It was a normal day in Penglet... all except for the fact that on this particular day. Adour, Phoenix Lord of the Sun had arrived at the hometown of the Penguin that freed him from one-thousand years of slumber and drove off his fallen brother Ilta and his followers from Ice-Rear.
Everyone was surprised by this appearance. Even Monty, the Phoenix of Dawn. "Lord Adour!" Monty said as he bowed to the Lord of the Son.
"Montgomery Invictus Piitha... you bow to no one," Adour said as he bowed to Monty.
"My lord... what brings you to Penglet?" Invictus, Monty's grandfather asked.
"What? Can't the Phoenix of Day just meet friends for its own sake?" Adour asked.
"Nobody says that a child of the Phoenix King can make a casual visit." Invictus agreed. "But, I know for a fact that you left to tour around Ice-Rear to build up alliances with the other settlements." He said, there was then an explosion in Penglet itself. "Not to mention that you commissioned Dr. Merada to create war machines and weapons... that have been keeping my people in a state of anxiety since day returned."
"You're not wrong for assuming that," Adour said. "As a matter of fact... I want to invite you, Monty, and your friends to Pax Svenisdae."
"What?" Monty said in surprise. "You mean you cleaned up the city?"
"More or less," Adour said. "Some of the streets are still blocked off by rubble and debris. But the inhabitants have thawed out. Even some of the other Old Cities... well most of them." He explained. "But the point is, I want to invite you to an upcoming feast that will be held in Pax Svenisdae, in honor of a brand new alliance."
"What?" Monty said anxiously.
"Calm yourself Monty," Adour said. "It will still be some time before the feast itself happens. So... I figure that I can hang out with the Phoenix of Dawn, and any friends of his."
"Really?!" Ani said in awe. "Oh my goodness this is so exciting!" She said gushing.
Dussel then jumped out of a snowbank. "Vould his Solaryness like to play rhino-back ride?" He said as he flew up into the air, aiming for Adour's back.
Adour sidestepped. "Not with you." Dussel fell into the snow. "Especially where I'm the rhino."
"Fair enough." Dussel conceded.
Then the scene cut to a restaurant, the Ice Palace. "Uh... I believe I said I wanted to hang out. Not take in fine dining." Adour said awkwardly.
"But my Lord," Jennifer said as they all sat at the same table. "I've been wanting to eat at this place for months... a delay that happened in no small part because of a certain insane Chinstrap." She said glowering at Dussel.
"Und to think zhey let me back in, despite running Agatha through here, und every other place vone could have a romantic night at," Dussel said, ignoring Jennifer's disapproval.
"Yes... the only reason you not flying right now out of a window is that the Phoenix of Dawn was insistent on allowing you to eat here." The matorde said.
Adour looked through the menu. "I'm not sure... this stuff looks like it might be outlandishly small servings." He said. "I mean, I've seen my share of gourmet resturants. And all of them have one thing in common."
"The manager is some jerk with a pretentious accent?" Waldo quipped.
"Well, that does crop up fairly often. But I was referring to servings that are basically the size of minnows." Adour said.
Eventually, a waiter arrived with there orders. "Wow... these are small," Monty noted.
"W-Well maybe it's really concentrated flavor," Arthur said anxiously. Then everyone ate there 'meals'. "No... I was wrong.
"What'd I tell you?" Adour said sardonically. "Small portions, little if any taste. And tell me something... how much would all of this cost?" He said to the maitre d'. The maitre d then whispered to Adour. "Okay... I'm going to assume that's a lot of money." Adour then gave the maitre d' a pile of silver coins. "And for the lousy meal, not only are we not going to order dessert. But NOBODY is going to get a tip."
They then left the Ice Palace. "I will never understand why that sort of place even sees business," Waldo said.
"And there was my concern," Adour said. "That just because I'm the Phoenix of Day. You'd only show me around the more 'fancy' places of Penglet."
"It so wasn't worth the wait." Jennifer sulked. "Months... of waiting, and Dussel trashing the place... and Arthur and I losing our temper at him."
