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Professor Pinfeathers says “Greetings, old friend! I understand you’re here to take ownership of the Castle and its Mystery Chamber. He’s sure you’ve inherited your Uncle’s talents for alchemy. “Not everyone ran off in fear when your Uncle died.” It’s time to meet the residents who remained.
And so begins your adventure into the world of Midnight Castle.
Levels 1 through 10
The first characters you meet are three of your Uncle’s most trusted advisors; Anabel, the Iron Knight and the Innkeeper, Jeronimo ‘Salty’ Took.
Anabel is a vampire who invites you to join the League of Vampires and bets your blood tastes sweet. She says “We worked well together, as a couple of vampires would.” She can’t wait to see you “turned into one of us; that is, if you don’t find the Mystery Chamber.” For a price, Anabel gives you the key to the castle gates and then lets you into the Inn. Anabel completes the Challenge of the Midnight Hour Initiation Rite. She is granted the power of the highest vampire. ***Anabel’s appearance changes into that of a vampire*** Anabel, still getting used to her new abilities, remembers her father saying “with great abilities always come greater responsibilities.”
The Iron Knight doesn’t say much at first, but wants to be of service to you. The Knight needs a gift for Anabel’s birthday, who always leaves him a bit speechless. The Knight must protect you after receiving disturbing news that you have new enemies.
Salty isn’t sure he wants you to find the Mystery Chamber. According to him, it gave your Uncle “a heap of trouble and it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” One of the Innkeeper’s guests is complaining about roaches in his room. Salty, once like you full of adventure and purpose, searched for the Mystery Chamber. But it nearly drove him insane and this new search of yours brings back bad memories. He bets Anabel wants to recruit you into her vampire army and admits being indebted to the Chamberlain, but wouldn’t trust him even though your Uncle did. Salty wants you to give up the Mystery Chamber, saying “it’s your Rosebud.” He’s afraid questioning people on your behalf may hurt his reputation.
The Lord Chamberlain introduces himself as the castle’s keeper and your late Uncle’s right-hand. You’ve made a good first impression and earned his respect, but he needs further assurance that you’re ready to rule in your Uncle’s stead. It’s his duty to test your capacity for patience. It’s all fine and good that Anabel and the Iron Knight speak well of you, but the Chamberlain must judge your strengths for himself. Lord Chamberlain says your true enemy is closer than you think.
Mountain Troll ‘Rustle’ at Ice Rock introduces himself by saying “You might be smarter, but at least I’m uglier.” His memory is like a black portal and he struggles to remember the past, but he says your Uncle was a decent man. The Troll is bored with all the white snow and ice; after all, he’s not a snow troll. He used to have a friend, but can barely remember him now.
The Wise Dragon, the castle’s oldest resident, introduces himself as the ultimate arbitrator. He’s in need of a smart assistant and you fit the bill. As castle keeper, he keeps the order and insists no one could love himself more. He quotes a line from Romeo and Juliet, “For never was a story of more woe…” but can’t remember the rest.
The Troll has a lot of errands piled up for you to do. Asked to guard the Tavern, which he doesn’t want to do, the Troll gets out of it by pretending to have the Troll flu. He looked so bad after drinking the Bemusing Potion that even Salty thought he was sick. To hide from his master, the Troll dons the disguise of a fortune teller. When the disguise doesn’t work, he goes back to threatening people. The Blood Flow Potion makes his growls sound even more vicious. The Troll is consumed by making you his friend. As a “true” friend, he vows not to eat you. Someone has offended his “delicate sensibilities” and he demands a duel. The cowards ran away when they saw him in his battle armor polishing his club. Everyone runs away in fear so you are the Troll’s only friend. Trolls aren’t afraid of anything; at least, not anything they’d admit to. Have you heard the tale about the beauty and the ugly troll? She kissed him and he became normal again. The Troll doesn’t need a human girlfriend…a lady troll would be better, less demanding. One lady troll gave him three boars to leave her alone, so no romance, but he’s not hungry anymore! Sad that no one talks to him but you, he “wants a pet goblin, but I’d hate to feed him humans.” Some old sorcerer put a curse on the Troll, but an alchemist says he can cure him. That alchemist better not be joking, “If he lied, I’ll be crushed! And so will he!” Incredibly, the cure worked! He’s human again. ***The Troll transforms into Henry the Archeologist***
Henry’s head has been spinning since he became human again, but he wants to know how he became a troll. He sees things that might belong to the vile betrayal…the Volume of Fury and the Blood Volume. That stirs his memory and he sees an image of the traitor. “The Chamberlain! He cursed me! Tread carefully with him.” Henry wonders how you like him in human form. He needs a cure for insomnia and a terrible rat problem. Remember “One paw washes the other.” He urges you to be quiet because vampires are prowling around.
