What did you all think about voting with the google form? I'm going to try it for a couple more days at least, but if y'all love/hate it let me know.
Amy enjoyed her soup and bread and reveled in being, however peripherally, involved in the productive chaos of the kitchen. She watched in awe while Mat efficiently peeled potatoes, the maid brought in so many baskets of vegetables, and loaf after loaf of bread was lined up to cool. At one point Mat caught her watching him and flashed a toothy smile. Once he got the potatoes into a massive pot, things seemed to come to a lull, so Amy called out, "Mat, can I ask you something?"
Always working, Mat brought over several birds that needed plucking and sat next to Amy by the hearth. "What is it, love?"
"Well, I've noticed... There's a very strange man in the Palace. He wears all white, with even white cloth wrapped around his head. I feel as though he is following me and odd things happen when he's near. Do you know who he is?"
A funny look crossed Mat's face, something between confusion and amusement, "Surely you've heard of old Blanco?" Amy shook her head and looked down at her hands as Mat continued, "Well, at least that's what the servants call him. I don't know his real name.
"Of course you remember when Prince Leo went away two years ago. You were here with Irena all that time. When the Prince returned from his travels he brought Blanco with him. He was immediately installed as one of the Prince's chief advisors, even though no one knows who he is or where he came from. Many distrusted him from the start. He is consulted on all matters, sometimes even what food we are to prepare here." Mat gestured around the kitchen with a feather-covered hand, sending a couple downy fluffs floating up on heated air from the fire.
"He is an odd man. He only eats meat on Tuesdays, and it must be the whitest white meat from the breast of a chicken. There are servants who say that he has not left the Palace grounds since he arrived, and some of the chamber maids say they feel odd when he comes near. Though they may be suffering from fear more than anything else." He chuckled, "I think he's harmless. Odd, but harmless." With that he lifted his well-plucked chickens and the basket of feathers at his feet, and took them to other parts of the kitchen.
Amy was left with more questions. I was here two years ago to mind Irena? But what does this "Blanco" want with me?
Quick! What should she do now?
Query Mat further?
Irena! She should Quietly leave to go find the girl, who must be awake by now.
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