This is a serialized story, Part 1 can be found here
On the seventh day after the return of the Grand Imperial Flotilla from its year-long mission to the newly discovered and most loyal Province of the Empire, Ruler of all Kings, the Commander of the Elements, the Incarnation of Justice, the High Caliph of the Law, The Emperor was presented with the most precious and rarest of all women of the Far Eastern Isles. She stood in the center of a crowded portico the size of a cathedral, arrayed self-consciously in what flowers, leaves, and textiles had survived the journey from her home and waited, patiently yet nervously, for the Emperor to bid her begin the task she assumed she had been brought so far to fulfill, and tell the story of her people. He did not. Upon his dais of the 47 steps, flanked on his right by his older brother, the Steward of the City of Legend, and on his left by his younger brother, the High Commander of the Imperial Army, the Emperor gave half a glance to the woman of the Far Eastern Isles as he turned his head to give a raised eyebrow and a knowing glance to his sister, Grand Duchess of the neighboring Valley of the Sun, as she stood before her fat and aging husband and smiled at him in derision of his newest acquisition.