“First of all,” Alister began after he’d finished eating, “I wanted to share the news about the adoption and officially welcome the Kentauros to the family.” He glanced in my direction before continuing. ”Secondly, I have some things to discuss with Mkali about a mission we have for her while she’s away at school.”
“What do you want her to do?” Mom asked. “We thought she’d just be a student this year.”
“Will this be something dangerous?” Dad asked, concern in his voice.
“Perhaps I can answer?” Aileene asked and after Alister nodded, she began. “We only want Mkali to do what she would naturally do and watch out for the other students who are going with her. Since Mkali and her classmates were born on Earth rather than Theria we’re concerned they might face some challenges from the students who were born here. We’ve heard rumblings that there is a faction of the population who have started propagating a ‘Theria for Therians’ credo and the movement seems to be centered in the Duchy of Nirumbee.”
“And the school Mkali and the others are going to just happens to be located near the capital of Nirumbee,” Dad grimaced, as the realization settled in.
“I’m still struggling with the geography of Theria but I think I’ve got it. If the school was on Earth, it would be located in the State of Montana, right?” Shelley asked.
“Yep,” Bernie replied. “It’s actually in the corner where Montana, Wyoming and Idaho touch.”
“Got it,” Shelley nodded and popped another pastry in his mouth.
“Anyway—Askari, you’re correct. Since Mkali and the other children born on Earth need to start school, I decided to send them to the Shapeshifter Academy in Nirumbee. Eventually we’ll re-open the campus near the palace, but this seems like the perfect opportunity to investigate without causing too many problems.”
“Do you think the children will be in danger?” Mom asked, echoing Dad’s earlier question.
“I really believe Mkali will be in less danger than she’s been in during our recent excursions to Earth and across Theria,” Alister laughed.
“When you put it that way, I suppose I’m worrying about nothing,” Mom smiled.
“What exactly do you want me to do, Sire?” I asked, emphasizing his title since I was a little annoyed they were talking about me as if I weren’t there.
Alister looked at me for a moment before he inclined his head acknowledging my frustration. “I suppose if I adopt you as my sister, I shouldn’t get irritated with you when you call me on my stuff. I apologize, Mkali, for treating you as a child rather than as the warrior you are.”
“To be fair, I’m only ten,” I giggled, “and since you’re the King I am supposed to do what you order me to. But back to my original question, what do you want me to do?” I leaned forward in my chair, excited to hear what he had in mind.