The Temple was doing something. Farasha and Kyriala were both seemingly unconscious, though neither of them let go of Gannara or Minis. They sat, thighs touching, and Akminchaer examined first Farasha and then Kyriala.
“Let the dekinae take Fara, Gan,” Minis said. He couldn’t bear to move because he could feel Ky’s blood spreading over his legs, turning the Imperial whites into a gory mess and he knew if he moved he’d have to acknowledge it. His throat was knotted tight.
“Please, let us put her to bed… here in the Temple,” Narilla said, quietly. “She’s not cramping any longer, she’s asleep.”
Minis held his breath to keep from whimpering, or weeping. His middle was iron, even as his hands held Ky gently. I will be strong for her. “It will be all right, love. It will be all right. The Ten will hold you in Their hands.” Ten hold her in Your vast and protective arms. Please. Please save her. Please save the baby. Please please… an unending drone of prayer in his head.
“Imperator, please let us tend the Imperatrix. Let go of her, please. Imperator. Minis, let us help Kyriala. Let her go.”
They managed to pry her out of his hands, revealing the congealing blood all over the back of her nightgown, and him. Gan and he turned to each other and clutched. Gan uncaring of blood, or tears. Minis bowed his head and hid his face, Gan as well. Gan wept, freely, openly, sobbing but saying ‘They’ll be all right. They’ll be all right.”
“Yes, Gan.” He could barely hear anything but the deafening clatter of the Summoner. He’s here. He’s here. The Ten are taking a life to Selestialis and I cannot stop them. I can hear him. Summoner, go. Go back to Selestialis. Go back to the vacuum of darkness where nothing lives. I abjure you, go back to the place out of which we fell so long ago. Be a shooting star against the night. Go. Cradle some other soul in the cage of your claws. Elegant bone, who is inside us our whole lives, stay hidden inside the living flesh. Protect the loving, beating heart, please. You who are the spirit of bone who is the father of blood and the container of the human sea.
He let himself shake, but his face was calm, even as his breath shuddered in and out. He could hear the new Mahid blocking writers who would dare, even in the Temple itself.
“What’s happening? What’s going on? Honoured Mahid, please let us know. I realize, I won’t bother them, I won’t talk to them but can you tell me what’s going on?”
“Sers and Seras,” Fifth Traforan’s voice was calm but brooked no attempt to push past him. “The Marble Palace will issue a statement, in a timely fashion. I request that you give the Imperial family a bit more space.” He and First Emilia eased them back, away from where Minis and Gannara sat before Risae.
Ten save them. Save them. I’d give my own life for theirs if I may. Ten save them. Ten…
Ky's new sleeve puppies, Cuddles and Snort, along with ancient old Socks began howling somewhere in the Temple, distantly, three tiny voices echoing from the stone ceilings and the unchanging stone faces of the Ten, grieving disaster.