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|Author||What happens in the Palace...|
|The Palace of the new Empire was much unlike that in the noble councilors’ homeland. Back in the lost lands, it used to be a two-storey building, quite compact, and luxurious inside much more than outside; its outer view was as modest as a Monarch’s residence could be, and only the fact that all major Capital routes intersected in one spot in front of it – the Central Square – could reveal the idea of how important the construction actually was.|
The new Empire could boast a stunning view on its main edifice. Two grand ells spread on both sides of a stunning parade entry with a colonnade that despite its mass looked so delicate that seemed to serve for purely decorative service. And those lucky enough to get inside would lose their breath in awe and rapture, astonished by its spacious elbowroom, let alone the unforeseen luxury and extravagance. No wonder that only the most selected representatives of the military were rendered the honour to serve standing guard in the Palace’s halls, corridors and bedchambers.
One such guardian was marching slowly down the corridor running across the Palace, linking both ells and the main building together. His well-trained senses, especially the sharp sight, easily revealed a massive figure clumsily hiding in the dark of one of the passageways. He recognised Councilor Arabat the next moment.
“That Demon again... that’s quite too often, and they were saying he is noble to the marrow of his bones... Ha! Probably pulling wool over one of Her Majesty’s maid’s eyes… Poor thing. A noble beard, but a lusty heart, that’s no doubt!” - the guardian thought. Without slowing down his pace, he spent a few seconds thinking whether or not to let the foreign councilor understand that he was discovered, but decided not to cause any trouble. After all, that was a nobleman recognized by the Court, needless to be alarmed about. The guardsman wisely continued his pace feigning unseeing, and soon turned around a corner and disappeared in the Palace’s corridor.
Arabat Flamesoul the Fourth, the noblest of all foreign councilors, the prime of the demons, the one who always insisted on being called by full title, – stealthily snuck on tiptoe towards a chamber in the hinder passage...
What a surprise it would have been to the guardsman, should he have stayed to hear the one whom he was visiting. “Councilor Arabat! There you are at last. Please come in!”, the Empress greeted him, tones of anticipation clearly resounding in Her voice. Wreathed in a smile, Arabat shut the door behind himself.
|"Have you brought it, councilor?" The Empress was sitting on a pouffe in the middle of the room. She motioned the demon to take a seat at the little tea-table which was prepared for the meeting; a candle was already lit, ink and seal were placed within Her Majesty's reach.|
"I have it on me, your Majesty", Arabat muttered nervously, moving to the table. "I must confess, I am glad this meeting of such sort is the last one, if I daresay..."
"You understand the reasons for the secrecy, do you not?" - the Empress interrupted in a cold tone.
"It is not about me, Your Majesty, not at all. I mean to say, should anyone have noticed me meeting Your Majesty off the throne, what kind of talk would there be! It would have stained the name of my Empress".
"And that is why I am sure you have invested labour to keep these meetings hidden. I enjoin you to show me the list".
"Of course, Your Majesty", the demon loitered, fishing a scroll out of his inner pocket and handing it over to the Empress.
Arabat Flamesoul the Fourth proved himself as a good economy specialist since his first few conversations with the Empress. Her Majesty was so thrilled by the advanced reasoning of the demon that shortly after She secretly ordered him to scrutiny the Empire economy to reveal its weak spots and develop a plan to eliminate them.
Finally, after months of his hard work and several stressful secret meetings for updates on his objectives, Her Majesty was holding the list of urgent necessary economic reformations. And She was pleased with the work. Soon, the entire Empire would take heed of the changes coming to the Empire lands.