I don't own the rights to the Hollow Kingdom.
Best of Friends
"This is boring," commented Suen as he sent tiny twigs hurtling in the air toward Chameleontail's stone fort with his index finger.
Not even blinking, Chameleontail made a motion with his hand, causing the twigs to stop in midair, before dropping to the ground. "What do you propose we do then?"
Suen sighed. "It's too bad we can't actually use magic on each other. It'd be a lot more fun."
Upon hearing the idea, Chameleontail's face broke out into a huge grin. Suen knew that grin. It was Chameleontail's I'm-up-to-no-good grin. "Who says we can't?"
"We're in the Truce Circle. No magic can be used to harm each other," pointed out Suen. "Besides, I doubt our mothers would approve."
That didn't deter Chameleontail. "Which is why we distract them so we can escape the Truce Circle."
Sighing, Suen listened to his plan. Though he would never admit it, Chameleontail could come up with the best ideas. Throughly enjoyable, but completely wicked ideas.
"Mummy," asked Marak as polite as he could be, "may Suen and I have a chocolate?"
"Of course love," Aggie answered, pulling out a pouch. Reaching inside she fingered two small chocolates, giving one to each boy. Both quickly consumed their treat before running off.
Edith turned toward Aggie and asked, "What are you doing?"
"Calm down Edith, it's only chocolate. They're Marak's favorites, imported all the way from Switzerland."
Edith didn't care if they were imported all the way from Switzerland or if they were Marak's favorites. She cared about her son. "Chocolate is not part of an elf's diet. It shouldn't even be part of a child's diet."
Aggie however didn't understand what the big fuss was about. "It's just a small piece of chocolate, I fail to see why you're getting so upset."
"So upset? You gave my son a sugar filled fest without my consent. He's suppose to be the next elf king, not the next overweight mouth filled with cavities king," shrieked Edith.
Waving a hand at her outburst, Aggie replied,"One piece chocolate won't harm him."
"No, it'll just turn him into a wild child like your son."
"What is wrong with my son?" asked Aggie whose voice had suddenly taken on an icy tone. She was fine with being insulted, but her son was off limits.
"You let him run about doing whatever crazy stunt his heart desires!"
In a low growl Aggie said, "There's nothing wrong with that. He learns from experience and has his magic to protect him."
"Except for the destruction he leaves in his wake."
"What kind of king will your son be if you coddle and protect him all your life?" Aggie retorted.
"What kind of king will your son be if there's no kingdom left to rule?" shot back Edith. "It shouldn't be that much of a surprise considering his mother is nothing but a drunk hippie!"
By this point, Aggie had resigned herself that there was no talking sense to the other woman.
"Don't pretend that you're any better, you hypocritical banshee!"
Feeling the same way, Edith said, "I do not have to stand for this! Come on Suen, let's go back to camp."
"Marak we're going back to the caves."
Both women looked around for their sons. Neither were in the Truce Circle.
"This isn't as much fun as I thought it would be," complained Chameleontail.
"Yeah, our magics cancel each other out," agreed Suen.
While their mothers were too busy arguing about how to properly raise children, the boys had managed to sneak out of the Circle. Once out, they had no problem getting past the guards on patrol. However, after several minutes of throwing spells at each other with no results, they managed to make an unfortunate discovery. That since they were the next great kings of their race, their magic was at the same level. Which meant they had tricked their mothers, left the circle, and risked punishment for nothing. And risking punishment for nothing was the worst thing ever in their mind.
"So what should we do now?" asked Suen.
Chameleontail pondered the possibilities. "We could go down to the village and mess with some villagers."
"I heard some ugly humans tramping through the woods earlier," suggested Suen.
"I know!" declared Chameleontail suddenly. "Let's have a contest to see who can capture a bride first!"
"Aren't we a little young?" pointed out Suen.
"We won't actually marry them. But just see who could succeed at capturing a bride first."
Suen mulled it over and considered it another one of Chameleontail's great ideas. Not that he would ever admit it out loud to him. "I don't have to eat human food again, do I? That chocolate stuff was weird. I like elf food better."
His friend just rolled his eyes. "You're such an elf. Now come on, before we our fathers find out and ruin the fun."
It took a while for the realization that their sons were gone to sink in. Both women called their names, and scanned through the darkness for any clue of their signs whereabouts. Unfortunately, there were none. If the boys had been taken by force, they would have fought back, alerting their mothers and area guards. That was not the case. The boys had simply been there one moment, and were gone the next. Which meant they left the Circle voluntarily. Which meant when their mothers got a hold of them, they would be facing a punishment of the worst kind.
