Rumour certainly spreads fast here in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria. Here was I, minding my own feline business - you know, managing the affairs of state of my sovereign territories - when I was suddenly accosted by my vulpine friend Feaxede the Fox, who was approaching me at considerable speed and seemingly breathless with eager excitement. I knew from the moment my eyes beheld him that he had something terribly important to tell me.
Hardly able to get his words out in a coherent stream of consciousness, he eventually blurted out that the soothsayers have been animatedly telling the populace that His Excellency King Jose Borracho - the Most Elevated Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (which has no legitimate claim to holiness, Romanness or even the vaguest pretensions of being anything like an empire) has taken the Momentous Decision to step down from his duties as Supreme Posturer of the aforesaid realm to spend more time keeping bees, collecting fees, felling trees, making cheese, sailing seas and wallowing on the meagre trillions of Holy Groats that he and his delightful henchmen have lovingly extracted from the long-suffering taxpayers of the kingdoms under his sway. Hooray for Jose! Couldn't happen to a nicer fellow.
Naturally, Nickwald the Farrago - the fast-talking, slow-walking Supremo of the Northumbrian Independence Faction and expert quaffer of fine ales - will be highly delighted at this stunning development; having recently won a significant number of places for his acolytes at the Round Table at the Court, he'll doubtless be gratified and delighted in equal measure. However from all accounts, he'd better stave off his enthusiasm for now; this Cat gathers that the Supreme Posterior Parking Place of the Evil Intergalactic Empire is only reserved for close members of the Inner Sanctum, and plain-dealing outsiders are far from welcome to those hallowed halls of rhubarb and biscuit.
The professional wager-mongers of the Realm have already been placing bets on the Most Likely Successor to the Holy Throne, and the favourite by far is Tondvig the Blur, the mendacious gadfly Prince and former Redistributionist Satrap of the Northumbrian Province.
I think I'll take a nap...
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