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Cinderella Monogatari - The Sequel (Season 2)

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Life went on after the strange death of the Marquis of Boscanny. The royal couple spent joyful days watching their son grow up. The little prince had rosy cheeks, dark eyes identical to Cinderella's and chestnut brown hair. The baby had already started to walk, but he was lazy to talk. Although he babbled a lot and pointed at things to communicate, 'Mama' was still his only comprehensible word.

Charles would not give up on his political priorities. He and Cinderella visited the University, as they planned, and gave a speech before students, professors, the President of the University and everyone else interested. The library was so full that several students had to watch the all session standing.

‘Good morning. I am delighted to be here in this beautiful library. In first place, I greet the students, professors, the university organization, the president and the entire staff. Now I would like to say just a few words, before the inauguration of the construction work.

‘As you know, some of the first universities emerged, by royal or clergy impulse, in the Middle Ages. Some kings understood quite early the importance of knowledge to improve their kingdoms. Unfortunately, endless wars, epidemics and narrow-minded rulers constantly undermined the development of these projects. Other universities, guilds in its first stages, arose as an independent association neither dictated by crown, nor church. The university soon realized that any form of power, which is mostly moved by interests – for good and evil –, could affect the free pursue of knowledge’, introduced Charles to the attentive audience.

‘To be honest, I am more attracted to this idea of the university as an autonomous place fighting for freedom and focused on knowledge in itself than a university subservient to power. Yet I cannot deny our heritage and the fact that my family founded this specific university. There lies in this case a connection to royalty I cannot erase, but I think it is fair to limit the king's role to material support, and let the university exercise its power. It might sound strange to you, but I am fully aware of the power of the university. What good is a king when compared this place that can open people's minds? Ultimately, and hopefully – if governed by good principles –, the university will become one of the greatest forms of power.’

Most of the students applauded. Charles smiled, surprised by the warm reaction.

‘The queen and I are here today to celebrate a new cycle in the history of this University, by rehabilitating and expanding its campus, in order to provide new conditions for medical research in close connection to the hospital, improve the buildings hosting arts, humanities and sciences courses, enabling the best interaction between disciplines’, he paused and looked at Cinderella, ‘Queen Cinderella is one of my greatest allies. She works with me...’

Cinderella blushed and the audience clapped.

‘I am not just saying this to convince her to speak now’, he smiled, ‘but I would like to remind that some queens ruled impressively. Maybe it is about time to admit and welcome more women at the university...’, he suggested.

Students and professors were divided. Cinderella stood up and joined Charles.

‘Thank you so much for your warm welcome’, Cinderella started shyly, ‘We both agree that it is crucial to encourage a wider range of people to have access to school and college. Therefore, we will increase the number of scholarships for the poorer students.’

The audience stood up and applauded endlessly. When there was silence again, the President of the University invited everyone to go outside, where Charles inaugurated the construction work. Then the royal couple left the university to visit a school and an orphanage. In their way, the carriage hardly moved, due to the mob greeting Charles and Cinderella.

‘You should start travelling as incognitos...’, joked Alex, ‘this is impossible...’

At school, the couple attended a ceremony especially destined to them. Teachers and students prepared poetry readings, sketches of a play, and enactments of famous paintings. Charles and Cinderella greeted each student involved in the ceremony and answered some questions in the courtyard.

In the orphanage, children were thrilled, competing for the king and queen's attention. After talking to the orphanage's administrators, the couple spent some time with the children.

‘Queen Cinderella! Queen Cinderella, have you brought your glass slippers?’, asked a little girl grabbing Cinderella's dress.

Cinderella smiled and kneeled before the girl. A group of girls joined the conversation.

‘What's your name, dear?’

‘Alice’, the girl proudly answered, ‘And I am almost eight’.

‘You have such a beautiful name! I am so sorry I didn't bring my glass slippers today, Alice. They are a bit uncomfortable, so I cannot wear them every day. But I promise to return one day to show them.’

Alice hugged Cinderella and each girl around asked for a hug. In the orphanage auditorium, all the children offered Charles and Cinderella a drawing about them. Some featured Charles and Cinderella, others Charles fighting Zaral, and some added the little prince.

The following day, Charles checked the works in the hospital, consulted doctors, architects and workers to solve problems. Despite being told not to greet the patients, he managed to persuade doctors, in order to visit a few patients with non-contagious diseases. Some of them cried, amazed by his presence.

