First of all, I would like to apologize for how long this took. It took so long for various different reasons, and there's no real excuse I can give that would be satisfactory. Again, I;m sorry for how long this took. I promise will be trying to do better from here on out.
Solaria sat in the war room, going over the war tactics for their next attacks. And honestly, she's quite bored with it. These meetings have become dull, ever since the war came to a stalemate. None of their plans for pushing back the monster hoard seems to have worked out, yet everyone he pats themselves on the back for every plan they come up with.
As frustrating as it is, there isn't much they can do. The monsters seem to always be ready for them, no matter what they throw at them. It's almost as if they have a spy amongst them. But that would be impossible! The castle so heavily guarded, a simple monster could never sneak in. Not to mention, everyone in this room is loyal to the Queen. And, even though Eclipsa is against the war, she is not a traitor to her country or people.
As she tuned out the sounds of her comrades spouting out unwarranted cheers, she heard something else. Unnoticed by the others, she got out of her chair, and walked to the window, where the noise is coming from.
She smiled, as she saw the source. That being, her daughter Eclipsa, training with her new teacher, Marco. She's happy to see Eclipsa is actually enjoying herself. Even more so that she's taking these lessons seriously. She was afraid she would just run the boy ragged.
The boy himself has really grown on her as well. He's a very interesting person. Strong, kind, intelligent, and somewhat mysterious. But he has shown himself to be nothing but dependable. Not to mention, he's been a good friend to her daughter.
"Um, your majesty, what do you think of the plan?"
The voice of one of her generals caught her attention and snapped her out of her thoughts. She looked back, to see them all looking at her, waiting for a response. "Ah, um. Yes, very good. I think we can end the meeting for today. I have matters to attend to."
She left the room, not giving any of her general time to say anything else. While it was mainly an excuse to get away from that stuffy room. But, in truth, she did have other important work to be done. And right now, she needs to speak with her daughter.
She made a b line for the training grounds, making sure she avoids speaking to anyone. Soon enough, she reached her destination, and made her way to Marco and Eclipsa. The two of them were still training, having not yet noticed the Queen.
The two kept on training, with Marco holding a large cushion of sorts, and Eclipsa kicking it lightly. While it was clear she had improved, it was also clear she had a long way to go. Especially since she just tripped over her feet, and fell to the ground. It was when she looked up from the ground did she notice her mother standing there.
"Oh! Mother!... You… didn't see that, did you?" She asked, a bit sheepish.
Her mother smirked. "See what? You going arse over tits, or when ye landed on yer bahookey?"
Eclipsa gave an embarrassed and sheepish smile, as her mother helped her up. Marco put down the cushion and greeted the Queen. "Hello, Your Majesty. Here to watch Eclipsa's training?"
"No, as much as I would love to, I have more work to be done for tonight." She replied.
"Oh? Is there something important happening tonight?" Marco asked.
Eclipsa reacted first. "Oh, that's right. The banquet is tonight, isn't it?"
"Banquet?" Marco asked.
"Ah, I must have forgotten to tell ye about it. Well, ye see, we'll be having a banquet to celebrate all we have accomplished, and to strengthen the bond we have with our allies!" Solaria said, with some excitement in her voice.
Eclipsa leaned over to Marco. "She just wants an excuse to get drunk."
Solaria took slight offense to this. "And what's wrong with having a bevy?"
Eclipsa looked at her mother with a raised eyebrow. "Mother, do you remember what happened last year? You caused such a grand shortage of drink, brewers had to to brew paper, just to keep people from rioting."
Solaria just looked away and coughed, pretending to not have heard her daughter. "Well, as it were, I want ye to be on yer best behavior, Eclipsa."
"No need to concern yourself, Mother. Of course I will!"
"Yes, that's what concerns me."
She turned her attention back to Marco. "Anyways. I'd like for ye to join us, Marco. From what ye've told me of ye're last party, you must be a real kicker at 'em!"
Marco smiled a bit sheepishly at this. "No, not really. Back on Earth, I wasn't really a popular kid, so I wasn't invited to parties all that often. My last party was just an exception."
Silence befell them when he finished. The Queen and Princess staring at him, the expression on their faces an unreadable mixture of shock and confusion.
"Um… Did I say something wrong?"
Eclipsa was the one to reply. "You're from Earth?... You're human?"
At the sound of glass breaking at the realization of what he's done, Marco's only that was, 'Oh shit.'
"Uh… Is that a problem?" He can only pray that it isn't and that they can just carry on.
"Nay, tis nae problem. But it does beg the question, how did a human from Earth, where there is no magic, get here to Mewni." The Queen asked. Her voice made it obvious she was a little suspicious.
Marco mentally kicked himself. He got too careless with his words, and now he's in a jam. He needs to disperse that suspicion. And he knows she's going to want a satisfactory answer.
