Azan wins the war and now Maki has a chance to talk to that slave he liked the look of.
"My king. Azan he."
"And you won his war for him anyway."
"Who do you think I am? I've never been on a battlefield in my life."
"...Uh. Well, now I have no idea, but I thought you must be the general who won the war. Your hands are wrong for you to have been doing much fighting, but you had first pick of the slaves so you're extremely important. There's a king and a princess and you're neither of them. The obvious way for you to have just now distinguished yourself is if you were responsible for Azan's victory, but I guess you could be someone the king had been planning to reward for a while."
"I'm on Azan he's council. I'm in charge of the library."
"You must be very good at it. Okay. Uh, should we maybe keep going? Unless you wanted to fuck me out here in public."
"Do you want to keep going or do you want to go back?"
"It really seems like the books might get knocked over or something, let's keep going."
"Oh. Um. Okay. Let's keep going, then."
He's quiet the rest of the walk, thinking.
If he can still care about things then maybe most slaves can still care about things. Maybe Sesat is even worse than he knew. Maybe he's even worse than he knew, but he can't stop and worry about that right now.
But Azan he would punish people for having ever fought him. And that can't be allowed to continue.
They get to Maki's place fairly quickly after that.
"Have we got this place to ourselves?"
"Well. If you want sex we can do that but if you want to talk..."
"We can talk."
"I'll tell you how Sesat kept us loyal if you'll tell me how Azan does it for you."
"They invite people from most of the soldiers' families to the capital. So they're safe as long as Sesat is. Your people have probably found the bodies by now."
"So that's why I fought. What did it take to get you to let them hurt me for it?"
"My king and country don't need to threaten me into loyalty."
"Of course they don't. Do you want a hug anyway? For whatever they're not doing to you."
"They're not, they--I love my king. I couldn't love him if he did anything like that to me."
Well, he sure misjudged this situation and tipped his hand to a loyalist.
"If I could make it so no one had to be hurt, I would."