‘I wish you all the happiness in the world, your majesty. May God bless you, the queen and your children’, an old woman whispered when Charles held her hand.

In the afternoon, he inspected the troops and the royal guards with Alex, Bernard, commandant of the troops, and Andrew, commandant of the royal guard. At the end of the inspection, Charles heard some guards protesting with a senior officer.

‘What's going on here?’, asked Andrew.

‘The inspection is almost finished, and I left my wife in labor. Please, can I leave earlier today?’, asked a young guard.

‘I wasn't allowed either when my daughter was born’, complained another guard.

Charles approached them.

‘Maybe it is about time I change that’, Charles turned to the guard asking for permission to leave, ‘What is your name?’

‘George, Sire’, he nervously answered.

‘Alex, call the doctor and accompany him to George's house, please’, asked Charles.

‘Oh, sire! Thank you so much!’, George kneeled before Charles.

‘Stand up and go, quickly. I wish you and your wife happiness’, encouraged Charles.

‘But, sire!’, exclaimed Bernard.

‘We must reconsider shifts… They should be flexible according to these situations in peaceful days,’ replied Charles, ‘These men are trained to obey and act like machines. It will be dangerous to repress their human side. Furthermore, this a right I would like to grant to all workers’, he stated and continued inspecting the guards.

Bernard watched Charles quite puzzled. Andrew smiled at him and joined the young king.

Charles finished work in the late afternoon, and he went to the nursery room. It was decorated in cream marble stone. At the center, there was an emerald carpet below a green marble table in front of a white and emerald divan. In the left, there was a corner covered with yellow velvet and white pillows, where the prince played with his fabric and wooden toys. White curtains with golden ornaments covered parts of the large windows facing the garden.

Cinderella was reading in the divan whilst the prince was playing with Patch, Bingo, Chou-Chou and Papy. When Charles entered the room, the baby ran to him.

‘What do we say to Papa?’, asked Cinderella.

‘Baba!’, the prince replied laughing.

‘No, say it properly’, she insisted.

The baby laughed and jumped to Patch's back.

‘Never mind. Baba works for me’, smiled Charles while sitting in the divan, ‘He will say it sooner or later.’

‘You look so tired...,’ said Cinderella while caressing his face.

He held Cinderella's hand and kissed her cheek. Then he put his arm around her, and she leaned her head in his chest. They watched the prince riding Patch like a horse for a while.

‘The new king of Lohemia invited us to visit him in a few weeks’, informed Charles.

‘Oh, but he is too little to travel... Lohemia is so far away...’, answered Cinderella.

‘I'll go and you stay with him,’ said Charles, ‘I am not the least interested, but I can’t skip this meeting.’

‘You should talk to my father’, suggested Cinderella.


‘He was our ambassador in Lohemia’, she explained.

‘Oh, yes, you're right!’, agreed Charles.

‘And he can give you some advices on diplomacy’.

‘That's a very diplomatic way to say I'm not diplomatic’, smiled Charles.

‘You fool!’

They laughed and Charles laid down in the divan.

‘How is this king?’, asked Cinderella.

‘He seems picky and boring... judging by his requests...’, yawned Charles.

‘What requests?’, persisted Cinderella.

‘I'll tell you later’, he avoided.

‘Oh, come on… Tell me…’, insisted Cinderella.

‘Don't be annoying...’, yawned Charles.

Cinderella frowned and stood up. Charles laughed, grabbed her hand and pulled her back, making her fall over him. They were about to kiss, when a valet announced the dinner was served.

The toddler made a tantrum when he realized he had to stop playing. Cinderella tried to calm him down with his favorite teddy bear, whilst Charles tried to make him laugh with silly faces, but only the animals cheered him up. Cinderella gave up and put the prince back in Patch's torso.

‘Please, come with us’, desperately asked Cinderella to the animals.

Charles, Cinderella and the little prince used to visit her family on Saturdays. Sometimes, Charles' parents or Miss Paulette joined them for lunch. On that Saturday Alex accepted Cinderella's father invitation to lunch.

The royal couple usually arrived in the morning, because Cinderella insisted in cooking lunch with Dorothea, the new servant, an adorable plump woman around fifty who had worked in several noble houses since her husband's death. She was quite cheerful, always spreading good humor in the house. Dorothea turned out to be a good influence on Catherine and Jeanne, who were gradually changing. She also managed the duchess' temper, which was less arrogant due to Cinderella's father presence. Pierre, the coachman, who was getting older and sicker, needed Dorothea more than everyone.