"Well, I can tell you, if you want. But it's… not my best memory." The two kept silent. Eclipsa was looking at him anxiously, while Solaria looked at him intently. Marco sighed, and hoped that this would put an end to this situation.
"The Yalgu Syndicate. They popped in on Earth, and took a large number of kids from all over the planet and selling them into slavery. I was one of those unfortunate kids. Their operation was scattered, so nobody thought that the disappearances were connected. I spent a few years of my childhood being sold and passed around. Until I earned my freedom in a violent revolt."
Marco looked at them again. Both had shocked expressions. Eclipsa's was full of concern, while Solaria's had a hint of regret. Marco took a deep breath and started picking up the training equipment.
"Eclipsa, I think we're done for today. I'll just put these away. You go on and get ready for the party." He walked away quickly, heading back to the tent, not noticing Eclipsa reaching her hand out for him.
As Marco walked off, the two Royal Mewmans also decided to leave. Eclipsa smacked her mother in her shoulder harshly. "Must you be so hostile to every non Mewman being we meet?!" She said in a low voice, so that Marco doesn't hear.
"I wasn't trying to be hostile, I was just curious!" The Queen defended.
The two walked away, Marco hearing them argue as they left. Once they were gone, he leaned against the table, placing his hand to his forehead. Marco's glad he was able to lie his way out, but as always, the best lies… contain truth.
The memories of another time swept through his mid. Memories of the syndicate, the chains, the harsh punishment, the pain and suffering he witnessed. His times as a slave were grueling times. It was the memory he hated the most during his quest, and the one that hurt him the most.
Marco sniffled as he wiped away the few tears that came out. He needed to put those memories away and pull himself together. He took a few deep breaths, and calmed himself down. He has a few things he needs to do, and it's best not to have tears when he does.
Marco opened his eyes, and looked around. 'Nobody here. Good.' He left the tent and made his way to the smithery. The forge there is a rather large one. On most days, there are at least 20 people working at a time, building weapons, armor, and shields. There were over a dozen anvils and tools lined the walls, pillars and work tables. Today is to be a day off for most, so there's probably still some people in there.
Inside the smithery, he saw a few apprentices were working away. Off to the side, the head smith was off to the side, taking inventory.
"Mr. Kay? Are you busy?" He called out to the older, bearded man.
The smith, Mr Kay, turned to see Marco. "Ah, Mr. Diaz. Here for your request, I suppose?"
"Yep. Is it ready?"
"Indeed. I have it in that box right there." He said, gesturing to the box on the table next the door.
Marco walked over and opened the box, looking at its contents. They were just what he ordered.
"They were tricky to make, but they should be to your liking. But, I'm not certain what you could do with them. They look like clubs, but built backwards." Mr. Kay inquired.
Marco picked one up one of the box's contents, and examined it. He got a feel for it in his hands. It was perfect. "This is just perfect, Mr. Kay. I'm sure this should cover the expenses, and leave some more on the side." He reached into his pocket, and tossed a coin to the older man.
Mr. Kay it, his eyes going wide at the coin. It was a 30 piece gold coin. "The Queen pays you well."
"Well, yes, but I had some money on me when I first arrived. Thank you for this, Mr kay."
The older man chuckled, as he put the coin away. "Just call me Wilson, Marco."
Marco smiled at the friendliness. "Alright, Wilson. Now, I'll have to go now. I've a party to attend." He picked up the box, and left, waving goodbye to Wilson.
Many hours have passed and the day turned into night time. As the common citizens of Mewni went to bed, the Royal Castle was a hustle and bustle with life, as nobles and royals from all around Mewni had flooded in. And this made Eclipsa very anxious.
The Mewman Princess looked around, nervously at all the people in the courtyard. Being surrounded by this many people isn't what made her nervous. Part of being a princess meant she is often exposed to such crowds, so she had to get used to them quickly. No, she was nervous for another reason.
"Eclipsa, are you alright?" She heard a voice call out to her.
She turned around to look over her shoulder to find Marco standing behind her. He was dressed once more in a red surcoat, but this one had a golden butterfly on the front, and seemed to be made of a higher quality material. He had his new sword on his left hip.
"Oh, good evening, Marco. Yes, I'm alright." She replied, letting out a short sigh.
Marco walked up to her and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Are you sure? You seem… stressed." His voice had some concern.
Eclipsa sighed, as there was no real reason to try and hide anything. "I'm not… the most comfortable at formal parties."
"You don't like parties?" Marco asked.
"Oh, no, I love parties. It's just… I never really fit in with these people. Look at them." She gestured towards all the party goers.
"They view themselves as the Universe's greatest gift. They're all here to celebrate the slaughtering of innocent monsters. Here to reap the rewards of sending peasants to die in war. A war I'm completely against." Her voice had a tinge of anger in it as she spoke, and her expression showed it.
