The Endeavor made it to Largandra. Elmpam was escorted by Arsha and her lovers to the Royana Castle. Elgrad and Hanako were outside the gates when they arrived. “Good to see you, Elmpam,” greeted Elgrad as they shook hands.
“Likewise,” returned Elmpam. “Has Orbak arrived yet?”
“Right here!” called Orbak’s voice. Everyone turned and…were surprised at Orbak’s current appearance. There was something new about him. “…Wh…what?” he asked.
“Nothing, sweetie,” replied Elmpam. “Just wanted to know when you decided to join the fire brigade.”
“Daddy, why do you have a mustache?” asked Malnar.
“Just trying something out,” replied Orbak.
“Has it started?!” called Emfam’s voice.
“Not yet,” replied Elgrad as the Felomphas arrived. “We’re gonna do lunch, then we talk.”
“Good idea,” chuckled Ufnamfa. “I could use some food.” Endram then saw Orbak.
“There we go!” he cheered. “See? That’s what I was talking about!”
“And now it makes sense,” remarked Hanako.
“Dad, that was your idea?” asked Lardeth.
“Yeah! He looks rugged, doesn’t he?” chuckled Endram.
“…Mama Teefmanam, mind helping me out here?” asked Lardeth. Teefmanam then joined the two men.
“Endram, sweetie,” sighed Teefmanam, “you remember the talk we had?”
“…Which one?” asked Endram.
“The one where something that works for you may not work for everyone?” replied Lardeth.
“What about it?” quizzed Endram. “…Oh, you think this is one of those things?”
“Yeah, this is one of those things,” confirmed Teefmanam.
“So, should we get inside?” asked Olmarfa.
“We’re still waiting on a Realmfleet Admiral,” answered Hanako.
“And here he is with his husbands and harem-girl,” called Elgrad as Rokalla appeared with three other Orc men and an Orc woman in a harem outfit.
“So, you’re the Summit Witness, Sir?” Arsha asked Rokalla.
“I am, indeed,” replied Rokalla. “I don’t believe you’ve met my lovers.”
“Can’t say as I have.”
“Then may I present my husbands, Herksher,”
“Hello,” bid one of the Orc men.
“Good Day,” greeted another.
“Hi,” called the last Orc man.
“And our Harem girl, Jamula.”
“Greetings, Your Highness,” bid the Orc woman as she bowed.
“Well then, welcome to Castle Royana,” declared Elgrad. “If everyone will follow me, we’ll head to the main dining hall. It’s buffet style, so help yourself.” He and Hanako led the way through the outer wall’s gate, across a moat, through an inner wall’s gate, and into the main castle doors. They then went through a door on the left side of the foyer and into a banquet hall with a long food table set up. Everyone got a plate and got the food they wanted. Jamula looked at Hanako’s plate with curiosity.
“Your Majesty, what is that?” she asked.
“This?” replied Hanako as she used her chopsticks to point at her food. “It’s sushi, a Sakuran Kitsune province dish, my home part of the Sacchrinda Kingdom. It’s raw fish wrapped in rice. Wanna try it?” Jamula looked at Prormerk and he shrugged. She took that as an opportunity to go ahead and grabbed a green ball of paste! “WHOA! WAIT A MINUTE! NOT THAT…!” Too late. Jamula put the ball into her mouth and the people not familiar with Orcs stared, their jaws to the floor.
“…A bit of a kick,” remarked Jamula, “but I’ve tasted spicier.”
“You’ve tasted…you’ve gotta be kidding me!” squeaked Elgrad when he found his voice. “You just…you just ate a whole ball of Kitsune wasabi!”
“Miss, are you okay?!” asked Emfam.
“…I’m not feeling much heat at all,” replied Jamula.
“How?!” asked Hanako. “That’s the spiciest condiment in all the Realms! If I ate half of that, I’d be puking my guts out and crying!”
“That’s thanks to His Majesty’s first ancestor,” answered Jamula as she pointed to Orbak.
“The area Realmgate City is in was once a harsh wasteland, with the Orcs wandering the place as nomads,” explained Orbak. “Because of that, Intrag altered their genetics so that they could draw nutrients from a wide variety of organic and inorganic matter.”
