A tour book is left at their table, though the person who put it there has disappeared into the crowd.
This time Qirka actually picks up the phone and hearing the message immediately starts laughing... "How about a hello your mercy next time? Great... Shalom Dircya! I know where Kievo Rus is... I could make it there, but where exactly are you? I mean... I do know, but it would be kind if you said it yourself..."
Dircya chuckles. "My apologies. We are in Minska, somewhere centrally. I don't know how to pronounce the name of the hotel we are staying in, but it translates to The Center of Minska."
The Embassy of Hyrkania has officially opened! In celebration of its completion, Blessed Hyrkania invites the great nations of the region to send their various ambassadors to the Embassy to experience its luxuries. With time, the Embassy could become the center of a great coalition that secures peace and freedom for all.
Tag: Kievo Rus
It takes less than an hour for Qirka to arrive in Minska... She walks to the hotel... No car, no public transport... She actually just walks, although with more than 20 people around her, armed and ready for anything...
Dircya steps out of a nearby corridor to greet Qirka, Isla in tow. "Your Mercy," They kneel. "It is a pleasure to have you join us," Dircya continues.
"I have been invited and there I am... My gifts for the royal family should reach their castle soon..." she says and the gifts of food, clothes and some sabers are being delivered to the royal family.
"As we all know... Khazar Lechia is currently closing for Pascha... We announced it some time ago and I am happy you were interested in talking about it..." says Qirka, the guards get a bit agitated that nobody did a full kowtow, but Qirka instructed them that in the land of Kievo Rus, an attack on their guests would be an insult to the host... So they do nothing...
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The Castellan Emperor has called a snap election at the advice of Parliament. The Libertarian-Conservative Alliance aims to gain a majority in the National Assembly, while the Liberals aim to keep their majority in the Assembly and end their minority government with the Labor Party. Her Highness Emira Kira al-Ahmed of Thalristan has begun a meeting in Al Abriyah, the capital of Thalristan, to establish an Arab nationalist and Thialren unionist party as a breakaway party from the Libertarian Party.
In other news, a growing number of people are supporting the renaming of the title of Castellan Emperor to Khagan, which was a title of numerous rulers of Thialrer before it was westernized. This is due to the purported Roman influence on the title of emperor, as well as the Thialren Empire, which is almost universally reviled across Thialrer due to its fascist, authoritarian, and autocratic nature. His Castellan Majesty the Castellan Emperor has yet to comment on this movement.
"I would be surprised if I am not being recorded... Telling others of what I tell you sounds like something you wouldn't need much permission for, so feel free to do that..." says Qirka.
Her guards are really annoyed at the fact they cannot do anything... Little Maria is not present for some reason, so nobody comments on this. One guard only whispers to himself "Boorcham Seteldik..." but he plays it out as part of his yawn...
"So... Do you want to talk on the street, or do you have a place in mind? I also heard there has been some minor disturbance with some leaders involved... Something about a terrorist..." she says, with a smile on her face. It's a genuine friendly smile, not a smile of happiness, or disgrace... Something changed...
Would it be a good idea to ask about the change in her character? Some guards low-key hope that this will actually happen, as they are interested themselves, but are not allowed to ask... Well... they are allowed, but whenever someone asks Qirka a question, while on duty, that's not important for their job, they get punished for doing their job wrong... usually by instant corporal punishment... as much exciting it may sound, it's important to remember that Qirka is actually a trained enforcers, specialised in... torture during interrogation... Some newbie guards are really shocked when they learn that Qirka can actually be very friendly in person...
Dircya and Isla politely ignores the hushed insult and turn their attention back to Qirka. "We wouldn't record you without your knowledge. It's an invasion of privacy, at least in our homeland," Isla says matter-of-factly. She is still ticked at Qirka for how she and al-Wajnov treated Lani. Dircya, on the other hand, has reluctantly accepted all of the delegates, including her own, must do as the Khatun asks in order to be heard.
"What will you be doing while in isolation?" she asks. Isla brings out a recorder and makes a point to show it to everyone in the vicinity.
Qirka: "We will be fasting, praying and reading for the most part. Radio stations turned off for the time voluntarily... Internet is still on, but majority tend to not use it, unless they have to... Now is the time when people make sure they have enough food, medicine and all that in their settlements... Nomads usually either settle for that time, or aid people by bringing medical aid and additional food supplies to settlements that happen to need them during the long fasting... Not everyone fasts at the same time... Muslims and Christians do it differently and Jews usually don't do it for so long, but many tend to start and end together, as a tradition... We also practice communal prayer in that time... People gather in the streets or in the middle of their settlement to pray. Usually settlements are home to people of common religion, but even if there is just one person with a different religion, they say their own prayer in public as well... Usually... None of this is actual law and none of this is enforced... I only described traditions..."
