As night fell, Eugene and Amelia approached the gates of Camelot. They were shut tighter than a drum and the guards yelled from atop the wall,
"Who goes there?"
"Prince Consort of Corona and the fiancée of Merlin," Eugene called up. A door that resided in the large gate, opened and two men, swords drawn emerged.
"Are you who you say you are?" The taller one demanded.
"My wife, Princess Rapunzel of Corona, arrived here and aided the King. She'll verify who I am and the great wizard Merlin will verify who his fiancée is," the former thief said. It was at that point that someone shouted to open the gates but the shout came from inside, not the two men challenging them.
"I am very sorry, your Highness, right this way. I am Perseus, Knight of the Round Table," the large muscular man atop a white stallion introduced himself.
"Quite all right, just glad we didn't get used for target practice," Eugene chuckled.
"What is going on Perseus?" Amelia asked.
"Lady Amelia, I promise to explain everything once we are inside the palace walls," the Knight smiled slightly but Eugene had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach as they moved through the city streets. Max seemed to sense what the Prince Consort was feeling and snorted.
"Easy Max," the former thief patted the horse's neck.
"I imagine you are tired from a long journey," Perseus said.
"Yes but more concerned that it is not yet dark and the good people of Camelot are already inside their homes," Amelia said bluntly as they passed through the palace gates.
"We expect rain tonight. A storm is blowing in off the coast. Merlin alerted us to the problem and we quickly alerted everyone. The last time we got a storm, there were terrible mudslides. We are overly saturated, I'm afraid," the Knight responded.
"Then we made excellent time," Eugene said.
"Indeed you did," Perseus smiled as he dismounted from his horse and gestured to head for the stairs. Just as predicted, thunder rumbled in the distance. Pascal poked his head out of Eugene's bag and shivered. The rain was coming and the horses were quickly escorted to the royal stables while the group headed inside.
"Queen Caelia will be most anxious to meet you," Perseus said as the little group approached large wooden doors.
"Yes, it will be nice to finally meet her in person. King Amr speaks highly of her. I don't suppose the Princess will be with her?" Eugene prodded but the Knight did not say a word as he opened the doors.
"My Queen, the Prince Consort of Corona and Lady Amelia," he announced.
"It is very good to meet you," the Queen stood from her spot at the long wooden table and headed over to them. Eugene noted the maps on the table as he bowed to her.
"The pleasure is all mine your Highness. Does Rapunzel know we're here?" He asked. It was then that Merlin burst into the room, holding a cage with a large brown owl.
"He has taken her!" Eugene thought his friend had lost his marbles.
"The owl has taken whom?" He asked.
"Melehan's troops have absconded with the Princess," Merlin was blunt and the anger inside him was obviously boiling.
"Would you mind repeating that? I thought you said my pregnant wife has been kidnapped," Eugene said, his brain started going a mile a minute.
"I'm afraid so," the wizard said.
To Be Continued…