The Iron Knight has no news to share, but there are people in the castle who owe him favors. He’s on watch and must stay awake until morning. He can’t skip work to help you and, anyway, the Chamberlain seemed unusually annoyed by all the questions. Being sensitive despite his armor, the Iron Knight asks if he’s asking too much of you and compliments how effectively you collaborate together. He believes everything will be fine and you’ll find the Mystery Chamber. His noble and proud bearing notwithstanding, he would give his sword to know what Anabel thinks of him. Perhaps consulting a fortune teller or reading tea leaves is in order. “Did you see how she smiled at me? I’m not blushing. I’m just – flushed.” Astonished by the many mysteries hidden in the Castle, he acknowledges how indispensable you’ve become. Just like you, the Knight has an unwavering determination to go towards a goal with unflinching courage. No regrets for the past, but wonders if his blind loyalty to the owners of the Castle was misguided. Filled with so much hope for the future, he composes a poem about tenderness in a tough soldier and wonders if Anabel will like it. The Iron Knight feels it’s best not to get distracted from his duties by the beautiful Anabel. Your skill begs the question if you’ve ever considered being a Knight? While preparing a surprise for Anabel, the Knight has a disturbing and foreboding feeling. Something odd is happening, then he asks “How do you like my new look? Please keep those flea jokes to yourself.” ***Iron Knight transforms into Werewolf Knight***
“It’s not so bad. I’m just a little hairy. Anabel finds it adorable – but then, she’s a vampire.” “Surely you’ve met a man with hair on his back before.” And four legs ARE better than two. Anabel seemed very sad and he’d like to cheer her up. You are a true friend and “I feel like howling with joy when I see you.”
The Lord Chamberlain is convinced the High Council is “just an assembly of fools.” A terrifying uncertainty comes over him that those old men in the Council are plotting against him. Your visit coincides with Council elections and the Chamberlain asks for your help. He didn’t expect to see Anabel in the Council. Having always felt a fondness toward her, perhaps a little gift would be in order. Despite having lived for centuries, humans still amaze the Chamberlain. There are many silly rumors about vampires and he offers to “school you on the truth.” “You might be good enough to be a vampire-in-training.” The High Council of Vampire Clans promises to raise the Chamberlain’s rank. A mix-up in the High Council slows them down and Anabel keeps getting in the way. The Chamberlain wonders how “your quaint little quest to find the Mystery Chamber is going” and asks some small favors. He says you might be smarter than your Uncle was and is pleased with you, “in a minor way.” The Chamberlain says at first he would like to celebrate your success, “What feast? A celebration in your honor? Do you know how much food we would need for the guests?” And doesn’t have time to “share a glass of red with you.”
Salty heard you’re getting closer to the Mystery Chamber and feels inspired because you remind him of himself when he was younger. He claims he was just clearing his throat when you catch him singing during a trade. After all, “one can’t kill the song in your heart.” Salty says you’re an angel compared to the detestable visitors he had before. You’ve made an old man very happy, but Salty refuses to wish you luck in finding the Mystery Chamber. He immediately regrets saying “on days like this I would rather close up the Inn and go back to my palace.”
LEVELS 11-15 cont.
The Wise Dragon says you look oddly familiar and maybe after the experiment, his memory will return. He tells you to ignore the “blue reflection in the red mirror.” The Dragon must continue his research and needs time to think which, luckily, he does better than anyone. Distracted for a moment, he wonders why dragons would need princesses. All in all, the Wise Dragon says it’s been a pleasure to deal with such a helper. The Wise Dragon has trouble sleeping with the possibility of your murder getting to him. The general atmosphere of the Castle affects his dreams. “The flow of the River of Time is distorted! I feel evil nearby.” Isn’t it nice when people stop hiding their thoughts?
