✿Chapter 12: How do you sleep?✿

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A day had passed since the blizzard. A whole day that you were unable to check up on Varian. Within that short time span, Rapunzel had been mind-controlled by some art teacher and almost brought back a powerful warlock lord to life. Of course, after finding out about this your father decided to tighten security a bit. When in town and in the castle you were closely watched and there was no way that you would be able to escape to check on Varian. You weren't too worried, you believed that the boy needed some time to himself so he could cool off, he would ask for help when he needed it.

Today was a very important day for your father. Of course, this trade deal with the Griffin of Pittsford would be greatly advantageous for both sides, but if something went wrong it could be detrimental to the welfare of Corona. Nigel believed that having the trade teal would cause Corona to lose more than it gained, while your father assured him that dissolving the trade deal would send the seven kingdoms into war.

You were currently in the throne room with Rapunzel, Eugene, Maximus, Pascal, and Cassandra. Rapunzel was reciting her speech that would hopefully win over the Griffin, "And so, to you, the wise Griffin of Pittsford, I say, let us treat our new friendship like a budding flower. One we will nurture with love, knowing that it will bloom into something beautiful."

Maximus neighed while Pascal clapped his hands. But Cassandra was less than convinced.

"Uh, I don't think you're going to win over the Griffin with a schmaltzy speech about puppies and rainbows." The raven-haired woman said.

Rapunzel let out an offended gasp, "I didn't say anything about puppies!" She paused, "...and the rainbow was a metaphor."

"Rapunzel," You started, "the Griffin is known for being insecure and walking away from deals at the slightest offense. If you tell a speech that... uh-- what's the word... pure, then the Griffin might think you are babying him."

The blonde girl frowned, "Uh, so..." She turned to Cassandra, who was polishing the weapons, "How's your prep work going for running your first security checkpoint?"

Cassandra finished polishing the halberd, "Let's put it this way. There is nothing my station isn't going to be ready for." She then stood up and walked over to a cart full of identical weapons, she swung the weapon and threw it in.

"Haha! Fog machine, baby!" Eugene's voice echoed through the room as he walked in with a large machine. You knew for a fact that he didn't make that, so you were a bit confused about where it came from.

Rapunzel looked at him shocked, "Uh, Eugene, why do you need that?" You turned to Cassandra, she looked peeved.

"You made me the emcee, remember?" He argued, placing one hand on his chest and leaning against the machine. Rapunzel, Cassandra, and You shared a look, "Picture this..." Eugene said, pressing down on an accordion-looking thing a couple of times, "Lights go dim. The fog rolls in." He grabbed a pipe that released a bunch of fog, "And all eyes are on me... as it should be." You and the others coughed as they breathed in the smoke, "Ladies and gentlemen! Let's show the Griffin just how we do things in Corona. It's time to get this party started!" He drew out "started" and held his arms up as the smoke faded, "I'll hold it for that long."

Cassandra stepped over to the two, "No. No way, Eugene! Fog would make it impossible to see clearly enough to do my job." She said, turning to both you and Rapunzel for your opinions. You shrugged not exactly wanting to take sides.

"A fog machine does seem a bit unnecessary." Your sister said.

Eugene put his hands on her shoulders, "Look, Blondie. I love you and I don't want to point fingers, mostly because I just got mine manicured and I don't want to show anyone up. But if you really want to talk about unnecessary, we should probably discuss the gift baskets you made." You turned to the back of the room to see a table full of baskets that had numerous gifts with individual portraits that Rapunzel had painted.

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