Chapter 9:

Arrival of Guests

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

In another part of the city, a flag ship was landing at the port of Quenth. While Aqueenian cities and vessels were often built with swirling and ornate architecture, this ship resembled nothing of the style.

The ship was a wide vessel, with a sharply pointed bow and an almost rectangular shape around the rest. Its solar sails were equally square, and the figurehead on the front was of a beast known as a Japhinth. It had a mammalian head that could be best compared to a rat for someone not on Resh. The body was serpent-like, and two large wings sprouted out of its back.

These beasts were reasonably dangerous when encountered in the wild, but to Aqueenians, the beast was especially detested.

The ship, which hovered slightly above the water's surface, came to a stop at the port. Two long gangways extended from the port and pressed against the ship.

Hermina was the first to get to the dock. Her floating chair settled on the ground in front of the gangways as a crowd began to disembark.

The crowd coming off the boat was not Aqueenian. They were short with a grey complexion. Their builds were thick and muscular, and on every forehead was a unique bony structure that was grown from their bodies.

Hermina approached one of the crowd. He had a metal crown sitting atop his head awkwardly placed to avoid the bone structure, and he wore a long, fluttering purple cape.

"King of the Hobusians, welcome to Quenth," she said in a friendly tone.

Hermina's tone was only a front, however. She was annoyed that they had arrived a day earlier than agreed upon. The Aqueenians were not ready with the preparations, and she knew the early guests would take every opportunity to gripe about it.

"Ah, Hermie, was it?" the king asked her.

"Hermina, your majesty."

"Of course, it's good to... see you again...." The Hobusian king attempted to exchange pleasantries. He struggled to think of any more words to say.

"May I ask who we will have here this year for the conference?" Hermina asked while pulling a tablet out of a pouch that hung on her chair. The king jumped on the opportunity to talk about his entourage.

"Of course! Starting, we have three from my family of Fio. Myself, my eldest son Avon, and my second son, Odell. From the Aio family, we have the second daughter Cecilia and the world's strongest, Platon; from the Cren family, we have the eldest son, Adonis. From the Klan family, we have that eldest daughter Ailsa. From the Prev family, we have the eldest son, Cam. From the Han family, we have the eldest daughter, Celyn. Lastly, from the Aquee family, we have the eldest son Alair. In addition, every family member had their normal staff. In total, we are well over a hundred in number!"

"Dast, now will one member of every family be attending the conference?" Hermina asked as she casually entered the information on her tablet.


"Election year sure is rough, huh," Hermina said in a light tone.

"It is unfortunate the conference aligned with it this year. It is a bit pointless since Avon will be winning anyway!"

"Good to hear," Hermina said as her chair spun around in the air. She had not been listening to the king. "Well, let me show you to your rooms."

The large crowd that emerged from the ship followed the Aqueenian princess as she led them from the dock. In the streets, cries of excitement began to ring out.

"What's that about?" King Fio asked.

"There will be a battle in the coliseum tomorrow morning. Our father is offering citizenship to an other world Netzian that appeared recently. You are welcome to join if you'd like?"

King Fio laughed.

"That old fool, we get an other worlder after so many long years, and he wants to kill him. Tell me, did your guest interrupt an important meeting?"

"I am afraid I cannot comment on any more."

The king let out a belly laugh as the Hobusian entourage continued to follow him and Hermina. That was, except for the king's second son, Odell, who stepped away from the crowd and headed down a different path.

He didn't get far in his attempt to sneak away before Cecilia called out to him from the crowd.

"Odell! Where are you going? We have to go this way!"

Odell turned back around and awkwardly rubbed the back of his head while making a goofy smile.

"Sorry, guess I got confused," He shouted back to them. As he returned, his head and shoulders slumped.

He had hoped to get away and avoid all the annoying bureaucratic talk. The second sun had not yet set, and he wanted to see some of the city. Instead, he rejoined the crowd and followed to their accommodations.