Princess Hadalsa was in a tower sitting room with her older sister Queen Sarai and they were planning the party. Planning parties was Queen Sarai's favorite thing to do. Queen Hanetta and Queen Abijalla were helping plan the party. They loved parties, too. High Queen Ariana didn't always like parties (she said most of them were rather boring), so she was locked up with High King Timotheus and half the royal counselors. They were trying to straighten out some knotty problem of state.
"She has adored him ever since he saved her from a toss a year ago. Now he's her hero." A note of disdain crept into Cordelia's voice.
"You don't have the same high regard for Julian?" Philippe teased, "Really Cora, I'm surprised at you!"
A nose in the air was the only response he received for a moment. Then Cordelia shrugged, "I'm grateful, of course, but, well... I think Penny adores him too much. I wasn't the one saved though, so I daresay she is correct after all."
"Maybe, Cora, maybe," Philippe said slowly, and a little frown had appeared on his brow.
They left the hall and made their way across the courtyard. Seren glanced up at the young prince beside her. "Sir Astrophel, I apologize if I was rude just now. You are perfectly correct, you have every right to join the search. I truly do appreciate your coming."
Astrophel's eyes were kind, "There was no rudeness at all, My Lady. You just returned from a long, fatiguing mission, your brother is now missing, and if I heard your women aright, you've had very little sleep for the past several days. It is no wonder you feel exhausted."
"You are too kind, Sir Prince."
"Never to you, My Lady."
The Three Kyngdoms
"I didn't think I wanted to go back at first either," Philippe joined the discussion. "Then, after we'd been there some time, I began to remember it more and grew to like it. Now I think of it as my second home. But, it would be harder for the girls, mainly because they were younger when we moved. I was nearly eight and they were only four."
Prince Davardi pushed open the door and stepped inside. This room was one of his favorite places in the whole castle. He loved seeing the the roaring fire and hearing the ringing of the huge hammer striking the metal. And, of course, he liked talking to Jackdough and hearing his big, strong, deep voice talk back.
"Welcome, my prince," that big, strong, deep voice said now, "And how does this day find you?"
A smile curved Penelope's lips, "Very spirited! But you know Cordelia. She likes her horses full of fire. It is why Mama worries about her. I prefer calmer horses."
"Caie, I see women all the time," Astrophel wasn't sure what his adopted brother was trying to say.
"But you don't look at them."
"And what precisely is looking at them supposed to accomplish?"
Caie threw up his hands, his voice rising in exasperation, "Listen to you say that! It is completely unnatural!"
Astrophel sighed patiently, "It's just disinterest. My men, comrades and kingdom are far more important to me than... love."
Caie's eyes narrowed speculatively, "Someday that will change. And I hope I'm there when it happens," he said quietly.
Astrophel raised his eyebrows and turned to leave. Over his shoulder he called back, "If you should need me, I'll be on the West Terrace with Iorwerth and Morodd."
The Three Kyngdoms
Miss Melody Muffin