"Well, it's not like I would intentionally spy on you from the shadows or anything," Ossie says. "Even though I could. And might. But only if I hear you talking about me behind my back.">>709230
"Excellent. Perhaps I shall look you up after the Queens have been reestablished to their rightful thrones. I shall have need of a butler as qualified as you are, Jeeves.">>709229>>709230>>709233
The ushers and stage crew start to direct the audience through the various fire exits toward the outside, while the VIP guards and the butlers carefully escort the Crimson King, the Bee Queens, the Princess and the other aristocrats out through the throngs of audience members. Outside, there is another set of bleachers, covered with velvet cloth so as to remain warm despite the evening chill.
Out in the distance, The Golden Vein
floats in the water, only now you see that it is much closer, showing off its enormous size. The King studies it, and begins to look suspicious and curious.
In the waters, you see that various hoops, buoys and rings have been set up, forming an oval-shaped racing track. At the part of the track closest to the bleachers, the four sharks of the Gills family and Cerulean float in the water, waiting for the race to begin.
The Pattern Juggler, holding a pistol, floats above the water. "And you will see before us, fillies and gentlecolts, the grand, Leviathan-class ship of the Crimson King, The Golden Vein!
The King's pride and joy, and the home of his great and mighty Court, myself included! There, my lovely assistant awaits with her great boon for the grand finale, sure to be remembered and talked about for years to come!"
Alder and Cerulean can hear nostalgia and a hint of longing in the Juggler's voice, thrilling like a far-off echo or memory.
"Everyone ready…?" the Pattern Juggler asks, raising his pistol.>>709232
As you approach the shore and behold it through a spyglass, you notice a curious sight. The circus audience departs from the tent, gathering in bleachers set up outside, facing the shore. You see that the crew of the Beesting,
as well as plainclothes mafia members, and civilians are all mixed in, while the VIPs sit apart in their own segregated section. The bleachers outside are set up so as to watch the race, and they can all see The Golden Vein
in the distance.
"They're all bunched up together – not good," Ossie says. "We'd hit too many irrelevant targets and our allies if we attacked from here."