CHAPTER 57: BARTALA’S LAST DAY AS EMPEROR

The Muse of Mischief and Agent Brzko have been traveling the Universe and working with a vast number of species, in a vast number of places for decades now – but they have never seen an event like this one – the ascension of a new Emperor on Ploosnar.

This ascension ceremony was unlike any of the previous ceremonies on Ploosnar. When Bartala became Emperor, his father had died unexpectedly while traveling, there was a small ceremony held inside the palace, with only Ploosnarians in attendance. But today was much different.

In order to accommodate the huge crowd, consisting of Ploosnarians, Dragons, Suus, Gaznzulians, and many other species, a huge outdoor arena has been created. It’s a theatre really, there is a small stage in the center. From there, the land gently slopes up and out in all directions – it’s as if the stage is in the center of a large bowl. The gentle slopes are covered in finely manicured grass, the blue grass that is used all over Ploosnar. The top of each slope has been decorated with huge emerald green flags. They billow in the gentle breeze. Between each flag stands three Dragons. The slopes are filled with observers.

From their position near the stage, M and Brzko look around, observing the crowd. “How many?” She asks.

He continues to survey the slopes turning to look over his shoulder. “There’s got to be thousands.”

“Ten thousand.” Zri interjects from next to them.

Lelelu, at his side turns and looks up the slopes, taking it all in. “Are the Dragon’s planning something Ferocity?”

He grins, exposing his jagged teeth, and nods in affirmation.

The crowd suddenly goes silent as Emperor Bartala, wearing his crown, takes the stage. He turns back to the steps and offers his hand to Empress Nalau as she joins him on the stage, also wearing her crown. Looking more beautiful than ever, they stand arms linked, waving to the crowd in all directions. Everyone in attendance applauds, whistles, shouts – whatever their custom dictates – and the sound is deafening. Bartala and Nalau let them continue on for a moment, just standing in their brilliant blue attire. The sun is catching the crystals on the crowns, throwing brilliant blue flares of light around the crowd.

Bartala steps away from his wife and that cues everyone to be silent. Instead of speaking, he and Nalau step apart and welcome Wisssi and Nguvu to the stage. The crowd goes wild again, this time they don’t want to stop. Wisssi and Nguvu take a tour around the stage, waving in every direction. Finally it begins to quiet.

Wisssi steps away from Nguvu and stands before his father, Empress Nalau stands before Nguvu.

“Ezopica Mischievous Wisssdartai, I am honored to have a son and heir such as you. Ploosnar will flourish with you as Emperor.” Bartala began. “I Kufeter Whakelyte Wissswara Bartapulnye hereby pass the title of Emperor of Ploosnar to you, with all of its responsibility, authority, and amenities. If you accept this bestowment willingly, kneel and accept the crown of the Emperor of Ploosnar.”

Wisssi kneels in front of his father, Nguvu kneels in front of his mother. In the final act as Emperor of Ploosnar, Emperor Bartala removes the crown from his own head with both hands and places it on Wisssi’s head. Empress Nalau removes her crown and places it on Nguvu’s head. As Emperor Wisssi and Empress Nguvu stand to face the crowd as officials of Ploosnar for the first time, Bartala and Nalau discreetly leave the stage.

Each of the Dragons at the top of the slope roar loudly as they tilt their heads back and breathe a long stream of fire straight up. The glow that it creates is amazing. The crowd goes wild again. Wisssi and Nguvu stand arm and arm on the stage.

“M.” She turns and sees Bartala at her shoulder. “M we’re ready to get out of here, can you and Brzko take us to Misko now.” He looks toward the stage.

“Of course, let’s go.” She takes his arm and goes to Misko. Brzko takes Nalau’s arm and follows.

“Wow.” M said. “I really like the way you Ploosnarians keep things short and sweet.”

“For real.” Brzko said. “There are places where it would have taken days of ceremony to name a new Emperor.”

“Who has time to waste?” Bartala said. “Wisssi has an empire to run and we have beings that need our help. But first, we have espidrun to drink. Shall we meet you on the terrace after we change?”

“Of course! We’ll see you there.” M said. As she and Brzko turned toward their house, they could hear both Lelelu and Ferocity’s ships landing.

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