We had arrived back at the door to the palace. My majordomo was waiting for us there; apparently there was a letter from my Father that required my attentions. I begged leave of the Princess to go deal with the matter.
When we returned to the residence provided for me I thanked my Majordomo for providing me the exit. I did not like the fact that I had to arrange for such escapes from Sohana, and I would have canceled this one had we not been so pleasantly engaged in conversation. I also could not let it simply pass and remained with her: the closer I appeared to my Father, the more respect I showed to my house.
The sun was setting, the entire city bathed in the violet, rose, and cantaloupe palette of twilight. I breathed deeply of the cooling air, enjoying the array of possibility that existed in this. Even though it was still recent, I had already started considering twilight “my” time. I quickly changed into a simple tunic and pants, wrapping and tying the weighted sash in such a way that a single tug would unwind it for use. I also made sure to bring two fans, just in case. I would go through the poor district dressed and looking like a common street-walker, and for that I needed props. While I readied myself my Majordomo came in.
“I have decided to get much rest this evening, and so after handling affairs with my Father I retired for the evening. Due to the nature of my rest however, I should be available shortly after dawn to handle the affairs of today should anyone require me between now and then.” He nods, and goes to leave before stopped and turning back.
“Sire, if I may?”
“Speak. You know I value your opinion.”
“I simply wonder if this deception is necessary. It is obvious to see that Sohana has taken a fancy to you.”
“Please, use her title. And I wonder if it is necessary to. But I do not yet know how she will feel if she should discover the truth, and until I know that… The less people know the better. I must tread carefully, and so despite my desire to truly be honest with someone, until I know whether or not my caution is to the betterment or detriment of our House and its place in the Great Game, none must know.”
He nods, and once more leaves. I quietly follow along the servant access to the house, exiting by a side door, and cautiously making my way to the balustrade.