Ch. 101. A Serenely Gracious Gift

Y’lanna had to admit she was hungry herself.  Having spent some time on solid ground she was starting to get back her full appetite. She accepted the paperwork with its seals and placed it into her right hip pocket. She smiled at Ruili and accepted his gentlemanly offer.  Maybe things weren’t as different as they initially appeared to be.

Ruili was engaged in small talk with the Chancellor.  While the content was absolutely foreign in that it was related to things that she could not know, there was an obvious familiarity. It was like, suddenly, the bureaucrat became a real person with family, personal experiences and friends. That was, in itself, a surprise, but there was more to it than that, a personal relationship between Ruili and the Chancellor. It wasn’t of a romantic nature — she well and truly knew those looks — but perhaps extremely close friend or a relative perhaps.

Either way it was interesting and rather disconcerting, considering the differences in the two of them, which lead Y’lanna right back to thinking about her current situation. ‘Their Serene Graces’ — she had never met any sitting monarch, ruling council or similar, and she was sure that was going to be an interesting experience.

One thing she knew she had to do is make a good impression, though of course she also had to be herself. A good impression relied on a good number of things.  Being utterly false was if anything going to be a hindrance. So the answer lay in not being false, just being creative with the truth.

It didn’t seem long, and they were at the Villa Grippio. The sights and smells, they were so foreign yet still very enticing. The birds and their songs, the fragrance wafting through the air and the sun gleaming down on the building before them. It was something that she had never experienced before, something she could have never experienced on the Cerebral Moon.  Everything was so cold and clinical there, being surrounded almost entirely by metal.

When Ruili stated that the villa was ‘the ducal residence,’ having an entirely different system of titles, Y’lanna had no way of knowing that it was referring to the residence of a Duke and Duchess. Is that their last name? Y’lanna thought, ‘The Ducals?’  She shrugged at that and simply moved along into the house with Ruili and the Chancellor.

Inside it was just as impressive as outside.  It looked warm, prestigious, more importantly, extremely well-endowed financially. The powder blue doors opened up to a powder-blue desk and a man in a powder-blue suit. A rather interesting place indeed, the powder-blue must be an indicator, maybe of a personage, or use.  Possibly the personal lodgings of the Ducals perhaps? Which if it was, would certainly make sense considering that she was here to see them.

The man in the suit opened another door which revealed a man and a woman sitting down. This must be them. The man in the suit made their announcements, Ereonis. That little fact did not escape Y’lanna’s attention.  So she was right — Ruili and the Chancellor, apparently named Enlei, were relatives of some kind. However there was something that was perhaps the most shocking of all. Son? Ruili was not just a Captain, or even Lord High Admiral — presumably the ruler of the Navy – but their son.

That only left how to address those before her. She remembered that the Chancellor referred to them as ‘Their Serene Graces,’  but that wasn’t quite the same context, and so she went with a bow.  “Your Graces, it is a welcome honour to  be here,” she said when the Duke addressed her.

“Thank you, Your Graces.” she said as they commented on her ‘beauty’ and the new set of clothes. The immediacy of the lunch did catch Y’lanna slightly off guard and the insistence of the Duchess to talk about her, this of course was the question — how much and what to say.

“There isn’t much to tell, I am 187 years old, a young adult by my species standards, and when the opportunity came to flee from my circumstances, I took it and ended up here. I’m just looking for somewhere to start a new life and I am just glad to have that opportunity thanks to your son.” She told the Duchess as they approached the table and sat down.

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