...then where did they come from?
"Well, uh... Lord Darigan, sir, Your Majesty..." Tallon stumbled over the words. He didn't usually deliver the packages directly to Lord Darigan and his presence was, well, intimidating.
"Out with it!" Darigan roared. "Tell me what's going on here or--"
"Please don't destroy me!" Tallon implored, cowering.
"Destroy you?" Darigan lowered his voice. "No, of course not. You're just a messenger, and as long as you tell me exactly what I want to know I also won't throw you in the dungeons to have you brain warped and Neopoints stolen by Master Vex and his blasted game. So, who gave you the cookies?"
"Well, I don't know. I was ordered to pick them up from a pre-arranged location. I didn't see who dropped them off."
"So, you're telling me that the Turmaculus just so happened to snatch them out of your bag while you were flying over Meridell?"
"Well, no," Tallon responded.
"So, you stopped on your way here?"
"Well, yes, but please don't tell Mr. Bask! He'll fire me!"
"Then you had better have a VERY good reason..."
"King Skarl waved me down. He wanted to look in the bag and said that, as long as he ordered it, then it would be okay--"
"Skarl? What did Skarl say when he saw what was in the bag?"
"He didn't seem surprised. In fact, he knew exactly what kind of cookies they were and where they'd come from. Isn't that odd?"
An outrageously loud guffaw echoed down the street behind where Tallon and Lord Darigan stood talking.
"No, no it isn't." Lord Darigan sighed and started to walk back into the Citadel proper.
"Wait, what's going on?" Tallon called after him.
"Just one of Skarl's pranks," Darigan declared and then disappeared into the shadowed archway.
"What about the Turmaculus?!?" Tallon shouted.
The doors of the Citadel slammed shut and all that remained was the echo of Skarl's hysterical laughter.
Tallon skidded to a half half a second too late. His horn knocked against the storefront window and, for a sickening moment, he thought the glass was going to shatter.
Mr. Bask flung the front door open and marched -- he never merely walked somewhere, and that had made him a great courier in his younger years -- into the street.
"What took you so long?"
"I, uh... had a bit of an accident."
"Did you make the delivery?" the older Skeith asked.
Tallon nodded. "You could say that."
"Are you sure? There's another package to take to Darigan Citadel from Faerieland. Two in one day -- that's never happened before."
"The contents of the package got where they were going, Mr. Bask," Tallon replied. He left out the part about them being in the Turmaculus's belly, which also happened to be in the Darigan Citadel.
Bask shook his head. "Well, you're going to have to go right back."
"Yes, sir, and this time I won't stop in Meridell, not for anything."
"Excuse me? Did you say--"
"The accident. I had to stop in Meridell for a few minutes. I was just saying that it won't happen again."
He wondered if the spell Skarl cast on the cookies had worn off yet, or if the giant Petpet's shadow was still cast over the Citadel. Hopefully the Turmaculus had learned his lesson, but Tallon doubted it.