The Kingdom That Defends

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In the dead of the night, two robbers, James and Jacob, are standing on a sand dune. Wearing cream-coloured cloaks and sporting pointy beards they seem to be waiting for somebody, or something to happen.

Jacob: The night is still young. We should carry on with our plans.
James: Most certainly! Have you brought some food along? The journey will be long.
Jacob: I brought water and tiny bags of pine nuts; the items are saddled to both of our donkeys.
James: Good. That will be sufficient. The sooner we get to Egypt, the better. My whole body is aching really terribly; I would like to get the job done as fast as possible.
Jacob: Oh! Why is your body in so much pain?
James: I haven’t robbed that kingdom yet – every single kingdom…within my sight of course…fell to my command. But that one is still standing. How is something like that possible?
Jacob: Oh! That riles me up like anything!
James: I get that feeling too sometimes! You know, I heard tales the king keeps losing money but it’s been weeks and he still hasn’t lost all of his money.
Jacob: Clearly, there is something about over there we haven’t yet noticed.
James: Yes, that’s why we are here, and that’s why I feel that we should just go ahead with our plans!

Meanwhile, at Cow’s palace, Eric is busy arranging a vase of fresh flowers: he has made his own assortment of flowers bought from the market; the vase is for Noir to keep on her busy desk – it’s a small present from Eric, who’s growing rather fond of the young girl. Noir isn’t aware of this, however, because she’s with Cow in his dining room, discussing a secret message Abrahim Butros has sent him.

Cow: So, the rest of the message goes like this: …there are two robbers out looking to rob you. Defend yourself! Fight for your honour!
Noir: Isn’t that a bit too animated of a reaction to two robbers appearing to rob your kingdom?
Cow: It is! But that’s just what Butros is like, you know. He can’t even defend his kingdom properly but never tires of…
Noir:…playing the same song over and over again!
Cow: Why, yes! Butros always only really sings about defending kingdoms properly……his messenger also brought the message in a tattered form.
Noir: What should we do? Should we get our swordsmen ready and on horseback?
Cow: I think that would be a very wise strategy, yes.
Noir: But wouldn’t that make them noticeable? We got information now, it’s better to tackle the robbers now, invincibly, rather than have them hover around, with the possibility that they might rob the kingdom anytime soon.
Cow: Oh! But we’ll get another message from Butros, or our friends from other kingdoms if that happens. Our friends will look out for us, even when we fail to do that ourselves.
Noir: I know that! But it’s better to be safe!…I’ll get our swordsmen ready and ask them to hide from sight and prepare for attack the moment the robbers come into our kingdom.
Cow: Yes, you do that!…This…how does Butros deal with problems appearing in his kingdom on his own? I would have never been able to do it, without you by my side, Noir.
Noir:..are you frightened? Don’t be. I am sure the robbers will be frightened away.
Cow: That helps. Now, I will just go, sit on my throne and munch on some salty crackers, as you orchestrate the swordsmen. It’s getting so suspenseful, I wouldn’t want to miss any minute of it, with those salty crackers.

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