On Saturdays, Charles and Cinderella dressed casually. Charles was wearing practically the same clothes he used to as Charles, the fibber, but with a dark blue jacket and a white scarf over the bordeaux vest. Cinderella was wearing a red and white dress. Charles generally asked her to let her hair out. He loved watching her long light hair with golden reflections swirling with the wind. They sat in a chair in the shade of the tree most cherished by Cinderella's mother and read a book to calm their son. Patch, Bingo, Chou-Chou and Papy listened to the stories and fell asleep right next to the couple.

The duchess and, especially, Dorothea never understood why Charles and Cinderella insisted on showing the room in the attic to their child. The couple smiled and climbed the stairs. When the baby was too tired to walk, Charles would give him a ride in his shoulders. The toddler laughed and opened his eyes in absolute joy. Cinderella held him and showed the view from one window. On the top of the verdant hill, there stood the Emerald Castle. She pointed at the castle and said, ‘Look! It is our home! HOME!’ The toddler looked attentively at her, then pointed and babbled.

‘The soup is great, isn't it, Charles?’, teased Alex at lunch.

Charles choked and Cinderella started giggling.

‘Oh, don't you like it, Charles?’, worried the duchess.

‘What's so funny about that, Cinderella?’, inquired Cinderella's father.

Charles cleared his throat and explained.

‘The soup is so delicious... I would like to bring Dorothea to the castle with us’, replied Charles after thinking fast.

‘It seems to me that the crown prince also approves the soup. He is constantly asking for more! So cute…,’ smiled Jeanne with her eyes closed.

‘Oh, yes, and he is very demanding’, added Cinderella while giving a spoon of soup to the baby.

Charles was throwing furious glances at Alex, when Dorothea entered and served the rest of the meal.

‘Is everything alright?’

‘It is perfect, Dorothea’, answered Cinderella.

‘Dorothea, why don't you join us?’, invited Charles.

The duchess frowned.

‘And Pierre, too. Bring Pierre’, reminded Charles.

‘Oh, but... May I, sir?’, Dorothea turned to the duke.

‘Of course’, smiled Cinderella's father, ‘actually, we should do this more often’.

Dorothea collected the dishes and called Pierre on her way to the kitchen.

‘I am sorry. I should have consulted you first...’, apologized Charles to his father-in-law, ‘After all, I am your guest...’.

‘My guest?’, laughed the duke, ‘You are at home, Charles.’

‘Do you usually have supper with servants in the castle?’, asked the duchess.

‘No, because they are too many’, replied Charles, ‘But Cinderella and I are trying to memorize all their names.’

The duchess laughed until she realized she was laughing alone.

‘Do you think you will ever make it?’, asked Jeanne.

‘It is easier, if you make an effort to spend some time with them’, answered Cinderella.

Charles meditatively took a zip of wine and continued.

‘I’m about to pass a law forbidding servants to work below 16 and over 55,’ informed Charles.

‘Oh, but that will affect many people…’, replied Catherine.

‘Don't you think that child work and slavery should eventually end?’, inquired Charles.

‘We are not saying it is cruel, but that it can affect many employers... and many parents need their children to work...’, said Jeanne.

‘I know that, and those children working for their parents will be supervised from now on,’ explained Charles.

‘But, Charles, don't you think that can cause you trouble? We know you are the king, but I fear many people will react to that’, worried Catherine.

‘Maybe you should do it latter’, suggested the duchess while taking a zip of tea, ‘let things settle down’.

‘Well, I admit that timing is important, but it is a major ethical cause’, replied Charles.

Dorothea and Pierre joined them. They sensed a strange tension in the family, but Cinderella's father cheered them up, by making questions about Alex. After the supper, the group was split. The duchess called Cinderella. Charles and Cinderella's father went to the office. Catherine and Jeanne were sharing suspicions, whilst Alex, Dorothea, Pierre and the animals took after the prince.

‘Cinderella, did you ever told your husband that you used to do the chores around here?,’ asked the duchess, ‘By that time I was very nervous due to your father's departure. I should have consulted a doctor back then... but I never treated you like a servant...’

Cinderella was speechless.

‘Don't you think so?’, insisted the duchess.

‘No, mother, I have never told Charles about it,’ answered Cinderella.

‘I think he doesn't like me, no matter how charming I am... This makes me so sad... Do you think I am imagining things, or...?’, complained the duchess.