“Wait, I never knew this!” yelped Arsha.
“Orbak, Jamula, are you two telling me,” asked Ufnamfa, “that Orcs can eat ANYTHING?”
“We can eat MANY things, but not everything,” corrected Jamula. “The least we can eat is rocks, but that’s only if we’re starving.”
“You’re pulling my leg!” remarked Lardeth.
“Give me something you don’t usually eat, and I’ll bite into it,” challenged Jamula.
“Okay…um…” Hanako floundered, feeling like she would be taking advantage of her if she did so. “…I can’t think. Domesta!” The Head Maid appeared, her lower half still a blue smoke tail.
“Yes, Your Majesty?” asked Domesta.
“I wish for something unusual that we don’t eat but an Orc does,” wished Hanako.
“They told you they can eat a lot of things and you don’t believe them?” guessed Domesta. Hanako nodded and Domesta snapped her fingers. Her bottle then appeared in her hands.
“Wait, I didn’t mean…!” yelped Hanako.
“Relax, this is just a copy of our bottle,” assured Domesta. “Dumarith’s still in the real one, quarantining himself because a Genie cold.”
“A Genie cold?!” yelped Elmpam. “Oh dear!” Domesta handed Jamula the bottle and Jamula bit the bottle neck off and chewed it as if it were food!
“Holy…!” yelped Arsha as she witnessed the whole thing. Jamula then offered the bottle to her masters. They declined after patting their stomachs.
“…Okay, but it’s really tasty,” mused Jamula as she continued eating the bottle.
“Okay, everyone, we fooled around long enough,” muttered Elgrad. “I trust we all know why we’re here?” Everyone nodded. “Then let’s not waste any more time. Royals, Rokalla, let’s get to the Conference Hall. Everyone that’s not a Royal or Rokalla, I’m sorry, but this is a private summit. You’re welcome to stay here, but you cannot enter the Conference Hall.”
“We understand, Your Majesty,” assured Falnii.
“All right, let’s get to it,” declared Elgrad. He and Hanako led the Royals, Rokalla, and their heirs to the Conference Hall while Falnii, Foresna, Gorfanth, Jamula, Herksher, Bermak, and Prormerk stayed with Domesta.
“A Genie cold?” asked Foresna.
“You know how you guys get a cold?” answered Domesta. “Similar symptoms, only, there’s another one for us.”
“We lose control of our magic. I’m serious, time and space can be warped, objects appear out of nowhere, people or things may be changed, that sort of thing.”
“And staying in the bottle is a good idea?”
“Yes, actually. It keeps the haywire magic contained. Now, this means I have to REALLY be fanatic about not getting infected.”
“Don’t want to ruin the castle?”
“Nope. My hubby and I wouldn’t like to disappoint the Royanas.”
“…Hubby?” asked Herksher.
“…Is ‘hubby’ some sort of pet name between you two?” quizzed Jamula.
“No, I call him my hubby because we’re married.” Everyone’s jaw dropped.
“Genies? Marry?!” stammered Bermak.
“And everyone thought an Orc’s ability to eat most everything was shocking!” breathed Jamula.
“Why not?” asked Domesta. “We have the same emotions as you guys!”
“It’s just…usually, Genies scoff at the idea of marriage!” remarked Prormerk. “How long have you two been married?!”
“About 400 years. In fact, next month is our anniversary.”
“Have either of you…?” asked Gorfanth.
“No anniversary’s been forgotten by either of us.”
Everyone in the Conference Hall sat at the table and introduced themselves around it. “Over-Queen Feymay Felompha in attendance.”
“Over-Queen Emfam Felompha in attendance.”
“Crown Over-Prince Lardeth Felompha in attendance.”
“Over-Queen Roomef Felompha in attendance.”
“Over-Queen Jeefef Felompha in attendance.”
“Over-Queen Olmarfa Felompha in attendance.”
“Over-Queen Ufnamfa Felompha in attendance.”
“Over-Queen Teefmanam Felompha in attendance.”
“Over-Queen Pofomofo Felompha in attendance.”
“Over-King Endram Felompha in attendance.”
“Mid-King Elgrad Royana in attendance.”
“Crown Mid-Princess Arsha Royana in attendance.”
