Minis sat down on the edge of Muunas’s palm as the crowded Temple began emptying out to go dry themselves off, as if the rain festival were still running. Doof flapped over to land on his arm, then slide down to his lap, tangling in his wet hair, looking bedraggled as though she were just hatched. The mysterious second parrot, a red and grey, put his scarlet crest up and tried to preen Doof’s feathers without getting any closer to Minis. He laughed and scratched Doof before setting her next to her suitor. “Good luck,” he said to the grey, winking at him.
Then he slid down Muunas’s lap to his feet, to find both Radas and Narilla waiting for him, each with a cup in their hands. “You need sustenance,” Radas said and they watched him quaff the drinks that only the Temple could make, made of light and energy and air. His lips tingled and his tongue and gums and throat as Gan flung his arm over his shoulders.
“You’ll be easy to beat, sparring, brother mine!” He crowed as Antras politely cleared his throat to announce that the Marble Palace staff were there at their Imperator’s disposal.
“You and whose Mahid?” Minis whispered as Ky came down, one of the only people not soaking wet except for the very hem of her dress.
Farasha straightened and let out her breath, Narilla turned to her. “Timing,” she said. “I think I am in labour…”
Gan and Minis whooped and Ky laughed so hard she cried as the priestesses swooped on Farasha and carried her and Gan off to the Temple birthing pool.
Shkai’ra leaned over to whisper in Megan’s ear. “Pretty impressive spook pushing.”
The Zak smiled as Ili and his Haian friend mounted the horses and led the whole herd carefully out of the Temple. “It was astonishing on every level. Lixand –“
“—Mata I think I want to stay in Arko for a while,” he broke in. “I don’t think Ardas will want to come back here…”
“He can decide, just as you can. I was thinking that I’d stay a while myself, open an office for the company here.”
Shkai’ra laughed. “You like big cities, love.”
Megan looked down at her hands. “I think I’ll learn how to fly… and we can go home to Brahvniki every moon.”