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Aug 14, 2020 9:14 AM
it's a beautiful day in the land of horrible gooses
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"The handle bears a striking resemblance to you," Alyssum says, deadpan.

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He lifts it up to look the handle in the eye.

"...I don't see it." 

 

  "You found the camping gear as well, I hope?" Grandma interrupts.

"Oh, yeah." He troops back into the house to collect that. 

  "There's a little space at the top of the tent, just sized for a fairy," she adds to Alyssum while he's gone. "I suspected Thistle might like some privacy."

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"Thanks."

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Soon enough, Robin comes trooping back out of the cottage, a large bag secured around his lower back, out of the way of his wings. 

  "Ready?" Grandma asks. She rises from her seat and steps over to hug him and kiss him on the forehead, "Go on, then. Be good. Wreak havoc." 

"Yes Grandma," he replies dutifully, hugging her tightly for another long moment. Then he lets go and turns to Alyssum. 

"To the capital? Or is the Vizier somewhere else?" 

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"She's at the capital."

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"That way's as good as any, then," he supposes. He's sure they'll get sidetracked a bunch along the way, anyway. 

Onwards! To adventure!

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Their first major obstacle - not counting Robin's village learning he's the heir and messing with him - is a bridge across a river ravine. It is, in fact, the only bridge within several days of walking across this particular ravine. There's a fox sitting in the middle of the path right before it.

"Halt, travelers!" she calls, bouncing up.

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Getting messed with is a little frustrating but they all mean it in good fun, so he doesn't really mind. Once the festivities are done with (mostly, there would be a few more tricks and challenges after they left), he waves goodbye as they set off down the road.

 

He's a little surprised to see a fox standing in their way! A little bit wary, too, because... goose, fox, you get the picture. He halts as requested, though, offering her a friendly smile despite the wariness, "Hello! Do you need something?" 

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"Yes! I am the Sphinx of this region. None may cross my bridge without answering my riddles! - Please answer my riddles, I am so bored."

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...Oh she's cute actually. His smile becomes more genuine.

"Sure, I can do that! Sounds like a good Challenge." The capital letter can be clearly heard. 

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"Ooo, are you after Challenges?"

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"Yeah! I have to complete a bunch so the kingdom will recognize me as the Rightful King and the Evil Vizier will step down. Oh, uh," he bows a bit clumsily, "Prince Robin of Gooses, and this is Alyssum," he motions to him, "He's my fairy godmother's understudy." 

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"Oh, exciting! If you're the Heir, then you must be very good at riddles!" Her face scrunches up. "Or, well, you might be terrible at them, but it wouldn't do at all to have a Rightful King who is bad at riddles."

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"That's true," he admits thoughtfully. "Well... If I am bad at it, I'd better start practicing to get better, right?"

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"Yeah! I'm good at riddles, so I can help!"

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"That's great!" He settles down next to her on the side of the road, "What's your favourite one?" 

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"Hmmmm..."

"While on my way to New Vitten, I met a cat with seven kittens. Each kitten had seven mittens, and each mitten had seven mice, and each mouse had seven pups. Pups, mice, mittens, kittens - how many were going to New Vitten?"

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"Hmmm... You, plus one cat, plus seven kittens is nine... uh. Seven mittens for each kitten is..." He counts multiples of seven on his hands, "Forty-nine, so fifty eight... plus seven mice for each mitten- feathers, I need paper for this," he scowls, brow furrowing. He hadn't known there'd be math involved in this Quest. Wasn't this supposed to be a riddle?

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...Wait. He goes back over the riddle in his head.

"Hang on! You never said they were going to New Vitten! Just you! Only one was going to New Vitten!" 

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She laughs. "Exactly! That was the answer!"

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He laughs, too, "That's so tricky! You have more, right? That one almost got me - I definitely need more practice." Besides, that was fun!

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"Hmmm..."

"Little Tommy Tittle-Tat tied two tups to two tall trees. To torment the terrible Tittle-Tat, how many 't's are in all of that?"

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He blinks hard for a couple seconds, "Your enunciation is impressive," he comments, before squinting at the air while he thinks.

"...This is another trick, isn't it? 'How many 't's are in 'all of that' - there's two 't's in 'that'!" He grins. 

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"My enunciation is impressive, and your guess is correct!"

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"Yes!" He fist-pumps, "How many riddles do you know, anyway?"

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