Return of the Double Agent: Part Three
Also by shadowcristal
The Zafara glanced at a nearby window. The night seemed
much darker than usual - it was pretty late already. Most of the royal subjects
must be snoring right about now...but maybe that's what they wanted her to think.
Cylene grinned hopefully. Nighttime was often
regarded as the best time to spy.
Wandering, no, carefully sneaking through the
hallway, the alert Agent's eyes tried to spy anything out of the ordinary. After
all, she did have a reputation to maintain if people still wanted to do business
with her, not jumping around like some excited schoolgirl...
Hidden by the shadows, Cylene made her way through
grander and grander hallways, though the blue and red drapes made her reel.
So many boring colors...
The Zafara took lithe, light steps as she poked
around to see if anyone was asleep. Mostly sounds of snoring exited the rooms
she carefully pressed her ears to, but in one it did not.
Stepping back into the grandest hallway, the
Zafara wondered... Who would possibly be awake at this hour?
Looking at the wood-carved, fancy, ornate door,
Cylene had a sneaking suspicion that she was going to uncover a great secret.
But first of all, she had to move inside, for despite the large keyhole, the
room was too dimly illuminated for her to see anything but a big, fat shadow
The door itself stood out from all the rest in
the hallway. There was only one conclusion.
She had come across King Skarl's bedroom. One
of her dark eyes peeped into the keyhole again. He looked almost like some large
blob in the gloom, and large gloomy blobs were rarely anything of interest.
Cylene had to find a way inside...but how?
Unfortunately, the blue Zafara didn't have time
to ponder any more as rough, noisy steps startled her. Who would be patrolling
the castle at this time of night?
Upon seeing their silhouettes, she could only
assume that they were guards. Sharp spear-like things protruded from their sides,
and their footsteps were marked by sudden crunches of the metal armor enveloping
There was nothing else to do but run. Cylene
had to run somewhere else to hide. She turned a corner and listened as the marching
got softer. Breathing a sigh of relief, she leaned back against the wall.
Her escape wasn't over yet. Their long, flickering
shadows warned her that they were about to trace the same route she had taken.
The agent decided that there was only one safe place to hide - her own room.
Even if she did find out what Skarl was up to that night, it wouldn't do her
any good if she were caught wandering about aimlessly at such an unholy hour.
Having decided upon the course of action, Cylene
returned to her room, her mind turning its gears as fast as it could. Skarl
must've had something to hide if he was still awake by now... She yawned and
fell into her comfortable bed, her dreams filled with the occupations she held
so lovingly to her heart.
* * *
The Zafara was invited to a royal breakfast the
very next morning, and she realized she mustn't offend the king. The other side
was starting to put some pressure, but it would be no good if she couldn't haul
out the big fish... a.k.a. Skarl.
Watching the king noisily eat from bright, clean
(at least they had been before they were brought into the room) silver plates,
the Agent tried not to groan in disgust. As custom required, she ate everything
that Skarl ate, wondering between one chew and the next how the king could consume
all this food.
Cylene was left alone to amuse herself after
the breakfast had been done and over with. She would've loved and listened to
intriguing news that the couriers brought Skarl, only the king actually had
enough brains inside his head to talk to them in private. The Zafara pondered
She watched the bunch of important-looking Meridellian
messengers follow King Skarl out of the dining hall. Cylene would have loved
to mingle with the crowd and pretend to be one of them, but there was the chance
that someone would see through her ruse.
"Where ARE they going?" the Zafara wondered loud
enough for a passing Quiggle to hear her.
"I bet they're going into the throne room and
locking the place up for now," said Morris. "Why'd you ask?"
"I was...uh...going to ask his Majesty something,"
said Cylene, hoping that her alibi would pass.
He blinked. "I guess you can just wait outside
till they're finished with whatever they've been talking about. Then you can
bug King Skarl all you want." Morris walked away, calling, "Boris, wait up!
I was only showing the lady around the castle..."
