I suppose you are all eager to read this incredibly weird part 12 so go ahead, I won't delay you any longer. Oh, but before you start I'd better tall you that the Strida Dragontíre are the guards, and (kind of obviously) the Strida Dragons are also guards. But sorry, I'm delaying you...
Just then, there came a flurry of movement and a guard rushed in through a side door and ran to the queen’s side. His voice was urgent as he addressed the queen, “Apologies, my lady. But there is an enemy in the castle. ”
“An enemy?” Skilf burst out. “What kind of enemy?”
The guard ignored her question and continued. “Someone or something has used magic and has penetrated the hold. The Strida Dragontíre are doing their best but the magic wielder seems to be eluding them for the time being.”
“He broke into the hold you say?” the Queen said, her soft voice seemingly calm.
“Yes, my lady, the Strida have managed to get in also, but the magic wielder had already fled.”
“Is there anything missing?”
The guard hesitated and the Queen shook her head, “I fear that your reluctance has betrayed you, it has been stolen.”
“Aye, my lady. It has.” The guard lowered his head, unable to meet the Queen’s gaze any longer.
“What’s been stolen?” Flicks asked.
The Dragontíre Queen turned to her, “I will not say it is of no consequence, for that would not be truth. I shall entrust you with this secret, for I fear that you will be our only hope of regaining what has this day been absconded.”
Flicks blinked in confusion but the Queen went on. “The last Fræd Dragon egg is lost.”
“I see,” Flicks replied slowly, for lack of anything else to say.
“What’s a Fred Dragon?” Skilf asked Flicks, but the Queen heard.
“Not Fred, Fræd. They are, or were, the peace dragons. But all were lost but one last egg ,which we have kept in our hold until it would be ready to hatch. Alas, long have I feared this day may come, but we have a hope!” the Queen smiled at Flicks and Skilf. “We have you.”
Flicks looked at Skilf. Skilf looked at Flicks. The silence seemed to resound around them, if silence can resound. But soon enough it was broken, as every silence is.
Lieutenant Hákon coughed. “My lady, what shall I do with the travellers?”
The Queen seemed to wake from a trance, “The others should be safe in their rooms, so long as they stay there. But I wish to speak to these two.” She gestured to the two redheads standing side by side.
“Very well, my lady. I shall accompany my fellows in the scouring of the castle.” the guard turned on his heel and exited the room.
The Queen rose from her throne, walking gracefully towards Flicks. Her hair flowing down over her shoulders was the colour of tree bark, and her blue eyes like the cloudless sky. A fitting description, Flicks thought, very poetic, about as poetic as I ever get.
“I’m afraid that you have not had the best welcome,” the Queen said, laughing softly. “I don’t even know your name.”
“Flicks,” the owner of that name replied, “Flicks Tiller. And this is Skilf.”
The Queen held out a hand, “And I am Alwyn’Miriella, Dragontíre and Ruling Queen of the realm of Esueño. I am pleased to meet you Flicks.”
Flicks took Queen Alwyn’s hand uncertainly, wondering if she had to kiss it or something but she decided not to, settling for a handshake instead. Queen Alwyn’s smile widened considerably at this and Flicks released her hand and looked at the floor, shuffling her feet nervously.
“But now, down to business. There is an enemy in that castle, and he has stolen the most precious possession of Esueño. I need you to help me find both,” the Queen said.
“Why do you think we can help? What do we even have to do with anything? And why did your dragon bring us here in the first place?” Flicks asked, glancing at the Seodín dragon. It had left her shoulder several minutes ago and was now hopping around on the floor.
“Plenty of questions but not much time, I will answer them as well as I can,” Queen Alwyn replied. “You can help because you two are the Fræd Dragontwins.”
“The what?!” Flicks and Skilf shouted together, their voices rising in astonishment.
“The Fræd Dragontwins,” the Queen repeated.
Flicks ran her fingers through her hair. “What is going on? I think I need to go to bed,” she muttered.
“I concur,” Skilf put in out of the corner of her mouth.
Flicks shook her head. “What in the world are Fræd Dragontwins? And how can Skilf and I be them anyway? We’re not actually related you know.”
“I do know,” Queen Alwyn replied. “But there is a certain time – every millennium I believe – when the worlds overlap and for one millionth of a second they are one world. And you two, had the luck of being born in that millionth of a second and precisely the same time. When that happens it is called Dragontwins.”
“Oh,” Flicks said. And there wasn’t really anything else she could say.
“Also, this specific day occurred on the anniversary of the forming of the Peace Treaty, and the appearance of the Fræd Dragons. Therefore you are Fræd Dragontwins.” Queen Alwyn concluded.
Silence. Complete and utter silence. There was no resoundingness to this silence, just an overwhelming sense of…silence.
But the silence was interrupted by a yell from close by and the thud of feet. Queen Alwyn looked anxiously at the main door. “We are wasting time, you must go.”
She hurried over to a side door, opening it and looking out. The room on the other side was empty of guards or otherwise, containing only a long bookshelf and one chair.
“You must follow that corridor to the end and then...well you know what to do as well as I do,” Queen Alwyn said, gesturing for Flicks and Skilf to enter.
“I’m afraid I actually have no idea whatsoever what you want us to do,” Flicks replied, passing through the small doorway.
“You must go after the enemy and retrieve the Dragon egg from such evil hands. It is your destiny,” the Queen whispered.
“Our Destiny?” Skilf asked incredulously. “Are you serious?” And in the circumstances her next action was quite pardonable really.
I have several amusing options this time (three in fact). Hope you don't have too much trouble choosing!
1. “Ok, who’s going mad?” she said. “Me, or you?”
2. She threw her weight against the door, slamming it shut with a ‘bang’ right in Queen Alwyn’Miriella’s face.
3. She burst out singing a completely nonsensical song.
I had fun writing this. And I didn't quite spend all Thursday doing it...Just most of it...
Thank you to everyone who commented last week, I hope I didn't make it too hard this time!
And yes, I am completely aware that I never said who 'the enemy' is, you'll have to wait another whole week before I (hopefully) tell you.
Fare Thee Well!
~ Jane, Misty Maiden