After a moment of scowling at the crowd, her face morphed into one of sadness. "I… never fit in with any of them. Or anyone, for that matter. I was always alone in the crowd. A Princess that doesn't hate monsters? Ridiculous. A Queen that doesn't want war with them? A person with an affinity to Dark Magic? She must be wicked."
Eclipsa sighed, and her face became more downcast. "I'm just the black sheep of the royal family. Even mother thinks so, even though she never said it out loud."
After a moment of silence, Eclipsa felt Marco place a hand on her shoulder. She looked to her right, and Marco was looking at her with a comforting smile. "Well, you're not going to be alone tonight. Forget what those stuck up nobles think. You fit in with me."
The kindness in Marco's voice cheered Eclipsa up almost instantly. She smiled back at him and reached up to the hand he has on her shoulder. "Thank you Marco. Perhaps this night might not be so bad after all."
"Oh, Eclipsa! There you are!"
As soon as that voice called out, Eclipsa's face morphed into what can only be described as a mix of disgust, annoyance, and the sound of glass breaking. "Oh sweet Stump, why?"
The two teens turned to see where the voice was coming from. Eclipsa had a face of pained disgust while Marco had one of confusion. What could possibly make the future Queen of Darkness so uncomfortable?
They looked over and saw four noble boys walking their ways. Each of them has an air of arrogance and snootiness about them. But the worst of them was the one that was clearly the leader of the group. A rather short and porky boy. He has a mole on the left side of his mouth, though it does look fake. His hair is a powdered white, and pretty huge. His clothing is a baby blue color, consisting of a jacket, puffy shorts, white boots, and covered in jewels. His face was also powdered, covering his cheekmarks and what appears to be a fake mole.
When the group reached the duo, the smaller one walked up to Eclipsa and pushed Marco aside. While this annoyed Marco, he was even more annoyed by the amused looks the other boys had one their faces.
"Hello, Eclipsa darling! It's so wonderful to see you again!" He said with an annoying, high pitched, overly posh voice.
Eclipsa took a small step away from him, not that she noticed. "Hello… you. Your presence tonight is very… admissible."
"Why thank you my sweet!"
From this short interaction, Marco can tell that Eclipsa really did not like this guy (and he is inclined to agree). And the frilly midget either doesn't notice or cares.
The short porkish boy continued to speak. "I couldn't help but notice that you were all alone again, so I thought that I'd come to keep you company! Wasn't that nice of me?"
By this point Eclipsa has had enough of the boy. She wants nothing more than to leave him and possibly go throw up somewhere. But something about what he said made a light bulb go off in her head. An idea formed in her head as a small smile formed on her face, and Marco was certain he saw her eyes glow for a brief moment.
"Alone? Why, whatever do you mean? I'm here with a friend!" Eclipsa's voice did almost a 180. Her voice was almost sing-song, and far cheerier than it was before, and if not a bit patronizing.
The boy's face became one of surprise, with that of his posse following suit.
"O-oh? You have a friend with you? How… lovely." His annoying voice sounded strained now, as if he was forcing himself from exploding. "And where is this f-friend of yours?"
Eclipsa stepped to the side and stood beside Marco, placing a hand on his shoulder as she continued to smile.
"Why, He's right here! Meet my friend and teacher, Marco Diaz! Marco, meet my, urk… fiancé… Prince Sharastacan Spiderbite."
And at that name, things started to make sense. Marco remembers Hekapoo mentioning him when she told him the story of Eclipsa, and how she enjoyed his death. And he's starting to see why.
The group of noble boys stared at Marco, their faces showing no real expressions. They seem to just be looking him up and down judging him. But after a moment, the four young nobles bursted out laughing, the small one falling over.
"Eclipsa, I know you have odd tastes, but you can't be friends with a commoner! They are actually beneath you!" The sounds of their snooty laughter, really digging into Marco's skin, and making his ear bleed.
Marco has had enough of this pompous prick. "It's better than being engaged to snobby midget in frilly, overcompensating pants."
A round of gasps came from the boys, their faces showing shock and disgust.
"Pants?! Such FOUL language! And in the presence of a lady! Fear not, my dear! I shall defend your weak woman constitution!" Shastacan got to his feet, and stood in a poor excuse of a fighting stance. To Eclipsa, this was pathetic on many levels, especially since she herself started to learn how to fight.
She needed to stop the poor fool now, and hopefully get away from him.
"Shastacan, please stop, there's not need-"
"Eclipsa, let me handle this." Marco interrupted her. Marco stood before the diminutive prince and cleared his throat.
And with that, Shastacan fell over backwards and fainted. The other three boys went over to help their fallen had giggled, both at Shastacan's misfortune and Marco's choice of words.
This did not sit well with the snobby boys, who glared at the princess as they picked up Shastacan.
