THEN A PENGUIN WALKED IN #37

ANOTHER TAVERN - PART THREE
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Realizing what he had done, Dominick jumped to his feet.

“Holy crap, Vivian! I’m so sorry! Are you okay!? Please tell me that you’re okay!”

“Of course I’m okay,” Vivian said, flying back to the chair. “It takes more that the casual swat of a human hand to harm a pixie.”

“But I hit you really hard.”

“Don’t fret, it wasn’t that hard.”

“It was pretty hard,” said Dominick. “I put a lot behind it.”

“Really, it wasn’t bad.”

“Are you sure? I’m pretty strong.”

“Truly, Dominick. It was nothing.”

“Well, still. I’m sorry.” Dominick hung his head.

“You slept in your clothes?”

“I didn’t mean to.” Dominick realized that sunlight streamed in through the high window. “How long have I been in here?” He suddenly had the urge to pee.

“Almost eleven hours. The Triumvirate were arguing well into the night.”

Dominick gulped.

“What did they decide?” He asked. He found the urge to pee had fled.

“What do you think?”

“Punishment? The rack?”

“The rack?” Vivian blinked.

“Yeah, where they stretch you out.”

“Dominick.”

“Worse than the rack? What is it? Water torture? Drawn and quartered? Good lord are they going to tie my arms and legs to horses!?”

Vivian only tsked.

“Such imagination you have,” she said. “No, you are not to be punished. Yes, some of them aren’t very happy with you, but you are the One. Only you can harness the power of the sword.”

“So what are they going to do?”

“Why we are to go after it, of course.”

“We?” The urge to pee returned.

“Yes, Dominick. You, me, and a group of others.”

“How are we supposed to find it? The thief has a day’s lead on us.”

“Don’t worry about that. They will explain it all when we get there.”

“Get where?” Dominick asked.

“The Great Hall. The Triumvirate is waiting.”

“Now?”

“Now, Dominick. I’ve come to fetch you.”

“I just woke up. I have stuff to do.” The urge to pee grew more insistent.

“Stuff?” Vivian cocked her head to the side.

“Yeah,” Dominick shuffled his feet. “You know. Stuff.”

Vivian continued to stare at him with uncomprehending eyes.

Personal stuff,” Dominick said. He widened his eyes for emphasis.

“Oh!” Vivian got it. “Yes. By all means. I’m afraid I didn’t think about that. Pixies don’t create bodily waste so we never have to, you know, go.”

“Well I do,” Dominick was dancing in place. “Where?”

“Follow me,” said Vivian, gliding from the room.

Less than fifteen minutes later and they were back in the Great Hall.

The Triumvirate were back in their respective thrones yet each had someone standing behind and to the left. Captain Ovati was there, but beyond that the room was empty. There was a single chair on the floor that faced the dais. Once Dominick and Vivian had arrived, he had been directed to sit.

Queen Genivene rose.

“Dominick Hanrahan,” she said, bowing her head slightly in his direction. “We want you to know that we do not not blame you for the loss of the Sword of Power.”

Captain Ovati grunted.

“You made a mistake, we cannot fault you for that.”

Captain Ovati grunted again.

“Captain Ovati,” said Kendrick the Troll Lord. “Are you okay? You seem to have something wrong with your throat.”

“No, My Lord,” Ovati managed to look embarrassed. “I apologize.”

To be continued . . .