We are leaving for Jules today! I'm so excited! But also extremely nervous. On top of having to please the Fire Lord constantly these next weeks, we'll also have to please the Julese Emperor. I've heard he is a strict and harsh man. Although, I don't think he could possibly be more so than the Fire Lord. Not that the Fire Lord is too strict or harsh, just very so.
Yesterday, Flare and Firefly and I dithered outside the door to the throne room for half a shadowmark trying to decide how to ask the Fire Lord for the material for new kachina costumes. Finally, they voted me to be the one to ask him. I wasn't sure whether to be flattered or upset.
I knocked, and Flame stuck his head out the door. When he saw us, his expressioned turned sour.
"What do you want?" he snapped impatiently. "Go away. You've not been summoned." I drew myself up, trying to make myself as tall as Flame. (Not even close.)
"We--I'm here to ask him a favor," I retorted. "One that could mean the difference between making a good impression on the Emperor and a bad one. The Fire Lord will want to see me." I wasn't at all sure about that last part, but I decided that there was nothing wrong with showing a little confidence. Flame snorted.
"If you say so," he said. "We'll see, won't we?" I frowned suspiciously. It wasn't like him to give in so easily. He stepped aside and pulled the double doors open. I swallowed hard as I saw the Fire Lord sitting on his throne. He was talking to someone--Coal--in a low, serious tone. My heart stopped and I whirled to glare at Flame, whose eyes sparkled blue. He could have warned me that the Fire Lord was in an audience with one of his spies!
They both looked up when they heard me gasp. The Fire Lord looked furious, Coal looked irritated.
"Why have you interrupted us?" the Fire Lord demanded. "Who called you here?"
"N-no one, my lord," I answered. "I only came to ask--to beg a favor of you. it's important. It could mean the difference between making a good impression and a bad one on the Emperor." The Fire Lord's expression did not change.
"It doesn't matter why you came," he said coldly. "You came. And without being summoned." I was starting to get very afraid until Coal spoke up quietly.
"That rule does not apply, my lord, in emergencies," he pointed out. He looked at me with one eyebrow raised. "Any chance this could be an emercency?"
"Um...i-in a way," I said. "It could be. If...yes?" Coal gave me an unamused look before turning to the Fire Lord. The Fire Lord narrowed his eyes.
"Tell me what you are here for and I will decide if it is an emergency," he said dismissively. "Be quick, kachina."
I took a deep breath. "Our kachina costumes are sadly worn and if we showed ourselves to the Emperor in such a fashion, he might very well be offended or at least get a bad impression of what Furier is like. It's an emergency because it takes time to make good kachinas costumes, and we leave for Jules in only a day. And the seamstresses don't have the material to make the costumes, which is why I'm here. If you can't grant me the material for six elaborate costumes very soon, the Emperor of Jules will be displeased."
The Fire Lord and Coal looked at me with almost identical expressions of disbelief and disgust.
"You came here about your costumes?" the Fire Lord said. I blinked.
"Well, yes, my lord...It could be sort of an emergency...or at least urgent, my lord..."
Then something amazing happened.
The Fire Lord chuckled.
He said he respected my coming to see him, and that he would send the material to the seamstresses within the hour.
I was convinced I was dreaming for a full hour until Firefly called me in to see the gorgeous fabric the Fire Lord had sent for our costumes. Not even I could dream up something as beautiful as the silk and tassels and jewels he provided.
The seamstresses managed to make our costumes, and the finishing touches are being put on now. We're going to be leaving right after the midday meal. I'm so excited and nervous! (I know, I'm saying that a lot, but it's so true.)
I'll post whenever I can. Thanks for reading!