"This is all your fault," complained Edith as she traipsed through the woods with Aggie.
A couple times, guards of both races would appraoch them to make sure they were alright. When that happened both women would dismiss them by saying they wanted a walk and there was nothing to worry about. While Aggie and Edith had considered asking them for help, they quickly realized that the guards would be no match for their future kings. That and they would be required to report the missing boys to the current kings. Neither of the women were ready to admit to their husbands that they were too busy arguing (again) to notice that their sons had snuck off right under their noses. Their husbands would never let them live it down. Especially since the boys didn't even have to use magic to do so since they were forbidden from performing magic on their mothers. Instead they had tricked their mothers into fighting, something even humans could fight back against.
Aggie disagreed with Edith. "You're the one who made such a fuss, just like they planned on."
"If you hadn't given them chocolate in the first place this would never have happened. Your son was probably the one who had the brilliant idea."
Aggie couldn't deny that. Chameleontail did take after his mother when it came to thinking up wild ideas. So she replied, "But your son went along with it and probably encouraged it."
Similar to Aggie, Edith couldn't deny that. While she knew her son was the type who would never initiate the boys antics, he was the type to egg Chameleontail on and offer suggestions on how to improve their next crazy idea. Luckily she was saved from answering due to the sight before them.
In their haste of declaring a challenge, there was a certain element that both boys had overlooked. Humans, especially young ones, are not nocturnal creatures. Elves are nocturnal, so Suen had simply assumed that humans would be awake as well. While goblins usually lived during the day, Chameleontail was used to staying up late once a month and had forgotten what time it was.
They were not deterred. So what if sweet little girls were asleep in their bed? It would just make it that much more challenging. Using their magic they could send a household asleep and slip in, or send a dream and cause their prey to come to them. Then the problem was simply a matter of knowing what houses had sleeping little girls in them.
Suen decided to make one little girl come to him by enchanting her dreams. Why should he work so hard, when she could come to him? The house he picked was painted white and pink curtains in one of the windows upstairs. The house was so cute and girly, he surely couldn't go wrong.
Chalemeleontail preferred a more hands on approach. He sent entire households to sleep while searching room by room for a suitable girl. It took four houses before he found a pair of sisters he was trying to decide between. According to the letters hanging on the wall, their names were 'Martha' and 'Abigail'. They looked to be about a couple years apart, with Abigail looking to be the oldest. He was just about to decide between the two when Martha suddenly sat straight up in bed.
At first Chameleontail thought she might of woken up, and so he blended into the background. Martha nearly walked into her closet door until Chameleontail steered her away from it. From the way she moved (and the near collision with the door) made it quite evident that she wasn't awake. While she could be sleepwalking, Chameleontail suspected another culprit.
"Stupid elf," he muttered under his breath. "I was just about to pick her too."
Actually he was just about to make up his mind of who to pick, but he was quite sure that he would have chosen Martha. Deciding that he wasn't going to let the elf get her, he picked her up and went to walk out the front door. He couldn't wait till the elf saw what he carried in his arms. So lost in his daydreams, he almost didn't notice the flickering out of the corner of his eye. Stopping to see what it was, he nearly dropped Martha. Flames were shooting out of the upstairs window of the house next door. One of the same houses whose inhabitants he had sent into a deep sleep not so long ago.
Realizing the severity of the situation, Chameleontail set Martha on her feet, and then ordered her to wake up her family incase the flames decided to consume her house as well. He did take care to ensure that she would forget everything about him.
Next, he moved out onto the streets and saw Suen entering the house that was ablaze. While the bright light from the fire hurt his eyes, he also couldn't just stand by idly while watching the blaze consume the house and family inside. Not to mention the scolding he would receive from his parents for doing so. At least if he tried to help, his punishment might be lightened. Especially since it was the goblins fault.
Not to be outdone, Chameleontail raced into the house after Suen.
"Did you even think to check on what they were doing before you sent them asleep?" hissed Suen.
"Did you even stop to think that calling a girl to you who was half asleep was a dangerous thing to do? If it wasn't for me she would have walked right into her closet door. And that's before she would have probably broken her neck while trying to do down the stairs."
"Fine, neither of us win."
"I disagree. She walked right into my arms. I won," boasted Chameleontail.
The smell of smoke filled their noses and the boys realized they had more important things to do than argue about who won. Shielding his eyes, Suen opened the bedroom door so Chameleontail could see how bad the fire was. Goblin eyes were sensitive to light, but not as sensitive as the eyes elves had. He breathed a sigh of relief once the door was open. There was a fire, but not as bad as he thought. A man had apparently fallen asleep while smoking a cigar which had fallen into a waste can. There it consumed paper until the flame grew high enough to ignite the drapes on the windows. That was why the fire had seemed so bright next door. But that wouldn't be for long. The fire was nearly done with the drapes and was ready to spread to the furniture and carpet.
