With that, Matthas sat down on the floor and then gently lay down on his side on the carpet, hands tucked flat under his head, eyes closed. Minis nodded towards the mirror, indicating the now softly snoring man. “I’ll send someone for a litter and we’ll get him back to the Temple. Teik… ah… Megan, it’s vanishingly rare that the Arkan Gods actually speak directly and clearly through one of the taken up. It might be that the Fenjitza will know what the Goddess meant.”
Megan had been staring at the man on the floor, thoughtful, and looked up as Minis spoke. “I… astonished… I am. Most people don’t know the name of the Zak ancestors. Rus was one of them. We took Kozakey from others and from our stories… but an Arkan Goddess knowing of Zak? And… hmmm. A problem we have.”
The door clicked open and litter bearers came in, loaded Matthas onto the chaise-palanquin and bore him out smoothly, followed by his faithful Atzatharatzas, who managed to do a lightning fast prostration and rise on Minis’s word.
“This… is becoming far too interesting.” Minis put his half-eaten food and his cup back onto the cart. “I have a ten of letters to write, and we need to arrange to have the Fehinnan ambassador to dinner… tomorrow? Would that be acceptable? Jorasa will be able to get you what you need to be presented as an entertainer, and… she can take you across to see the Temple.” He shrugged. “Have you seen it before?”
“Nyet, Im—Minis. I am intrigued now. I had no idea that it bursting at the seams with manrauq of a sort that I’ve not seen before. The person you mentioning were? Your ‘high priestess’, you said?”
“Yes, Jorasa can take you over and introduce you. Megan. Thank you for coming here. I understand that you’ve had difficulties with Arkans and Arko most of your life. I cannot fix that but I can certainly apologise.”
“You sounding like the gold bottomed Yeola-e!” She laughed. “War’s done. Arko’s acting like a grown-up now is!” She wasn’t quite as unshaken as before Matthas’s entrance, as evidenced by how she spoke, her Enchian a fraction rougher than it had been.
“Well, please to be my guest as well as my translator,” he said in extremely rough Zak.
She grinned. “Dah. Send you a note, I will, through faithful and invisible Jorasa.”
Megan paused on the top step of the Temple, turned this way, then that, looking up at the enormous columns and the soaring heights of carved marble. Then she turned to look back over the Presentation Square with cooling tree sculptures, toward the glittering, dream-like Marble Palace behind its curtain of fountains. The City's really cleaned up. Of course any place would, she thought. It really looks much nicer when it’s not on fire; full of blood and bodies.