"Hopefully the one whom this smurf's soul loves," Empath said, leaving the two advisers puzzled as he walked off.
In the meantime, Smurfette was leading a flock of sheep out into the pastures outside of the village of her character, trying to be discreet as possible since Salome's father told her that unmarried females shouldn't be visible to every male that would catch sight of her.
"Shall I help you smurf the flock out into the fields, fair maiden?" one of the male villagers who sounded like Tracker asked her.
"You shouldn't be smurfing alongside me, unless Papa catches me with you," Smurfette said.
"Then we'll just be smurfing in the same direction, since I'm going to be smurfing some wild herbs and flowers," her traveling companion said.
"Is anyone sick in the village?" Smurfette asked.
"If you must know, most of the Smurfs my age have smurfed with a sickness only one thing could cure -- your hand in marriage," her traveling companion said.
"I mean seriously, like some sort of real illness that would have you smurfing out into the forest to smurf herbs and flowers," Smurfette said.
"Just for upsmurf stomachs, but nothing that a little faith in the Almighty couldn't cure," her traveling companion said. "Have you smurfed up your mind about who in the village you're going to marry?"
"I honestly don't know," Smurfette answered. "I feel like I'm the new Smurfette in town and I'm just smurfing to get to know everybody first."
"If your Papa even lets you smurf anyone at all besides your fellow Smurfettes," her traveling companion said. "But really, every Smurf is just wanting to make you smurfy however way they smurf fit to do so. Who else would be willing to smurf your hand that isn't in this village?"
"I keep smurfing of my beloved, who is the like the apple tree among the trees of the woods," Smurfette said. "How I long to smurf down in his shade with great delight, and smurf how wonderful his fruit is."
"I'm sure someone here in the village can smurf your fill of fruit, if you're willing to smurf a chance with him," her traveling companion said. "Otherwise, you might as well be asking the Almighty who would be the smurfect husband for you that isn't smurfing here."
Then the voice Smurfette heard earlier spoke to her again: "Rise up, my love, my beautiful one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my beautiful one, and come away!"
"O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff, let me see your form, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your appearance is beautiful," Smurfette responded.
"Who is it that you're talking to?" her traveling companion asked, looking at her as if wondering what's going on.
"The voice of my beloved!" Smurfette exclaimed. "Behold, he comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills."
"All I really smurf are just the hills," her traveling companion said, looking in the direction that Smurfette was looking in. "You sure you're not just imagining things?"
"My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag," Smurfette said. "Behold, he stands behind our wall; he is looking through the windows, gazing through the lattice."
"Okay, I think this is the part where we smurf our own ways," her traveling companion said. "I'll smurf you later, if we have the chance."
Smurfette barely noticed her companion walking off without her, for she was seeing the form of her beloved on the hill, and when she looked away for a moment to see her companion, he wasn't there anymore, and neither was the image of her beloved. Nevertheless, she felt captivated by the sight of what she had just seen.
"My beloved is mine, and I am his. He grazes among the lilies," Smurfette said to herself as she guided her flock onward to the fields. "Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag upon the mountains of Bether."
Empath had finished his business as king for the day when Zabud and Azariah directed his attention to a palanquin that was waiting outside his royal palace, carried by four strong Smurfs. "Behold, your chariot awaits, my King," Azariah said with a bow.
Empath took a moment to look at the palanquin, noting how exquisitely constructed it was. "This seems rather excessive for a simple ride out into the villages beyond Jerusalem," he commented.
"It is only necessary that to escort you on your journey, you will be surrounded at all times with sixty mighty Smurfs, who are the best warriors in Israel," Zabud said, as the group of Smurfs all dressed in warrior garb and carrying swords with them arrived to surround the palanquin.
"For the king of Israel, you can't be smurfed with anything less than the best," Azariah said.
"That would be a sensible precaution," Empath said as he inspected each of the warrior Smurfs who would be coming with him. They looked rather fearless, as if ready to handle any enemy that would come their way to harm the king. "This smurf is ready to put this smurf's life in their hands to make the journey."
"Is there anything else you will need for your journey, your Excellency?" Zabud asked. "It will be quite a journey that will take at least a day."
"This smurf appreciates your concern, but this smurf will be sufficiently comfortable, Zabud," Empath answered. "This smurf is leaving the both of you in charge of the kingdom until this smurf returns."
"This one acknowledges, my liege," Zabud said as he and Azariah bowed while Empath got himself onto the palanquin when it was lowered. He felt how comfortable the bed was, as if the blankets, the mattress, and the pillows were made of the finest materials and scented with such fragrance that filled his nostrils with majestic pleasantness.
The four Smurfs carrying the palanquin lifted it up and started carrying Empath toward the outskirts of Jerusalem. Empath saw the people in the city looking at him and wondering what's going on, some even going so far as to bow down in respect, others throwing flower petals and palm branches in his path.
Empath had to remind himself that this was part of playing the character of the king. He had a feeling that Smurfette is in the village of the Shulamites, looking for this beloved of hers from the book. He hoped that he would arrive at the location and find out from her who and what has been attracting her attention.