“Mid-Queen Hanako Royana in attendance.”
“Under-King Orbak Emboramii in attendance.”
“Crown Under-Princess Malnar Emboramii in attendance.”
“Under-Queen Elmpam Emboramii in attendance.”
“Third-Level Admiral Rokalla Borkshorm in attendance as witness.” Rokalla activated a device to send a private recording of the meeting on a secure channel to Aldarval.
“As the one who organized this,” declared Elgrad, “with all in attendance, and with a witness, I hereby declare the All-realm Royal Summit now in session. Now, the situation is already clear, but I’m going to sum it up. Dr. Borg, a renegade Sprite scientist, is working with Oyed to start the Final War. Now, Arsha, you’ve had more experience with her, even going so far as to deck her and, from what your reports have said, kill her twice.”
“That’s because of a machine she’s created to digitize her soul and create a clone body so she can come back. An unnatural form of immortality, in my opinion,” explained Arsha.
“Then any insights you have would be valuable,” suggested Elmpam.
“Dr. Borg seems to be Depths-bent on remaking the Realms,” answered Arsha. She then got a look. “Now that I think about it, the way she talks about it, I don’t think her goals line up with Oyed’s all that much.”
“What do you mean?” asked Emfam.
“Whenever she talked about her goals,” replied Arsha, “she says she’s doing it for a peaceful future of herself and her followers. Not once has she mentioned Oyed. Where does he fit in to her vision?”
“…You’re right, Oyed wants us to continually fight until all life is extinguished and he’s fully absorbed the Divine Ones’ power,” mused Olmarfa. “How does that fit into Dr. Borg’s vision?”
“It sounds like Dr. Borg is in a weak state,” offered Elgrad. “Our intelligence reports say that she’s at Reb Rojam’s old home of Plunder Island Stronghold and is in dire financial straits. It seems to me that the only way to catch her off-guard is with a preemptive strike. The Fae Republic is well-versed in aerial attacks, so any advice from them would…”
“I did NOT just hear you suggest that!” hissed Emfam. “Dr. Borg has Revenants in case you forgot! I won’t tell Rellmeer to send her people to die at their hands!”
“And I won’t condone that kind of bloodshed in the Under-realm!” declared Orbak.
“But, Orbak, Emfam! Dr. Borg is a Sprite!” protested Elgrad. “Who better to know how her mind works than Rellmeer! Need I remind you that Dr. Borg is a threat to the Realms?! She must be stopped by any means necessary!”
“Too many Out-realmers have died for the Under-realm throughout the previous Wars,” replied Orbak, “and I refuse to allow more to die unless there’s no choice. If you intend to go on a fool’s attack on Dr. Borg as it stands, you’ll do so without my help.”
“Besides, she would want us to make the first strike,” advised Arsha. “She’ll twist it so that her followers believe that we would attack people willy-nilly and people would then send money to her war effort instead of us. Callous though this sounds, if the Final War DOES start, SHE needs to be the one to make the first strike.”
“What would entice her to strike?” asked Orbak.
“We need to set up defensive perimeters around our most vital areas, for a start.”
“She has a point, Elgrad,” remarked Hanako. “If she’s forced to strike the least vital areas first, she won’t get much in the way of money, manpower, or firepower. We could easily overwhelm her if we stay on the defensive.”
“…Fine, I’ll hold off any plans of attack,” decided Elgrad. “I’ll recommend to Aldarval that she start looking into siege-defense strategies for our most vital areas.”
“In that, you will have the Under-realm’s full support,” declared Orbak.
“And the Over-realm’s,” supplied Emfam.
“There’s still another matter to discuss, though,” remarked Elgrad. “How long can we be patient?”
“Let us discuss that tomorrow,” suggested Hanako. “We need to think about this.”
“Agreed,” replied Elgrad. “Any objections to adjourn until tomorrow afternoon, same time, speak now.” No one said a word. “Since there are none, I hereby adjourn this summit until tomorrow. My staff will show you to your rooms.” Everyone got up and the staff then led the visitors to their rooms. Arsha and her lovers decided to sleep in her room. She updated the Endeavor on what was going on without giving the details on what was discussed, then they got ready for bed.