Servillah looked at Kruger, he was frozen stiff out of fear. He knew he was done for.
"Out!" she commanded, Flou ran for dear life. And Kruger knew his end was near. " The head caretaker of the Opaque Essence Storage. I give you one responsiblity and you failed me."
"my queen, I wanted to inform you that we were running out of supplies, but you were enjoying your day. You were smiling. I didn't want to be the reason to make that smile go away."
Servillah knew that Kruger always looked out for her all the time, and she didn't have the heart to punish him. After all how much can one person handle.
"Send for the general and tell him I wish to meet him immediately."
"But, your highness, the coronation is in three days and at this time Essence extraction is not an easy task. The opaques have moved further inwards and it might mean we'll have to venture into their town."
Servillah knew that going into the Opaque Town was too dangerous and with the coronation just around the corner she was not prepared to pay that high a price.
"Send out a proclamation. Confiscate Essence from all the Ethereals who hold possession more than three vials. Which will be sufficient enough for them to survive until the next Extraction."
The proclamation was sent out. The Ethereals knew that the royal storage was empty, but they were not willing to hand over their supply. There was a great opposition to the new proclamation and the majority flatly refused to give in to the command. Much to the displeasure of the queen.
The councilmen who had bitter thoughts towards the queen for trusting the house elf over them, diplomatically utilized the situation.
They had the audacity to suggest to the queen, "Don't you think it would be wise to post pone the coronation? Eclipse will happen again."
Servillah had never been so offended in her life. She was so angry that she was not able to rationalize her actions. "The coronation will happen. So will the extraction. I don't care what should be done."
She stormed out of the chamber. She needed sometime alone. She had to think. She has never felt so vulnerable. For the first time in her life, queen Servillah was scared.
Kruger entered into the room. He knew that the queen needed him. "my queen..." he spoke meekly. He was still shaking from the earlier scene.
Servillah adored her little pet. He was the only person she ever loved. She couldn't stay angry at him for long. "you don't have to worry Kruger, you are forgiven."
"I'm not here for that my queen. General Deranger says that the Opaques have moved on further into the Opaque Town."
"what else can we do? Tomorrow my people will starve."
"They might have their supplies saved. Bunch of stone hearts. And you worry about them."
"you don't understand Kruger, the coronation in Kiennel happens only once in a hundred years. And every one in the Kingdom has to be there. Without their supply of opaque essence we are the most vulnerable. To any potential attack. That is why I'm worried. "
Just then General Deranger entered,"your majesty no soldier is willing to go to the Opaque Town, they are weak and are scared. With the coronation in place, They have families. "
"the valiants? "
"they are all busy with the coronation they are at the aid of Zukor"
Without a moment's thought, Servillah said, "I'll go, it is my responsibility."
Both Kruger and Deranger opposed this ridiculous idea. "your majesty going into opaque town might mean suicide, that too with the eclipse right around the corner."
" you must understand we don't have a choice. I can go to Opaque town and return with a few Opaques in no time."
"the Opaques are tricky creatures your majesty." Zukor joined in the conversation. "you alone might not be able to handle them, but together we can do it. "
"thank you Zukor, your words give me the strength, I need. We leave... "
"your majesty, I will accompany you in this perilous adventure." Kruger couldn't imagine a day without seeing his queen. The persistent house elf made the queen laugh. "oh Kruger, what will I do without you by my side."
"majesty this is the map, of Opaque Town," Dranger spread the map on the golden tripod.
Zukor keenly studied the map, "is this a hand drawn Map by Kimgod?"
"This is the original map. You knew my dad?"
"Kimgod was the bravest Ethereal I have seen." Servillah spoke with much admiration. She still remembered listen to stories about Opaques and Opaque Town was the scariest place. Kimgod was one of the few who went on Opaque hunting.
The stories brought back memories to them, giving this team a purpose to go to Opaque Town.