‘Please, don't worry about that and don't take him too serious. He has so many things in his mind… I am sure he didn't mean to offend you,’ tranquillized Cinderella.

‘But could you make him like me?’, asked the duchess.

‘Of course, mother, and I know he likes you,’ smiled Cinderella, ‘Don't worry.’

Meanwhile, Jeanne and Catherine were commenting Charles, Cinderella and Alex's behavior.

‘Jeanne, do you think Alex was referring to the soup Cinderella's friend cooked for duke Zaral?’, wondered Catherine.

‘How could that be?’, replied Jeanne.

‘Cinderella could have told them...’, speculated Catherine, ‘but that doesn't explain Charles' reaction.’

‘Yes, he choked and seemed affected by the soup. I don't see why’, agreed Jeanne.

‘Jeanne, now that we get to know him better, don't you find our brother-in-law familiar...?’, hinted Catherine.

‘I hope you are not suggesting he is...’, feared Jeanne.

‘Yes, I am afraid he is,’ agreed Catherine.

‘No!’, screamed Jeanne.

Catherine shushed Jeanne with her hand.

‘We made him cook lunch and clean the house… He watched how we treated Cinderella...’, recollected Jeanne, ‘And Cinderella was with him all the time... No wonder they danced at the ball...’

‘Yes’, agreed Catherine.

‘But, no. No prince could leave the castle that way, and act in such a manner. Come on, Catherine, he even spent two nights here, when those awful bandits threatened us. No prince could ever behave like that, and fall in love with Cinderella in those clothes... She practically seemed like a servant back then,’ concluded Jeanne.

‘Don’t be so naïf... Lots of princes and kings fall for servants. They don't marry them, though’, replied Catherine.

‘What a strange phenomenon...’, observed Jeanne, blasé.

Meanwhile, Charles and Cinderella's father were drinking and chatting about diplomacy in the office.

‘I think you will like Lohemia, Charles. And I hope the new king turns out to be better than those letters suggest’, wished the duke.

‘I hope so, too’, agreed Charles.

‘And his father was a good king’, added the duke.

From the window, they could watch Cinderella playing with the baby and the animals. The duke stood silent and drank a zip of cognac.

‘Frances loved that tree...’, recollected the duke.

Charles could see the sparkle in his father-in-law's eyes and was hardly searching for words to deal with it. The duke had never talked to him about Cinderella's mother.

‘Cinderella told me...’, smiled Charles, ‘they used to play around that tree...’.

‘Yes, it is one of the few things Cinderella remembers. Now, when I see my grandson there, she immediately comes to mind...’, explained the duke, ‘She would have love to know him.’

‘Yes... we all would love to know her’, smiled Charles.

The duke searched for a book in the shelves and continued. Charles felt a sort of déjà vu. Immediately came to his mind the moment when he was arguing with Zaral in the library. Zaral, like Cinderella's father, was a widow. They were both noble, had successful careers, and venerated their daughters as precious gifts left by their deceased mothers. Yet they were so different. Since the engagement to Cinderella, Charles felt totally at ease with the duke of Viel, and wished he had known Cinderella and her father sooner.

‘All Frances wanted was to paint, read and write. She was a wild spirit, a very independent woman often interpreted as eccentric. One day, her parents forced her to attend a ball in duke Zaral's palace. I was immediately attracted to her passionate conversations and invited her to dance… She brought so much joy to this home, but everything vanished so quickly...’

Charles stood silent.

‘Frances got ill when Cinderella was starting to talk and died when she was four,’ told the duke.

‘It was tragic. I am so sorry’, lamented Charles.

‘People are irreplaceable... And I should have understood that…’, paused the duke, ‘This house became unbearable to me. Work and my diplomatic career saved me, but I'm afraid I didn't protect Cinderella as I should.’

Charles watched Cinderella through the window. The wind was swirling her hair and her skirt.

‘Only you fixed Frances' loss’, confessed the duke.

Charles widened his eyes.

‘I...? But...’

‘Cinderella's inner sadness only disappeared when you got engaged. She has never been so happy in her entire life. Your joyfulness, optimism and courage have strengthened her, and healed the wounds in this house’, the duke glimpsed the prince pushing Cinderella's skirt and smiled, ‘Nothing makes me happier than watching the way she looks at you, the way you both laugh, or play with my grandson near that tree.’

Charles smiled and thanked him.