"Told you you veren't missing anything." Dussel said. "Anyvay's... you vouldn't happen to know a place vhere ve can properly stuff ourselves, Waldo?"
"As a matter of fact, I do... I honestly don't know why we didn't take my suggestion in the first place." Waldo said. Later on, Monty and his friends arrived at a rustic-looking restaurant. "Welcome, to the Yawning Wolf. The only place in Penglet where you can get proper Mountain Penguin food in this town. Mammoth ribs, Dire Wolf steaks, Giant Cave Fish fillets... deep... fried... TITAN SHRIMP." Waldo rambled as he drooled.
"Be careful mein friend. Your drool might freeze." Dussel said.
"I take it you're a regular here?" Adour asked.
"Well... I don't mean to brag." Waldo said.
Then a waitress greeted the party. "Well howdy there! Waldo, want me to take you to your usual table and-... oh my stars!" She said in awe at the site of Adour and Monty. "Well, any heroes of Ice-Rear are welcome in the Yawning Wolf. Follow me."
About an hour later. The entire party was fit to burst and were surrounded by dirty plates, and assorted bones. All except for Ani, and Adour. "My compliments to the chef," Adour said as he cleaned up what food had been leftover from there eating.
"You sure I can't get you anything sweety?" The waitress said to Ani.
"I'm... not sure if I can eat," Ani said glumly. "I mean, I have my wind-up key... and as far as I know dad hasn't given me anything analogous to a stomach."
"Sorry to hear that kiddo." The waitress said empathetically. "What about you Lord Adour?"
"My lady, I'm as much a raging inferno, as I am the rising sun," Adour said. "I cannot derive sustenance from mortal food... though I can enjoy the taste. And speaking as someone who's spent the last thousand years asleep. It's the best food I've had in a long, long while."
"I'll let Fenrir know that sire. HEY! FENRIR!" The waitress shouted in the direction of the kitchen. "LORD ADOUR'S HERE! HE REALLY LIKES YOUR COOKING!"
Then a grizzled and scarred King Penguin exited the kitchen. "Blast it, Winifred. You know I can't hear a word your saying in there."
"This is Lord Adour. He likes your cooking." Winifred said.
"Is that so... well my good eye's almost completely blind. But I know that you'd never lie to me." Fenrir said. "Now I need to get back before something explodes in the kitchen." He then hastily waddled back.
Then, after an eventful bathroom break. Monty and his friends arrived at the library. "Just keep quiet... the head librarian here is really strict about the no noise policy," Waldo whispered. "Trust me... I endured her wrath first hand."
"Yes, but you don't have to vhisper." Dussel said. "Just don't go shouting like a maniac just because your ubshet vith somvone." He chidded.
The head librarian, a female Blue Penguin putting away books on a high shelf then noticed them. "Little Monty... and-" She was caught off-guard at the site of Adour, and fell from her ladder. And was quickly covered in books.
"Shh... zhis is ein library." Dussel chided.
The head librarian then stuck out her head from the book pile. "Lord Adour... it is an honor to have you in my humble library."
"I've heard tell that you have quite an extensive collection," Adour said. "Including accounts from after the War of Darkness, unknown anywhere else in Ice-Rear."
"Really?... well if you want to see them. I won't stop you." The elderly Blue Penguin said. "But... there is something that, I hope I might ask of you. You see, our usual volunteer who reads to the children is stuck home, as his house is buried in snow and ice."
"You want me to free him?" Adour asked.
"Oh..." The head librarian said in surprise. "I was actually thinking that you could read to the children. I didn't even think of that." She admitted in embarrassment.
It wasn't too long before Adour returned with the volunteer. "That ice was a lot more pervasive then I assumed." He said, referring to the shivering volunteer.
"Oh my... well, he's in no shape to read to the children!" The head librarian noted.
"Yes... I figured as much." Adour said. "Then it looks like I'll have to read anyway." Over the next hour, Adour read book after book to the children present for the reading. Including Monty himself, and Ani, and unexpectedly...
"Remind me again, why are you here?" Monty asked of the local bully, Titan.
