He knows this is important - the whole elaborate power play spread out in front of him, balance shifting from King to King to Princess to Prince, and under ordinary circumstances judging the consequences of Brennin's polite triumph over Cathal in matters of military sagacity would be taking up all of his mind.
But important as the leadership of this war is, more important by far is the location Jennifer's son.
As much power as King Shalhassan wields, Darien's may - will - outstrip that of any mere human, whether that human be Shalhassan of Cathal, Aileron of Brennin, knife-bright Prince Diarmuid, or Paul himself.
So when the pageantry ends, Paul sets straight off after Jaelle, resenting even Kevin's brief interruption to comment on Diarmuid's brilliance and their plans to go fetch the shaman of the Dalrei. Much as Paul would like to listen - more than that, much as he would like to go with, to savor the companionship and laughter that accompanied Kevin and Diarmuid and even Dave wherever they went - he does not have the time to convey any of this, and he lets his best friend go with a brief shoulder-squeeze and continues his pursuit of the Priestess.
It's a shock to see Jennifer with her, but he doesn't let it show.
"I need you both," he says to them.