The begining of the 5th chapter
When Rhoda woke up the next day she hummed the words of the song that accompanied her in her dreams the night before, without noticing she was doing it until Mee told her “I am very glad that your majesty has a good mood today.”
“How do you know what kind of mood I have?”
“Well, you are singing, your majesty.” said Mee “you have never sung before.”
“Really? I didn’t even notice that I was singing.” admitted Rhoda.
“And it was a very lovely song, your majesty.” went on Mee “I have never heard it before.”
Rhoda tried to remember what was it that she sang. But the moment she tried to sing it consciously, she forgot all the words and most of the melody. “It’s a pity” she said “now I don’t know what it was that I sang, but I am quite sure it is something I dreamt at night, because I had a dream in which someone sang to me…” Her voice faded away, and she became silent.
“What will your majesty want to do today.” asked Mee, as if she had no curiosity about Rhoda’s dream.
“First thing I want is a good breakfast! I am starved.” said Rhoda, who suddenly felt as if she hadn’t eaten in ages.
“As you wish, your majesty.” said Mee while she was handing her the clothes she brought her for the day. “What will your majesty want to eat?”
“Today I want sesame cookies with hot milk and honey.” answered Rhoda without much thought, and suddenly realized that, for many years, this was the exact way she opened each and every day of her life – with sesame cookies, hot milk with honey and… She had a feeling as if she was standing at a room’s door, trying to see someone inside, but she can’t see them from where she is standing, and she cannot go into the room.
Frustrated, she turned to Mee and urged her to take her to the dining room.
When she reached the dining room, she felt that today she wanted to do something fun, and not to have to deal with serious things.
“Prepare my pink elephant, food for two days, a tent I can sleep in, and every other thing you think we may need, for a two days trip. And I want you to come with me so I will not get lost on the way, and also I will have someone to talk with.” she told Mee, who curtsied and left the room to arrange the things she was told.
When Rhoda went outside she saw that on the pink elephant there was a big canopy and inside it a few crates with different things they might need during their tour. Rhoda climbed up and sat on a couch under the canopy with Mee on a chair near her. The day was bright from the summer sun, without a cloud in the sky, and Rhoda was glad the canopy protected her from the strong rays of the sun.
“In what direction is the mountain palace?” she asked Mee, while looking around her.
In three of the four directions she saw in the distance something that looked like low hills, she didn’t see mountains anywhere.
“Your mountain palace is in the south.” said Mee absent mindedly.
“Which way is south?” asked Rhoda and turned her head to look.
Mee pointed in a certain direction and Rhoda looked, but couldn’t see anything looking like mountains there. “How far is it from here?” She asked
“About three weeks on camel back, or two days journey if one of us carries you on his back, your majesty.”
“One of you?”
“Demons.” answered Mee concisely.
“How did I come here yesterday?”
“Three weeks ago, your majesty, you asked to eat the anesthetic herb again and that we will bring you to this place here, at last!” said Mee. It was clear that she couldn’t mind less about telling Rhoda whatever she liked to know, provided she asked about it. It was clear, on the other hand, she will not tell her anything voluntarily.
“What do you mean – again? And what is this anesthetic herb you mentioned?”
“From the day I pulled you out of the ocean, all you were willing to do was sleep, and ‘not see anyone’, your majesty.” said Mee simply “That is why every time you woke up and said you don’t want to wake up, we gave you food that contained this anesthetic herb and you went on sleeping after you ate them. Its affects lasts for quite a long time. You slept all the way here, and when you were supposed to wake up, we put you gently on the ground, because every time you woke, you said that you want to be under the hot sun on the grass.”
“But the palace wasn’t here when I woke up, how was it formed so quickly?”
“We, the demons, have all kinds of powers and abilities that a human being doesn’t have, your majesty.” said Mee with a speck of pride “The palace was ready, but it wasn’t here, so when you asked for it, we just moved it to its place, as is.”
“What is there? On this side?” asked Rhoda and pointed at the only direction that did not contain hills in the distance.
“There – it’s the sea, your majesty.” said Mee
“Good!” said Rhoda with sudden enthusiasm “I want to get there.”