"Eridan."

"Y-yes, my lady," Eridan bowed before his Queen's feet, having to hold onto his hat so it didn't fall off, "why is it that you'we called me here today?"

"I want a status report," Vriska said, her chin held high as if she were sniffing the ceiling. She was looking down at Eridan as if he were a bug she would like to squish but was too lazy to get up off her throne for. It didn't matter to Eridan; at least she was looking at him, "I want to know everything that is happening regarding our little brown...mess."

"Same as last time, my Lady," Eridan said, still staring down at the blue tiled floor of the throne room; they had replaced the red-and-teal motif long ago, "nothin' has reely changed since ten minutes ago—"

"I know that!" Vriska sneered, gripping the arms of her throne tightly, "I was just making sure, okay? I just have a bad feeling about leaving her alive...we should have killed her, I think. Or at least paralyzed her or something."

"You don't think makin' her a low-blood isn't horrid enough?" Eridan asked. Vriska sneered, and he added, "no, no, of course it wasn't enough, I corally agree with you!"

"Sure, whatever," Vriska growled, "no, the other reason I'm nervous about this is that that idiotic Prince John from Alternilot was supposed to marry Tavros; he came by yesterday just before she was wiped from his memory and I told him she was missing. He vowed to go and find her, and though she apparently is gone from everyone's memory except you and I...I'm still pretty damn concerned he remembers something. I want you to go and eliminate him."

"We can't assassinate the Prince of Alternilot! That would throw us into a war with the Alternians!"

"You dare defy me?" Vriska asked, so quiet the weight of the silence seemed to bare down on the Also Evil Wizard's shoulders. He bowed his head once more, shaking it slightly.

"Wasn't he supposed to wed Fef?" he said, then, "wasn't that why she declined my proposal?"

"Fef? Hah," Vriska laughed, her snicker echoing in the empty chamber, "no way, I think she declined simply because she doesn't like you. I mean, no one likes you."

"Y-you don't like me?" Eridan looked up, his eyes wide and shimmering with purplish moisture. Vriska cackled again.

"What? You're crazy, I don't like anyone! Hell, I'm going to off Dave as soon as I've got this Tavros thing all sorted out. Bluh! How could I pity a king? How could I pity you? You have a higher blood caste than me!" She was laughing so hard she was slouched back in her throne, her crown being crushed against the back of the large gold chair, skewing it to the side at a jaunty angle. Eridan growled.

"You do?" He slowly rose to his feet, "I thought you were a purple-blood!"

"No way! None of the Royals actually have royal blood! That's totally cliché!" She was laughing harder now, "oh god, your face is soooooooo funny! Really, you should have married Feferi, back when you proposed, if you had married her, and we had gotten rid of Tavros, you would have restored the royal blood caste to what it once was before we started showing mating fondness for humans! Everyone assumes we all have royal blood when only one of us does," she waved her arm around the room, "why do you think there's so much blue around here these days?"

"I-I thought you liked blue," Eridan said, "I like blue. Blue is a great colour."

"Bluh! Whatever," she shook her head, "blue is the beeeeeeeest colour because it's my blood colour! Don't tell anyone, though, or I'll have you killed."

"You can't do that to someone who is of a higher blood caste!"

"Oh yes I can, 'cause I'm fucking royalty!" she laughed, and Eridan scowled, bright purple spilling across his face, "oh, you look soooooooo pitiful right now!"

"You think so?" He cried, eyes brightening. She rolled her eyes.

"Whatever!"She sat up again, crossing her arms, "just go and find that stupid-ass prince, and then we'll see how pitiful you are. Who knows, after I kill off Dave and become the only ruler of this land, maybe I'll let you marry my step-daughter and one day succeed me with the evil in your heart affirmed. You guys live a hell of a lot longer than your everyday blue-blood, right?" she looked down at him darkly. He sputtered, not sure if he was supposed to answer that or not, before she sneered down and said, "fuck, get out of my sight!"

Eridan scrambled out of the throne room, head reeling, his quadrants all in a fluster. He wasn't sure if he wanted to storm back into the great hall and throttle that huge bitch, or kiss her...or possibly both at the same time.

Wwhatevver.

He needed to go and find Prince John, anyways. Maybe he could get his feelings, whether they be red or black, sorted out before he saw the Evil Queen again.

"So you're an, uhm, poet?"

"Yeah, bro, I make some cash pushing out some sick rhymes and droppin' them hot beats like no one else."

Tavros rubbed her arms, feeling a little chilly despite the Blind Prophet Terezi Pyrope—her long lost mother—giving her a thick shawl before they departed. Their group had been walking for a while; a few hours as the day passed by and it slowly became night in the tick Camternia forest.

"Once my old lusus dad told me an old tale, about our ancestors," the Poet, Gamzee, was saying, smiling down on Tavros, "he said a long, long time ago Trolls were allergic to the sun, and instead rose with the moons at night."

"Is that true? Woah!" Nepeta, who walked beside them, purred excitedly, "purrhaps they could see in the dark! Wouldn't that be so cool? I bet they were furrocious!"

