After rescuing the princess from the dragon, the king angrily tells you, “No, you idiot! I wanted you to rescue the DRAGON!” [Link to post.]
“Arguably I did. You have met the Princess, correct your Highness?” I bowed low. My status as the King’s champion allowed my manners some wiggle room. Anyone else saying that about the Princess would be put to death. The king nodded at me.
“DADDY! THAT’S SO RUDE!” The Princess yelled and stormed out of the great hall. The king laughed and waved me closer. I stepped nearer to his elegant throne.
“Did you present my request to the dragon?” He asked. I pulled an ivory fang from my bag. It was as long as my forearm, and almost as thick.
“He agreed and sent this fang along with instructions. You must grind up the tooth and serve her a teaspoon of powdered dragon fang in a cup of fairy wing tea every night until the powder runs out. He said that will help the princess *unwind*. I whispered to him the dragon’s instructions, careful not to let any of the royal guards know.
As spoiled as the princess was, she had a fair amount of guards wrapped around her finger. They would warn her of any perceived danger, even though the King and I were just trying to help. The dragon was wise, and often helped address behavioral problems. Originally the dragon had agreed to a month long visit from the princess. After two weeks he said he’d seen enough and the King sent me to fetch his daughter.
“Daddy!” The princess walked back into the hall. “I’m going to have a feast tonight, okay? All my friends want to hear the story of how I suffered so much as the dragon’s prisoner. Don’t come out of your room, okay? They’re coming to see me, not you.” She disappeared again, taking a couple of guards with her. She likely enlisted them to decorate.
“You do it.” The king said. Sadness took over his eyes. “I need a break, I leave you as king in my stead.”
“Your Highness! You can’t do that. I’m honored, but I’m no one’s leader.” The king placed a frail hand on my shoulder. “You lack faith in yourself, but I see greatness in you. However, do not misunderstand. This is only a temporary arrangement,” he waved me closer. No guards, but he still felt safer whispering it directly in my ear.
“I am going to take a vacation and stay with the dragon.” He stopped abruptly when the princess walked into the room again, with a squad of maids following her.
“DADDY! LEAVE! They need to try and clean up your shitty castle. Gods, the dragon’s cave was more elegant.” She left the room and the maids got to work. The king stood from his throne, and gestured for me to follow him.
“Walk with me.” I helped him step down and we walked down the hall towards his bed chamber. He walked close enough to maintain his whisper. “I leave you in charge of helping the princess unwind. Make sure she gets her tea daily. If you can’t find fairy wings at the market,…” the king went silent, but I knew what he meant. He could not directly order me to kill fairies for wings.
“Yes, your majesty.”
“One more thing,” he said when we reached his chamber. “I am going to take a long, enjoyable vacation. When I return I expect my daughter to treat me with respect as her father, not the king.” He placed a frail hand on my shoulder and looked into my eyes.
“I will return home to be respected in my own castle. Or I will not have a daughter when I return.” He nodded at me slightly. Our eyes locked for a second.
“Yes, your majesty.” I understood.