Here they are:
"I know why you're here," the Imperial ambassador said tersely. "You want to convince Karushra to rebel."
"Their allegiance is their choice," Orennian replied smoothly. "Give the same respect and protection the Empire always has, and they'll make the right choice."
The Path-Guide accepted his offer graciously, then ordered that it be divided into two bowls. "By tradition, the guest eats first."
An act of cunning practicality, disguised as generosity. Any who sought to poison him must be prepared to poison themselves.
A Charishi kitten bounded past Orennian on all fours. The Wandering Days, he recalled from his studies; pre-bipedal kittens went through a phase of independent exploration, with every nearby adult responsible for their safety. The child of one was the child of all.
Screams split the air, and Ambassador Orennian lunged into a run.
He had to find the source before it was too late. He wouldn't be like the Imperial military, who ignored Charishi in distress.
He flung open the flap of the tent... and found a woman giving birth.
Ambassador Orennian strode slowly through the streets, head high and chin level. With every step, his back was ramrod straight, his posture perfect, his measured movements careful and smooth.
They had to be. If they weren't, the kitten on his head might fall off.
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