The simple-minded were so easy to fool. The agent
swept off, her long cloak swishing on the floor. She came across a large regal
room that she recognized as the throne room, but the double doors were probably
shut tight. As she put her ear against them, Cylene found out that they were
thick enough to muffle whatever was going on inside.
"What are you doing?" a shrill voice pierced
the Zafara's eardrums as Cylene restrained herself from jumping ten feet into
the ceiling. A spy could definitely not do that.
"Nothing," the Agent lied glibly, but the suspicious,
narrow eyes that glared at the Agent did not believe it.
"Why would you, out of all people, want to linger
around Skarl's throne room while he's discussing potatoes with my brother and
all those other guys?" Lisha asked, twirling with her wooden wand.
"Well, I was just enjoying the magnificent air
of this grand castle," Cylene replied loftily, playing the awed country girl.
"If it bothers you, I'll be leaving soon."
With that, the Zafara walked down the hallway,
determined not to get that nosy Aisha get the last word. She had to watch out
for that dangerous female... No matter how innocent the yellow Aisha looked,
she was still a potential enemy, and Cylene figured that they would be dishing
it out one day.
But until then, she'd do with the best she had,
namely being a spy - sneaking and gathering information.
As Lisha flounced past, the doors flew open,
surprising the agent who had just enough time to duck behind an old yet shiny
suit of armor put up on display. She was careful not to bump into it or else
cause quite a metallic racket.
"Your Majesty, it was quite a pleasure talking
with you," said one white Blumaroo while pushing his monocle up.
"I agree," chimed in a regally-dressed Nimmo.
"We had better be going."
The king waved his guests off, except Jeran,
who stayed dutifully by his side.
"Is there anything else you need, sire?"
"Sir Jeran, you may go." The Skeith dismissed
him formally before walking away. As the blue Lupe also disappeared from sight,
Cylene checked if it was safe to tail him. Sure enough, she tiptoed towards
Skarl, taking care not to startle him or let her presence be known.
Strangely, he led her to a long row of doors
with no one else wandering through. He took out a large brass key from his pocket
and stuck it into one of the doors. It opened with a little click, and King
Skarl entered. Before he could slam it, a certain Zafara had slipped through
Cylene checked the room for hiding places, and
dove behind a large flower pot (why was there so many of these things around
here?) as Skarl looked around suspiciously. Easing her breath, the Zafara tried
to make the minimal amount of movements as possible, as not to be discovered.
Finally, when the king of Meridell thought that
he was safe, he walked over to a closet that shyly hid in the back of the room.
From her spot, that was too far away to view any details, so the Agent watched
intently and twitched impatiently.
Proudly the king grabbed the dusty, fake-painted
golden knobs and threw the closet doors with a loud BAM that rung in the room.
Cylene rolled her eyes. She had been right in
her first assessment of the king, that he was rather stupid. What kind of fool
would make this kind of noise while trying to keep something hush-hush?s
Resisting her urge to sneak closer, and awaiting
the right moment, she heard Skarl exclaim 'oohs' and 'ahhs' in pride over whatever
that was in that odd closet. Cynically the Zafara shook her head. If only everyone
wasn't bothering with the hooky, kooky closets these days... So much limited
Cylene no longer had a reason to wonder what
King Skarl was hiding in HIS trove of secrets - otherwise known as his closet.
"I knew it! Here we are..."
She could barely keep herself from wiggling and
creating a bit of noise in her anticipation. Could this be some kind of secret
Meridell plot, or something with treasure, fortune and something that wasn't
related to potatoes for once? The Zafara's notebook was already out...
...Just as King Skarl pulled out a rather oddly-shaped
thing from the darkness of his cabinet. It had something - no, make it two somethings
- sticking out of the top. Suddenly, Cylene realized it in a flash.
It was a MSPP plushie. She could recognize the
patchy embroidery, the creepy red eyes, and the seemingly strange aura emanating
from it. And the Skeith was raising it over his head, looking happy as King
Hagan in a scrollery.
Was he DANCING with the toy??
To be continued...