Chapter 17

Chapter 17

A Chapter by Havatara

A few hours later, Mary was sitting in her new bedroom.  She was shocked.  Aaron, the crabby old hermit, was the elf king?  She couldn’t believe it!  In a way, she should have known.  Only the king could make big spells, and he had made his room underground all by himself.  So why did it surprise her so much?  She guessed that it was just because she knew him as just her friend, the crabby old hermit, not someone really important.

She heard a knock on her door.  Getting up from her big green armchair and crossing the cream colored room, she answered it.  An elf guard was standing there.  The guard said, “King Aaron wants to have dinner with you, Miss Mary.  You are expected in his private dining hall.  Please follow me.”  Mary did, thinking.  Everyone was so polite to her!  It was nice but weird at the same time.

When they had gotten to the city, there had been chaos.  Aaron had been missing since the war hundreds of years ago.  Everyone was crowding around them, trying to see him.  He was smiling broadly.  Even though he had been complaining the entire journey there, he was happy to be in the Garden Plaza.  He had missed being home.

It only took a few minutes to get to Aaron’s private dining hall.  Mary walked in slowly, not knowing what to expect.  She was surprised by what she saw.  Aaron was sitting at a heavy oak table, humming to the haunting melody that a violin was playing.  He was surrounded by greens and browns in the thick rugs, paintings, and curtains that were all around the room.  The curtains were drawn back, showcasing the huge waterfall that fell down the middle of the city.

“Oh, Mary!  It’s so nice to see you.  The elves here have kept my rooms exactly the same, after all these years!  I thought for sure they would have changed something, but everything is exactly how I left it!  They’ve changed some other parts of the castle, though, and I’m not sure I like it.  I guess I’ll just have to get used to it,” he gushed.

Mary smiled.  “It’s very pretty in here.  It doesn’t really seem to suite you, though.”

He chuckled and replied, “I guess I’ve been a bit crabby since I left.  I really missed it here, but I was so upset with everything that was going on.  I followed the map the dragons had sent me so I knew exactly where they were.  I liked living with them.  It was better than living with the humans at least.”

“I’m human!  Are you saying you don’t like me?” Mary asked, teasing.

“I like you, but I wouldn’t like living with you,” he replied.

Lady Jade and King George walked in just then.  Lady Jade said, “Mary is nice to live with.  She’s so quiet, so you hardly ever know she’s there.”

“You should see me with my family.  I’m really loud with them!” Mary replied, laughing.

Aaron clapped his hands together.  “Well, I’m hungry.  We should eat.”  Some waiters came in.  They were carry huge trays that were covered with food and looked like they would topple over at any moment.  When they set them on the table, it groaned with the weight.

“Why aren’t we in the bigger dining room?  Doesn’t everyone want to celebrate your return?” King Gregory asked.

“Ah, I don’t like big parties.  We’ll do that later.  Besides, the cooks need time to prepare for a big feast, don’t they?” Aaron pointed out.

Mary looked around.  “Where’s Brad?  Are we going to wait for him before we eat?”

“You can if you want, but we’re all starving!  Aren’t we?” Aaron asked, looking around at his friends.  They all nodded, putting food on their plates.  Mary reluctantly joined them, always watching the door for Brad to walk in.

Brad never came, though.  They had finished their main course and dessert when they heard a knock on the door.  No one had a chance to answer it, because one of the guards burst in and said, “We have found human spies just outside the city, your Majesty.”

Lady Jade gasped.  “Spies?  In Garden Plaza?  I’ve never heard of such a thing!  We’re so happy you could catch them so quickly.”

“Where re they now?” Aaron asked, getting up from the table.

“They’re in the courtyard, sir.  I’ll lead you to them now,” the guard said, going back and opening the door.  Even though the guard had said that he would lead them,  Aaron strode confidently down the halls of his palace.  Soon they were standing in a courtyard with cobblestone floors, brick walls covered with icy, pots of colorful, exotic flowers, and stone benches scattered all around.  In the middle was the human teenager in black clothes that Mary had seen before.  With him were three other teenagers, about the same age and wearing the same dark clothing as the first.  One had blond hair, another red, and the last had jet black hair.

The thing that Mary noticed was that Brad was standing in the corner of the court yard, jumping around excitedly.  Mary waved to him and he came running over.  He whispered quickly, “I just had the best time ever!  I was right there when the guards caught the spies.  The spies tried to attack us!”

“What happened?” Mary asked, her curiosity peaked.

He beamed.  “I was walking around the city, just exploring, when all of a sudden, those spies jumped out at me from the bushes.  Thankfully, some guards were nearby, or I would have been in trouble.  They chased the spies all over, and I went to the palace to get more guards.”  Brad added proudly, “If I hadn’t gotten more guards, the spies would have gotten away.”

“Were you scared at all?” Mary asked.

He laughed.  “Scared?  Why would I be scared?”

“Someone attacked you!” she argued.  “I would have been very scared.”

Brad was about to respond, but he got distracted by Aaron.  He talking to the spies.  Aaron asked them, “Who told you to spy on us?”

“It’s none of your business,” the one Mary had seen replied.  She guessed that meant that he was the leader.

Aaron sighed.  “I don’t really think you’re in any position to argue with me.  Now, tell me who sent you or I’ll have to throw you in the dungeons for a week.”

The four men gulped and looked at each other.  The dungeons were a scary place, and none of them wanted to go.  The blond one finally said, “The king of Dragonland sent us.”

“Why?” Aaron pushed.  The blond didn’t say anything else.  Aaron turned to the guards and said, “Go and get the dungeons ready.  We’ll be needing them.”

“Wait!” the spy with red hair said.  Aaron turned to him, and the spy continued, “The king sent us to track down the elves.  He thinks they have a baby dragon.”

“Why would he think that?” Lady Jade asked.

“Because a dragon had a baby in our country, and our king wanted to use the baby to make the dragons come out of hiding,” he explained.

She looked at him in horror.  “But it’s a baby!  What a terrible thing to do!”

The spy shrugged.  “The king is a terrible person, I guess.  Now, can we go?  You promised that we would be free if we told you why we’re here.”

Aaron sighed again.  “Fine, since I promised.  But you make sure to tell your king that we have no baby dragon, and we don’t think that there was a baby dragon in the first place.”

The spy with black hair said, “There was a baby.  The king sent riders out into the forest to chase the mom, but we never found them.  She just disappeared, so that’s why we thought the elves had them.”

“So if there’s a baby, where is it now?” King Gregory asked.  “It must have hatched by now.”

“I hope it’s not out there, all by itself,” Mary said quietly.

Lady Jade replied confidently, “I’m sure someone is taking care of it.”

“How do you know?” Mary asked.

Lady Jade smiled.  “Just call it woman’s intuition.  Now that everything settled, I think I’m going to go and have a nap.  All this excitement tired me out.”  Without saying anything else, she left the courtyard.



© 2011 Havatara


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Added on February 2, 2011
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Author

Havatara
Havatara

The Town That Moved, St. Louis County, MN (aka Hicksville), MN



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