Chapter 2: The King's Plan
Rumplestiltskin slowly slid his chair away from the table and picked up a handful of straw that had accumulated by the doorway. "Your Grace, Puss is right about one thing, the only way to solve your troubles is for the forest to be destroyed. The problem is, we don't truly know what mysteries are hidden within its depths."
"That is not completely accurate," the King interjected. "While much remains unknown, the Huntsman has been working for me to find out what the Grimm Forest contains. He has yet to see one in person, but his reports have pointed to the presence of monsters being a certainty," the King explained to his advisors.
"Well then, that does complicate things, but my plan should still work, we will just need a little more muscle. I believe the best way to go about handling this situation is executing a plan that will appeal to the people. They are easily blinded to reality by the desires of their hearts. They want the forest gone, you don't want to pay to get rid of it, and not one person in the entire kingdom wants to face any monsters that may be hidden inside. This, Your Grace, is how we can address all of those concerns at once." Rumplestiltskin gently laid the straw down on the table and slid it in front of the King. "You must announce your plan with a fantastic ceremony here at the castle. If there was ever a time to impress the people this is it. Begin by letting them know you will not only be getting rid of the forest, but you will be sending your army to make sure there are no abominations hidden within. As the forest is being cleared by your army you will have the three little pigs each build a new house outside of the castle. When the houses are completed the people will be able to select their own new homes to be built where the forest currently lies. The monsters are killed, the forest is erased, and all the people get a brand new home in a safe place while forever proclaiming you ‘King Reginald the Great’!"
"Good plan Rump, but you said the King wouldn't have to pay for it. Raising the taxes won't impress anyone," snickered Puss who was now reclined in his chair chewing on a piece of straw.
"If you'd keep your paws off of my straw the King wouldn't have to pay a penny," Rumplestiltskin scoffed as he snatched the straw from Puss in Boot's mouth. "You see, the forest will provide enough wood for most of the house frames and the remaining costs will be paid from gold that I myself will spin from straw. The people will also be expected to pay for their new land and new homes, but the King will offer them as an absolute steal."
King Reginald stood from his chair and began to clap while walking towards Rumplestiltskin, pausing briefly to kick the chair out from Puss in Boots with a hearty chuckle. "That is quite a plan my good Rump, but I know you better than to expect your work for free. What do you plan to charge your King?" Reginald's demeanor became a bit more serious with the question.
"Absolutely nothing," Rumplestiltskin said as Puss still sat looking puzzled on the floor.
"I don't like to be toyed with Rump," said the King sternly.
"Don't worry, Your Grace, I am serious as can be," Rump stated as he bowed before the King. Unlike Puss in Boots, Rumplestiltskin knew that by asking for nothing in return the King would later lavish him with treasures.
"I value your loyalty and companionship Rumplestiltskin. I will reward you with more than you could ever hope for if this plan works out," exclaimed the King as he took a big gulp from his previously untouched goblet. "Let's find those pigs and see what plans they can draw up for our selection of new homes!"
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*ALL ART IS DONE BY MR. CUDDINGTON*