A servant cames to my room several hours after breakfast. "Lord Eathon has requested an informal private audience in his chambers."
"Please tell him I will be with him shortly."
"Of course ma'am." He turned, and walked away. I changed into a simple, yet at least somewhat formal outfit. While usually I could care less what Eathon thought of my clothing, I wished to make at least a decent impression. Eathon's room was just next to mine, but I still managed to get interrupted on the way there. A strange creature, a imp with the head of a man, spoke to me from the corner.
"Excuse me Mrs. Masamba sends a message. He will see you shortly." He then scampered away.
I shook my head as he walked away, knocking on the door. It opened, and Eathon greeted me himself. "Cousin, I assume you got my missive? Good morning my dear, come in, come in!"
He hugged me as I entered, clothed in his dressing gown. I hadn't meant to disturb him, so I offered to come back later. "Good morning. I can come back later if you like?"
"You look lovely as always, excuse my dress, but I'm just not in a festive mood today. We're making plans for my mother's tomb."
"You flatter me, as usual." I paused as he mentioned the tomb. "I see. I wished to talk to you about the arrangements."
"Have a seat, have a look, I find nothing is grand enough without being gaudy."
I stepped in and took a seat, allowing myself to relax as we talked. The furniture was arranged conversationally, and very relaxing. "Have you thought about what kind of...service...you planned to have?"
"I'm not sure, a parade through Amber, perhaps more of the Circle."
"I wish to be included."
"Of course my dear! You have as much right as any of us."
"As much right, but it might be thought not as much desire."
"I no longer guess as to the desires of my relatives. Please, let me know everything you wish to know or want to be involved in." He started to show me various monument and tomb sketches and parade uniforms. I had to admit, my cousin was much more personable that I thought, even considering the circumstances.
He was drinking readily as we talked, and offered me a glass, which I sipped at slowly. No good getting myself drunk. Finally, I decided to get to the point of my visit. "My sense of aesthetics is probably not suited to someone of her stature, but I would like to lead her carriage in the procession."
"Certainly my dear!"
I would have expected more resistance to granting me such a position of honor. "You are most kind, cousin." I paused, and decided to push my luck. "What do you think of the regency?"
"Its going to be ugly my dear, very ugly. Many will jump at the chance to be the ruler of Amber. Siobhan Paki, Sato, Rose, who knows what will happen."
"And while they fight it out, Amber is open others wishing to prey on our divisiveness"
"I fear mostly for the lives of the men and women they'll throw between them." My cousin showed considerable more interest in the lives of those in shadow than most.
"I'm not sure how much we will be able to prevent it."
"Not at all my dear, not at all."
"Do you have any plans for the near future?"
"No. I want nothing to do with what's to come. I'll probably take my leave when I've finished with all of this. I've been unable to contact my sister, and I'd like to see what she's gotten herself into."
What was he really up to? "I will be here, if you need information. I have duties that will be all the more pressing in the chaos."
I stood. "In the meanwhile, let me know if my assistance is needed in further planning." We talked for a minute or two longer, and then I took my leave.