Voice of the Neopian Pound Circulation: 117,885,008 Issue: 236 | 21st day of Eating, Y8
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Dinner with the Kings


by mygoodguild

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You stop by King Skarl's throne to tell him a hilarious joke, just like you do every day. Sadly, he never thinks your jokes are terribly funny. But then you see a notice tacked up on the door! It says that the king is out eating dinner. Your head drops gloomily and you begin to trudge off...

     "Wait!" a voice cries.

     You turn, startled. "Yes?" you answer the nervous looking court jester Blumaroo.

     "His highness h-has given m-me orders to... to invite y-you to dinner with h-him," the jester stutters, looking at the floor.

     "Skarl?" you inquire, dumbfounded. "Why would he want me of all people to join him in dining?" you question.

     The jester doesn't answer. He merely takes your hand and begins to walk. Of course, you follow. He leads you into a large dining room, with a large table and at least forty chairs. You see Skarl, sitting in the center of the table at a comfortable looking chair. He is the only one in the room. The jester scurries away.

     "Well well, wad. Hewwo. Cake a see an wour appewiza will be hea hortly," Skarl says enthusiastically, his mouth full.

     "What?" you say, your mouth dropping. Skarl sure gobbles down his meals!

     Skarl rolls his eyes, chews a little longer, and swallows, before speaking. "Well well, lad. Hello. Take a seat and your appetizer will be here shortly," Skarl repeats, sounding a little impatient.

     "That's what I thought you said," you murmur.

     "Then why did you ask?" Skarl growls.

     You hurriedly sit down, avoiding his cold and demanding eyes. He is no longer enthusiastic! Maybe he is thinking this was a bad idea.

     "So, why did you invite me to dinner?" you ask quietly.

     Skarl is booming with laughter. "Best joke I heard all year, boy!" he roars.

     "I'm not kidding," you say.

     Skarl's laughter stops abruptly. "I didn't invite YOU. I told my jester to bring in the first kid that showed up, and it was you. Besides, it was his idea anyway. He said I need to get to know my citizens more." Skarl coughs and rolls his eyes.

     "Oh." You're very disappointed.

     "Here your appetizer is!" Skarl cries with delight, pointing his chubby finger.

     Sure enough, here comes a Kau, a platter balanced on her hoof. She comes towards you and sets the platter down, yanking off the lid. It reveals some pea and lentil soup in a stone bowl, some grilled asparagus on a smaller separate platter, and some chicken cordon bleu.

     "Wow! This could serve as a three course meal!" you say, shocked. "This is a lot of food!" you yell, rather rudely.

     Skarl glares at you. "That is the smallest appetizer I have here," he hisses.

     Your eyes widen. "Sorry," you say, digging into the cordon bleu.

     You have just finished the chicken cordon bleu when the Kau rushes back into the room, two more platters. You didn't even have a change to try the soup or asparagus! Oh well.

     The Kau takes the top of the next platter for Skarl first, and then for you. It reveals beef rouladen, potato and sweetcorn soup, creamy carrot soup, minestrone soup, extra creamy soup, bowl of mushy peas, tuna jacket potato, and baked apple with custard.

     "Finally!" Skarl growls. "I'm still starving," he complains. Skarl has cleaned off his previous plates. "Yum! Mushy peas!" He digs into the bowl of peas.

     You look uneasily at the food, not wanting to be rude. But this is a scary situation for you! "Whoa," you whisper to yourself. You pick out your favorite dish and begin to chow down, which happens to be the minestrone.

     "Are you liking this five star dining, me boy?" Skarl chuckles. He is already finished with everything but the jacket potato!

     "Yes," you reply, finishing up the minestrone soup and starting on the beef rouladen. "Compliments to your chefs," you add, trying to sound at least somewhat polite to this royal figure.

     "Glad you like," Skarl laughs, nodding. He is much more cheerful than usual; not a grumpy old king at all! Mostly. "The final course should be here shortly. You're a nice young one, you are," Skarl compliments you.

     "Thanks," you mumble, chewing on the rouladen, trying to eat as fast as possible. At least you finish the rouladen and begin on the apple. You only get halfway done with it when the Kau arrives once more, two more platters.

     She places the platters in front of you and the king, lifts the lids, and takes the old platters away. This time everything is fit for a sweet tooth!

     "Wow!" you cry. "There's chocolate custard, lemint, vanilla sugared slorg, candy cane negg, sugared meatballs, chocolate coated peanut butter, and WOW! Three different pies: Hazelnut mince pie, banana, and thornberry."

     "Yes. All of my favorites. I have the best food in Meridell," Skarl boasts.

     You dig into the sugared meatballs, then the banana mince pie, then the chocolate custard, candy cane negg, and lemint. You're working on the thornberry mince pie when the Kau comes in and takes your plate.

     "You ate a lot more this time," the Kau laughs, patting you on your head. "I hope you liked the cooking," she says with a bow. "I made everything today, and served it too!"

     Skarl glares. "Too much information and bragging, Linda," he mutters.

     "Sorry," she says quickly, hurriedly exiting the dining room.

     "Thanks for coming to eat with me today. I really enjoyed it. Maybe we should do this again sometime, wouldn't that be nifty?" Skarl chuckles. "I'll definitely have to tell my brother Hagan about this experience!"

     "Thanks for inviting me," you groan.

     Your stomach has plumped up to the size of four watermelons. You rush out of the castle as fast as your stomach will permit you to, but it really slows you down.

