The Ward & the Bone: 9

The day after the sudden passing of Toother Mansbestfrienddragon, the Realm is on edge. The Realm was accustomed to Toother’s rule and guidance as King, but now they wait with gritted teeth in anticipation of what comes next. Who will inherit the Bone? Who will step up as the new leader of the Free Realm? Tradition points to Grr Barker, the sole blood heir. And yet the people are left questioning: is he ready? He’s been groomed his whole life to become King, but has such grooming been adequate? Its an excellent question, indeed, for if he hasn’t been groomed well, the people will recognize it instantly. A poor groom is the embarrassment of many Kaynines, as history has shown.

As he exits the Royal Groomer’s stall after receiving the customary cut for the Transition of the Bone ceremony, Grr Barker looks around to get his bearings.

“How do I look?” He asks his fellow Bites, who have accompanied him on his haircut quest.

“Dashing!” Grr Pantsalot pants, looking at the new King up and down. “This will bode well for the ceremony.”

“You look like a King,” Grr Goodgallihad barks, admiring Barker’s shimmering armor vest and perfectly trimmed fur.

“Wonderful!” Grr Barker exclaims. “I only hope the Court accepts the Transition. There are many nobles who wish their own kin would inherit the Bone. I must assert my claim with a show of strength!”

“Fret not, my Liege,” Grr Slobin says, having recently joined the inner circle from the Lady of the Shake’s troupe. “The Realm will respect your right to rule.”

“I pray you are right,” Barker says. “Anyway, let’s return to the Cage. I could use some rest before this evening’s festivities. I’m not sure I’m ready for this.”

“You will do splendidly,” Grr Sleepsalot assures him. “You’re a natural. Soon the entire Realm with be singing songs in your honor, KING,” he says, emphasizing the last word so it will sink in.

Grr Barker sighs and beckons the troupe forth.

“I suppose we shall see. Come on good boys, let’s get back before Squirrelin has a cow.”

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