12 January 2013 @ 10:23 pm
*NaNo Project* Part the Seventh - Section the Third - The Scribe - 955AD  
Fortunately, I rather quickly discovered when my research would be needed, the castle was abuzz with talk of the Duke of Cornwall's visit. Apparently the Duke was considered one of the most handsome men in all of Albion so the female servants in particular were very much looking forward to his visit.

I thought all rather ridiculous, but at least I knew when the Duke was coming and that was soon!

So into the archives I went hunting through the myriad of documents and books concerning Cornwall. One day I decided to bring Prince Uther in on the research, not only because I was running out of time but because there were things to be learned.

Not that Prince Uther was at all interested in what I was trying to teach namely how to select research materials, no he was more interested in Cornwall’s military history.

I suppose I should be glad he had some interest because when I first told him what we were doing his response was dismissive. “Cornwall? Who cares about Cornwall, they don’t even have a king!”

But upon seeing all the books and dispatches relating to the various battles their army had proved instrumental in, the Prince proved to be a bit of hinderance as he insisted on reading through every dispatch and commenting on it.

So I was treated to remarks such as - “They beat the Mercia’s first batallion!”

“They have a mounted calvary of archers!”

“They’ve kept the Irish from breaching their coastline for hundreds of years with hardly any help at all!”

I suppose I should be thankful the Prince was finally appreciating the library for what it could be, but this was not a very good time. I certainly didn’t want to get on the bad side of Prince Caius, I was sure he was just as frightening as the King and Prince Ambrosius when he lost his temper.

It would have helped if I’d know specifically what the Duke of Cornwall was coming here to discuss, I had to assume though that it was military strategy of some sort, so at least I was on the right track there.

You can’t imagine my surprise when towards sunset Prince Caius himself returned to the library. I was expecting to have to deliver what I had collected – with the inherit difficult that would cause – not have the Prince come in person. What if he didn’t think I had collected the correct information?

Prince Uther was as surprised as I was, but a small smile appeared on his face. “Uncle Caius!”

Prince Caius didn’t even bother to greet his newphew instead he addressed me. “Where’s Cedas?”

I gave a quick bow. “Sire, Cedas instructed me to get the information for you so –“

You?” Prince Caius snapped, looking me up and down. “I don’t even know who the Hell you are –“

“He’s my tutor, Uncle,” Prince Uther interjected, to my surprise, since that was tantamount to him defending me, which I most certainly never expected.

Prince Caius face went red and I shrank back, wondering what exactly my punishment was going to be. Wasn't he at least going to look at it before condemning me?

Suddenly, Prince Caius slammed his fist down on the table that stood between us. "Is that the game then? Is that what his most gracious and benevolent Majesty has decreed? That I receive assistance from a simpleton and the most useless prince in the seven kingdoms?"

I finched, not just for myself, but for Prince Uther, stealing a quick look at him I saw his face was completely impassive.

"Cedas choose you, did he?" The Prince repeated slowly as if to a small child. "Tell me can you even read?"

"Yes, sire, of course I can, sire," I hurriedly picked up all the material I had gathered. It was quite an armful, but was, I thought an accurate description of the current diplomatic situation between Camelot and Cornwall.

Prince Caius stared at the various scrolls and two slim volumes, his upper lip curling in disdain. Finally he spoke. "You've picked the ones that say Cornwall, at least. Boy," he turned in Prince Uther's direction, "bring those to my chambers and be quick about it, damn it."

"Yes, Uncle," Prince Uther didn't seem to think his uncle was in too dangerous a mood, which was a relief, though in that case I shuddered to think what a bad mood would entail.

Prince Uther managed to take the whole pile all at once and hurry from the library without the stack so much as wobbling. It seemed that among other things training to be a knight gave one enviable balance.

Prince Caius put his other hand on the table and leaned forward, his eyes bored into mine. "Now, you listen to me, if any of that information is wrong and I end up looking the fool in any way, you will pay for it, understand?"

I swallowed hard, my heart was pounding in my chest so loudly I could barely hear the Prince's threat.

Apparently, I answered far too slowly for his liking because he grabbed me by the shoulder and shook me so hard my teeth clacked together. "Understand?!" He repeated.

"Y-yes, sire." I gasped, I had bit my tongue when he shook me and I tasted the bitter tang of blood.

With that Prince Caius smiled, a truly chilling smile I thought and then swept from the library.

I sat down, my legs all but giving out on me and rubbed my shoulder, which now throbbed from the force of Prince Caius's grip.

The royal family was truly the strangest one I had ever met.
 
 
Current Mood: stressed