Chapter Three.

What might Prince Piam do if he overhears the conversation between Queen Emery and Meylyne’s mother?

(As seen through Meylyne’s mother’s crystal)

The castle walls flickered as Prince Piam crossed the courtyard and strode into the stables. A stable boy scuttled away. Piam jumped up onto his mare’s back and thundered out of the stable.

“Loca Prince Piam,” Meylyne whispered, so that the crystal knew she wanted to follow Piam as he charged down the road and veered across a glacial field. A wall of silver-gray loomed up to his right—the Petrified Forest. When he turned toward Welke, Meylyne guessed where he was headed.

Gorlicky Park.

Sure enough, the blur of his shape settled into focus in front of the park’s spidery iron gate. He dismounted from his mare and descended down some steps.

A monument flickered into view. Round and green, it towered over Piam by at least fifteen feet. It looked a bit like a turnip but Meylyne knew it was in face a cabbage. She squinted at it. A column of names was inscribed on the front; impossible to read aside from the one at the top-

PRINCESS AMBER, HOUSE OF ROSE.

Other shapes came into focus – people huddled around, some praying. No one seemed to notice Prince Piam. Three new images flickered into view as they walked by – a boy, about Piam’s age, a man and a woman. The boy muttered something loudly enough for Meylyne to hear –

“Come to gloat, ‘ave yer?”

Prince Piam’s head snapped around. “What did you say?”

“Nothing,” the man interjected. “He said nothing, isn’t that right Alfred?”

Alfred shoved his hands into his pockets.

“I’ll remind you that Meph caused the Cabbage-Wind, not my family,” Piam said coldly.

All eyes turned toward them.

“Yeah, but your mum got our Princess Amber kidnapped, didn’t she?” Alfred retorted. “And then she went and fixed you with that rapid-aging disease, which means she’ll rule forever!” He yelped as his father smacked the top of his head.

Prince Piam clenched his fists. “How dare you?” he spat. “You think my mother actually enjoys ruling over a bunch of …” he bit his lip. Pressing his lips together, he whirled around, storming back up the steps two at a time. Purple sparks flew out of the air spinning around him.

“All of this—this blame and everything that’s wrong Glendoch is Meph’s fault,” he blustered. “Meph was behind the Cabbage-Wind. How dare they blame my mother?!” By now he had reached his mare. He untied her, still muttering furiously. “And now his daughter has the nerve to flatten me. Just wait till we get her in the Shadow-Cellars. I’ll see to it she never gets out!”

 

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