He had certainly done his duty as emperor, through almost twenty-five years now. He'd fathered sons (many of them) and had them taught the ways of the Path and the Cho Master. He satisfied the imperial women, one each morning, two at night, according to the sequence presented to him by the Inner Quarters Registrar, dutifully denying himself climax except (upon being advised) with the most innocent and youthful of his women. In this way, according to his Arcane Advisers, the female essence of his wives and concubines would bolster his essence, not drain it away. This, too, was a burden and responsibility. His strength was the strength of Kitai. His virtue was the virtue of an empire. He performed all the imperial rites, faithfully.