‘I only wish you can raise my grandchildren together and live a long, healthy life. Other ambitions turn out to be irrelevant.’

Charles swallowed a zip of cognac. He wasn't sure if the duke was trying to convince him to take care and be more moderate about his political ambitions. Nevertheless, the duke spoke indisputable truths, and shared with him the most painful story of his life.

‘I wish that too, agreed Charles with a smile.

The duchess knocked on the door. It was teatime. Charles stood up and the duke turned to him.

‘It is better to join them immediately... Helen has quite a temper,’ joked the duke, making Charles laugh.

The duke was opening the door, when Charles spoke, hesitantly:

‘I don't know if Cinderella has already told you, but... we would both like to name our first daughter Frances’.

The duke smiled with a sparkle in his eyes.

‘Thank you… I can hardly wait for that...’

Charles, Cinderella, their son and Alex returned to the Emerald castle after tea. Charles and the duke parted with a tight hug that surprised Cinderella. In the carriage, Cinderella was caressing the sleepy prince in her lap, while Charles mocked Alex for having spent too much time talking to Catherine and Jeanne.

‘My step-mother told me they have lots of suitors, since we got married,’ told Cinderella.

Charles and Alex laughed.

‘What's so funny about that?’, frowned Cinderella.

‘I love when you are naïf...’, teased Charles while poking her on the nose.

‘Do you really think I am that naïf?’, she laughed grabbing his hand, ‘Of course I know why they're interested since then.’

Charles smiled and lengthily pecked on her cheek.

On the following day, Cinderella, the baby, Charles' parents and her animals were watching Charles and Alex fencing. At the end of the session, the little prince left Cinderella's lap, stood up and clapped. Charles sheathed the sword and carried him. The couple, the baby and Alex went together to the office, where the little prince loved to play. Charles used to show him Cinderella's portrait by Zoré, which was on a right wall near the desk. Then he released the baby, who crawled very fast below Charles' desk and giggled while hiding from his parents. He was starting to disturb Charles’ work, when Susana entered announcing that Paulette had arrived.

‘Oh, I'm going right away, Susanna! Please, could you take care of the prince while I talk to her? Charles thinks he can rule and baby-sit at the same time, but...’

‘I say one more time: give me those papers!’, scolded Charles when the prince caught the king of Lohemia's letter.

Susanna smiled and took care of the baby, while Cinderella called her animals and ran to Paulette, who hugged her tightly.

‘Dear Paulette, I missed you so much! Did you enjoy the Green Valley kingdom?’, asked Cinderella.

‘It is wonderful. Beautiful landscapes. The city is reborn from the ashes, and people seem happy and confident. Honestly, I think king Conrad is doing a good job’, summed up Paulette.

‘Charles is very fond of uncle Conrad’, smiled Cinderella, ‘I also liked him.’

‘By the way, where is my godson?’, smiled Paulette with her eyes closed.

‘We will see him right away, but I have an urgent thing to tell you’, said Cinderella in a serious tone.

Cinderella examined every corner of the room and whispered:

‘I have a bad feeling about Charles's trip to Lohemia... Could you please follow his carriage to protect him and my parents-in-law?’, asked Cinderella.

‘Of course, my dear,’ accepted Paulette.

‘Actually, I would feel better if you accompany him more often. He has been threatened lately...’, confessed Cinderella, ‘Please, don't tell a word about this to Charles! He must not know you will follow him’.

‘You can rely on me... but why can't he know that?’

‘He doesn't know about your powers...’, explained Cinderella.

‘What?’, laughed Paulette, ‘Haven't you told him about the ball?’

‘He is very rational, Paulette... He would never believe me. And he is too proud to accept help’, said Cinderella.

‘Well, he has reasons to be proud, but he must be prudent’, advised Paulette.

‘Papy, I need you to follow Charles, too. If something happens to him, please, return here,’ she asked the little bird.

‘You can count on me, Cinderella’, promised Papy.

‘The king of Lohemia also required the presence of my father-in-law. Thus, Charles’ parents are going with him. We decided I should stay here with our son, but I am so worried... I can hardly sleep...’, blew out Cinderella.

‘Don't worry. Charles won't be alone’, tranquilized Paulette.

Cinderella hugged her and they went to the nursery, where they played with the baby until dinnertime.

The day of the departure arrived. Charles woke up at six. The light was still very dim, and he tried to be as silent as possible not to wake up Cinderella and the baby. He was buttoning up his black and bordeaux suit, when Cinderella felt the bed empty and woke up.

