Jorhee Kryze wasn't sure what to expect, walking back into the Duke's throne room. It had merely been an hour since being dismissed with the rest of the Ruling Council when her office received the summoning. The elder man stat upon his throne as she took rather long strides down the length of the emerald colored carpet running from the door to the pedestal.
"Mistress Kryze," Duke Ahmarov bid with a smile.
"Yes, my lord?" she replied with a bow of her head.
"Jorhee, I wanted to have a word with you," he said.
"Of course," Jorhee said while still bowed. She raised her head again, standing before the Duke, unwavering. There was no sign of hostility from the old man, but she was ever on her guard, something that brought a smile to the Duke's face.
"You have quite a fire in you, a passion I've not seen in anyone in these halls for quite some time, you even managed to singe Minister Gosha," he added with a look of bemusement.
"I mean no disrespect to these halls," Jorhee said.
"I assure you, they take no insult," the Duke chuckled. "And do not apologize." The Duke observed her with a wise look of fondness. "You are young, and your stance is not popular among many in Sundari, you'll quickly see that," he said with a warning tone. Jorhee's jaw tightened slightly. She wasn't expecting this but was already used to the notion that her cause was folly. "But no matter the persecution or challenge ahead of you, you must never fold under the pressure. Jorhee frowned. Of all things, this was the least expected to be said.
"I assure you, my lord, I will not change my stance anytime soon," she said stiffly yet with caution. "My father raised no coward," she said. "But why do you say this?" Duke Ahmarov lifted himself from the throne and took gentle steps down the pedestal to stand beside the young Mistress.
"For the moment, I will set aside my duty of representing the interests of the people and speak as a Mandalorian," he said. Jorhee watched him intently as his expression was suddenly grave. "If Mandalore was to reach out to the Republic, we would thrive economically. Our social standing within the galaxy would improve exponentially. All past transgressions would be wiped clean." The Duke's gaze was distant and a shine set in his eye as a smile crept on his lips. "We would usher Mandalore into a new era of enrichment. Jorhee watched the wise man in adoration. His thoughts and desires were fully on the betterment of his people. She was glad to have him in her corner. "However, I am no mere Mandalorian. I am their voice, only to defend their values, not to interfere with them, and the people are stubbornly arrogant."
"Then what hope is there?" Jorhee sighed. "Gosha was right about one thing, our people are rooted in tradition. Whether or not we act on violence any longer, a centuries long grudge is still more resilient than an open mind." She sighed again and shook her head which hung low. "Without the backing of the Ruling Council, they won't listen." Ahmarov chuckled as he moved slowly back to his throne.
"Mistress Kryze, you'd be amazed what the words of the right person can accomplish." Jorhee looked up from the glossy floor back to the wise Duke. "Make them listen."