“Thank you for the suggestion, Marshal”, says Faisal, nodding in Nicholas’ direction. “I shall speak with Captain Carson about better coordination of our patrols.”
Walking beside Scarlet and behind the two men, Deirdre glances surreptitiously at the High Priestess before speaking up. “The Captain has been more available than usual since the Solstice Ball, mualim. He now frequently visits us at the construction site.”
Oblivious to the look given to the acolyte by the red-haired woman, Faisal nods absently and turns down a side street. Nicholas stops abruptly, forcing the two women to sidestep and avoid stumbling over him. “Ummm… Perhaps we should take another route, General. Maybe this way?”
The dark-skinned man glances back and frowns, his stride hardly slowing. “We are already going to be late for the Council Meeting, Marshal. That path will take much longer.”
The younger man mutters something under his breath, but sighs in resignation as he falls into step behind the three followers of Sarenrae. Within moments he groans inwardly as the quartet reach the construction site he was trying to avoid.
Faisal pauses as he notices the building. “I did not know we were also building in this area, Marshal. What purpose will this structure serve?”
Nicholas shuffles uncomfortably, wishing he had left for the meeting earlier. “Ah…. well…. you see… it’s…. ummm… that is….”
Faisal turns to the red-faced young man, frowning in confusion. “Yes, Marshal?”
“It’s…. a brothel”, Nicholas finally admits, bracing himself for the holy warrior’s reaction.
Faisal turns back to the partly raised building. “I see. Very good. We should hurry and not keep the others waiting.”
As the dark-skinned warrior heads toward the castle, Nicholas glances at the two women, confusion clear in his expression. Deirdre falls into step with the young man and smiles knowingly.
“Qadiran custom considers a woman’s choice and desire to be preeminent and sacred. This extends to relationships, love and apparently even intimacy. Those who pursue the role of courtesan, companion, or mistress are not looked down upon, but honoured in their choices. I expect the General considers the brothel to be a respectable and proper business enterprise, like any other.”
The dark-haired woman gives the High Priestess another sidelong glance before continuing.
“And given recent revelations about the Dawnsister’s family tree, I expect she has few objections to women who choose to share their virtues with men other than their husbands.”