Journey to the South: Twenty-Three of Thirty

Posted: February 24, 2013 in Fiction
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     While the Consulate was decorated quite finely – bright Yevijiri rugs, some Zyvakri pottery, and several murals done in stucco depicting scenes from both Kravri and Yevijiri myth – it was by no means opulent or ostentatious. We were greeted by an aide to the Consul, a Yevijiri woman of middle years named Shan’eth, who was dressed in the robes of the Kravri, though her hands, forearms, and face were decorated with the dark brown temporary tattoos common among women of the region surrounding Akhem. Shan’eth informed us that the Consul, Dar I’igaruu Sharai, was at the time out visiting and taking a midday meal with some of the city’s merchants, but would return later in the afternoon.

    “Until then, I and some of the other servants would be more than pleased to get you situated within your rooms here and attend to whatever needs you may have, Ambassador,” the Yevijiri woman said, her brown eyes bright and friendly.

    Slaves owned by the Consulate ferried our belongings in from the carriage to the rooms we would be occupying for the next four days until our ship from Sirr arrived. As they did that, we bid our farewells to Rajai and the other priests of Tule, whose ship was already berthed they told us, and waiting for them to board. I wished the old priest and his companions fair winds and calm seas for their journey, and thanked them once again for relaying my message to Dux Harim Gharan Loati. The old man smiled, his teeth shining like ivory from that dark, graying beard of his, wished us the luck of the Kritanoi and then they were off, their carriage traveling down the dusty, cobbled streets of Akhem to the harbor.

    We were shown to our rooms – elegant but simple affairs that were a welcome respite from the intimately close conditions of the carriage – and I must admit that we collapsed into a deep sleep near instantaneously. I dreamed of Cuahuatec and his dead, blind eyes; as well, I had odd visions of a city covered in ivy and other greenery, and of a smiling feminine figure. We were woken by one of Shan’eth’s assistants, who informed us that the Consul had returned and would be joining us for our evening’s supper. We bathed and clothed ourselves, and were guided through the Consulate’s hallways to a large dining room lit by several candelabras and warmed by a large fire in the hearth, with the city being situated right on the Yevij Sea the air begins to cool quickly in Akhem as Tulaar descends for the evening. We were greeted by a tall, heavy-set man man whose smile and personality exceeded the girth of his waist significantly. Dar I’igaruu Sharai was a joyful, exuberant man whose graying hair belied the energy he obviously felt and displayed. As we dined on goose, cheese, stuffed grape leaves, and honeyed wine, the Consul regaled us with some of his own stories of his many years living in Akhem, or “the City of Qat” and many of the Yevijiri still proudly proclaimed it.

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