‘Keep sleeping, my love. I will have breakfast, talk to Andrew, and return here before we leave’, he said while holding his sword, which fell, because he was paying attention to Cinderella.

Cinderella stood up immediately, caught the sword and returned it to Charles. He attached the sheathed sword to his belt, and she hugged him. Then he put his right hand on Cinderella’s waist, pulling her strongly against him.

‘I wish I would go with you…’, sighed Cinderella.

‘I wish I didn't go at all’, replied Charles, making her laugh.

‘You are so tired, my love,’ she said whilst caressing his face, ‘promise me you will rest when you arrive.’

Charles nodded yes and passionately kissed her neck.

‘Oh, let's take off these clothes, and stroll in the village like we used to do!’, suggested Cinderella.

Charles smiled, and whispered something in Cinderella's ear that made her blush. They giggled and, when their lips were almost touching, he looked closely into her eyes.

‘Do you miss Charles, the fibber?’, he asked, while caressing her hair.

Cinderella looked deeply into his eyes.

‘I think I do...’, admitted Cinderella after careful thought.

‘I miss him too’, confessed Charles.

He caressed her face and they closed their eyes whilst sharing a long, impetuous kiss.

By eight o'clock, the carriages and the escort were ready. The emeritus king and queen were happy to travel and to meet Lohemia's royal family, which had good relations to Charles' mother's family.

Charles asked Alex to stay in the castle with Cinderella and the prince. Andrew, who was wearing the same clothes as Charles to confuse potential attackers, and ten guards were chosen to escort the young king and his parents. Andrew hopelessly tried to convince Charles to wear casual clothes, but Charles refused. Everyone knew how much he preferred to dress in plain clothes, but he felt awful about letting Andrew assume all the risks. Thus, they decided to dress both as king.

The royal family went down the stairs that gave access to the courtyard. Cinderella bid farewell to her parents-in-law; Charles hugged Hans, who advise him to be always wise, and he turned to Alex.

‘Please, take good care of them,’ asked Charles, displaying an unusual sadness in his light blue eyes.

‘I'll protect them with my life’, promised Alex when they hugged each other.

Patch jumped to Charles. The king kneeled and petted the dog.

‘I am sure no one will dare to attack the castle with you here. Play with him, and bite to death the first person who touches them’, asked Charles.

‘You can count on me’, answered Patch.

‘Are you talking to Patch?’, inquired Alex.

‘Are you mad, Alex?’, smiled Charles, while winking at the animals.

Cinderella was once again insisting with the prince to say "Papa" properly.

"Baba", said the child.

Charles and Cinderella smiled and, suddenly, the baby started an awful, deep cry.

‘He never cried like this before...’, remarked Cinderella.

‘He must be sleepy… he usually wakes up later’, calmed Susana.

Cinderella held her son strongly against her, and tried to comfort him. Charles hugged and wrapped them with his yellow, long cape. The parents kissed each cheek of the baby at the same time. Then Charles kissed Cinderella in the mouth, surprising those who were present.

‘I heard that a new grocery shop sells the most delicious apples. When I arrive, we will change clothes, and I will take you for a ride,’ whispered Charles.

Cinderella kissed Charles’ cheek and offered him the flowers of their first encounter.

‘The flowers from my dream… to give you luck…’

He smiled, kept the flowers, and kissed her hand.

‘I am sorry to disturb, your majesty, but we must go,’ informed one of the coachmen.

Charles, his parents and Andrew entered the main carriage. More two carriages were necessary for luggage and food. Three guards were next to the coachmen, while the other rode horses.

Once the three carriages left the Emerald castle, Paulette and Papy followed them. Paulette was always in the right path, and put a spell in her horse that muted all its sounds, so that she could pass unnoticed by the guards. Everything was going according to plan until a huge row of cattle crossed Paulette's path, preventing her to see which direction the carriage took in a fork in the road.

Around lunchtime, the carriage stopped near a cave in the forest, where they ate and chatted. At the end of the break, Andrew, Charles and the guards were heading for the carriages when, suddenly, someone hidden in the trees shot them all in the back. The scene petrified Charles' parents and other servants, still in the cave. Paulette, who had finally found the track, heard the queen's scream of horror, and galloped as fast as possible. Papy, who had successfully accompanied the entire itinerary, didn't know what to do…

- To be continued -