Had his worries been for nothing? It seemed so; while Madam Muroid had yet to say a truly pleasant word to him, likewise was she ever cruel. As for the Lady Megido, Equius had failed to catch more than a handful of glimpses of her. If one went by his experience of the past two nights alone and set aside their first meeting, one might have been tempted to suspect she lived only in the space between the front aperture of her hive and the room Vallia had designated as the lady's "study," though what an obviously grown woman had left to study was beyond Equius' understanding. She had found his ignorance amusing, and his embarrassment over it even more so, but at least she had stopped laughing long enough to explain his error.
This was the same Vallia who Madam Muriod had mentioned in passing, a soft spoken and waifish indigoblood kept by the owner of the hive stem and rented as a hivekeeper to her ladyship. Equius had been installed in the room technically meant for her, but it seemed that