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The Guest Star, Facts vs Fiction

As usual, at the very end and above all, I truly hope you enjoyed Hero and Lucia's adventure as well as the background story itself, which was perhaps a bit different from the stereotype that we first think of, when it comes to the history of the Roman Empire. The idea for this novel did not come in an instant, so to speak. Instead, the story unfolded along the way, and in the end it turned out to be one of those books where the research and writing were not separate, but intertwined with each other over the course of months of writing. To say that I enjoyed creating the story from the start would be an understatement. In fact, the basic idea that was in front of my eyes from the very beginning was to combine fields and sciences that have always fascinated me such as astronomy, archeology, anthropology and ancient history we know little about, all wrapped in a classic adventure with a hint of romance and unavoidable violence. I am obliged to say that this is entirely a work of fic

The Guest Star, Epilogue

The large water wheel that Titus had built under the waterfall, just a few dozen feet from the west wall of their mansion, rotated quite rapidly, considering that a lot of water was falling from the cliff in the latter part of November. A system of wooden gears and shafts transmitted the rotational energy to the millstone, which had a hole in the middle through which the wheat was fed. As the upper stone rotated, it crushed the grains against the stationary stone below, grinding them into flour. Water milling wheat has been a fairly simple process for centuries, but these particular millstones were not intended for grinding wheat. The gap between these stones and the patterns carved were specially designed to be wide enough and instead of wheat, Pia kept adding frozen grapes to the basket, which were inserted into the hole through a wooden channel.

The Guest Star (10), Stardust

Tomorrow afternoon Kai was the guest of honor at their mansion. Septimius was, to say the least, amazed by what they had seen last night on Kai's roof, so he invited him to a feast with fresh fish specialties from the sea of Propontis. Before they left, he showed them Jupiter and Venus, the two brightest wanderers in the Byzantine sky, and both of them turned out to be completely different from how everyone saw them with the naked eye. Jupiter seemed to be in the company of several stars that could only be seen through Kai's stargazer, while Venus, for some reason, like Luna once in a month, showed only three quarters of herself. Although everything they saw, thanks to the smaragdus had a greenish tint, it was obvious that the life of wanderers and stars was far beyond the comprehension of even the smartest people in the Empire and in this case, literally beyond.

The Guest Star (9), Byzantium

Returning to Philippopolis, after only a few hours of sleep, was less risky than if they had continued in the same direction that Pescennius Niger and his legionaries had taken, which led east towards Byzantium. Vitus and Caelius had lost seven legionaries and with two veterans from Praetorian Guards who were also killed in the first wave of the attack, they had no choice but to return to regroup and reconsider the smartest way to proceed. Last night it took them three hours to bury the dead, and after a short rest, they started back before dawn with two badly wounded soldiers who had to ride in the empress's carriage. It was already night when they arrived at the imperial villa.