A Birthday Gone Wrong Part 2
By Dave Church
Crono and Robo waited patiently in the forest just outside the castle. "Wonder what's taking Marle?" Crono asked.
"Probably because she had to find Ayla, and trying to find Ayla in the cooler climate 65 000 000 BC could prove a difficult task."
Crono was unsure about whether the robot was being sarcastic or not. He banked on not and looked as he heard Epoch touching down in a secluded area of the forest. He saw Marle and Magus emerge.
Both Crono and Robo were surprised. Crono leaned toward Robo and whispered, "Asking Magus to come to Glenn's birthday would be like asking him to watch Schala die again."
Robo beeped, signaling agreement. Magus and Marle made their way toward the duo.
"Shall we traverse toward the castle?" said Magus, leading the way. Crono dropped back and asked Marle, "Couldn't find Ayla?"
Marle shook her head. "I was told that she and Kino are off someplace, looking for a good site for a village."
Crono pointed to Magus and gave her a questioning glance. Marle knew what he meant and whispered, "I told him that Glenn would help him find his sister," she whispered as she smiled mischievously.
Crono shook his head and mentioned, "Do you remember the last time you did something like that?"
Marle's grin widened as her answer was, "I met you."
Crono closed his mouth, and was silent for the rest of the trip to the castle.
King Guardia XXI (Author's Note: I might be off a bit on the numbering here. If so, my apologies) paced nervously in the throne room. "I wonder if they're coming?" he asked. He stopped and looked to his wife for assurance.
Queen Leene gave a look of confidence back to her husband. "They'll be here." She sat down on her throne, waiting.
In the castle, it was mayhem. People were scrambling all over to get the preparations ready. They were planning a celebration for Glenn's birthday, a feast for him and all the knights. And after that, they were going to name him Knight Captain, despite the fact that he was a frog. They royalty was convinced that his sword skills would be proof enough of his loyalty. The throne room had a large, rectangular table in the middle, with seats for about 20 people. They expected Crono and his group to join them, provided they remembered. There were plates set out all along the table, and the cook was preparing a great meal in the basement below.
Having been informed by an unknown source that it was Glenn's birthday, they took it to heart and made extensive plans for a celebration.
But, Glenn's friends were yet to arrive.
Leene still had trouble believing that Frog was Glenn. They had assumed that Glenn was dead after Cyrus' death. Leene couldn't compare the frog to the young man that had left the castle about 10 years before.
A guard came into the lavish throne room, interrupting her thoughts.
"Your Majesty?" the guard said. "4 guests have just come into the castle. I know that one is Magus "
The king raised an eyebrow. That name immediately put him on his guard.
"..But another identifies himself as Crono."
King Guardia exhaled. He immediately wondered why Magus was being brought. He surely must know that Magus is hated throughout the kingdom?
The king looked at the foursome that emerged into the throne room. He could see Crono, Marle, who was confused for Leene not too long ago; Robo, the android from a long way into the future; and Magus, the sorcerer who nearly brought Guardia to it's knees.
King Guardia XXI went to greet Crono and Marle. "We thought you weren't going to make it." He extended his hand.
"We almost didn't. Where's Glenn?" Crono said, shaking the outstretched hand and looking for his amphibian friend.
"He'll be here," Leene responded. She motioned toward the table. "Shall we sit down? The meal will be ready soon."
Marle sat down first, on the chair second from the left on the right side. Crono sat down to the right of her, and Magus sat to the right of Crono. Robo took a seat beside Magus.
King Guardia sat down opposite Marle, and Queen Leene took a seat beside him, opposite Crono.
The group was silent for a few minutes, and the unease with Magus' presence was felt.
King Guardia broke the ice with a question: "So, Magus, what brings you to this celebration?"
Magus gave him a cold look. "Matters which do not concern you." He appeared to be going out of his way to make the king uncomfortable.
"Ahh," said Guardia, looking to his wife. "When are the knights arriving?" he asked.
Queen Leene thought for a minute, and then gave an answer. "They should be arriving shortly."
As if on cue, 5 knights came in from the rear entrance. Crono, Marle and Magus turned to watch them come in. One was wearing gold armor, and Crono guessed him to be the knight captain. He had given Crono a gold helmet to help him get to the other side of the bridge, a token of thanks for a meal that Crono and his friends had delivered to feed his knights.
The knights saw Magus, and immediately drew their swords. They were trained well, and the captain started to charge at Magus.