Anabel senses you will soon need to descend to the dungeons. She wants to help, but the Bemusing Potion is lost and she can’t conduct the Ritual of the Key Keeper without it. Thanks to your help, the ritual is working. Ever since the initiation, Anabel’s had an insatiable thirst for blood. With your help, her blood thirst is sated and it’s much easier to keep it under control.
Valeria Steiner’s spirit appears to be guarding a hatch leading deeper into the Castle from the Dungeon of the Cursed. More than anything, she wants revenge on whoever killed her. She needs your mortal help to find her murderer and wonders if “you smell the sweet scent of revenge in the air?” Her first suspect is the Troll. There must be a reason he hides in his Ice Rock. Mountain Troll ‘Rustle’ refuses to confess and Valeria can’t punish him because she’s a ghost! “How sad it is to be in this gray world, between life and death.” She doesn’t want to be a distraction, adding “ghosts are hard to amuse.” Her memories have left her and despite all her efforts, her investigation has gone south. The ghost of a decrepit old man told her something important and made fun of the poor innkeeper. When Valeria was killed her friend, the Innkeeper, lost faith. Now he hangs around the castle, waiting for – what? Unable to bring the Innkeeper back to life, Valeria wonders if you’ve lost hope of finding the Mystery Chamber of Wishes. “Would you like to become another Innkeeper near the castle?”
LEVELS 11-15 cont.
Salty’s heard the gossip around the Inn of Valeria’s appearance and wonders if you now believe in life after death. Salty describes his guests as a “bunch of slobs” and himself as an old shark trader, constantly moving forward in life. Feeling he’s in imminent danger, he wants you to remember old Salty Took as a good man. All the doubts, nightmares and shadows lurk in dark corners, waiting for him. To recover his strength, you bring him the Live Potion. Salty exclaims “What have you brought me? That’s low! Inhumane! I was poisoned! And now I’m a ghost! How sad is that?” ***Jeronimo ‘Salty’ Took becomes a ghost***
Salty grows weak and cries ghostly tears. But as a ghost, he and Valeria are much closer. He was in love, but “they” killed Valeria and Salty lost faith in the Mystery Chamber. Now that he’s a ghost, Salty and Valeria are back together and he feels like he has wings. He wonders if Valeria will fall in love with him again. Not needing sleep anymore leaves him lots of time to think. Was he unhappy alive? Maybe…all his life was about deals. “How do you feel about doing business with a ghost?” Salty is much kinder than when he was alive. He sees your “misguided obsession” with the Mystery Chamber hasn’t let up, but needs your help apologizing to Valeria. “Oh, happy day! I made up with Valeria!” There are some advantages to being a ghost, and some disadvantages, but it’s best to stay positive.
Valeria doesn’t know the details of her death since ghosts have no memories. After visiting the Inn, she feels Salty is more humane. She suspects Anabel, filled with jealousy and envy, had a hand in her death. But when Anabel is proven blameless, Valeria turns her attention to the Iron Knight. After all, she was killed not far from the Castle Entry. It’s all very weird, but the Knight is innocent too. Valeria has seen traces of soot where she died and wonders if those flames of wrath belonged to the Dragon living in the tower. But “why would the Dragon have a problem with me?” It’s true! The Dragon killed Valeria! The Dragon says he was only defending the Mystery Chamber and “he knows I was planning to use it for evil wishes.” Valeria must bid farewell to this world but “Tell the Dragon I’ve learned my lesson. It’s a pity it was my last. Goodbye.” ***Valeria’s Spirit disappears, sacrificing her spiritual soul to reveal the hatch leading to the Underground Grotto***
Anabel has been looking all over for the Steel Plate you need and suddenly remembers she left it at the Convention. “Silly me! I’ll have them send you instructions for how to find it.” Still waiting and the ghoul post is usually so timely, Anabel decides to send a second request. Anabel can hear the bat messengers squeaking and knows she’s about to get a reply from the Convention. They sent the Steel Plate, but it was lost in the mist. Ah, the bureaucracy! “They found our parcel, but now I have to prove the package is mine!” Anabel finishes filling out all the paperwork and the parcel is finally with the courier. It should be delivered soon. Anabel longs to know what happened to her father. The only information she has is her father’s name was Henry. She just heard the happy news her father is alive and living nearby. “Isn’t that amazing?” Anabel has always been suspicious of Lord Chamberlain, who is arrogant and known for his dark ways. It’s no secret that the Chamberlain abuses his power and many do not trust him. Anabel needs to bring this information to light, but opposing the Chamberlain won’t be easy. Anabel heard a rumor that her father is a troll! “So I’m the daughter of the troll from the ice cave! I don’t understand – I’m a troll’s daughter, but a vampire?” “What if he has the mannerisms of a troll?” Getting used to the idea of being a troll’s daughter has caused Anabel enormous stress, heightening her blood thirst. She asks your help to slake that thirst. Anabel makes stone soup and urges you to try it. But you turn green, so Anabel takes some suggestions from one of her friends to improve the soup. Just as she was about to give you the rune you needed, someone stole it. That arrogant thief needs to be taught a lesson about stealing from a vampire. Crime never pays…the thief’s been taken care of, vampire-style! She also warns of a new vampire around who is a bit of a klepto. Anabel likes teasing you and insists one good turn deserves another, or as she puts it “claw my back and I’ll claw yours.”