"You deal with the fire, and I'll deal with the humans," ordered Suen. Chameleontail was about to argue and question why the elf was in charge until he remembered the seriousness of the situation.
Suen levitated the man out of the bedroom while Chameleontail called out, "His wife was in the kitchen, and his son was in the room closest to the stairs." At this point it was better to help the elf than hinder him and have him spend precious time searching from to room to room for those who were asleep.
"Thanks," said Suen, rather grateful for the help. The goblin might as well make himself useful since he was the one who had caused all this in the first place.
Continuing to mutter about stupid elves, Chameleontail swiftly considered his options. Gathering a rain cloud would take to long, not to mention garner unwanted attention. And then there was the pesky fact that he didn't have any experience with it. Then he realized that it was 1970's. Humans had water in their homes now. He turned his attention to the bathroom, using his magic to break the pipes that connected to the wall. Then with a wave of his hand, he pulled the water out and moved it to the fire in the bedroom that was now almost engulfed in flames. Chameleon let loose the water that to soak the blaze, while continuing to pull water from the source that fed the pipes. At the moment he didn't care where it came from as long as it came fast.
A couple minutes later he was soaked and rather exhausted, but at least the fire was out, along with the family.
"Come on," said Suen from the hallway. "I got the family out, but they've woken up and are trying to figure out what happened. Let's go before they decide to investigate."
Chameleontail nodded, too tired to do much more, and made his way out the back door with Suen. A quick drying spells would get the water out of his clothes and maybe a memory spell for their mothers so they wouldn't ask what mischief their sons had gotten into. His mother couldn't tell on him for using magic if she didn't remember. These were special circumstances. The boys weren't even a couple feet into the woods before they realized whatever luck they had was gone.
Before them on the path stood their fathers.
Their fathers had their arms crossed and were looking rather anger. The boys gulped, preparing themselves for what was about to come next.
"What were you thinking?" asked Marak and Nir in unison.
"Tricking your mothers," began Marak.
"And sneaking into the village and starting a fire," finished Nir.
Both boys looked at the ground in shame, but their fathers weren't over yet.
"And we couldn't be prouder," said Marak in a gentle tone.
"Yes, well done, both of you," commented Nir.
It took a couple seconds for the words to sink in. Both boys tentatively raised their heads, revealing confused looks on their faces. Suen was the first to speak. "What do you mean you couldn't be prouder?"
His father clapped him on the back. "Not even ten, and you're already practicing how to get a bride."
Marak nodded. "And while things did get out of hand, you two worked together to fix things instead of panicking. Both are admirable, but rare traits to be found in future kings, especially young ones."
Chameleontail was relieved that he wasn't in too much trouble, but was still curious. "How did you know what we did?"
"Well, the guards were rather worried when your mothers seemed to be searching be for something, and you two weren't in sight. I used the water mirror to see what mischief you two had gotten into, and once I'd located you, I went to Nir," answered Marak.
"At the time we thought we would have to clean up your mess, but you managed to work things out all by yourselves."
"Now," said Marak, "Let's go find your mothers."
Each mother was reunited with her son in a tearful reunion while their fathers looked on. Once each boy was determined to be safe, the yelling began.
"How could you do such a thing!"
"What were you thinking by sneaking off?"
"It was his idea, wasn't it?"
"You could have been seen, or injured!"
"When your father gets a hold of you..."
And so on. Both boys had been warned by their fathers to not say a word, and let their mothers scold and chide them. Normally both parents work together when it came to disciplining the young kings, but no so in this instance. The mothers were human, and therefore did not fully understand that it was important to encourage their sons to capture a wife, or work well with their fellow king, for both races.
But right now, the mothers were being mothers. Scared and frightened for their missing sons, then angry after learning what happened. Having mothers who cared for their strange, magical, sons was just as important to the survival of the races as it was for the kings to get along or capture brides. Their methods might differ, and they might not always get along with one another, but at the end of the day they did agree on one thing.
Leaving their sons alone together unsupervised, should be avoided at all costs. Who knew what further mischief they could get into?
I would first like to thank PrincessQF for leaving a review last chapter.
I finally got around to finishing this chapter and posting it because I thought it'd be a fun April Fool's update. Marak and Nir getting into trouble, what's not to like?
I don't know what I'll be posting next in this story, but if there are any characters or certain things you want to see, let me know, and I'll do what I can.
Thanks for reading, and if you can, leave a review!