(where is everybody? Has this story been abandoned?)
Zander looked all about as they walked, trying to take in as much of the manor as possible. He hadn't known what really to expect of a palace for a rat king, but in the back of his mind, he'd imagined something like a giant Habitrail. What he could see, though, seemed more like what he would expect of a spaceship from a sci-fi movie. The inside walls were made of a smooth material, seamless and immaculate. There were no abrupt corners. The transitions from floor to walls to ceiling were gentle curves.
As they walked, they periodically passed motionless rats standing as sentries at various doorways. Each one dipped his head and brought his tail under his chin, in what appeared to be the standard salute or gesture of respect for Antonio. In return, the king would touch each one momentarily with the tip of his tail as he passed, but did not slow his pace at all.
"So, uh," Zander asked, becoming uncomfortable with the silence. "How many children do you have, anyway?"
"At last count, four hundred and fifty-nine. You shall meet them all, of course." Antonio shot him a sideways glance, and gave him what passed for a grin on the furry face. "Don't worry, though. I will not expect you to remember all their names." He lowered his voice. "To be truthful, I don't always remember all their names, either."