LEVELS 16-20 cont.
The Lord Chamberlain is practicing his speech. “The Council session is about to begin and I want to shine!” After promising not to eat you if you help, the Chamberlain becomes even more powerful. The Council is about to convene, “but someone wants to stab me in the back. I could use your help.” By the way “Have I ever told you my true age? You’d be amazed. It’s all about moisturizing.” By eliminating the competition, the Chamberlain “will be the most powerful member of the Council.” He asks for your help in getting rid of his foes. “They are destroying all my plans! But you will help me outsmart them.” He insists on a feast to celebrate his place on the Council and a glass of red for everyone! ***Lord Chamberlain changes to red coat with bat wing collar and red glowing orb on cane***
The Lord Chamberlain promises if you serve him well, you will learn the secret of your Uncle’s murder. Bit by bit he teases you, until finally “Now about your Uncle’s murder: It was me, of course! But why, you ask? I’ll tell you soon.” But you found him out. “Well, la di da. The Mystery Chamber should belong to me! I give the orders around here! Your Uncle didn’t deserve the Mystery Chamber. Your obedience may be your salvation. Perhaps you won’t suffer the same fate as your Uncle.” The Chamberlain has a few leads and proposes joining forces to look for the Mystery Chamber, like partners in crime! “Life without your Uncle will work out pretty well for you, in the end.” “I’m always here to help you reach my – I mean our – goal.”
Salty finds “it hard to be a ghost and preserve your humanity.” To keep from becoming a raging poltergeist, he enlists the aid of a medium to try to figure out who murdered him. Proving you can’t trust a living soul, the quack ran off with everything needed for the ritual. “The recruits going past the Inn offered a reward for a couple of trophy items. If you help, I’ll share it with you.” It would be a pity to waste such a bargain. Salty needs to have something human in his life to stay normal. It might be spooky, but also useful having a ghost on your side! With violent vampires around, Salty is alarmed by a new vampire who keeps coming to the Inn. In order to be ready for him, Salty puts the Blood Greed over the entrance to scare him away and the Seal of Dawn which always works against the children of the night. “It’s best if you return before midnight.” Although Valeria is Salty’s soulmate, they are so far apart. To help promote this “astral intimacy” you help Salty get Valeria’s favorite, the Night Orchid, and at least one Silver Arrow from those she lost. These things attract her to Salty; in the astral sense, of course. On top of everything else, someone took some valuable things from Salty’s collection. If you find the stolen goods, Salty promises you a good reward. Still obsessed with finding his killer, Salty decides to perform the ritual himself. But the pages with the ritual are torn and more ingredients are needed. Stay close and “at midnight, I’ll see the face of my murderer.” The ritual showed Salty “the image of the Chamberlain – he killed me! But why?” Salty imagines bringing presents to Valeria and must find the courage to find her in the material world. He also thinks he knows how to find out what happened to your Uncle. “Your Uncle was murdered searching for the Chamber. Was the Chamberlain responsible, too? It’s hard to say.” While you can’t kill a ghost, you can dampen its spirits! Salty needs your help since, being a ghost, he can’t touch things. He says he wants things to sell on the open market, but really they’re for the black market. After all, business is business. Just think of helping Salty as steps to the greater goal. He’s found some high-rollers who are looking for pricey items. Good thing, because he’s starting to lose some of his clients who are uncomfortable with the non-corporeal. Clients love Salty’s “deals of the century.” He misses Valeria, saying they were “so good together.” He is also very wary of the Chamberlain, who he believes “has it in for him.”
