Here is a bit of the chapter:
“Are you sure, Ambassador?” Avin asked the man seated at the head of the conference table.
“Yes, I am quite sure. I just spoke with her recently and I was assured that we could celebrate the Day of Awakening at the Temple.”
“This is great news,” beamed Ony’a. “We can once again hold our most sacred ritual in its rightful...”
“Just a moment,” Mirov broke in. “I didn’t ask permission to engage in any extensive ritual.”
“Why not?” asked Avin.
Ambassador Mirov looked down the length of the conference table at the faces staring back at him. To his right sat the majority of the Myshkan Leadership: the representative commander from each province except Lukva. To his immediate left sat Lagos who had been asked to join this meeting because of his recent raid. He, in turn, asked that Ony’a, Lyrin, and Erut be allowed to join him. Getting Ony’a and Lyrin to sit at the table was not a problem, but the appearance of Erut was making a few attendees uncomfortable.
Mirov straightened himself. “I had only just met the new maceoran. I did not want to strain the relationship.”
Lyrin’s thunderous voice cut across the room as he leaned forward. “Strain the relationship? She’s a maceoran. You think she’s going to invite you over for tea now? Maybe you two will talk about the latest design in bodysuits while you nibble on cookies.”
On the other side of the table from the him the commanders of the other provinces gave Lyrin an incredulous look. Lagos, trying hard not to laugh, saw them and then shot his friend a look as well, one that asked him to kindly hold his tongue. Lyrin settled back into his chair.
“What was your impression of the maceoran?” Ony’a asked the ambassador.
“She’s stiff and formal, but tolerant. She seems to be most concerned with maintaining order,” Mirov responded.
“Well, if that is the case,” said Lagos. “The re-institution of our sacred rituals may be in line with that goal. Do you know anything more about his new maceoran, uh…”
“She calls herself Rin,” Mirov added.
Lagos nodded to the ambassador. “Do you know anything about this maceoran Rin, Erut?”
Erut glanced at the faces looking in his direction. It was hard not to miss the animosity that prowled just behind the eyes of many of them. “I’m just a lijun. I know very little about the goings-on in the halls of the officers and leadership.”