Everyone gathered together and then Olivier cast a gate. After they stepped through, rather than back at the Tower of Magic, they found themselves in front of one of Guy's Ito Conglomerate restaurants. Olivier looked at them and explained, "Sorry, but I can read the mood with all of you, everyone needs a drink after that. I knew who my brother married, I should have warned you all. Doreen, I knew it would be hardest on you, you handled yourself far better than I could have imagined."
Doreen nodded as the tears started, "I can't forgive her, but for the Council, for you all, I just thought I should." Guy and Madeline each gave her a hug at the same time. Olivier joined in after that and soon it became everyone giving her a group hug.
Guy sighed and said, "Alright, I think Olivier had the right idea, let's go get some sake and edamame, it's on me."
It didn't take long before everyone was in a festive mood, the heavy mood from the luncheon turned into something genuine. Claude and Guy ended up getting competitive with the sake. Ella and Doreen ended up emulating them and getting into their own drinking duel. Madeline and Olivier sat off to the side and talked in a low tone. Madeline asked, "Eloise, or Cecil, or whoever she is, was a Black Knight. Were we drugged?"
Olivier gave his usual goofy smile and said, "Didn't you find it odd that everyone was in such a good mood sitting at the same table with a woman who killed their friends and family?"
Madeline shook her head and said, "It felt surreal like I was watching a dream. Then the sake is?"
Olivier smiled and said, "Strong alcohol is the cure. They'll be back to normal after they wake up tomorrow."
"Nothing is ever as it seems around the La Marche family. How did you all end up like that?" Madeline frowned.
Olivier sighed and then took a drink, "My father started to suspect that each of us was trying to kill him by the time I was ten years old. Anyone I talked to, anyone I smiled at, even if I just missed an answer on an exam, it was treated as a secret message to an assassin. I spent my entire life being vetted and scrutinized like that. At some point, you either become like that or rebel against it. I chose the latter."
Madeline looked down and said, "I was raised believing I would be the next Queen when your brother tossed me away, I thought I had lost something. Seeing how it is, I would never want that."
Olivier filled his glass and raised it up for a toast, "You and I both." They clicked their glasses together and then drained the shot.
Madeline looked over and cried out, "Doreen!" Guy's face was bright red and Doreen was leaning on him whispering in his ear. Madeline stomped over and said, "What did you say to him?"
Doreen giggled and then whispered in Madeline's ear. Madeline then made a shocked face and turned bright red herself. Claude laughed and then asked, "Doreen, come on, please tell us what you said?"
She wiggled her eyebrows and then walked over to Claude and asked, "Does Alicia ever... You know, put it in her mouth?"
Claude swallowed hard and then took another drink. Alicia laughed hysterically and swatted Doreen on the butt, "You are so bad. Poor Maddy looked like she was going to faint."
Doreen giggled and then said, "I was just suggesting things they could do together."
An hour later none of them could function enough to cast the gate spell so they hired a carriage to bring them back to the Academy.
First Mage Diggory was adjusting a lens on his auto painter when he started to smell a strange smell. He looked all around his secret room and still couldn't find a thing. The smell got stronger and stronger. He decided it might be a good idea to check it out when everything suddenly went black. The Council of Magic were all dead drunk aside from Madeline and Olivier who were just coherent enough to hire the coach to bring them back to the Academy. Just as they were approaching the school, the top of the Tower of Magic exploded. The shockwave blew out the windows all around them and caused the horses to go wild, the coachman was able to get them under control fairly quickly, but others were not so lucky.
All around the campus people who were hit by the debris walked around crying for help. Those closest to the explosion had the worst of it. Madeline and Olivier shook the others and pointed at the remains of the Tower. Doreen who was among the drunkest cried out, "That crazy bitch wants a war!"
Olivier curled his hand into a fist and said, "The First Mage was in there."
Guy slapped himself and then said, "Olivier, get us out of here. We aren't able to defend ourselves."
Madeline said to the coachman, "Take us to the main Ito Conglomerate building."
Olivier nodded and said, "Good idea, Madeline."
Doreen drunkenly started to curse and talk about the things she was going to do to that nasty Queen. Olivier sighed and thought to himself, 'How do we get out of this one? Do I have to kill my brother? Was it his order or is that woman really behind this? Or, could it have been someone else? There are too many questions to react blindly.'
Guy drunkenly commented, "Don't worry, Diggory is probably in the women's bathhouse installing an auto painter."
King Albert sat on his throne enjoying a drink of wine when the Tower of Magic explosion rocked the capital, he dropped the goblet in his hand looking out through the tall palace window as the great white tower crumbled to dust and then a massive shockwave hit. He looked around his throne and saw his Queen walk over chuckling, "Oh, don't worry my love, I just removed a thorn from our sides."
King Albert looked at the huge dust cloud that used to be the tower and then back at his wife, "What have you done?"
His Queen picked up his goblet and refilled it, "Drink your wine, my husband, let me deal with troubling things like those double-edged knives."
"I told you, I had someone placed close to them. By my order, they executed the plan you thought up my love." She chuckled sipping her own wine, "There is no one left to challenge us now. We can safely rebuild the Kingdom just the way you always wanted."
He grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her, "What have you done? Did you verify that they were dead if even one Mage survived then we are doomed, don't you understand?"
She laughed and then said, "You signed the order to have them killed on sight by the military this morning, my love, don't you read what you sign?"
"No, no, no, quickly, get my pen and paper, rescind that order, if we don't get in front of this we are all dead. They don't even need to be near us to have us killed!" King Albert genuinely started to panic, he pushed Cecil down and roared at her, "Did what little reason you have die with that servant, why would you do something so stupid!"
"He wasn't a servant, he was my husband and I loved him, how dare you desecrate his memory!" She shrieked.
"What did you say?" King Albert turned on her and yelled, "What did you say?"
"Norris was my husband, you cuckold King!" she laughed hysterically.
King Albert drew his sword and swung it at Cecil who dodged and threw a small dagger right between Albert's eyes. He stumbled backwards and fell dead against his throne.
Cecil cackled hysterically and then called out, "Black Knights, assemble for me."
"They can't." First Mage Diggory walked out from behind a pillar rubbing his finger in his ear, "It's a good thing my lab was behind that stone door. You can die for me by the way. Lightning Bolt." From the tip of his finger into Cecil's body the bolt of lightning coursed until she was left as a burnt smouldering corpse.
Diggory looked around and shook his head, "It looks like we'll have to let the little girl and her man have a turn at this." He brushed some of the debris off his body and then said, "It's shame about the auto painter though, I just about had the color right."