Note: read “Fairy Hollow” and “The Mystery of the Druids” first, if you hadn’t already read them before reading “Blip”. Also maybe read “Metal’s Sage” first.
After our discussion with François, we brought him to the Sanctum to introduce him to his granddaughters and great-granddaughter.
I suggested to Pierre that I stay at the School, because this seemed like a family matter.
“That’s why you should be there, Cal. You’re family too.”
The entire Faucheuse family is here, in Deston’s living room. At least, the ones who are still alive are here.
François shakes hands with Valerie and Susan.
“Father has told us so much about you, Grandfather.”
“We had a brother, well, he was my half-brother, but he… he’s dead.”
“I know how it feels to lose a loved one, girls.”
Sorcière, who was watching Merlin, Ridcully, Nikola, Audrey, Ms. Pac-Man and Dig-Dug chatting, looks up at her great-grandfather.
“He killed my parents. He caused the car accident that killed them.”
Yes, we told Sorcière. She had every right to know the truth behind her parents’ deaths.
“Oh my. Tragedy has struck our family time and time again, has it not?”
“Oh yes. And it was one of my own creations who killed my son.”
Merlin turns to Pierre.
“Nu bwame yusewf fow wut Umbwa did, Piewwe. Umbwa wuz a shitwat.”
Pierre chuckles. Pierre and Deston have managed to compose themselves.
Of course, they had already known that their mother was dead.
I can imagine how it feels, being given a small glimmer of hope, and then having it taken away.
That’s how a lot of abused fluffies feel too, I reckon.
“That is true, Merlin.”
François raises an eyebrow.
“You named him Merlin, Deston? The Merlin was one of the greatest wizards of all time.”
Then I turn to François.
“So he was real too? Was King Arthur real? What about Excalibur?”
“Merlin was real. King Arthur? Well, I don’t know about King. As for Excalibur… that’s just one name for a sword that has been around before even Merlin’s time. I don’t know what name it has today, but in our time it was called Joyeuse.”
“Y’know, Vic trained me to use a sword, but I’ve never had a chance to put those skills to use.”
François smiles at me.
“Perhaps you have just not found the right sword.”
“I’ve been thinking of asking Mel to make me a sword, he’s still got some chivalrium. Hell, we’ve got a whole cache.”
“…I’m sorry, did you just say that you have a cache of chivalrium? Do you know how rare it is? Where did you find it?”
“In Australia. Ayer’s Rock.”
Danny found the orange Omega Drive in there too, when they were recovering that cache, but because we didn’t know what it was at the time, he just left it there.
God, why do we keep fucking up like that? It’s become a real bad habit!
“Ah. That must have been one of Chival’s own caches. If you can use it, Chival would not mind you taking it. But who’s Mel?”
Deston takes that question.
“He’s one of June’s sons. She’s a friend of Annette, my wife. I should probably tell her that you’re back.”
Then I turn to Deston.
“Where is Annie, anyway?”
Meanwhile, in England, Annette and June meet with Floris the druid and Herb the garden fluffy in Fairy Hollow.
Both witches look extremely worried.
The fairies are flying around frantically, and every normal fluffy in the area is hiding. The fluffies don’t know what the fairies are picking up on, though.
“You’se felt it too, eh Floris?”
Floris nods, and Herb looks up at him.
“Wut did daddeh feew?”
Floris looks extremely worried too.
“He’s back. I don’t know where he was, but he’s back. The fairies feel it, too.”
“Hu am he?”
June answers Herb’s question.
“Someone who’s got more power than the three of us an’ Des put together.”
Gaius, the Spirit of Nature, the gigantic tree with a face, looks down at the quartet.
Even he looks worried.
“His power surpasses even my own, June Baron. His power threatens the very world, it defies the laws of magic.”
“Bloody hell! So what’re we gonna do?”
Gaius’ gaze lingers on the ancient sword, dutifully waiting for a new master.
“It is time for a new Champion to step forth, and take up the sword. The sword that has borne many names over the centuries. Excalibur. Joyeuse. The Sword of Kings. What we are going to do, dear June, is bring Calvin Korkea here. So he can claim that which he should have already claimed. He has been here before, briefly, but he did not take the sword. I do not blame him. His priority was saving his friend.”
Gaius sighs a creaky sigh.
“But he will need the Sword of Kings to stand a chance. I don’t know what Auldryn is planning. And that terrifies me.”