10 January 2013 @ 10:12 pm
*NaNo Project* Part the Seventh - Section the First - The Scribe 954AD  
The loss of Maxim was quite a painful experience, I had never known anyone who had died young and it was something that was hard to forget.

While I was realising this truth of how transitory life could be, Prince Uther had had a far different experience on his trip away.

I had almost forgotten about my student in the wake of the trip to the Labrinyth of Gedref, he however had not forgotten that he was still being tutored, or more to the point the King or Prince Kentigern hadn’t forgotten because on the Monday after arriving home, the young Prince entered the library, looking very excited.

It was a bit of a shock to be honest, I certainly hadn’t expected to see a happy face, much less on Prince Uther who was usually sullen.

“Kent says I’m going to be the best squire!”

“That’s...um...good.”

"He says if I work hard and keep practicing I'll be made an apprentice knight before everyone else my age and become a full knight ahead of them all." The Prince was all but jumping up and down on the spot.

I have to confess I couldn't really share in his enjoyment of the moment, apart from the what had happened on my trip there was also the fact I didn't understand the obsession of being a knight at all. I made an attempt though to look happy and encouraging.

"Father is going to be so proud of me." The prince said this more to himself than me so I refrained from commenting. I decided it was for the best however, surely Prince Uther was right? What father wouldn't be proud to hear how well his son was doing at something so difficult?

Prince Ambrosius as it turned out. Though I didn’t realise it at first.

Prince Uther entered the library that morning with his head bowed down low and his feet dragging, I don't believe I'd ever seen such a downtrodden person in all my life. Of course I couldn't actually say anything, that would have been taking familiarities with royalty, all the same, I fought to hold my tongue when I saw the Prince's face.

The boy had clearly been struck across the face, a bright red mark that was all ready beginning to gray into a bruise in some parts, his eyes were ringed with red, which wasn't surprising, God knows I would have wept had been injured like that!

The Prince said nothing about it, so I certainly couldn't, all the same it was difficult to proceed without acting like something was amiss. I fear I'm not a very good actor at all.

The Prince was extremely dispondent spending most of the lessons staring down at the tabletop and displaying now of his usual distractive tendancies. Frankly it left me feeling at quite uncomfortable and at a loss for what to do.

During the meal break I went over to speak to Cedas.

"Well, of course I noticed," he said annoyed, "I'm not blind, lad. But you're doing the right thing by ignoring it. Royals don't want your comfort and they certainly don't want your pity."

"But the Prince is not even ten years old, how on earth did he manage such an injury?"

Cedas gave a laugh, which frankly, I found in very poor taste, although I recognised it was not a laugh of amusement. "You don't know much about Prince Ambrosius's temper do you? You should be glad of that."

I was appalled, I had imagined the injury had occurred during one of the training sessions, which was bad enough, I had never even considered the idea it could have been Prince Uther's own father.

"But... why? He couldn't have done anything that horrible, he was only telling me yesterday that the Crown Prince had praised him for how well he did on that annual hunt ."

"Exactly," Cedas gave a nod as if I had just answered some riddle.

"You mean... Prince Ambrosius struck him for that? What possible reason could he have for such cruelty?"

Cedas looked at me as if I had asked the most ridiculous question possible, then shook his head. "Prince Ambrosius doesn't need an excuse to be cruel to his son, his mere existence is insult enough."

I stared at my mentor in utter confusion, quite certain now that it would be impossible for any normal person to understand royalty. Frankly, I didn't think it was eve possible for someone who had all their mental faculties.

"But Prince Uther is his son, his heir, is that not what every royal wants? A son to follow him?"

"Not Prince Ambrosius. He's so far down the line of succession it barely makes a difference what he does, which is the only reason he's wedded in the first place. To a woman he utterly despises I might add."

Well, I had quickly realised that Prince Ambrosius's marriage hadn't been one of love, but outright hatred of one's spouse was a bit much.

"You've no doubt noticed the striking resemblance between mother and son, haven't you?" Cedas continued and I nodded. "Hardly the Prince's fault, but his father is determined to blame him so he does. He's harder on his son then any father I've ever known and I've known quite a few."

I did not doubt that, still it seemed very harsh on Prince Uther, but then emotions rarely made sense. I wonder just how that sort of treatment would affect Prince Uther as he grew and frankly I could only think that it would be poorly, very poorly.
 
 
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