Unexpected Adventure, Part Twenty-eight
Fate’s castle. I cooed and ran my fingers along the dark, old wood of the drawbridge. “I’m not even inside yet and I’m freaking out,” I whispered to Regis. “I can’t believe we’re here, I just can’t—”
I’m not sure how long I babbled, but it was long enough for a gold-armored guard to fetch us and lead us inside. Then I really freaked out. A massive hall showcased enchanted swords, daggers, vases, cases, flowers, jewelry, and stones. I named most of them, and stared at the ones I didn’t recognize. The guard wasn’t at all helpful; he just shrugged when I asked what they were.
Fate herself, shrouded in a white dress, translucent black veil, and bangles of gold—I recognized several other artifacts—stepped from thin air a few feet away. She smiled. “Ah, I see you’ve taken an interest in the Pirate’s Treasure.”
I gaped. “This is…”
I was almost sorry that we had to overthrow her.
“Overthrow me? That is new news.” Fate laughed. “The tea and sandwiches are ready, so come along.”
She led us down the hall, to the end. Then, she walked straight through the wall. I followed more eagerly than Regis.
There was a swish like a curtain, and I stood in a small garden. Daisies, tulips, and other decidedly plain flowers growing in bunches surrounded a simple white table. Fate snapped her fingers, and three chairs glittered into existence.
Regis appeared beside me after a few moments.
Fate sat down, and three sets of food showed up on the table.
I took a seat and fingered the highly decorated handle of a teacup. Then I sat back and watched Regis.
Regis, after downing a sandwich in one bite, withdrew the Pocket-watch. “You like bargains. I came to bargain.”
Fate chuckled. “If I really wanted it, I would have it. What makes you think it has any value to me?”
“I think you want more control than you already have over the world.”
“I have all the control I need. What I don’t exact, Destiny does. And we’re so close it hardly matters who gets what. We share everything.” Fate stirred her tea and ran the spoon along the rim. “For example, she received this from a late king who had bargained with one of her fairies. Oh, and she’s currently borrowing a few weapons of mine to give to various heroes.”
“Do all heroes receive known weapons?”
“Am I a hero?” Regis leaned back casually.
Fate frowned. “You are to save a part of our little world from your brother, yes. But you’ve been running from that for quite some time. So, here’s the deal. In return for the Pocket-watch—”
“No, Fate. I make the terms this time.”
Fate pursed her lips. “Highly unusual.”
Cloudwillow giggled. “You just described him in two words.”
Regis leaned forward, stalling further chatter. “In return for the Pocket-watch, you let me and Peter go.”
Fate matched his pose, nodding slowly. “For your final battle, yes?” She grinned. “You want to be somewhere out of the way where no one can see, and you don’t want interference from any of us? Done.” She leaned back and slapped her hand on the table. The Pocket-watch vanished from Regis’ hand.
With a satisfied sigh, she stirred her tea. “Now, what’s this about overthrowing me?”