It was a day like any other in the Crystal Castle. Breakfast came and went, meetings were attended to, delegates from other lands had their time in court with the Empire’s King.
The Empire’s King had his time with the King’s Consort.
Lunch came and went without incident, but at the end of it, as Sombra, Iron Blade and Nyx had just toasted something or other, Tight Planner came in, a funny look on his face.
“Oh Tartarus,” Iron Blade complained. “I know that look, Sombra.”
“No,” Nyx speared the fussy little bureaucrat before them with a hard stare.
“Forgive me, your Highnesses,” he began, wringing his hooves nervously.
“No,” Nyx repeated.
“I’m sorry – ” the unicorn again apologized.
“Get rid of it,” the TimeWitch cryptically ordered him.
“Rid of what?” Blade raised an eyebrow at Tight Planner. “You?” He glanced at Sombra, then back to Planner. “What a splendid idea!”
Planner ran a hoof over through his mane. “She already knows,” he lamented, ignoring Iron Blade’s barb.
“Of course she knows, Planner,” Sombra at last said in a smooth, even tone.
“What does she know, Sombra?” Blade asked, swiveling back in his King’s direction.
“I have no idea, but this is highly amusing, Blade,” the Shadow King smiled, his red crystal eyes going from Blade’s grey ones to the bureaucrat’s beady, pasty, shrunken ones.
Tight Planner withered under his King’s stare and Nyx’s unseeable one. “Oh dear,” he moaned.
“Are you going to tell me, Planner, or waste the rest of my repast with my companions?” Sombra asked.
“Well…since Nyx already knows, perhaps she…” he tried to dodge, but was cut short when the First Consort snarled and rose, a knife in her magic.
“Oh…this is getting good,” their red stallion companion brightened, reaching for another glass of wine.
“Calm down, my dear,” Sombra soothed. “you know how hard it is to get another unicorn to tend my daily schedule.”
Nyx hissed, then spit in the direction of the cowering Tight Planner, but obeyed her King and sat down, fuming.
“I suggest you tell us, Tight Planner,” Sombra advised, the barest edge of impatience starting to creep into his voice. “Or I will let Nyx feed you to Iron Blade’s children.” He turned to the red stallion commander of his armies. “I heard tell Reaper has been bringing his mother skins of foxes again.”
“No, just the heads,” Blade wiped the wine from his mouth with the back of his own knife hilt.
The two royal stallions turned, curious at Tight Planner’s outburst.
There was silence as they waited for the scheduler to finish. Nyx smiled, knowing the annoying little creature was now committed to finish that statement.
“There’s a – ” He was briefly interrupted by Nyx who laughed as if she had already heard what he was going to finish saying, which, her being a witch adept in time magic, she of course, had.
“There’s a – ” he repeated. “a…whale…in the……….the moat.”
The two stallions exchanged glances.
It was Iron Blade who asked the next, inevitable question.
To be continued…