Jefferson Middle School newsletter
Chapter Nineteen: In Which Alder Makes A Request And Probably Has An Ulterior Motive
Alder’s home was warm and comfy, with plush leather chairs and a blazing hearth. However, Flake couldn't enjoy it as Alder dragged him into the room and pushed him on the sofa. Then he sat on the sofa opposite of Flake and faced him with a smile that didn’t look very genuine.
“You aren’t Colden,” he said calmly, as if stating a fact. Which he was. “You’re Flake, son of Chief Frost, the heir of the Silver Snake Kingdom. You are looking for your twin sister, Snow, who vanished into thin air. Am I correct?”
Flake didn’t say anything, but his face betrayed a little shock. Alder nodded, satisfied. “I’m right, aren’t I?” He leaned a little closer. “I would like to ask you a little favor.”
“What favor?” Flake asked suspiciously.
“Nothing much, really. You see, I used to be in the Council of the Tree,” Alder said. “I would like to be in it again, but it isn’t likely unless… well, unless I have some people of high standing support me.”
“So you want me to be one of those people.”
“Yes,” Alder said. He leaned back on the sofa. “As I said, nothing much. Just say how I’m good for being in the Council and how much I helped you on your quest and all that. Endorse me and make me look good. Or have your sister do it, if you find her. Even better, convince Chief Frost to support me.”
“Sorry, but I don’t really get involved in politics.” Flake stood up. “I’m not interested.”
“But wait! I haven’t got to your part of the deal!” Alder exclaimed. “I might know where Snow is!” That made Flake pause.
He narrowed his eyes. “Really?”
“Yes! At least, maybe! I think she’s taken by the Breeze Kingdom!” Alder said.
Flake stared at him. “Why? How do you know she’s missing and why do you think she’s in the Breeze Kingdom?”
Alder sighed. “Well, I do try to keep up to date on what happens in the kingdoms. News travels fast, you know. And when I saw you, unconscious in the forest, I knew who you were and I was pretty curious about how you ended up in that state. Anyways, how did you end up in that state? And why were you in the forest in the first place? Wouldn’t you search in the Flame Kingdom first instead of the Fearsome Forest?”
“I don’t know how I got unconscious. But you’re changing the subject. Why do you think she’s in the Breeze Kingdom, of all the kingdoms you could blame it on?” Flake asked.
“Well, you know that I keep up with the news. Once, a week ago, I heard that Queen Alya-” he said the name bitterly “-wanted to extend her territory around the Frigid Glacier. Of course, your father wouldn’t allow that. I would assume she will hold Snow for ransom,” Alder said. I frowned. Queen Alya didn’t really seem like the kind of person who would take action. She was more of the person who would sit back and wish for things, without actually trying to get it.
“Okay…” Flake said doubtfully. “I’ll look into that. I might consider your endorsement request too, but it depends on how well my quest goes.”
“Of course, of course,” Alder said. “By the way, I have a little supply bag for you. Just a little reminder of your stay at our humble village. You’ll find it tied to the saddle of your horse.”
“Oh. Thanks.” Flake got up and headed to the door. He expected Alder to protest, to demand he stay longer, but he didn’t. Once he got outside, he ran to the healing cabin, thinking about how he’d never endorse Alder in a million years.
After he asked Spruce for the location of the stables, he went there and located Pebbles. Pebbles seemed pretty content in his stable, looking calm and chewing hay. Flake found a small satchel tied to the saddle, along with the other bags Flake brought on the trip. It had a piece of bark glued with tree sap on it, with Vote Alder! scratched on it. Inside the bag was a bottle of water, an apple, a bag of tree nuts, a vial of green liquid labeled ‘Headache Cure’, and a piece of cloth that unfolded to a large cloak.
Flake opened the stable door and patted Pebbles on the back. “We’re going to resume our quest, alright?” Pebbles continued chewing the hay with no expression whatsoever. Flake took that as a yes and led him out of the stable. He stopped by the healing cabin to say bye and thank-you to Violet and Spruce, then mounted Pebbles and started riding out of the village.
Chapter Twenty: In Which A Few Chiefs Exchange Letters
From Chief Phoenix to Chief Frost
You really expect me to believe you didn’t take Flint? I can tell you’re lying, Frost. Just return him, nice and easy, then we can end this nonsense. Or we can end this a different, less peaceful way. Your choice. I can tell you that latter is something you will not prefer. The clock is ticking. Decide soon.
From Chief Frost to Chief Phoenix
I don’t have it! I really didn’t kidnap Flint. That isn’t how I do things and you should know that. We need to look past our rivalry and see who’s really behind this. Don’t forget Snow is gone too. And Flake is on this mission to save her that will surely end in tragedy. I’ve already deployed many investigators to inspect the situation. You should do the same, instead of pestering me with letters. For the last time, I don’t have Flint, as much as you want to believe it. That would make things easier for you, wouldn’t it? A plausible reason to attack our kingdom. Well, that will not help our missing children at all.
From Chief Ripple to Chief Frost
Chief Frost, I have some information about the whereabouts of Snow and whoever Phoenix’s missing son is. (What was his name?) I’ve heard a rumor (simply a rumor) that Chief Alya (I refuse to call her queen) wants to expand her territory to Frigid Glacier. Her territory is already hovering above Coral Kingdom, and it isn’t that bad since we’re in the water, but for your kingdom, which is about the same distance from the ground as her’s, your kingdoms would be practically pushing against one another. Obviously, you wouldn’t like that, so she might’ve decided to kidnap Snow and hold her for ransom. As for the kidnapping of (insert Phoenix’s son’s name here) she probably wanted to put you and Phoenix at each other’s throats so that you wouldn’t pay attention to her. Does that make sense? Do you want me to send spies to investigate Alya? (I’d be happy to. She’s annoying.)
From Chief Frost to Chief Ripple
That doesn’t sound much like Alya to me. She isn’t the kind of person who is tricky and manipulative. Don’t send spies. We don’t want to get in trouble with another kingdom. Phoenix is already bugging me enough.
I don’t think it was a chief who took them.
Thanks for helping,
P.S. Phoenix’s son’s name is Flint.
P.P.S. I think I misplaced the letter you sent me. I remember the content, but for some reason I can’t find it.
From Chief Phoenix to Chief Frost & Chief Ripple
Message intercepted! I have your missing letter, if you noticed its disappearance. How it ended up outside in the palace gardens on a tree is your doing, but it was easy for one of my pet phoenixes to pick it up.
You actually think that Chief Alya kidnapped Flint and Snow? (Ripple, my son’s name is Flint, you imbecile.) Really, if you want to lie, at least do it a bit more believeably. All Alya does is stare at mirrors and put on makeup, much less orchestrate grand plots to kidnap kids. Honestly, you guys are horrible at trying to put the blame on others. Just give me back Flint and everything will be alright. At least, better than if you don’t.
From Chief Frost to Chief Phoenix
Why are you so stubborn believing it was me who took it? And I don’t believe that it was Alya who took them either. It probably isn’t anyone we know. It might not even be a person, just some sort of magic that got out of hand and made them disappear into oblivion. Other than the marriage thing (which you proposed), why would I take Flint as opposed to someone else?
P.S. Why would your pet phoenixes be around the royal gardens anyways?