by Snow Angel
Myra watched as the Guild Masters
|Myra watched as the Guild Masters and their wives entered the banquet room of the Merchants' Guild Hall. It had taken her all of three months to get them to agree on a suitable location for this meeting. Now that they were all together in one place, she had only one other thing to do before Prince Hardwick would pay her and then she could leave Serpent Cove forever. After the last couple took their seats, Myra picked up the sheep bladder containing the wine the Prince had chosen to serve and pour a small portion into each person's glass.
Going to the front of the banquet hall, she raised her glass. "To peace between Prince Hadrwick and the Guilds." She raised her glass to her lips and took a sip, but before she could spit it out the Prince slapped her on the back and she swallowed it. Oh, well, she thought, I don't suppose it'll hurt. Hardwick is a lot of things, but he's not stupid enough to poison anyone at his own Peace Conference.
Feeling a little light headed, Myra sit down at the nearest table, as Prince Hardwick went to the front of the room. Raising his hand he said, "The first thing I would like to do is apologize for any past misunderstandings." As his eyes panned the room, he took note of the expression on each Guild Master's face. "Next I would like to assure everyone here, that I'm willing to pay whatever price you demand of me for my foolishness." He motioned Wizard Lightning-Strike to come out of hiding. The Wizard stepped from behind a silver-gray curtain and walked to Prince Hardwick's side.
"I wish you'd sing this song along with me," the Wizard raised his wand. "Take me away from my enemy to a place safe and secure." Everyone, except Prince Hardwick, began to sing along with the wizard. "Take me to a place where I will be happy and safe. Take me to a place where only peace and security endure." As the song ended, everyone in the room, except Prince Hardwick and the Wizard disappeared.
"That's done," the Wizard removed a large purple silk handkerchief and mopped his brow. "Shall we go see how Commander Crocker is doing with the Assistant Guild Masters?"
Outside the Guild Hall, they found the Assistant Guild Masters, with their wives, shackled and gathered inside a gray chalk circle surround by troops. Raising his wand, the Wizard took a deep breath and shouted, "Lightning and thunder, rain and hail take the encircled to Hailstorm's jail." A bolt of lightning struck the center of the circle and everyone within disappear.
"Well, Your Highness," the Wizard laughed. "That concludes my end of the bargain. If you want me to do anything else it will cost you extra."
"Nothing else, at this time, Master Wizard," the Prince said signaling Commander Crocker, who threw a spear at the Wizard striking him in the back. Two troopers took hold of the Wizard's arms and dragged him into the Merchant's Guild Hall. Then two more troopers sit the hall on fire.
A flash of lightning stuck the roof of the Guild Hall, followed a few minutes later by a clap of thunder. "Odd," said Prince Hardwick looking into the clear blue sky. "It doesn't look like rain." A trooper brought a horse to the Prince and helped him mount.