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Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Royal Declaration

As the bright light faded back to the dark evening sky. Neko watched as some of the citizens turned to return to their homes, while others grouped together talking and pointing up at that sky. Turning to the group beside him, he voiced what they must all be thinking. “What the hell was that! Have you ever seen anything so cool and yet so freaky? And did it give any of you guys the intense heebie-jeebies?  “His eyes were full of gold reflecting what little light was to be picked up in the night.

Donny limped over to a futon covered with pillows in rich vibrant colors of orange, purple, blues, and reds. As he lightly lay down he grumbled “It was interesting, but really do you have to get so excited over a simple conversion of the celestial sky? As for giving me the creeps, I would say no, not really, okay maybe a little.” The last mumbled low as he dropped off into a nap.

Bo in the meantime had been pacing and scratching his grey goatee, as every once in a while, he would glance up towards the sky. You could almost see the gears grinding as he thoughts about whatever had his tail twitching furiously back and forth. Dominic stopped beside Neko, his eyes watching the flicking tail with a devilish gleam in his eyes. When Neko looked over and saw the direction of Dominic’s eyes and figured what his thoughts must be, smiled.

“Bro, do you really want to pounce on his tail right now? Look at him. He would tear you up. He is doing some serious thinking there. Wonder what has him so agitated?” Neko put his paw on Dom’s arm before asking Bo what he was wondering. “Bo, Bo Jangles… hey, come back to us. What has you so worked up? You going to enlighten us or keep us sitting here watching you pace?” He went to block Bo’s pacing and it was only then that Bo seemed to remember he was not alone.

Bo looked at Neko and then his gaze swept the yard stopping on each of his brothers before returning to Neko’s inquisitive face. “Sorry, those stars converging shook loose a memory from my childhood. There was a prophecy spoken of, that spoke of three stars becoming one. And that it would signal the birth of a Triad. Something of great power that could help the world or destroy it. I was trying my mightiest to remember the exact wording but it escapes me. It’s as if the moment I grasp it and start to speak of it; it then disappears like smoke on the wind.”

Neko noted the confusion in Bo’s peridot-colored eyes. “I’ve never heard of this prophecy, where did you hear it?” Bo looked at Neko and cocked his head. “Oh, I see that was from your time before you came to Cat’s Eye. The time you never speak about. Dude, why don’t you ever talk about your life? What did you do, that is so bad that no one can know? We’re all family, you can tell us. Neko gave Bo his best cute kitty faces.

“You can give up, Neeks, it isn’t happening. That life is over and I for one never want to go back to it. Talking about it serves no purpose. What does serve a purpose is finding a written version of the prophecy or finding a scholar who knows of it. Bo had resumed his pacing as his mind began formulating plans. “I think all my answers are held in one place. The Palace. I need to go to the palace and speak with the wise ones there. Perhaps looking through the royal library. I must prepare to leave in soon.” He was still talking as he went back into the cottage. Neko looked at Dom and Dom just shrugged.

The palace wasn’t far, nothing but a day’s ride, so Bo gathered foodstuff and his bedroll before taking them out to the barn where the horses stood silently in their stalls. Neko and Dom followed close on his heels. “Come on, Bro. why can’t we come? We want to go to the palace too. We can help you look for what you’re looking for. Dom pleaded for the umpteenth time. Bo just shook his head and set to saddle his horse.

“I told you both, that I don’t need your help, and we all know that you guys find trouble without even looking. I don’t need that within the palace walls. I won’t be gone for long, besides who would stay here and keep an eye on Donny and CeCe?” Bo looked at both the rambunctious young men. “Until we know what is happening, I prefer someone stay here and watch them.”

“Since when do I need any watching by anyone, Mr. Bo Jangles?” CeCe said sarcastically as she entered the barn. “I’ll have you know I survived long before you or any of the boys came along. And I will survive long after, especially if you keep that attitude up.” She stood glaring at Bo, her green eyes flashing fire. She stomped closer to Bo, so close that their whiskers were touching. “I brought you some of my cheddar and chicken pastries, but I guess I will take them to that cute Romeo down the street. I notice he has been watching me.” CeCe purred this low for only Bo to hear. As his head came up and his eyes flashed, she turned and began sauntering away.

Bo stood rooted to his spot for just a second before running and blocking her from leaving the barn. “Wait, I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I didn’t mean to offend you. Of course, you can take care of yourself.” Bo quickly backpedaled from his earlier statement. “But I do worry about you and I just feel better if the boys stay here.  Please, can I have the pastries? You know they are my favorite.” Bo stood with his head down in a slight bow showing subservience towards the queen of his heart.