"You tell me, sister, they be so motherfuckin' furrocious they scare even eachother!" Gamzee cackled, before adding, "my old lusus broman told me that when the aliens came, the humans, the Trolls started to come out during the day more often, until we got totally used to it motherfucking eons in the future," he whistled as if he were impressed, "my lusus was a wise old bitch, girlies, I miss him a ton."

"I never had a lusus," Tavros said, "I had parents. Uh...I think it's a human thing. And my dad is human...uh—"

("I, uhh, never really thought this part of the, uhh, story out, Gamzee...it doesn't really make sense, uhh, half Troll, half human babies would probably look like squishy gray, blobs, or, uhh, something I think."
"Motherfucking miracles, Tavbro, you and Sister Jade should try it sometime."
"Gamzee! I—no!"
"Oh, sorry man, I didn't mean to make your face get all up and brown like that.")

"Show us some of your supurr cool rhymes, !" Nepeta asked excitedly, "uh, I mean, Miss Leijion asked the supurr cool poet furr some supurr cool rhymes!"

"Yeah, sure think Miss KittyKat!" Gamzee said.

"I, uhh, can drop some pretty wicked rhymes of my own, uh." Tavros said, "maybe we can have, an epic rap-battle...!"

They proceeded to have the second-worst rap-off battle in history.

"Do you hear that?" John asked, shushing Karkat with a pap to the face. The Knight growled, crossing his arms. How dare a human use the shoosh-pap method? Especially since he was a trained almost-knight; trained in the art of calming.

I mean, he was totally ferocious, too, totally proficient in using his weapons. Of course.

"I didn't hear anything, bucketlicker," Karkat grumbled, "I don't know how you hear anything with those shitty-ass excuse for ears you somehow have evolved into having. Maybe your thinkpan has started creating noises for you, just to keep it occupied before it totally jumps ship and leaves such a desolate landscape of minimal thought and—"

"Nah I totally head thomething too," Sollux said, doofing Karkat in the head to shut him up, "we all know KK totally thuckth at hearing, though."

"Someone's coming!" John cried, pulling out a retractable telescope from his side pouch; not that it would do much help in these thick woods, "I hear some...well...actually it sounds like someone...rapping?"

"No, never mind, I think your thinkpan must have already died years ago!" Karkat threw his hands into the air, "maybe in Alternilot they have rapping, but not here, in Camternia—oh my god."

From the trees popped three wayward travellers; three trolls, two female and one male, all coversing in a peppy rhyme that made little sense and really barely rhymed at all. In fact the words were so atrocious they made Karkat want to run in circles until he brained himself off a tree or perhaps Sollux's horns. It was that bad.

The wayward travellers seemed about as surprised as they were to see another group of travellers in these parts of the woods. Prince John had pulled his sword, fumbling a bit on the way, his arms as shaky as his legs, which were pretty damn shaky. Sollux also branished his weapon, or rather weapons; he pulled off his goggles, revealing his eyes which cackled with red and blue light; his psionics. Karkat tried to pull his sword out of its hilt, but the thing jammed; he cursed his luck. He hated the damn sword, he was much better at his sickles, but Sollux told him a sword was much more Knight-like.

The three wayward travellers gasped, the man grabbing his broad-brimmed hat, and pushing the two others behind him as a sort of protective move.

"Who are you?" Prince John asked, since Karkat was busy creatively cursing at his sword, and Sollux was snickering at him instead of helping.

"I could as you the same question, man," the troll said, "why you gotta go all violent and introduce me to your ? I got nothing, bro, just these two bitchin' ladies and my motherfucking hands."

"I-I asked who are you!" It was obvious the Prince was trying to be menacing, but he sorta looked like a rather put out puppy.

"Gamzee motherfucking Makara, no one else but that bro," he bowed, tipping his hat graciously, "County Poet at your service."

"A poet? Out of all things you're a poet? Oh god, I weep for the nation!" Karkat cried. Gamzee looked at him, a little confused.

"And thoth two behind you," Sollux stepped forward, gesturing with his chin towards the two girls cowering behind Gamzee, "who are they?"

"The Lady Leijon does not appreciate being held by knife point!" The one wearing the green coat cried. She hissed at Sollux, who frowned at her and instead shifted his attention to the other.

"And you are?"

"I'm, uhh, Pr—uhm, Tavros. Tavros." She said quietly. John gasped and dropped his sword. Karkat looked up from his hilt with wide eyes. Even the cackle of Sollux's psionics died away as the forest was plunged into a thick silence.

"Tavros?" John asked, "like...Princess Tavros?"

"You remember me?" Tavros gasped, her own eyes turning large like saucers, "oh, uh, oh gosh, I didn't think anyone except Mr. Gamzee would remember me—"

"Well, really I don't, but, heheh," John said, sheepishly rubbing the back of his head, "but it was written on the back of my hand that I was supposed to save you, and, uh," he got down on one knee in front of the lady, pulling something out of his pocket; a ring box, inside a sparkling diamond ring, "but, uh, w-will you marry me, Princess Tavros?"