LEVELS 16-20 cont.
The Wise Dragon wonders why humans never notice anything, like how peculiar the moon looks. “The waters of the River of Time keep whispering. I wish they’d speak up.” The Wise Dragon is a sit and think type of guy, always thinking about the eternal. He says many have tried to find the Mystery Chamber. “Your Uncle also searched for the Mystery Chamber, and things didn’t turn out so well for him. Let’s see what becomes of you.” He asks what you would wish for if you found the Mystery Chamber. “Take your time. Remember to make the right wish. The experience of previous adventurers will guide you.” Over the years, the Dragon witnessed many seekers of the Mystery Chamber, many of whom were lovely people. Pity he had to kill them. But he’s not a heartless beast; he’s much wiser than those little trifles like vengeance and wrath. “Just because I’ve breathed a little fire here and there doesn’t mean you’re next. Or does it?” Being a learned dragon, he quotes Latin “sic transit Gloria mundi (thus passes the glory of the world) and plays the ancient art of chess and classical music by Mozart and Vivaldi. He speaks poetically like “You return like the wind brings the wave to shores”, “I am but a grain of sand in the hands of eternity”, “A soldier who doesn’t desire to be a general is a bad soldier” and “Dismay clutches my soul with icy fingers and the world is out of balance.” He also asks rhetorical questions such as “How many sunrises have already been?”, “Where does river water flow?” and “Where do birds fly away at fall”? Being a Wise Dragon is exhausting and people can be so talkative. He claims to love silence and waits “silent as a sphinx.” Fire! Screams! The Dragon had a nightmare about Valeria entering the Chamber and making a crazy wish! He once felt affection for Valeria and hopes you don’t make her mistakes. Valeria didn’t deserve his trust, unlike you. “Although she did light up my life.” The Dragon, living in an existential vacuum, is suddenly engrossed by memories. In the mood for a chat, he asks if you would like to take over the world or find all the treasure in the world. Satisfied you’re not greedy and your thoughts are heavenly, the Dragon warns you to stay alert. He respects obedience and humility although he has none himself. One lunatic can destroy an empire and the Dragon is “here to prevent bad people from entering the Mystery Chamber.” “Here’s some wisdom – don’t cherish illusions. Everything may change.” The Dragon ponders the question of omnipotence “Sometimes I wonder - how wise and powerful am I? All I know is that I can hide the Mystery Chamber. And this is enough.” Life is like a comet. Some are a flash of history while others are burned to ash by flames, like Valeria. “That’s how it works. Which comet will you become?” The Dragon knows the mysteries of the Castle and all the victims of the past. “Yes, your Uncle was a victim.” The arrogant Wise Dragon says no creature is his equal and you, as a mere mortal, can’t hold a candle to him. And, being only a mortal, wonders if you can change the course of events.
LEVELS 16-20 cont.
Henry’s memories are misty during the time he was a troll. His daughter, a vampire, is so grown up and beautiful. He wonders if you know anything about her admirer. “She might be a vampire, but I’m still her father!” Henry’s not sure anyone else has mentioned it, but he thinks your Uncle was murdered by the Chamberlain. Henry is wary of a strange ritual rumored to have been carried out nearby and asks you to collect what’s left. Examining the things you brought, Henry notices the initials of Anabel’s admirer. He sees a werewolf’s sign and suddenly wants better protection. “Well, I feel more comfortable now. Though I still don’t like that friend of my daughter’s.” Henry, wanting to understand his daughter, decides to give Anabel a gift. But how do you shop for a vampire? The teddy bear and the Black Widow, which the ancient book says vampires love, will be a surprise. Your help proves invaluable and, as such, he would never eat you. Henry can’t wait to surprise Anabel and see her pale face. Henry is having nightmares about being turned back into a troll. Claiming to be completely broke and owing at least a dozen people, Henry plans to search his chests for treasures to sell. One of his Troll friends is having a birthday (he saw it on Facebook) and he needs to get a gift. Another friend, the necromancer, also had a birthday recently and Henry needs to get a belated gift. While Henry was resting, goblins broke into his hut and ransacked it. He decided to hire a guard, who demands some special payment. Henry appreciates all your help and asks you to come by when he’s done cleaning up the mess.