CeCe watched him before handing him the wrapped goodies, a slight smile on her feline face. She reached up and stroked Bo’s cheek, before standing on her tiptoes and planting a kiss on it. “I suppose I can forgive you this one time, but you better mind yourself and not forget. Have a safe journey and I hope you find what you are searching for.” She gave him a slight hug and then stepped around him and headed out the door.

Bo stood looking at CeCe as she left the barn until he heard chuckling from behind him. He had forgotten that Neko and Dom were standing there and now he was their source of entertainment. “Oh, forgive me, my sweet love. I didn’t mean to act all he-man on you. Don’t go chasing Romeo, sweet Romeo from down the street.” Dominic said in a slightly feminine voice. He came and knelt on his knees in front of Bo. “Please, please my love, don’t take my yummy goodies away.” At this line, Dom put his hands together as if praying. All of a sudden he fell over laughing. “Damn, bro. Will you just admit you love her and get it over with.”

Neko was leaning back against a support beam, his whiskers twitching before he broke out laughing as well. “Dude, if you don’t tell her or make some move, you may have to worry about that cat Romeo. I hear he is a pretty slick guy. If he has his sights set on my sister, you might be in trouble.” Neko had walked over and was pulling Dom up off the floor. “I know she likes you, but she isn’t going to wait forever. You need to make a decision.” That being said the two troublemakers exited the barn, leaving Bo with his thoughts and the horses
It wasn’t long before he came out leading his black mare from the barn. He stood looking at the cottage where his brother and friend were sparring with each other and further down CeCe stood talking to one of the neighbors. Her head thrown back as she laughed at something the old woman said. He was preparing to mount his horse when he heard the sound of many hooves hitting the packed earth. Turning he watched as a group of soldiers rode into town, and leading them was what appeared to be a royal messenger. Bo looked and saw that Neko and Dom were heading towards him, and as he started walking towards the group, the boys joined him.

“What do you think is happening?” Neko asked. As they drew closer to the crown that was forming.

“I don’t know, but I think we are about to find out,” Bo said as they pushed their way towards the front. As they waited for the rest of the citizen’s to gather, Bo felt someone take his hand. He looked down to find CeCe’s hand enveloped by his much bigger one. He squeezed it before casting his attention once more to their royal visitors.

The messenger stood talking to what appeared to be the captain of his guard, every now and again he would look out over the crowd before speaking once again.  It felt like it had been ages but in fact, it had only been a few minutes for the crowd to gather. As the messenger came forward and one of the guards brought a raised platform for him to stand upon. The man stood looking out over the crowd and raised his hands to signal for silence.

The crowd quieted but there were still voices speaking in hushed tones all around. The messenger was a tall, lanky looking fellow with yellow and orange striped fur. He wore a purple hat with a green feather sticking out from it. His raiment was that of a courtier and he wore upon his chest a cloak emblazoned with the royal coat of arms. As all eyes became trained on him he began his speech.

“Hear ye! Hear ye! By declaration of her most royal highness, Queen Seraphina, let it be known far and wide that the Queen calls forth seekers of the truth.  Her royal highness is aware of the celestial happening recently and calls forth teams to come join in the seeking of the Triad. Let it be known that this quest will be long and perilous and not for the weak at heart.” Here the messenger looked out over the crowd again, his eyes lingering upon Bo and his family. “Come to the palace at once to receive further instructions. May the Goddess bless and keep you.” As the messenger finished his announcement many voices were raised with questions.

The messenger ignored them all as he returned to his horse and prepared to ride to the next town. His guards surrounding him, telling Bo the reason for their presence with the man. His news and lack of answers did not make for a safe exit from any town.

Bo stepped away from the crowd pulling CeCe with him. Once they were a safe distance away, he released her hand. The boys had followed and as they stood watching the troop of soldiers with the cargo safely circled make their slow progress out of town as the villagers pressed close yelling their questions at the man as he and his escort rode away.

“I want to come with you, Bo. I think this is important and my instincts are yelling at me to go.” CeCe said to Bo surprising him. He knew she could handle herself but to take her into danger went against everything within him.

“Me too.” Was Neko’s statement as he joined his sister and their friend. “I go where CeCe goes. Plus, I feel this need to go also.” He stood looking at the couple, defiantly.

Before Bo could answer Donny and Dominic had joined them. “When do we leave? I guess we need to pack a lot more supplies huh?” was what came out of Dom’s mouth as he stood with his arm around his twin.

Bo looked over their small group and knew they all had something to offer in this quest, but it didn’t mean he had to like the idea. Did he really want to risk his family and friends on a quest for some unknown object called the Triad? Was the prophecy that he sought in any way connected to this Triad and just what exactly was it? As a feeling of resolve settled in his heart, he only knew one thing.

“It appears as if we are all going to the Palace,” Bo said to the gang.

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