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chapter 2

The swirling of the tornado stopped in an open field and they landed on soft green grass. Almost immediately after touching the ground, she jumped to her feet and examined her surroundings. Everything was green except for the pebbled road cutting through the open field and disappearing towards the end as it curved downwards.

“On your feet, everyone!” she ordered.

Her guards scrambled to their feet with one almost having his entire arm chomped off when he stepped on a muttbit’s tail. She waited not a second for the commotion to die down before heading down the pebbled road.

The sun was high up in the bright blue sky, and the birds were chirping a harmonious melody. She had no complaints about the warm sun, as it lifted her mood and convinced her of a sure win. When she reached the downward curve of the pebbled road, a smile spread across her face.

Not too far away stood a bright green city. It sparkled under the sun majestically, and the glory of it sent shivers down her spine. Emerald City would soon be hers and she could not be more excited.

As they began heading towards the city, one of her guards boldly asked, “What is the plan, your highness?”

“You’ll see,” she simply replied with a mischievous grin on her face.

When they finally reached the tall glass doors of Emerald City, the uniformed soldiers standing guard quickly came up to her. They were friendly looking, but doubtful at the same time. Surprisingly she did not snap at them, as how she usually did back home, but with a smile she said, “I’m a queen from a neighbouring realm, and I’m here to make peace with Oz.”

The soldiers nodded their heads but eyed the muttbits closely. As one soldier disappeared behind a smaller door, another said, “We are pleased to have you, your highness. We will inform Queen Ozma of your visit.”

When the soldier made no move to let her in, she asked in a falsely sweet tone, “Can I not enter your great city?”

“Oh, of course you can. We are just not too sure about your…” he trailed off, uncertain on what to call them.

“They are harmless. They just have trust issues, that’s all,” she replied, not at all hoping to make a point.

The soldier nodded his head, but he still refused to let her in. So, she had no choice but to wait. Finally, when the awkward silence was too agitating, the tall glass doors opened from the inside.

As though being kept in, the sound of a lively crowd flushed out. And along with it were Queen Ozma, an older woman, and a group of soldiers. If it weren’t for the shiny crown on the girl’s head, she would have thought the older woman was the queen.

“Your highness,” Queen Ozma greeted.

“Your highness,” she replied with a slight nod.

“I hear you have come a long way from your realm, just to make peace with Oz. I am very honoured to make your acquaintance,” Queen Ozma said. Her simple green and gold dress matched her city almost perfectly.

“The honour is all mine. All I want is the best for both of our realms,” she said.

But even though the young queen was convinced, the older woman wasn’t. The older woman looked much older than her, and the white dress she wore was not a show of innocence. She also had a diamond necklace around her neck that glowed light green. 

“This is Glinda, my most trusted advisor and a powerful witch,” Queen Ozma said when she saw her looking at Glinda.

She nodded at the introduction and patiently waited to be welcomed in. It did not take long as Queen Ozma soon offered an entrance along with an irresistible offer. 

“Why don’t you join me for tea, and we can discuss our treaty. I’m sure you would love our tea time snacks!”

“I would love to,” she gave a simple reply and followed after Queen Ozma.

The journey to the palace was not far, but it cut through a big market area. When the people saw their queen, they immediately made way and went on their knees. They also shouted praises and wishes to their queen. She was sure she could get used to such treatment.

Upon reaching the golden palace gates, Glinda whispered an advice to Queen Ozma. If only Glinda knew she had a powerful sense of hearing, she would not have bothered whispering.

“Your highness, those creatures do not look too friendly. Why not provide them a room to wait while you talk to their queen?”

“Surely you don’t expect me to enjoy tea without protection?” she replied almost immediately. Since she saw Glinda, she never liked her. 

“Of course not,” Queen Ozma quickly replied.

“I understand your worries, but at least let me take one of my pets with me. The rest can wait.”

“Oh, sure. Please do so,” Queen Ozma said, while Glinda whispered her objections. 

While the two bickered softly, she turned to her biggest muttbit and gave it a gentle pet on its head. Clearing her throat to stop the small argument, she snapped her finger and her chosen muttbit stepped in closer to her.

“What an adorable little creature,” Queen Ozma attempted a praise.

“He sure is,” she replied.

There was still a protest from Glinda, but she stopped the moment Queen Ozma took the lead to the royal garden. She hid a little smile as it thrilled her to know the old witch found her threatening. That itself was the first sign of victory.

The royal garden was filled with colourful flowers and shady trees. There was a little pond, with dragonflies zooming across the glistening waters. At the centre of the garden stood around table filled with plates of sweet looking snacks.They were neatly arranged around a glass-looking teapot that stood on an elevated platform.

“Please, sit,” Queen Ozma said as she took hers.

Glinda stood a few feet away, but she kept her muttbit close to her. It sat between the young queen and herself, and the uneasiness of the situation showed on Glinda’s face. Queen Ozma did not have a slightest clue of how badly things could go, and that was the second sign of victory.

“I’m so sorry, but I do believe I have not gotten your name,” Queen Ozma said as a servant filled their cups with tea.

“My people call me Queen,” she said, not interested in revealing her true identity.

“Oh, that’s interesting. So, Queen, which realm are you from?”

“I am so glad you asked,” she paused, taking her time to articulate her next words, “I’m from Oz.”

“Oz? Is there another realm called Oz?” Queen Ozma asked, turning her question to Glinda.

“Oh no, there’s only one. And I intend to be its new queen.”

Next Chapter: chapter 3