At that time there came to Bochara a person of distinction, who was going as ambassador from Holagu to Kublai-khan, the great emperor of all the Tartars, who resided in the remotest countries of the earth, betwixt the north-east and the east. Meeting with the brothers, who had now become well versed in the Tartarian language, he was much taken with their conversation, and persuaded them to accompany him to the court of the great khan, knowing that he should gratify him in this circumstance, and promised them that they should be received with great honour, and gratified with large rewards. They were well aware that it was utterly impossible for them to return home at this period, without the most imminent danger, and agreed to this proposal, taking with them some Christian servants whom they had brought from Venice; and travelling toward the north-east, they employed a whole year on the journey, being often obliged to wait the melting of the snow, and the decreasing of the floods, which obstructed their passage.
At length they arrived at the residence of the great khan, and being brought into his presence, were most courteously received, and treated with great distinction. He interrogated them much concerning many things relative to the countries of the west; particularly respecting the Roman emperor, and the other kings and princes of Europe; the forms of their different governments, the nature, number and discipline of their military force; how peace, justice and concord were established and maintained among them; of the manners and customs of the different European nations; and concerning the pope, the discipline of the church, and the tenets of the Christian faith. To all this Nicolo and Maffei made proper and suitable replies, as prudent and wise men, declaring the truth, and speaking orderly in the Tartarian language; with which the emperor was well satisfied, as he acquired a knowledge of the affairs of the Europeans; insomuch that he often commanded them to be brought into his presence.