My apartment was barely enough for a bed, bathroom, and a kitchen. I hit the glowing blue panel by the door to check my messages.
There was one from from Juin. “Rilas, I haven’t heard from not surprising considering, but don’t tire yourself out. You’re no good anyone if you die from exhaustion. I talked to the Go On Don, and I will be there for the speech. They didn’t want me to go. You know, their usual Go On Don can’t be involved in politics argument. I told them either I go, or I quit the Go On Don.” He laughed. “Which convinced them perhaps it would be best for me to go. Take care of yourself.”
Against my will I smiled. I knew he shouldn’t be risking his training to be at speech, yet it made me happy. Maybe, I did love Juin?
A knock at my door jerked me free of my thoughts. With a groan I hit the command and it glided open. I blinked at the Jirth standing my doorway. By the glossy brown robe it was Leader of Jirth. The mottled brown spots across its body stood in contrast to the nearly white skin. “Leader of Jirth, what can I do for you?”
It bowed showing off the full fringe of hair on its oblong head. “Teacher of Einlari, may I come in?”
“Of course.” I stepped the side allowing the large creature ample room to get by.
With the strange, flowing gait it moved a few steps into the room before turning to face me. It folded its three fingered hands together. “I suspect the judgement of the Council will be that Einlari will no longer be our vassals.”
“I suspect that as well.” I wasn’t sure what the Leader wanted. There was only ten of them at one time in Jirth society. I had only met one my entire life. And, for one to come to my apartment, unannounced, unescorted was beyond strange.
Its skin flushed an array of colors in the dim light. “Einlari do not look upon us with favor. I understand. Some of my people do not, however I was chosen for my ability to understand other races. I do not wish to enmity between Jirth and Einlari. If Council does not free Einlari, I will make the Jirth free you. I am also prepared to waive the payment offer you gave the Council, and allow your people to keep all the profits.”
I stumbled back a bit in surprise. “Why are you telling me this?” I wouldn’t have dreamed of even asking to not be taxed.
“Einlari may not acknowledge it. Jirth don’t either, but you are Leader of Einlari. You protect them to your own suffering. You always think of them before yourself. You work to benefit them. I acknowledge you are a being of great honor. The generations ago of Jirth did not treat you well.” Leader of Jirth pulled itself fully upright brushing its head against the ceiling. “I will not this mistake. I will not let the rest of Jirth make it either.” Its skin didn’t change, or flush at all during the speech. It was honest, and with even emotions.
Something clicked in my mind. Jirth generally do not think themselves as individuals. Yet, there was a single Go On Don Jirth living. “Miek, you are Miek, aren’t you?”
A flush of red confirmed it as it tipped its head. “I am. I will see you in two days, Leader of Einlari.” A flush of pleasure swept through me. Leader of Einlari the title sounded right to me.
I moved out the way sitting on my bed. It tapped the panel, the door opened, and it left. I let out a half laugh, half sigh. “Okay, now I’m going to bed before anything else happens.”