     *****

     You wake up with a start, hearing trumpets blare outside of your neohome door. Then there is a very formal sounding knock.

     You jump out of bed and rush to the door, hoping it is no one important. You look like a wreck. You have bed hair and pajamas on!

     "Hello," a very rotund, formal looking man says. "Please to meet you. Are you the one who dined with Skarl yesterday?" the man asks. He looks dreadfully familiar.

     "Yeah," you say slowly, raising your eyebrows. "And who might you be?"

     "Me? Me! Me?! Why, I am the king of Brightvale, the best land and full of most educated peoples! Why, I am King Hagan," he informs you, sounding slightly offended.

     "Sorry."

     "Don't be sorry, my boy! I'd like to invite you to have dinner with me today! Wouldn't you love to be in my company?" Hagan asks, smiling.

     You glance down at your belly. It hasn't gotten much smaller. "Um, about that... I kind of want to-"

     "Well, it's settled then! I'll see you at one PM precisely." Hagan grins. "Don't be late." He shuts the door and strolls away, whistling.

     "Help me!" you scream. You can't turn down a king, especially when he made plans against your will. You can't be rude to a special person, or you must face their wrath.

     *****

     You knock on the door at 12:59 o'clock. It is answered by Hagan himself, almost immediately, as if he has been waiting by the door for you. You! "Decide to come a minute early, are we?" he growls.

     "Sorry, your highness," you whisper nervously.

     "Don't be sorry! Come on in my castle. I'll show you to the dining room," King Hagan offers.

     As he opens the double doors to the dining room, you see it is much different than Skarl's. Instead of one big table with forty chairs, there are twenty small, round tables with two chairs placed at each. Diversity rocks socks!

     You hurry and sit down at the first table you see. But then you instantly regret it! Oh, why didn't you let Hagan choose the table. Why didn't you let him sit down and then follow him? Maybe he is regretting inviting you now. That makes you sad, even though you never wanted to come in the first place.

     "That's a guest table," Hagan says impatiently. "It's not the best one." He leads you to a table in the center of the room. It has a Sunset Coral lamp in the middle of the table, plus a small vase of flowers. "This is my table. It's the best of them all."

     You sit down, and so does Hagan. He immediately begins talking, waiting for the food.

     "How many books have you read? Are you very well educated? Have you been to neoschool? Have you spun my knowledge wheel? Do you like the Neopian Philharmonic more than other band?" he asks eagerly.

     You can tell he has been waiting all day for this moment, just to ask you these questions. You hesitate, thinking of your responses.

     "13. No. Yes. No. No," you mumble.

     "Only 13?! You're not educated? Well, it is a relief to hear you've been to neoschool. For how many days?" He doesn't wait for your reply. "You MUST spin my wheel, child! And, the Neopian Philharmonic is the best band. So hah."

     Your eyes widen once more. "I've gone to neoschool for half a year," you whisper.

     A Nimmo comes into the room with two platters. "Sir, here," he says stuffily, setting a platter in front of Hagan. "And you-" The Nimmo looked at you with disgust, thinking highly of himself and thinking you shouldn't deserve being in Hagan's presence. "Why, here is yours," he hisses, setting another platter in front of you and hurriedly running off to the kitchen again.

     He didn't take the lids off of the platters. He left that to you. So you remove the lid and find a perfect appetizer dish. Celestial salad and chunky mushroom soup. It is still a bigger serving than you are used to, but it isn't overdone.

     You dig into the celestial salad. It tastes heavenly! Every bite is crisp and cool, juicy. It was the perfect salad. And then the soup is just divine. You and Hagan are just finishing as the Nimmo comes back into the room. You are thankful he gave you time to eat.

     "Wow, boy, you eat at the same pace as me," Hagan chuckles. "I admire that in you."

     The main course is a huge plate of fried shrimp and some fajita chips. Perfect size. Delicious.

     "This is good food," you compliment, chewing a shrimp. "Perfect."

     You wonder why Hagan is so chubby when he eats at the same rate as you. Odd.

     Hagan scowls, reading your mind. "I eat slowly, like you, but I don't have three meals a day. I have nineteen," he growls. "I know what you were thinking, so don't protest."

     Wow. "Good food," you repeat yourself.

     "Thanks," he says, suddenly liking you again.

     You both finish your second course as the Nimmo brings the third and last one in. He takes your dirty plates and sets the fresh ones in front of you. This time he takes the lid away, showing off some fancy deserts: vanilla seasonal pudding and vanilla flavoured Borovan.

     "I like vanilla," King Hagan insists, answering your funny look.

     "Why seasonal pudding, though. It's not the seasons," you say.

     "I like seasonal pudding!"

     *****

     "Thanks for joining me at dinner. My brother was right - he rarely is - about you. You sure do make wonderful company! I hope we can do this again shortly," Hagan says, smiling.

     "Thank you for inviting me," you say politely. "I sure thank you too much these days," you whisper to yourself, looking down at your tummy the size of six watermelons.

     "What?" Hagan asks.

     "I've never had such good eating before," you say quickly.

     "Heh. Well, anyway, hope to see you again soon!" He waves you off as you walk away, a fading dot in the horizon. "What a great chap."

The End

Author's Note: Who wouldn't like having dinner with King Skarl and King Hagan? Hope you liked my really long short story, dedicated to my friends at Mocha Monday, especially the wonderful here_with_you, or, Heathar. You rule.. :) Feedback appreciated, and goodbye now. I must go eat dinner... :P

 
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