"What will you be doing during this period?" Dircya asks. "Seeing as you are the Khatun, do you have any obligations to fulfill over Pesach, or Pascha, as you say?"
"I say Pascha, as I am not Jewish... Technically my father was fully Jewish by blood, but I was raised a christian. Christians call it Pascha... It happens a bit later... The conclusion with the feast is on the first sunday after the Jewish celebration. I do not fully understand the question... I will be fasting, praying and I will partake in all religious meetings during that time. Being a Khatun means I do not get a break... If anything happens in the country I will still be notified, but as usually is the case, when the entire nation unanimously decides to do... nothing... pretty much... aside from religious activities... There is not much obligations I need to do. You do not have to believe me, but even the criminals tend to... take a break for that time... Only 0.9% of the people asked, said they are not interested in the religious break, but even they said that they can use a nice vacation... It's not a paid vacation, as nobody will be open or working, aside from the military, including the medical personnel and fire protection, but like I said... usually it tends to be pretty calm in the nation during that time.
The only thing that makes me stand out from others in the time of any religious celebrations is that as a heavenly empress I get to... take the sacrament by myself... I am not assisted by a priest... I do it all myself... There are also special thrones in the churches in case I visit, as I sit closer to the altar... It's a bit hard to explain, but it dates back to the first time an eastern-roman emperor became a Christian... As far as I know... a Jewish Monarch is not much different than just a Jewish politician of any kind, other than the coronation and all... I cannot recall if Muslims have anything different for a Monarch either... Anyway that's it basically...
If I may... Lady Isla... I can tell you've lost your natural enthusiasm and friendly tone... What happened?" says Qirka... She is still a trained enforcer, specializing in... interrogation... if something can be taken out from a person just by looking it usually meant less work for her, so she can read people's expressions, even when they are experienced politicians who naturally hide their true face behind their diplomatic facade... None of that works on Qirka... She may not be able to read minds, but she can tell when someone is pretending, given she knows enough about them... Taken into account she has access to a huge illegally compiled database on everyone in the region, that's not hard to accomplish...
“Don’t mind me,” Isla covers her mouth and releases a small yawn. “I still have a bit of jet lag from the plane, and it makes me irritable.”
“Not to worry,” Dircya chimes in. “I just have one more question for you, Qirka, after which Isla can lie down. What will happen in Khazar Lechia when Pesach comes to a close? Will life revert back to its normalcy slowly, or immediately?”
"To answer your question... It depends on the person... and to answer my question, which has been avoided... I will not let you dodge a question lady Isla. I know you are mad at me and you blame me for the way Lani is seen in Khazar Lechia... Is that the reason why you are acting different now when I answer you invitation?" she asks, loosing her smile, going into a cold, emotionless, but non-threatening expression, as she holds her hands in front of her waist.
“I don’t blame you for anything, Khatun,” Isla begins. “I am just upset that you and Lani couldn’t get along, and I apologize for taking my emotions out on you.”
"I hope I am not interrupting anything important.", the Masked Man says as he walks over from the crowd. It's as if he appeared from nowhere.
Qirka laughs a bit, then gets closer to Isla and places her hand on her shoulder "Oh you did not... You are perfectly calm and nice... I just wanted to know what happened... I am not happy it didn't work out... Sadly I do not have the privledge of being a private individual... I am a slave of the state and my relations as well as the way I act is... predefined to a large extent..." she says, at first she had a very happy smile, but in the last sentence it completely faded away...
One of the enforcers acts on their instincts and immediately restrains the man, slamming him into the ground violently... Qirka sees this and cringes a bit... "Speak of the devil... Now... To be honest I would immediately call them to be released, but I can't... Not unless local authorities tell me to do so... or until we know their intent or identity... I do not like this... Now imagine if this was the Tzar... That would mean the enforcer will be punished before the region for international crime! There is no law that allows them doing it or prevents them from this so I cannot do much here..."
"Close, I am third in line for the throne. The eldest son of Dimka and Tierney. Though you wouldn't hear any media talking about me, for talk of Heirs is illegal in Kievo Rus.", he explains.
Dircya claps her hands. “Well,” she starts, eyes darting in every direction. “Thank you for answering our questions, Qirka. It was a pleasure to meet you, sir-“ This is said to the heir. “-but we must be going now.”
Dircya takes Isla’s hand and they take a step back, leaving Qirka’s hand mid-air, where Isla’s shoulder was.
“I would feel more comfortable if you didn’t touch me, Your Mercy,” Isla apologizes, before walking away.