NaNoWriMo Day 11 Part 2
posted at: 11/12/2014

Amaranth scooted a little closer. "What?"

The two boys bent together, whispering. While the adults talked, Pete told Amaranth about the family business. "...My Pa gets up at 4:30 every morning to check the rickety bridges and make sure they're still standing and that they'll fall down after just a couple people go over them. Then he makes sure the ropes in all the gorges are still there, in case someone gets cornered. And after that, he checks the driftwood bridges on the river to see if any of those have been collapsed. By then, it's about midday and he takes off a little bit before he's gotta do stuff that he only does once in a while like checking to make sure the trapdoors still work or stacking up haystacks at the bottom of big ridges--in case someone falls off."

"Is that why you have to have such fast horses?" asked Amaranth.

Pete nodded. "And I get to take Apollo out to put the potions in the barrels. It's an important job because sometimes adventurers get in trouble and they need to drink a lot of potions just to survive. If they didn't find them in barrels, they'd never have enough to live."

"Wow. I never get to do anything that exciting. My Pa just wants me to practice with swords all day." Realizing what he had said, Amaranth eyes widened and he sat up straight, but Pete didn't seem to notice anything odd in the remark.

"I've never even touched a sword. I don't think my Pa has one."

Amaranth changed the subject. "Why do you do all this stuff? It seems like a lot of work."

"We work for the Adventurer's Guild. We have for generations. And we get two percent of whatever adventurers bring back to the Guild."

During this dialogue, the rest of the party was discussing their options. Herford said, "We had hoped to send a message to King George, warning him of the danger he's in."

Jack shook his head sadly. "That's no good. The reason Charles had to hire brigands to pretend to be royal guards in the towns is because he sent most of the guards loyal to him to escort his siblings home. You'd never get a message through. And if you did, he probably wouldn't believe it. Not with all the talk that's been goin' around."

"What can we do, then?" Matilda asked. There was a few minutes of silence (punctuated by the whispers of the two boys in the corner) while everyone stared into the fire.

Eventually, Mr. Weisgarber spoke. He rubbed the back of his neck and looked apologetically at Matilda. "Well, if you don't mind me sayin' so, I think it'd be best to take out the problem at it's root. I mean, seems like as long as Charlie is around, you're goin' to keep havin' trouble."

The Queen Mother's eyes narrowed. "What exactly are you suggesting, Jack?"

He held up both hands. "Nothin' unseemly. I don't want to see him assassinated anymore than you do. I just thought, maybe if we got him out of the way for a couple of days, we could explain things to George without his brother interferin.'"

Herford hopped in to the conversation. "It's a good idea, Maddy." Matilda nodded. 

Mrs. Weisgarber turned to her husband. "Do you have a plan for how to get him out of the way?"

Jack shrugged. "I hadn't really gotten that far."

"Can any of the adventurers help?" asked Matilda.

Cindy shook her head. "Eighty percent of the adventurers don't care at all who's king. They'll take anyone. And of the one's that are left, at least half prefer bad kings to good ones because there's more bandits and robbers around to fight and more rogues to defeat. I can only think of a few who I know would want to help, but they're all off on quests right now and there's no telling when they'll be back."

"If there was some way to get the little blighter into one of those dungeon cells for a few days, that would be perfect. Er. Sorry for speakin' of your son that way, Amy." Jack said and turned to Herford. "You have any magic tricks that'll help, Mr. Rabbit?"

"I'm not really a rabbit you know." Herford said, scratching an ear with one of his back paws. "And I'm not sure if I have anything that'll help. I don't know what you need."