"Your Majesty! Get down!" yelled the speeding knight, motioning for the royal couple to stay out of harms way.
Crono got in front of the charging knight captain just as Magus got up. He shielded Magus, who was about to draw his scythe.
"It's ok," he said. "He's on our side now."
The knight captain sheathed his sword slowly, and glared at Magus. It was clear that there was no love lost between the 2 of them.
King Guardia XXI decided to break the tension. "Crono, I believe you've met Arlan, our current knight captain," he said.
Crono moved his hand forward to meet Arlan. Crono noticed that Arlan's ears perked up at the mention of "current knight captain."
"Nice to meet you again," Crono said, smiling. Arlan smiled as well, recognizing Crono from the fight at the bridge
Magus sat down, his job done for the moment.
Arlan went over to Marle, kneeled down, and kissed her hand.
"And who is this lovely lady?"
Marle giggled, flattered by Arlan's action. Arlan looked at her strangely.
"This is Pri- no, this is Marle," Crono said, almost giving Arlan an insight into the future.
Robo beeped from his seat.
"And that is Robo," Crono said, pointing at the unmoving android.
Arlan and his knights stared at Robo, but asked no questions. The king made sure of that with a look that said you don't need to know.
After Marle and Crono were introduced to the other knights, everyone took a seat. Arlan and his knights sat on one side, with Crono, Marle, Magus, and Robo on the other side. Guardia and Leene sat on opposite ends of the table.
One seat was empty, the one by Robo.
As if on cue, Glenn poked his head in from the door. "I assumeth that this is the place?" he said, smiling.
Crono, Arlan, Guardia, and Leene got up from their seats to greet him. Marle, Robo, and Magus turned as he came in.
Glenn walked towards the party, and shook hands with Crono and the others, exchanging greetings along the way. He spotted Magus at the end of the table, and his grin faded slightly.
"Magus, 'tis good to see you," he said, in as hospitable a tone as he could muster.
"And you as well," said Magus, returning the favour.
The crew sat down as the meal was brought to the table. Not much was said, other than an occasional "pass the spice" or some other small talk like that.
When everyone had eaten his or her fill, Crono decided to break the air.
"My compliments to the chef," Crono said. Others nodded or grunted agreement.
Servants cleaned off the table, and brought in a large vat of punch. A few ladies came in through the back door. Unaware to the guests, Toma had sneaked in with them.
Guardia stood up and waved at a couple of servants. A few moments later, some musicians came in and played. He took Leene's hand and they started to dance. One knight took a lady and followed the king's lead. Others did as well.
With no warning at all, Marle grabbed Magus' hand and started dancing. Magus could offer little protest as Marle swung him around. Crono almost smiled, if it weren't for the dirty look that Magus shot at him. He turned away and let out a laugh. Glenn came up to him.
"Where are Lucca and Ayla?" he asked.
Crono caught his breath, and then responded. "Lucca was injured in a recent event. She passes on her regards. Ayla is busy finding suitable shelter for her villagers."
Glenn smiled, now fully aware of why they weren't here. " 'Tis appropriate. Now why is that urchin here?" he said, referring to Magus. He was watching as Marle flung Magus around like a rag doll. Crono had to contain his laughter.
Glenn looked at him expectantly. Crono snapped back to reality, and gulped. "I think it was something Marle said to him," he said.
Toma looked around, and it seemed as if he blended in well with the people. I crashed the party! he thought. He recognized Crono and Glenn from earlier encounters. As he realized he was thirsty, he went up to the punch bowl, and filled a glass to the top. He gulped it down quickly, and nearly spat it out.
"This punch needs some kick," he decided, out loud. He pulled a bottle out of his coat. Carefully removing the top so that no one could see, he put a few drops of the mixture into the punch. The bottle slipped out of his hand, and a lot of it poured over into the punch. He quickly grabbed the bottle out of it. Uh oh, he thought. I better get out of here.
He slowly made his way through the crowd and as soon as he was out of the castle, he broke into a run.
Crono had mercifully taken over in the dance for Magus after finishing his conversation with Glenn.
Marle giggled as Magus limped away in pain, muttering something about, "If she weren't a woman .."
Crono looked at her, smiling and saying, "Why did you do that?"
Marle shrugged. "I figured it would distract him from why he came here." She smiled.
"What was I saying?"
The two danced as the instruments played, and the time flew by .
End of Part 2
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