The visitor apologized and bowed deeply before the sumptuous banquet, claiming that it was not his custom to eat the flesh of beasts but only the flesh of humans. The empress, courtesans, warriors and scholars looked at one another with great embarassment, and then sank their daggers into their necks. Awed at their generosity, the ambassador began to feast, and feasted for one hundred days. When he had eaten and drunk, he concluded that it would be most fortunate to trade with this empire, and clapped his hands thrice to summon a scribe or diplomat. Nobody answered, for the palace was empty and quickly filling with sand.