After our arrival yesterday, Merlin and I met with Tinadell. The Fairy King promised to have all the questions resolved about my candidature tomorrow. There was something in his demeanor, however, that hinted that another outcome was possible, maybe even certain.
It is probably why I rested so uneasily overnight.
I floated through a constant stream of dreams, filled up with snippets of my adventures these past many moons. And one after another my friends appeared before me – Rumbletwist, Dunfallon, Noralei, Gibley, Navril, Caywyn, Herblas, Emminie, Captain Goff, Geog, Gilgorgon, Fliget & Gnoston – and a few faces whose names escape me, weaved in and out of them. Even Nora splashed by here and there. And Tinadell presided over the whole.
Only two were lacking – the High Fairy and Merlin. The absence of the High Fairy I dismissed as to be expected. But I continually asked my friends as they passed by, “Where is Merlin?”
But then at the end, the wizard did make his appearance. Everyone else faded away. Merlin commanded my whole attention – and intoned a sobering announcement. There would be yet one more trial for me to undergo. Then he was gone with no further explanation.
My mind was abuzz as I went down to the morning meal. Merlin was waiting for me at the door to the galley hall. Before I could say a word, he told me that I must submit to one test. He motioned for me to follow.
Up in the audience chamber of the Fairy King, a scale had been set up beside the throne. Seeing the question reflected in my visage, Merlin explained that according to my accuser, the prime minister, if it can be shown when weighed, that I weigh less than Tinadell, then he would agree to remove his complaint.
(I remember thinking at that instant, I was glad that I had not eaten or drunk anything).
Tinadell took his place first on one side of the scale, which hardly dipped as he sat. He motioned me over to the other plate. Time itself seemed to stop as I crossed to the scale.
The prime minister commanded that I not flutter my wings while on the scale.
At this, Merlin picked me up and placed me on the plate.
My side dipped at first, but then it rose to a level above that of Tinadell’s. A sigh of relief echoed around the chamber – largely mine.
Tinadell applauded and announced that I would be anointed tomorrow at the repository.