Friday, June 8, 2018
Book 2 - Chapter 24 – A Real Emergency
Before noon, Toadmila was forced to provide advice on what shoes Gilbert was going to wear for his wedding, what flowers to use for decorating the Cathedral on his wedding day and what flowers to use for decorating the palace, what dishes to serve to the noblemen at the wedding banquet, and what food to serve to the commoners celebrating in the streets. Her opinion was required on the choice of wedding ring and on the materials used for the bed of the royal newlyweds on their wedding night, from the stuffing of the pillows to the pattern of the embroidery on the sheets. Throughout the morning, Gilbert frowned, pouted, and constantly disregarded each piece of sage advice she gave him. Toadmila put up with it all quite patiently, until the point where he asked her opinion on the choice of his undergarments for the blessed day. But at this point, having been dragged to his chambers and having witnessed the upturning of a large chest of unmentionables in search of the desired pieces, she decided that it was time to storm out of the room and give up her short career as an adviser.
But when she opened the door, she found one of the king's servants waiting outside, his face ashen and his countenance foreboding, and clearly unable to muster the courage to disturb the prince.
“Your Ladyship,” he said, relieved. “If I may...”
“I'm not a Lady,” Toadmila interrupted him, her voice a little harsher than she would have wished.
“Your... witchship?” the man tried, visibly struggling.
“Adviser Wartly,” Gilbert suggested, popping up behind Toadmila in his finest lace-trimmed undergarments.
“Your Highness!” the man said, bowing so low that he seemed to have collapsed to the ground. “The king. The king requires your presence. We have received... messengers.”
“Messengers?” Toadmila asked, raising one eyebrow.
“One from Beartrania and one from Criland,” the man said, wringing his hands. “We cannot allow them to meet. The king wishes for the prince to greet the messenger from Beartrania, while His Majesty diplomatically talks to the messenger from Criland.”
Toadmila turned on her heels and pointed her wand at Gilbert's chest. There was a loud zap and a blinding flash of light, and a full set of clothes sprang out of the wardrobe behind him and enveloped the prince in an instant. Before he could even speak, Gilbert was fully dressed. Toadmila turned her back to him again, and addressed the bewildered servant.
“His Highness is ready to receive the messenger,” she announced.