Find this also, courtesy of La'ienth, translated into French at .net/s/7857784/1/Sols_Musicaux
The Singing Floors
"The Queen has done WHAT?" Javelin was not given to any kind of emotional display but the agent who had just reported to him thought that there was almost a touch of hysteria in that question.
"It is a trifle irregular, isn't it?" he said. He was an old man; still upright but with that to his stance that argued painful joints. His hair was grizzled though still plentiful; and the lines on his face told a story of a man who smiled more than he frowned, save the few tell-tale pain lines.
"Irregular? Brocade, it's downright immoral! And it contravenes agreements about spying on the royal family!" declared Javelin "Floors deliberately designed to creak on the approach of anyone? Whatever next, booby traps in the secret passages?"
Khevender, a distant relation of the young King of Drasnia, codenamed Brocade and top spy within the Royal household, grinned evilly. It made him look a lot like Prince Kheldar whom he claimed was his great nephew enough times removed for comfort.
"The Queen" he said cheerfully "Claims that it is good training for spies; since this singing floor, as it is called, is a Tolnedran invention apparently and she says that learning here might just save the lives of some of our people."
"Oh" said Javelin "She might have cleared it with me first."
"I expect she thought we'd have more entertainment finding out for ourselves" he said mildly.
Javelin threw him a look of baffled fury.
"Dearly as I revere our Queen Regent" he said in a tightly controlled voice "I might wish that she was less concerned with our entertainment."
"I'll tell her" said the old spy "I'm sure she'll be very entertained by your lack of pleasure in her schemes."
"What's it worth to you not to bother?" asked Javelin, filled with visions of other little entertainments Queen Porenn might come up with, helped by the juvenile King and his overly fertile imagination.
"Well, a nice easy assignment somewhere warm might fill me with enough joy to forget to mention it to her" grinned Brocade.
"I'll find one" promised Javelin without even negotiating.
Brocade hid another grin. It was very nice of dear Porenn to notice how bad his arthritis was and to use her scheme to improve the spies to get him a pleasant assignment.