Merlin indulged our frivolity while he kept watch above. I kept in contact with him throughout, for it would not do to be caught off guard. During one such instance the wizard drew my attention to our ship. It was on the move towards us. And apparently Nora was in the advance, plowing ahead at an incredible pace.
I returned below and collected Noralei and together we climbed down to the shore after alerting the others to stand by.
From afar we heard the hearty halloa from our friend the water horse. He came bearing a body upon his back. I took one look and knew that it was the missing queen. Noralei and I flew out to them and relieved Nora of the burden.
Once ashore the former queen stood on her dignity and her haughtiness. It was clear to me why she had not flown when knocked off Rayjil, for her wings sadly hung in tatters. I was polite but told her in no uncertain terms that she was no longer the Faerie Queen, and that we now have a king.
She only smiled and turned to look out to sea.
My eyes followed hers. There on the horizon was the thick blue line of the Frost Fairy swarm. And as they advanced the sea below them turned to ice crystal. And they were rapidly gaining on our ship.