SC.2023.22. Tsou Dawn Standard
"Kill me, kill me now!"
"Oh, stop whining, we're going to see a great spectacle, Mako said."
"When did I say a 'great spectacle'?"
"Err, you said we were going to see what few Kagomine had ever seen, with their own eyes..."
"Outside of ambassadors, you've met the only Kagomine who've ever seen this... All of them, Meihomei, Marhamat Dandelion, Tadros Dandelion and Valias Herringbone."
"How do you know?"
"You're allowed to see, since you're an attache and her husband... Otherwise, I'd not have gotten permission to show this to you."
"What? I'm not even the attache yet..."
"Oh, you are, your papers have been received by the King, the rest is only formality, which will happen after this ceremony, which is why you're here."
"What? Explain, please?" Piersa was hyperventilating.
"Look, I can't explain, but it's nothing bad, it is a singular honour you're being shown. The king's son and heir will meet us, after the ceremony you're about to witness, because it is his flag."
"When one is named the heir to the throne, a little after puberty, one is named Announcer of the Dawn, or Dawn Prince for short, and also called 'depository of honour', a title not unlike your. Prince Donovan is called Announcer of the Dawn, because on every formal occasion, he preceeds his father, bearing this particular flag, which you will see soon."
"Ya-ye." Spoke an attendant on the edge of the Grand Square of the Dawn
"Ya-yo." A fierce whisper resonated from another part of the crowd.
"Ne-yo." It was met, from the same distance, but the opposite direction.
"Ne-li?" Across the square, the seniormost attendant, his hand over his eyes, said the ritual words, translated they read: 'Where is the sun?'
Four more senior attendants, each in Wunglil in four variations of the colours of the dawn ran to him and prostrated themselves on the floor. As they reached the floor, sixteen drums beat a rapid crescendo and the hundred or so people in attendance still standing took either a knee, or prostrated themselves, as per their own status. Piersa and Dentrag had been trained, and took a knee.
"Ima! Ima!" 'Here it is, here is <the sun>' came a youth of no more than seventeen, beardless, his wungli in brightest orange, brocaded in gold, orange jade, and ivory, set with ropes of pearls from his shoulders to his ankles, carrying the massive staff of a simple flag: its fabric an orange rectangle as long as he was tall, bisected diagonally with a line of green, two lines of gold, and two lines of purest ivory. Behind him, green jade and brocade heavy on his robes, was a man quite akin to him, his father, Sulaiman Tsu'reik, Ruler of the Tsou, pacing himself not to rush the boy, who was probably outweighed by the flag, or at least, outlevered by it, since the mast was quite tall. These dignitaries crossed the plaza, and as they did, on schedule, the sun was rising to their backs, blinding those unused to the procedure at least a little bit.
Mako: "We must remain here." She stayed prostrate, and indicated to her charges they likewise must remain kneeling.
"I am Donovan Tsu'reik, I welcome my honoured guests to this holy place, this hallowed hall of my people. Make yourselves known."
"I am Piersa Ouranos of the Kagomei, I have come to this embassy to advise the worthy Voice of Meihomei in Military matters. With me is my husband, Dentrag Aixpee, esquire." She had never called him that before, it felt strange, but explaining a Sun'ga to a foreign prince would have been... baroque. "And our guide, Mako, of your own people and family, I would not presume..."
"Thank you, honoured guest. As if the great Kwit Ehael would know my name." She was blushing, but then, Piersa didn't know they'd been childhood sweethearts.
"But I would, Kinna Makorei. It has been long since you've visited us."
"Great Ehael, I had duties."
"I should totally make one of your duties to smile at me all day, Makorei, that my day be all the brighter."
"I am not worthy." Mako was blushing, and it was making her two kagomine hosts uncomfortable, Amarat wouldn't force anyone into his company like that, they were aghast.
"We know your names, we will speak them unto the dawn, forevermore." At least he's not being a dick about it, Piersa thought to herself.
"The great Kwit Ehael honours us, we will remember being called onto the rolls of the dawn." Remembering her lines was difficult, he was still cute, but she managed, just barely.
"See that do you, the Dawn's glory forgives not those who forsake it." The translation had a glitch there, but it was let unchallenged.
"Kagomei serves the dawn in its own way, we remember the dawn, we serve it's glory."
"We are unworthy, but we are ready to serve." Dentrag replied, umprompted.
"Kinna Makorei, teach those, I would call them useful to the dawn, they serve with purpose." Mako prostrated herself again, meekly, as her charges kneeled again.
"Thank you, that was scarier than I thought..."
"You knew him?"
"I dated him, when we were younger, I was considered highly enough not to be a repulsive match, except they expected him to marry outside Tsou."
"They have a primary match for him?"
"Princess Lethnie of Lolland."
"Ugh, she'd be thirty-nine."
"Uh, oh, we always seem to have trouble picking the age of people, she'd be older?"
"She's double his age, plus three, if I'm not mistaken, he looks 18, just barely?"
"Oh, my, no, he'll be 17 next week."
"I thought you were kidding, and that he was older than he looked, he's sixteen now? And they want to match him with that woman? She's perfectly fine, but a teenager, unlike him, she is not."