"Can't a guy just try to learn to read?" Titan said defensively.
Adour's curiosity was piqued by this giant Emperor Penguin chick. Afterward, he followed Titan to his home... and was aghast by what he found. "WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?!" He roared in disgust at Titan's father.
Titan's father was an absolute mess, covered in various stains, smelling like rotting fish, and looking dazed. "What?" The mess of a Penguin asked.
Adour then looked at the messy Penguin in the eyes. "I know your memories... your wife didn't return after she laid your egg. And over the years, you let yourself go out of grief... or hate, it's difficult to tell in places with how muddied your memories are." Adour said. "My point is... your shortcomings and the shortcomings of your life. Can never justify treating anyone else as bad as you feel, especially your own flesh and blood!" He said angrily, then Titan entered the busted in the room.
"Uh... why are you in my living room?" Titan asked.
"Your father's scum, and when I leave Penglet. I'll take you with me, and give you a chance to live a better life." Adour said. "One where you'll at least get a fighting chance to be a better Penguin."
Later on, Adour arrived at Monty's house. "So... you're going to be sending Titan out of Penglet?" Monty said after Adour finished explaining himself.
"His home was filthy, and his father is a lackwit unworthy to breed in the first place. It's the only sensible thing to do." Adour said. "And besides... war is coming. And I'll need as many warriors I can get my claws on."
"Oh..." Monty said with concern.
"For the last time, I'm not conscripting you to do anything," Adour said. "Your at least eleven. And you're the Phoenix of Dawn. It would be cruelty beyond words to force you into something that you're not only ready for, but don't want anyway." He explained. "It'll be a while before the feast even happens."
"Well... what would you need me for?" Monty asked.
"You might remember that Ilta and I aren't the only Phoenix's. The rest of them governed some facet of the world. The seasons, aspects of the environment, some of them even served double-duty as protectors of other species." Adour explained. "Virtually all of them stood by me during the War of Darkness... with one exception."
"Pru'iiana, the Aspect of Winter," Monty said with contempt.
"Now don't be hasty in judging him. Pru'iiana was as much a victim as everyone else... Ilta didn't give him much of a choice, and like the rest, he was put to sleep in stone." Adour said.
"What? No, I was upset that winter, and by extension, snow exists because of him." Monty clarified. "I mean it's pretty and all... but it's all I've ever seen. Not to mention the hazard it can be... I hate slipping."
"Trust me Monty," Adour said as he looked through Monty's closet. "I will call on you to visit some of the warmer places in the world in days to come. And let me tell you... you will not stop complaining about how hot they can get in places."
"You can see the future now?" Monty asked.
"No, but trust me. In some places, it gets so hot, that you'll lose weight just from standing still." Adour then found something. "Is there any importance to this?" He said, removing a white teddy bear from the closet.
"Klondike!" Monty said in surprise. "I thought I lost you!" He then ran up and took the teddy polar bear. "Where have you been you naughty... oh I can't stay mad at you!" Monty said as he hugged his stuffed toy.
A tear then formed in Adour's eye. 'This... this is why I'm fighting... this is why my brother must be brought to heel.'
"Adour?... are you crying?" Monty asked.
Adour then took the tear from his eye and allowed it to freeze. "Keep it with you," Adour said, putting the frozen tear in a small vial. "You never know when you might need a Phoenix tear." He then gave the vial to Monty. "Keep it close to you."
The following day, Adour flew off from Penglet with Titan in tow. "Zo... did it feel like zhis whole zhing vas rushed?" Dussel asked. "I mean, all he did was eat out vith us, go to zhe library vith us, scare zhe living daylights out of zhe neighborhood bullies dad, find Monty's bear und gave him a tear. (vhich might be ein Checkov's Gun. I don't know, zhe writer is clearly making zhis up az he'z going along.) I mean ve didn't even get to zee everzing inbetween the scenes." Dussel complained. "Zhose might have been fun! And zhese other Phoenix's- zhis iz zhe first I've ever heard of them! Und I'm supposed to be over a thousand years old."
Why you were made to see past the Fourth Wall, I'll NEVER understand.