The Werewolf Knight, a heartsick Knight in love, is pleased Anabel agreed to see him and wants to give her a gift. He wonders what Anabel’s reaction to his gift will be. Things are uncertain with Anabel, but she is the love of his life and he will never give up. He dreams of the day Anabel will be his. “The word around the castle is that your Uncle was murdered, and that the Chamberlain did it. I don’t put a lot of stock in rumors, but I’ve never trusted the Chamberlain anyway.” The Knight Is also looking for his real father and the only hint is the title of the Knight’s final quest which is “clan leader.” He vows not to let his father down. But it isn’t easy finding traces of his father and the Knight must bribe someone for the information he needs.
LEVELS 16-20 cont.
The Castle Keeper appears in the Castle Entry. He says he must preserve peace in the castle, but it’s nice to see a new challenger. While you must obtain knowledge, bleak thoughts are filling the castle and you must fight all obstacles in your path. Stand your ground or the Castle will fall. While the Keeper can see the entire castle, he can’t walk around it. It’s becoming more and more difficult to hold back the creatures of the night. “I need a way to break the chains! We’re one step closer to eliminating the shackles of evil.”
The Witch appears in the Underground Grotto. Arabella Scales says “So we meet again. Just my luck to run into you! I wasn’t mistaken about you. I’m a fine judge of character.” Since the Chamberlain trusts you, the Witch will try to trust you too. She says her grandmother was a witch who taught Arabella how to create the rune you’re looking for, but she needs help gathering ingredients. Due to the popularity of her love potions, her stock is running out. Even though she seems friendly with Lord Chamberlain and always wants to help him, she says “he’s nearly out of time.” Despite being a witch, she has responsibilities to him and continually lets the Chamberlain think he’s being the clever one. She believes alchemy is not a hobby, but a calling. Her favorite potions are the poison ones, but poison can fade. You help with the cure when her gargoyles suddenly fall ill.
Skull Pete, in Mirror Lake, is doomed to be fleshless forever due to Lord Chamberlain’s curse. Pete is tired of being immortal and just wants to be a fleshy pirate again. Pete misses his ship terribly and longs for the smell of the sea air. While he muses there’s never enough treasure, he confesses he loves weapons more than gold. Despite all your help with the rituals, the curse is still with him. But the old pirate is grateful to you.
The Werewolf Knight is still a Knight, whatever his appearance. He found someone who has the rune you need, but his trust must be earned with a few gifts. This person gets the Knight’s “hackles up” and is described as having a chess collection and rings on each of his fingers. After sifting through a web of lies, the Knight has a lead on his father’s whereabouts but the source demands payment. A band of thieves targets the Knight, but with your help, he’s safe. The thieves, along with everyone else, are now scared of the Knight. He’s “never seen such fear in my neighbors’ eyes.” He worries that Anabel, who hasn’t been forthcoming and “isn’t the easiest woman to love”, will forget him when he’s gone. Some parting gifts should help. The Knight’s father “passed through one of the neighboring settlements but the residents are too afraid to talk.” He doesn’t “want to use any force there” so maybe a gift to their leader would help. Finally, there’s a decent chance the Knight could find his father. Suddenly, the Knight feels his animal nature waking up. Some protective amulets should help keep his inner wolf at bay. You helped the Knight maintain his chivalry, making you his true friend. It’s nearly Dark Valentine’s Day and the Knight sends you on a mission to find gifts for Anabel. If you get back before the big day, Anabel will “never forget my generosity, nor I yours.”
The Keeper of the Castle can see the past, present and future. “It flows by him like a rushing river.” “Sometimes a good relationship is more valuable than gold. Sadly, the world is full of false virtues but he believes you’ll succeed. He says Arabella is a witch because she rejected the power of good and asks you to check on Henry, who may be in danger.
The Wise Dragon muses how “Knights love princesses; dragons love princesses, princesses love Knights. Princesses are so fickle, aren’t they?” “Mortals are so complicated, so much more complex than dragons!” He says “Like sands through the hourglass, our lives dribble away.” But not his; he’s immortal! Since you prove to be such a hard worker, “I guess I’m going to bed hungry again.”