Belmarniss shows up early the next morning for her consultancy meeting, munching a pastry from her breakfast spread. "Hey - I was told to meet with a Luay?"
"I still feel like that's not exactly racist. If I shoot a fireball into that crowd and by coincidence everyone who dies is a woman I don't know that I'm a sexist mass murderer."
"Hmmm, I suppose."
Speaking of the crowd, it's almost time to go back to pretending that she bought him in Katapesh. "What've you got on you that I can dip into here, it'd be fine if you were carrying all my gold but weird if you were only carrying some of it, I'll give back your change."
"Yes, ma'am." He hands over his gold.
Snort. "Good boy." She counts it, writes down the figure, starts shopping around for diamonds.
Rocks really are cheaper down here. The drow still don't love surface gold, even when its color is displayed and she lets them bite pieces, but she makes the case that the Osirians want to start trading with Shazeun and it'll be easier for a dealer in gems and metals to have coins minted to surfacer standards on hand in advance. One of the merchants takes the bait, calls over her sister, and they unlock the double-locked safe they each have one of the keys to, to get out the diamonds and sock away the gold Belmarniss pays for them.
He stays out of trouble and wonders if there's less demand among the drow for resurrections. You'd think there'd be more because of the lack of law enforcement? And because they don't make Axis?
Eventually she has the diamonds bought and paid for and they can leave Shazeun without further ado.
The best kind of mission, really. He asks his question about resurrections once they're out.
"Don't have stats. I think the rocks are cheaper because mining is an incidental to architecture, more than anything about demand."
"Huh. Everyone aboveground will be delighted."
"Mm-hm! And I get to time the market."
"Merenre must be so happy he found you."
"Does he express that very subtly?"
"He mostly just talks about how much value there'll be."
"He did mention this but not in a way that seemed like it was about me."
They make it out of Zeun without incident, though they spend part of the trip back to the surface alongside a chatty drow woman who asks them if it's true that individuals without levels or huge swords can just go buy surfacer food up there. Belmarniss tells her this is true, though she isn't sure how this individual expects to transport much. She says she's going to load up on spices she can haul herself and then buy some slaves to carry more stuff next time. Belmarniss agrees that this makes business sense and confirms that the slaves will not find being aboveground particularly disabling. She tells her to turn left on exiting the aperture and head for the city - "surfacer cities look like a kid's been playing with blocks, it's stuff stacked up on top of other stuff on the ground".
They're walking faster than the chatty merchant and have lost her by the time they break to the surface themselves and turn left.
There's time left in the day to head to the temple of Nethys if they hurry.
"Tried to convince him to abolish slavery but he wouldn't go for it," he says, not naming the pharaoh even though there's no one around.
"Well, it'll simplify her shipping arrangements. He say why?"
"He said lots of things. He's real good at - with the crown, it does the strongest form of splendor, but even before that he talked like most people do on splendor. I can't argue and I can't even always listen. That it's better than most other approaches for crimes, which, I'm not delighted by that but it's not actually what gets me up in arms - that it's important that people can expect their government not to randomly declare their property worthless for ethical reasons - that it'll abolish itself for economic reasons if you get the material conditions in place - that when he moves too quickly on anything it scares people -"
"Are there examples of it, uh, self-abolishing? That'd be neat."
"There're countries of humans that don't have human slavery and Osirion's human enough that he might expect we'll get there once we're as rich as they are and then that'll be ninety-five percent of the battle? The thing drow do seems less likely to be responsive to economic conditions but then I'm not an Abadarian who thinks economic conditions actually solve everything...but I think that argument relies on most people being much more economically productive doing work they chose. So it's not true when everyone farms, and it's not true if you have one class that has all the magic."
"Well. I'd like to see him in all his splendor trying to explain it to a slave sometime. But today..." Sigh. "Today my parents. Or tomorrow, I suppose, if she doesn't prep it without an advance order."
"Couldn't guess, I've never been." He squeezes her hand.
Unexpected yet pleasing! Squeeze.
"I need two Resurrections. Ideally same day but spaced a couple of hours apart, but that's not essential."