“Isn’t this great, Palepole?” announced Faileuba. “Ponies! We’ve got ponies! Real, live ponies!”
Gwydd frowned. “Yeah. Wonderful. I am filled with a gentle sense of delight.”
Faileuba stuck her tongue out at him. “Hmmph. Princess Sugar-Wonderful-Sparkling-Joy and I are ignoring your negativity.” She leaned forward and began to rub her face in the pony’s mane. “Isn’t that right, Princess?”
Gwydd stared in horror. “Do you have any idea where that pony has been?”
“A wonderful land filled with rainbows and enchantment?” suggested Faileuba.
The Goblin sighed. “Sure. Right. Enchantment.” He turned to Meliadus. “Tell me you realize how crazy and disgusting she’s acting?”
“I’m sorry,” replied Meliadus, “but King-Awesome-Incredible-Awesomeness and I are in agreement with Fai. Ponies are great.”
Gwydd raised a hand and began to massage the bridge of his nose. “How have you to gotten on so long in the real world?”
“By beating up lots of people,” said Faileuba.
“Chivalrously!” added Meliadus.
“Of course!” noted Faileuba with a nod.
Gwydd nodded sadly. “Right.” He pulled out the little silver necklace from his pocket and looked at it again.
“Memento from an old flame?” asked Faileuba.
“No,” said Gwydd. “It was Chult’s.”
“Wow, you do move fast,” she declared.
“Your various insults over aristocratic Goblin custom no longer disturb me,” declared Gwydd calmly.
“Awww,” said Faileuba, pouting, “you’re no fun anymore.”
“It seemed to have some sort of symbolic meaning for him,” continued the Goblin. “Tied to whoever gave him the money to hire the Disciples. And it hit me that we’ve been seeing a lot of these lately. Like the leader of those bandits, operating near Altaripa. Or that bunch of smugglers, in Belfior. Or…”
There was a large explosion. “Oooh! Fireworks!” said Faileuba enthusiastically.
Gwydd sighed and glanced at the Murkenmere, flowing in the distance, with bright lights appearing with every bang. “Actually, I think those are rockets,” he said.
“What’s the difference?” yawned Meliadus.
“Rockets mean war,” replied the Goblin.
Faileuba shrugged. “They’re still pretty.”
Meliadus looked at the explosions, and nodded. “Yeah, whatever this is, we’ll probably hear what’s going on at the next stop. So why worry now? Let’s move, while we still have money in our pockets, and a chance at a good job. For we are young, dashing chivalrous warriors!”
“I second that,” declared Faileuba, raising her hand.
“And I third it,” added Meliadus.
“You can’t third it, you firsted it!” explained Faileuba.
“Hey, I can third, and even fourth it if I so desire,” he replied.
As the two Erls rode cheerfully away, chatting all the while, Gwydd sighed. He felt like he’d been on the verge of something, but his partners had once again put a stop to it. “What a life,” he muttered. He watched the rockets exploding on the Murkenmere, and wondered once again what was going on. “And the mountain cried ‘Too high, too high, that endless expanse they call the sky, I reach but it is greater than I, the sky it is too high,” he sang softly to himself, as he continued on his way.