They soon broke for the evening and Queen Astra and King Willian had their newest sister, along with her friends, come in to their private chamber for a less formal, more friendly meeting.
The parties had already been introduced, and the brave actions of both Angela and Charmina had been noted. The Queen and King were duly impressed and grateful. However, the newest Astra (Astra 13, a number that had made her laugh after she learned it was considered unlucky to some) brought the crutch of the issue before her sister and Willian.
"Thank you for seeing us in private, sister," she said, a bit surprised to find she....kind of liked the sound of that (the ‘ole doppleganger syndrome striking again.....since she didn't instantly hate Queen Astra at first sight.....she find herself growing very fond of her duplicate), "I had to talk the Xanthians from raising this issue out in the public. That's not how they usually did business back in Xanth. I may be a stranger to this land, but I had a hunch....."
"That the wrong ears may hear?" King Willian nodded, seeing Astra 13 nod.
"Indeed, and besides this is a private matter," Lady Charmina (still a bit dizzy in finding her raised to the level of a Lady by the Queen for her actions) put in. "Private matters are for private meetings."
Lady Angela (also a bit dizzy in finding her raised to the level of a Lady by the Queen for her actions in saving Duchess Astra 13) nodded, agreeing also.
(Author Note: the Aqualarians Aristocracy had, after the incident of the sky turning turquios upon King Willian taking the throne, had now fully attributed everything and anything odd and out of the ordinary that Queen Astra and Willian did as being the Will of the Gods and Goddesses. As such not a finger was lifted in protest at yet another Duchess being created in one fell swoop! Having an odd reputation pays dividends!)
"I....well....I appreciate the matter being taken care of," Jenny Elf said nervously, fiddling with the glasses she been given back in Xanth (and found, miraculously, that she no longer needed!).
For such highly placed people to show interest in her was....surprising to the young (and shy) elfin girl.
Sammy Cat (who could magically find anything but home), her pet that had led her to Xanth in the first place only a day earlier, purred and rubbed himself against her leg. Jenny quickly picked him up and stroked him while she continued to speak.
She tells her story about how she had received a message from her mother here on Terra Prime.
"....and then, of course, my new friends showed up to aid me in this quest to find her," Jenny concluded, smiling up (and I mean up since she stands half the size of a normal human being) at Astra and the others who'd come with her.
"Will, you have that look," Queen Astra says, looking over at her husband.
"Of course!" Will whispers looking over Jenny as just seeing her for the first time (not immediately addressing Queen Astra), "I must be asleep not remembering it before!"
Will then proceeds to tell Queen Astra and the others present the story about the reincarnated elves.
"Sorry, dear," Will sighed, "Probe, upon finding out that I'd discovered this, had sworn me to secrecy. He'd said that it had been a private matter that he doubted that Emperor Ke'lan.....and the parents of those special children. The fewer people who knew, the less likely of it turning into a circus. You know how elves like privacy in certain manners so....."
A little hurt, Queen Astra still understood.
"Make it up for you tonight....after we put the children to bed," Will whispered devilishly as he leaned over and pecked Queen Astra's lips.
Despite herself, Queen Astra smiled at that. She knew what that meant.
Jenny, meanwhile, looks stunned.
"My mother....my entire family are only eight years old?!" she finally asks, incredulous.
No wonder her thoughts were frantic and confused, Jenny thinks to herself.
"But the good news is.....that they are alive," Angela, sensing Jenny's distress, says softly as she gently takes one of Jenny's four fingered (the elves of ElfQuest have eight fingers and toes instead of the human ten). "And I believe that our new friends can help get us there."
Indeed this proves to be the case....
10/13/2000 3:06:48 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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