“Master Dionis,” the soldier who had approached the pudgy, blond priest had the sun god Jokkiel’s flaming skull on his breast plate as a badge, “the Sun Emperor requires your presence.”
“Of course,” Dionis turned away from the small, low tent that contained the bedroll he wasn’t used to yet, “I’ll come at once.” A priest of the Lady of Time without a position or a sheltering temple couldn’t afford to be slow when the man prophecy said was going to be master of the known world sent for him.
He knew where the Imperial tent was, of course, but he let the soldier lead the way. The Sun Emperor, Jonan, had married the seer from the now collapsed temple, where Dionis had also worked and lived, yesterday morning. Dionis didn’t want to arrive in their canvas walled nuptial bower before he was expected and unannounced.
A worrying thought occurred to him. Perhaps the seer had complained about him? He had been an instrument of the bullying campaign her mother and the high priest had used to keep her under their thumb. Despite that, he’d thought they’d had a fraternal relationship – ordered to work together but understanding more about the work than the people who’d had power over them.
When he was ushered into the large tent he found himself in a small, partitioned-off section in the front of it that contained a round table with a map on it, five chairs, the Sun Emperor, a priest in Jokkiel’s robes, the thin faced and unhappy-looking man would been at yesterday morning’s trance ceremony and a hard muscled soldier of about nineteen.
“Gentlemen,” Jonan took a draw on the cigar that would have been a damnable habit except it kept the divine spark of Jokkiel within him suppressed, “Callev here will explain the details but I have a little job for the three of you. Someone is stealing my citizens.” He took another draw on the aromatic cigar. “I want it stopped.”