NaNoWriMo Day 12 Part 1
posted at: 11/13/2014

"I don't either. What can you do?" asked Mr. Weisgarber.

"Well, I'm really more of a research wizard, actually. But if you let me know what you want me to do, I could look up how it's done."

Mr. Weisgarber seemed disappointed. "What? Can you even do magic?"

"Of course I can do magic!" Herford snapped. He gestured towards Reginald. "What do you think I'm doing right now?"

Jack crossed his arms and looked skeptical. "Someone else could have done that for you."

Herford spluttered in anger and Matilda spoke. "Herford has always been a very fine wizard, Jack. He just has trouble remembering the spells he doesn't use very often. You can't really blame him if conjuring objects and levitation are easier for him than fireballs and things like that. He uses the former much more often than the latter."

Though he still looked doubtful, Mr. Weisgarber just said, "I suppose." Then he looked at Herford. "So, you can levitate things and conjure stuff?" The bunny nodded and Jack said, "Well, that's a start I guess."

For several minutes, they discussed possible strategies for temporarily eliminating Charles. They probably would have gone on discussing until morning if Mrs. Weisgarber hadn't intervened. "No one can think without sleep. We'll be able to come up with somethig in the morning, I'm sure." And with that, she began bustling about, gathering blankets and pillows for her guests. "And you especially need sleep, Jack. You shouldn't be up this late when you have to be out in the morning."

Mr. Weisgarber started towards one of the doors that led out of the living room. "Aye. Aye. I'm goin'. Goodnight son. Goodnight all the rest of you." In no more than a few minutes, Cindy had everyone established in sleeping quarters for the night. Matilda was given Pete's room and the boys were to camp out in the sitting room with Herford to look after them.

The morning dawned, bright and clear, with the crow of the rooster mingling with the sound of clashing swords in the distance. Cindy told the travellers: "Don't worry. We hear that all the time. This is the heart of adventuring country and there's often a battle or two going on somewhere. They won't bother you, though. They really only care about fighting amongst themselves. Gold and glory and such." Neverthless, Matilda found it hard to keep from being uneasy.

Jack had left before the sun rose to make his daily rounds--keeping up the flock of derelict bridges, seemingly impromptue escape routes, and convenient natural constructions. Pete had gone shortly after dawn to stock barrels with bottles of potions for the adventurers to find. Mrs. Weisgarber and the three travellers were left to think up a plan. They sat at the breakfast table, trying in vain to produce something that seemed workable. Herford brought up the dungeon idea but Amaranth said, "Wow! Are the dungeons really soundproof? I've never been there but I've always wanted to see it. Can I go if we take him there?" Which led Matilda to affirm that they were not soundproof and that there was a Dungeon Keeper who would certain here and investigate if someone had been locked up there without his leave.

Mrs. Weisgarber asked if it was really possible for a member of the royal family to go missing for several days without anyone noticing. To which Matilda responded, "not unless they're supposed to be missing." Shortly after this, the party broke up to wander the grounds and think independantly for awhile. An argument had erupted between Amaranth and Herford and it was decided that it might be best for everyone to think of a plan and present them to the group in half an hour--when they'd choose which seemed most likely to work.

Matilda sat on a stone bench in the flower garden, with her head in her hands. She was thinking, which was something that she hadn't had much time for in the last several days. She thought about her family a year before. They hadn't necessarily been happy--she wondered if it was ever very easy for a royal family to be a happy family in the traditional sense--but at least they had been whole. Now, a third of her family had been killed and she couldn't even do anything to stop the assassinations of the rest. She felt useless. She couldn't fight anymore, half the country thought she had gone insane, and she couldn't even tell her own son and daughter of the danger they faced. Unsurprisingly, these reflections didn't cause Matilda to have a very sunny disposition when the four regrouped.