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a real magic

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"Mendanbar, I don't mean to interrupt, but the forest does know I'm only a member of the royal family by marriage, and therefore unable to handle big problems by waving my hands and wishing very hard, right?"

Mendanbar glanced briefly up from the accounts he was reviewing (under orders from Cimorene, which he had protested mostly for show; he was perfectly well aware they were important, and anyway reviewing accounts someone else had drawn up was much less frustrating than trying to create them himself), smiled, returned to his papers... and then looked back properly at the train of princesses, knights, talking animals, and various other complications that had somehow found his wife on what was meant to be a short walk to see the spiral dance of levitating boulders that an artistically inclined witch had spelled into place two hundred years ago, and had then followed her back to the castle (incidentally tramping mud all through the corridors; Willin was going to pitch a fit).

"I think the forest may be throwing problems at you because it knows you have the common sense to solve them instead of waving your hands and wishing them away," Mendanbar said, wryly, as he rose to help sort out the inevitable chaos, "but I'll have a word with the sword tomorrow and we'll see if that helps."