I don’t have much to say much about the residence of the rat monarch. It wasn’t unremarkable or anything, quite the opposite in fact, but there are a few things that prevent me from saying much about it: Firstly, a commoner like me wouldn’t do the architecture justice and my descriptions of the varying parts of the building would consist of: a sharp pointy thingie, a big dome thingie, and all that made out of some white stoney thingie. Secondly, I don’t know if you realize, but I was sort of utterly anxious and was succumbing to the feeling of overwhelming dread, because I knew that things wouldn’t work out and I wasn’t really paying much attention to it. And thirdly and most importantly, It’s boring. So me and Squeakly go to this big fancy building, we are allowed in by some fancy armoured rat guard, we go through a fancy hallway and finally we reach a very, very fancy throne room. In this room was a handful of fancily clad servants and fancy men of importance, this all bunch was circling and paying all their attention to the big giant rat with a fancy sharp red and gold hat sitting on the throne, but apart from the garments everything on that creature was anything but fancy. No wonder this thing was willing to execute people to find a cure. It was covered in blisters, cysts, wounds filled with pus instead of blood. No matter how fancy that throne room was, just because of this creature it reeked of plague, of decay, of death, Well not exactly just because of him, there was also a ball on a chain laying next to the monarch. It was something between a flail and an incense holder and it was exhaling weird green fume . A moment after we entered, all the ratty heads turned towards us, and then a sickly, weak, high-pitched whisper started echoing throughout the room: “My doctor! My sweet little doctor. I knew I could count on you. Surely you return with good news.” The Ratxellence tried to continue, but a violent coughing fit surged through his body, he was coughing out very dark green blood, black almost, and all his servants and advisors swiftly backed away from him, retreating as far from the monarch as possible. The fit lasted for a while it was happening we slowly approached the throne. We however followed the example of the caretakers and still kept our distance, for we didn’t want to succumb to the blight the ruler was suffering from. His fit ended and he looked at Squeakly with a look of utmost urgency “Hurry up you fool, can’t you see that I’m dying. I will throw you into the dungeons if you let my torture continue without doing anything.” This “Ratxellence wasn’t very grateful. We were putting our necks on the block and he threatens to throw us in jail. If he was like this before, I had the urge to not give him the cure, as this was perhaps a deserved punishment. However I knew that Squeakly’s life depended on this. Since I was in the presence of royalty I conjured my most noble posture and expression and started to address the Ratxellence: Thy most esteemed and holy Ratxellence, we humbly bring forth to you the Cure thou hast desired, so that youth and health shall be thine again. We humbly accept any reward that was promised for bringing this task to fruition” Squeakly and the ruler looked equally as confused about my speech, and the Ratxellence asked a question targeted at Squeakly: “Who is this strange furless hideous creature you travel with doctor? Surely you can afford better company.” I was pissed; he was looking like he crawled out of the stomach of a troll that someone killed, then raised from the dead and then killed again, and he was calling me hideous, I will show him hide… “She is from a far away realm and she was essential in finding the cure for you, it wouldn’t be possible without her. I forfeit any claim I have on reward in her favour. She is the one who deserves praise and riches.” That sneaky rat nearly got me to tears with that statement, that sly fox. It was this display of gratitude, of friendship that confirmed to me that I made the right decision. “We shall discuss your reward later. Give me the Cure! NOW!” the Ratxellende yelled. Squeakly calmly nodded and approached the ruler with our miraculous cure. “Here it is Ratxellence, may you live forever” The Ratxellence quickly snatched the Cheesy Cure from Squeakly’s hands and stuffed it all into his mouth “I want to be young forever” he said as he was ecstatically chewing on the cheese. Then his body began shifting. Blood vanished from his eyes, his blisters and wounds healed, his skin was getting fresher and more pristine. He was looking like a giant burly rat in his best condition and he was visibly happy about it. “Yes, Yes, How good it is to be young again…But wait, what is happening!? this shouldn’t be happening!” You see, the process didn’t stop at that point, he was still getting younger and younger. “Oh…” I exclaimed. “So that’s the catch, Oh Gardener you cheeky bastard.” That were the words that were going through my mind and the Ratxellence before me was going backwards through his puberty. And then after just a moment we were facing a giant 8 feet tall rat baby where the ruler used to be. Still dressed in his garments. The guards, servants and advisors were looking at us with fear, shock, anger and hate in their eyes. And to top it all, the giant baby picked up the flail next to it and looked at us with a playful smile. It would probably be cute under normal circumstances, but at this moment it terrified me more than the bloody Gardener.