes for revenge. Even if I, as Joras’s next of kin, or that acolyte’s family, wanted revenge on Matthas, the Temple would still get what it wants.
He tidied himself and rinsed his own hands at the basin. The garderobe man’s post was now purely that of holding towels and wipes outside. Something that Ch’evenga had immediately changed, even though he couldn’t functionally wipe his own rear when he’d just broken both his arms. It had become tradition inside the first year.
He stepped out and accepted the towel from the man. “Thank you,” he said quietly, and extended his comb to click comfortably, solidly, against the steel tips of Kyriala’s fan.
“Radas. The murderer Matthas Mahid is the Temple’s. Inquire of Ilesias Mahid... wait... he’s injured?”
“Injured but functional,” Idiesas said, with no irony at all. Doof squawked and Minis held out a hand to the bird and she flapped over to land on it and sidle up his arm to lovingly nibble on his ear.
“Yes. Good. Stop that, Doof, too rough. Radas if you need help keeping him restrained... ask Ilesias, hmm?” I don’t want to see him... but... He felt the rising urge in himself. Hmm. I believe I should.
“Imperatrix, would you join me in the Imperial Chapel for a short while, before dinner?”
She grinned at him, dimples showing. “Of course, Imperator.” We have to be so bloody formal all the time... He threw propriety to the wind and actually took her hand.