From saga novel Far Arena by Lynda Williams.
"Thank you for your offer, Heir Nersal, but I am afraid having you and Ker Bryllit attend me would be a distraction," said Erien. "I would rather you did not."
"Then you leave us an unfortunate choice, Immortality," said Ker Bryllit, in a burred voice. "We must either annoy you, or annoy Liege Nersal. And while you may be the Ava's heir, I know whose sword I would rather hazard."
Reetion-raised Erien doesn't want neo-feudal Nersallians looming over him when he sits down to diplomacy on behalf of the empire with his egalitarian, compu-communist adopted country-men. But Nersallians told to guard someone with their lives aren't easy to dismiss.