“I am truly ashamed for what has transpired…”
Notes under the cut:
1. For those who like keeping track of dates: Atropatene happened on the 16th of the tenth month, and the siege of Ecbatana was still in a deadlock around the 5th of the eleventh month. I believe it’s most likely Arslan and Dariun met with Narses around that time, since the men Qaran sent after them talk about Vahriz’s head being presented before the city (and that happens explicitly on the 5th [and was probably already planned earlier]). In other words, Arslan and co. have been hiding in the caves for maybe a little more than a week (less than a month even at most). See also: timeline.
2. “dibir”: Old readers may remember that I previously rendered this as “dipir”. Both are spellings I have seen, but dibir seems more accurate. Most correct is apparently “dabir”, thanks M.A.KH! (I originally either misread “bi” as “pi” in the Japanese or had some other reason that I can no longer remember at all and no longer makes sense to me anyway. :P) Anyway, a while back, I updated the reference in the glossary to a very nice book with more info on the historical position.
3. “that honored person”: あのかた (anokata). This is emphasized in the text, but the actual identity is deliberately left ambiguous. Y’all probably have your guesses though. 😛