King Ithril looked Duncan over as the princess recounted her tale for the royal court. King Ithril nodded in understanding and commanded his royal tailor to create a dress for their guest.
“Without the service of your royal guard, I would be dead,” Madeleine told the king.
“Duncan Frain, you are to be commended with a celebration in your honor,” he bellowed. The members of the royal guard are wore looks of jealousy as Duncan smiled.
With the king’s dismissal, Duncan stuffed his hands into his pockets. His hands felt the smooth black stone from the princess. As Princess Madeleine was taken under the wing of King Ithril’s court, Duncan sought out the royal page.
As he walked through the winding halls of the elaborate castle, Duncan found Thornton sitting at his desk. Upon Duncan’s arrival, their eyes met.
“Yes?” Thornton asked with a sigh. As far as he was concerned, he was much too busy to be bothered with a member of the royal guard. To him, they served as meat shields in protecting those of higher stations.
“I won’t take much of your time,” Duncan began. “During your travels to Baylas, did you encounter the royal family?”
“Of course, the message was intended only for those of royal lineage,” Thornton said with a haughty, holier-than-thou attitude.
“Did you bring the family a gift from our king?” Duncan persisted.
“Of course, as a gesture of good will, the people of Olivian extended gifts toward those of who we wish to acquaint ourselves. What are you getting at?”
Thornton looked displeased at the line of incessant questioning. Duncan persisted; he had to know if the gift from Princess Madeleine held any true meaning.
“Did they offer gifts in return?” Duncan asked.
Thornton exhaled deeply and said, “No, of course they didn’t. The people of Baylas only offer gifts to people who they wish to show affection. Gifts to them are love tokens.”
Duncan felt his heart race. Thornton’s words made him feel relieved. He smiled as his fingers ran across the smooth surface of the gemstone, feeling its texture in his pocket.
“Thank you,” Duncan told the man and made his way out of the wooden door. He sped down the winding halls until he found Madeleine.
She stood there with flowing hair, bright almond-shaped blue eyes and a glow that was like a beacon of light that illuminated the room with her presence. Duncan pulled the smooth black stone from his pocket and showed it to her.
“I’ve learned what this means,” he told her sweetly. As he spoke, the stone’s color changed from black to purple and finally, it lit up light blue. Duncan was mystified by the strange stone, but he saw her face as it beamed.
“I don’t know what that means,” he told her. She took his hands in hers and drew closer to his ear.
“As you may have learned, this is an eternal moon stone,” she whispered. “My people use these and other gifts to show affection to those of whom we owe our lives or care about.”
He remained silent as she whispered, “When it changed from black to purple and then rested on this light blue color, it meant that you and I share the same feelings for one another.”
Duncan’s cheeks reddened as King Ithril cleared his throat.
“A royal wedding it is!” he shouted. Duncan never thought to object and became eager to claim his prize.