I returned, this time sober, to the Bosmeri shop.
Qau-dar, as it turned out, was not working. I was sad to hear it, but I could at least speak with the Bosmeri beauty.
He smirked at me and welcomed me inside, making several sly remarks that he was well aware of my failed attempts to face my husband again. I offered coin for him not to remind me. Then more as he spoke of the audience I had acquired outside of his business.
In all, I think my bribery to shop owner, Rialas, totalled nearly 300 gold.
The rumors that Rilas’ husband have returned seem true. I did not see any sign that the Altmer still remains in his employ. I asked him, of course, if I might meet his husband.
He inquired if I meant a proper introduction, so I of course agreed. A proper introduction seems as good as any, so why not?
The little Khajiit who had greeted me the last time I had come to the shop was sitting beside Rialas. She is so tiny, but immaculately dressed. I knew instantly that this was Qau-dar’s handiwork.
It makes me wonder, how much do I know about Qau-dar or any Khajiit and their lives? Was Qau-dar leaving to birth a child? Or perhaps to pick up one of his own? Her own? I know Khajiit children grow quickly, could this child be his?
Perhaps I was too hasty in assigning blame to the priestess and this Altmer. What if they were trying to help Qau-dar? And yet, that doesn’t feel quite right. I know little of my Daelekil, but surely this could not all have been planned from the start.
I decided it was best to err on the side of caution and treat this young Khajiit as if they were indeed Qau-dar’s child. I asked Rialas of the child’s name. Ma’Riani, I believe he said. A beautiful name.
Since Rialas had shown me that the chests I had left for Qau-dar remained unmoved, I searched inside the one with spices and retrieved a small box of candied crickets, not so dissimilar from those grasshoppers that Qau-dar had offered me so many months before. I gave one to the child. They seemed hesitant at first, playing with it for a while before biting it and then eating it. Then the child looked expectantly at me for another, which I happily provided.
I informed Rialas that as further payment for my disruption of his usual business that he could keep the chest of gems and cloth to trade or sell as he liked. That I was gifting the chest of spices and treats to Ma’Riani for her hospitality.
I asked that if I could further impose upon the shop owner, that he might tell Qau-dar I am deeply sorry for the misunderstanding that has caused his ire and that I shall do whatever he asks should it put me back in his graces.
Back to the tavern with me