Chapter 2: A Royal Audience
Unblessedly cold in the royal chamber. Not exactly the royal chamber, more like the colonnade, a waiting room. There was a fire on the other side, but frankly, Matt didn't feel like walking over to it. He was, after all, a stubborn son of a bitch. The royal chamber doors opened in a glamorous manner, trumpets and whatnot. There was no one else in the room save Matt and maybe two visible Royal Guard, but still, some no-name in a puffy shirt and grey locks came out of the door before everyone, jogged his way over to Matt, and blew his trumpet in his ear as loud as his lungs would allow.
Matt stuck his small finger in his ear and twisted it.
"Thank you." He said without emotion.
Unfazed by Matt's cleverly disguised sarcasm, he continued his dissertation on the Noble King, twenty-first (twenty-second, Matt corrected), er, twenty-second in the noble line of Ilica, Savior of the People, Destroyer of Evil, Law-bringer of the Land, and Personal Envoy to the Gods Themselves.
Again, but emotionally, "The King is here?" As if on cue, a short stubby man waddled out of the doors and into the enormous white lighted colonnade. It took him a full minute to reach Matt. Either the king was slow, or this room really WAS that huge.
Judging by the king's looks and pot belly, however, chances are that the former was the more likely.
"Welcome, Bartholomew!" The fat king bellowed. "Welcome to my humble abode."
Matt bowed, as was customary. He turned his head up, still bowing.
"My dear King, it is an honor." He reached over and kissed the overly flashy ring upon his sausage hands. It almost made him puke. For a King who bathed daily, he still smelled like the hounds.
"Rise, my fellow Ilican. We are friends here." He flashed a toothy, fake smile.
Matt rose. He only looked at the king, who awaited something. Neither knew what. The king looked like he was thinking hard for a moment, then cheerfully,
"Would you like a drink?" He motioned over to fireplace, where two chairs and a table had materialized. Matt smiled.
"As your Lordship wishes."
They walked across the cold stone tile together, talking.
"You know, Sir Matthew, I have heard much about your exploits in our land. Fighting all sorts of unimaginable, evil creatures. The guards tell me stories of you wrestling a grizzly brown bear with your bare hands! Is this true?"
"Well, your Highness, half-true." Matt closed his eyes. "It was a black bear, not a grizzly, and black bears are considerably smaller than their lighter brothers. Yes, I did fight it with my bare hands, however, most people omit the part of my stomach ripping open and..."
Matt grimaced. He felt like he was back in the hospital, cradling his very innards in his hands. Matt never had a problem with blood, but my Gods, he would live a full and happy life never having to see that again. Many called that day glorious, but of all the people who saw it, the only one who didn't see the glory was Matt. He sighed.
"Well, your Majesty, let's leave it at that I had to be bedded at the doctor's for many weeks, sir."
"Gruesome! No doubt you have earned your reputation."
They arrived at the table setting, and before anyone even moved, the King was allowed to sit.