Kero didn’t skip a beat. “I’ve got no idea how our Council’s going to take it if some foreign mages say they’re like Heralds.”
“Yes, you do,” Talia said wryly, polishing a splinter off an old carved firebird toy.
“All right, yes I do; badly. Who on the Council is specifically going to have their feathers ruffled – that’s your job.” Kero arched a brow. “That said. Kellen didn’t just grab a mage. He grabbed a prince. Or as close as the sects have to one. Jays got away with snatching Prince Daren because King Faram’s got heirs of his own, Rethwellan and Valdemar are allies, and you two are sickeningly smitten with each other. The Lan Sect doesn’t know us from a Northern barbarian tribe and Lan Xichen hasn’t even got a wife yet, much less an heir. Is it worth it to let them save face by declaring Heralds a cultivation sect, with you two as the leaders?”
That, at least, had been a welcome bit of info on the sects; a woman as sect leader would raise no eyebrows whatsoever. It wasn’t common, but it happened. According to Kellen, the Meishan Yu sect was always led by women.
“That depends on why they want us to be a sect.” Selenay sat almost court-straight. “They think they need to keep Lan Wangji’s Mindspeech a secret? That’s….” Impossible obviously lingered on her tongue, but she bit it back.
“Not from us,” Kero shook her head. “From the sects. Especially from his brother.”
Daren winced. As she’d expected; his brother had tried to murder the Queen of Valdemar. “Trouble between heirs?”
“More like my problems with my brother,” Kero said candidly. “Lordan loves Dierna, which, good for him, but we all know she’s a straight line of gossip back to her family and their political power-grabs. Lan Xichen’s best friend is the Jin Sect’s spymaster.”
Which won her aghast looks from all three. Even Talia; the Monarch’s Own might have been born Holderkin and ignorant of politics as an owl underwater, but she’d learned.
“Um.” Daren wasn’t quite gaping. “That’s….”
“A disaster. Yes.”