"Evil Princess laughing at others' pain. Her heart is as black as her magic!"
"A dirty peasant for an evil princess. How fitting."
"More fitting than someone like her is to be Queen."
Now this Marco would not take lying down. It was one thing to insult him, but another to insult his friends. He stomped his foot towards them, and placed his hand on his sword's handle. This was enough to scare the boys away, carrying the comatose prince.
Marco stared them down as they ran off, but took a deep breath to calm his nerves. He is more concerned about Eclipsa right now, and what those boys had said about her. "Eclipsa, are you-"
He turned to look at her, and was cut off by Eclipsa bursting into laughter. Marco was taken aback a bit by this reaction, but was glad that she is generally alright.
Eclipsa is unable to hold back her laughter, causing her to lean against Marco for support. Marco held her, making sure she didn't fall, but soon succumbed to her infectious laughter.
The two laughed for a minute longer, eventually stopping to catch their breath. Eclipsa stood back up on her feet, and stopped her fit of laughter, but the smile on her face never left.
"That has been the most fun I have ever had at any of these parties. You should stick by me the next time that sad excuse of a royal comes to visit."
"Oh don't worry. So long as I'm here, I won't let that rascal do anything to you. Whether he is your betrothed or not, I'll make sure he'll regret it."
Eclipsa was extremely thankful she had Marco right now. She interlocked her arm around his and started walking with him. "Come, Marco. Let us enjoy the feast before mother eats it all… again."
Marco smiled, and spoke with an unflattering imitation of the Fool Prince from earlier. "Well ofCOURSE darling, I would enjoy nothing more!"
The two threw their heads back laughing, enjoying the company of a good friend.
The hours have passed by quickly for the two, as they enjoyed each other's company. They had spent the night talking and playing games, as well as making fun of the snobby nobles behind their back. Queen Solaria was overjoyed to see her daughter have fun and smiling.
And like all good things, the banquet has to come to an end. A bit sooner than anyone had anticipated, but that's only because Solaria had eaten most of the food in her good spirit. As the guests leave the castle grounds, our duo make their way into the castle. Mainly carrying the drunk sleeping Queen to her room, but also because they themselves needed sleep.
Marco had left Eclipsa at her room, and the two wished each other good night. Marco walked into the direction of his room, but he had no intentions of heading there. He walked silently down the halls, making sure he didn't catch the attention of any of the guards patrolling.
After a few minutes, he had found his destination. The Royal Library. A treasure trove of books and knowledge only few are privileged to see. But more importantly for Marco, it is also an archive for magic books, both legal and illegal. And hopefully, his ticket back home.
Marco quietly went through the doors. He found himself surrounded by dozens of rows of bookshelves, brimming with, well, books.
"Now, where should I start?"He asked nobody in particular.
"If I were you, I'd start by aisle 15. There's some books on clockwork there." Replied the nobody.
Marco froze where he is. He wasn't expecting for there to be anyone here. What's worse, he recognised that voice. He turned around to see the small blue figure floating behind him.
"Hello, boy. It's good to see you again." Glossaryck said, a knowing smile on his face. "Or Perhaps I should say, It's going to be nice to see you again."
"Hello, Glossaryck. I was actually wondering if I'd run into you." Marco said, now a bit calmer but still on his guard.
"I think everyone was wondering that. And to be honest, I wasn't expecting to bump into you so soon. I was expecting this to be the timeline with Celena or Moon."
"Wait, what?" Marco was confused by this statement.
"Oh nothing. So, what are you doing this late at night? Our for a midnight stroll?" His voice had slight taunting in it.
Marco sighed, not really wanting to play his games. "You know why I'm here. I need to get back to my own time."
"Oh? Right after you had just promised to always protect Eclipsa from her idiot husband-to-be?"
Marco was silent for a moment. "I wasn't lying, if that's what you're implying. I said I'd protect so long as I'm here. But I shouldn't be here."
"I see. So why not stay?" He said in his annoying mysterious voice.
Marco let out a groan. "Maybe it's because time travel is illegal? Maybe it's because I want to be with my friends and family? Or maybe it's because I have probably caused irreparable damage to the timestream already?" It was clear in his voice
"All good reasons to stay!" The blue man said, with a somewhat cheery voice.
Once more the human boy groaned and threw his arms up in the air in frustration. "Can you just leave me alone? I have a lot of work to do."
"Alright, alright. No need to get angry." Glossaryck said with his arms raised in defense. "I'm just trying to give you some helpful advice."
And with that, he flew out of the room, leaving Marco alone.
Marco sighed, and got back to what he was doing before. But the words Glossaryck bounced in his head as he went through the books.
He wasn't trying to hurt Eclipsa. It's just that he can't be here. He'll apologize when he gets back and everything will be back to normal, right?