The portalsnake doesn't keep Azan from winning its war.
They take prisoners. One of them is not going to catch Maki's eye.
“Incredible,” Azan he declares. “What is Iral he up to?”
It takes Iri a while to figure out who Iral he is. They look for people saying they just visited Iral he, then follow those people back in time.
"...He's eating a meal with four other humans. One is an adult female. One is... almost an adult? The other two aren't close to being adults, one is my age and one is seven months eighteen days old. They're talking. The woman says..." Iri repeats it exactly as she says it, not translating it into Hari, "'I think now that they realize they can't stay independent some of them will be willing to fight for us, if it means avenging their countrymen.' Now Iral he says... 'Not with all the bad blood between us, I think. If they have honor they'll die, if they don't they'll side with Azan. Don't look at me like that. How are tax revenues this half-year?' And she says 'Up, but not as much as I expected.' He's frowning and eating... Now nobody's saying anything..."
“...So are they planning to attack or not?” Azan he wonders.
"That's not the kind of question magic understands. What do you think I could look at to find the answer?"
“Anything Iral he’s written in the past couple weeks, maybe.”
Iri reads some things out loud that he's written in the past couple weeks.
“Hm. Thank you, that should be extremely helpful.”
"Can we get breakfast now? I hope that's not rude here."
Azan he laughs. “Not rude at all, why, is it where you come from?”
"No but I just realized you wouldn't have anyone who needs to eat more than once a day and I don't know what kind of things might be rude when you can expect everyone to be human."
“Of course. What do you eat?”
"Honey and nectar."
Someone can find some honey for Iri.
"It's weird that you can get this from insects." But it's close enough to thwilit honey to be edible. "Is there anything else you want to talk about after this?"
“I think I’d like to discuss your abilities with my council before I make any more use of them.”
"Okay. ...Maki, are you going to ask him if he can help you find somewhere to stay without Etam?"
Well, he hadn’t been, but okay.
”Vida said my place is someone else’s now, is that true?”
”I believe so, yes.”
”Then—then I’m sorry for having t—“
”Maki. We’re glad you’re alive. Dama can set you up somewhere for tonight and tomorrow we can discuss something more permanent.”
Maki nods to himself. “Thank you,” he says, and then quietly again to Iri.
"I can pay for the place, by the way. By finding things out. So you don't have to have sex to pay your rent."
“You’re the most weirdly sweet person I’ve ever met.”
"You're important to me."
“That’s my line.”
"It'd be terrible if we weren't both important to each other."
“I’d be terribly sad about it, anyway.”
"Will we be safe now?"