Urutlen sat behind the low table, watching Lady Aletheya hiSankoru walking about the small room that served as his quarters in the Temple of Ksarul in Jakalla. He had been surprised when she’d arrived unannounced earlier. Urutlen had been studying a Llyani lexicon when the wooden clacker outside his room had been used to indicate a visitor. He now sat as she examined the few small sculptures which occupied small wooden pedestals around the room.
Urutlen was uncomfortable with the situation. Lady Aletheya wore full temple regalia, black robes, a squarish motarboard-shaped velvet headdress, and a black, wooden mask. Urutlen, on the other hand, wore just a simple black robe. He had requested an audience with Lady Aletheya, but had expected to be summoned to her quarters, not an unexpected arrival by her to his.
Lady Aletheya came over before his table and gracefully sat down on the mat there. She then unexpectedly reached up and removed her mask and headdress. Despite the fact he’d heard rumors concerning her, he was startled to see her clear, azure, eyes for the first time. She noticed his reaction and smiled, putting out her hand, “I believe you have correspondence for me from the temple at Bey Sy.”
Urutlen handed across the packet of documents, and watched as she opened and began reading them. She appeared younger than he’d expected, with dark skin and long black hair. Other than her startling blue eyes, she was typical of the Tsolyani woman, though exceptionally attractive. Her brow furrowed as she read.
He sat patiently as she went through the documents. She finished and looked up at Urutlen and smiled. “Lord Quren speaks highly of you and your work at the Archives. You were a valuable asset there and he says you are missed. Lord Kerektu also sends his recommendations and praises your work.”
She set the parchments aside and a serious expression came over her face. “We have heard rumors and news of the events and circumstances of the Mirusiya's Ascension. You are the first of our brethren to arrive since he ascended the throne. I felt that hearing your impressions of events there might shed some light on what we may expect here.”
Urutlen carefully considered her request. “I believe that if we are expecting things to be smoother because we have an Emperor who follows the Tlokiriqualuyal, we are going to be disappointed. I believe the actions of Prince Dhich’une following his father’s death as well as Prince Mridobu’s coup, Emperor Mirusiya has little reason to trust us much.” He held up his hand as Lady Aletheya started to protest, “The Emperor’s actions concerning Zu’ine hiVazhu in Meku would tend to support my observations. Despite his open attack on , and the destruction of the Temples of Hur’u, Sarku, and our Lord Ksarul in Meku, in direct violation of the Condordat, yet not only has he not been dealt with, he is actually being called to Avanthar to an audience with the Emperor. Word has it that apartments there have been prepared for him.”
Urutlen continued, “I might add that Emperor Mirusiya has more in common with the Military Party and the Imperialist Party than the Religious Party. He is a man of action, even if he is devoted to Vimuhla. He has retained the services of Kettukal hiMraktine, who I might add was Prince Eselne’s man. Mirusiya was of the Vriddi, who have long had conflict with the Vimuhla Temples outside of their lands. I have heard of the Emperor’s devotion to Vimuhla, but I believe if it is a conflict between Vriddi and the Temple, the Temple will lose out.”
He continued, “I do not, however, question Emperor Mirusiya’s devotion to Tsolyanu. If it is a question of what action will be taken, I have no question that Mirusiya will choose the noble course of what will serve the Empire best.”
Lady Aletheya gave Urutlen a small smile. “And what of you, Priest Urutlen? Where do your loyalties lie? Are they with Lord Kerektu in Bey Sy? Do you wish to return to your musty books and scrolls in the Archive of the Indigo Tower? What are your plans, your desires?”
Urutlen was taken aback by the Lady’s question. “I will serve in whatever role my superiors ask, in whatever tasks they give me. I will continue my studies to increase my value to the Prince and I will put my knowledge and skills to whatever use he would have for me. I am simply a thread on the loom of his skein, waiting to be woven into it.”
Lady Aletheya smiled once more, and gathered the letters Urutlen had given her. “I believe that you are destined for something greater than you wish. Your experience, knowledge, and skills seem to be pointing something greater than being,” she laughed softly, “a librarian.” Rising to her feet she started to turn to leave, “We will speak again, Priest.” She then left his room.