With peace reigning, the queen decided that a celebration was needed. The household celebrated the season, with a gathering of friends to come.
They gathered round for a meal and discussed events.
Then Nikko drew Jarl aside to begin the gift-giving.
Nikko first presented the queen with a gift.
It was a ball and sceptre.
Next was Nikko’s gift to Jarl.
It was a banner for his chamber. Jarl loved it.
Nikko then gave the princess Arabella a gift: a tapestry loom.
Lastly, Nikko presented Sir Maynard with a gift: a new sword to add to the collection.
It was Jarl’s turn and he gave his father some quills.
He knew his mother loved flowers, so showed her the ones that had been planted for her.
Then to his wife he gave a jewellery box.
Then Jarl turned to Sir Maynard…
Sir Maynard was touched. He thought the prince had not warmed to him. It was a dagger, which Maynard was delighted with.
Friends and family arrived the next day to celebrate.
Til and Arya hadn’t been to the castle together for some time. They remembered the time Til courted Arya, chasing her across the field. A new wing of the castle has been built since then.
Nikko came out to greet his old friend.
Yohn came over from university and the queen was delighted to talk to him. Arya hopes the queen notices she is there.
It had been a long time.
The brothers compare notes.
Nikko wonders where Til disappeared to, while Bard’s wife lusts after the prince consort.
Bard had stayed home with baby Roland. Finally Til turned up and they relived old times.
When it came time to leave they farewelled at the castle gates.
Arya still had a thing for Nikko.
Finally everyone was gone.
Valenzuela and Nikko had also celebrated their wedding anniversary.