for the rest. Londo let the moment grow, enjoying himself beneath his carefully outraged exterior.
"The secret... is that it is Delasi who is the true prophetess," he said, noting with satisfaction the look of stunned disbelief on her face. "Shiri only repeated what she was told to say be Delasi, who did not want the title of prophetess supreme because of the great burden involved. A life of solitude and responsibility, without marriage or love. Shiri was willing to sacrifice all this for the sake of our people, and allow Dealsi to work through her. But here, on the night before her enshrinement, knowing the responsibility and the importance of the ceremony, she found she could no longer carry through with the deception.
"Though Shiri believed she was acting in the best interests of all involved, a lie is still a lie. So by Imperial Decree, she is banned from any contact with the royal court. Her family is declared free of any penalties because they were innocent in this, but no one in the palace will attempt to contact her for any reason. To be shunned from our presence is surely the worst punishment that can be deviced to fit the crime." The crowd nodded. Good, Londo thought. Now no one will try to contact her, which would yield information that might contradict what I've just said.
Now for the fun part.
He started into his tent. "Lady Delasi," he shot back. "Attend." She followed him inside. He sat and regarded her silently for a moment. She had regained some of her composure, and was studying him just as he was studying her.
"You may speak," he said.
Delasi straightened. "Majesty, I am not a prophetess."
"That is true."
"Then you knowingly lied." He shrugged. "It is impossible to lie otherwise."
"And you expect em to go along with this?"