Ch. 49.5 – Zelda Mary, troll princess of Saltonia and Nelsonia, watched the battle from the tower window of Eli’s room. As the battle progressed, she kept Eli updated, gloating over the trolls’ easy victory.
Eli lay on the bed under the blanket, pretending to be drugged, and waited for the signal. The gingerbread and Miracle Mix had restored his strength, and he could barely force himself to lie still or to not react to Zelda’s comments.
“You humans are so pathetic. Even with all five kingdoms represented, you are few in numbers and strength compared to the glorious trolls. Even with the traitorous Fey helping you, you are nothing.”
Then she began to curse. “I don’t believe it. How could your brothers still be alive? And they’ve been enlarged. Who is still alive that could do that kind of spell?”
Eli’s heart leaped.
She clutched the window sill and screeched. “Where did they come from? How did they get past the barrier?”
Eli struggled to stay calm. “Who is it?”
“Giants, bandersnatches, and werewolves — all working together. Impossible.”
The shouting, screaming, groaning, and clashing of swords seemed to be getting louder. In fact, the noise seemed to be coming from inside the castle now. Eli’s fingers curled around his sword hilt. No, not yet.
“What?” she shrieked. “The wizard is alive? But how? I killed them all.”
Zelda kept up a steady commentary as wave after wave of monsters from Wonderland attacked the troll and fey troops. The ground crumbled beneath the trolls, sending them tumbling into deep pits made by the slithy toves. Even the “puny humans” seemed to be killing more trolls than normal.
“How could this happen? No, I won’t let it. I need to get down there.”
She turned from the window and approached Prince Eli, her face cruel. “You disgusting creature. And to think that I’ve had to spend the last few days fawning over you. The king will just have to come up with a different plan.” Zelda drew her knife.
Eli was supposed to wait for the signal, but he had run out of time.