21 January 2013 @ 09:21 pm
*NaNo Project* Part the Eigth - Section the Third - The Visitors - 956AD  
Because my parents were only in Camelot for a short while, we didn’t really have enough time to discuss the theological questions the Midsummer’s Eve festival had wrought. Father though didn’t seem as perturbed as I feared and I decided that his faith was strong enough to withstand all this. Mother seemed slightly more shaken, but she seemed to relax enough as I showed them around the capital and the surrounding area. Time passed quickly and it seemed like they had barely arrived before they were readying themselves to leave.

I came to Freida’s inn to see them off, and we all had breakfast together. I’m not ashamed to admit I was very sad to see them go. It seemed completely unfair that I saw them so rarely and I wondered if maybe I should put more effort into visiting them despite my dislike of horse riding.

“You’re more than welcome to visit us whenever you want,” Mother said, when I mentioned this possibility. She reached out and patted my hand. “We do miss you, surprisingly enough.”

I made a show of looking quite offended. “Oh, is that how it is?”

“Well your curiosity did lead you into a lot of trouble sometimes,” Mother replied, wryly. “I’m surprised my hair didn’t turn white.”

Father chuckled. “I wouldn’t worry, dear, there’s still time. We are after all going on our first sea voyage.”

Mother made a face. “Don’t remind me.”

“Are you afraid to go?” I asked, I supposed that wasn’t all that surprising, I had never taken a boat journey either and thinking about it I didn’t believe I would want to.

“I wouldn’t say afraid, dear, more…that I’d rather not. But, life is full of challenges and we might as well face them head on, rather than by running away.”

I gave a smile, that was my mother.

After breakfast I saw them off, accompanying them as far as the gates of the lower town, embracing them and as they left in a cart I waved, and kept doing so until they disappeared over the horizon.

I then returned to the castle and the library expecting to find Prince Uther there ready – or at the very least made to appear for a resumption of our lessons. I did not find the prince however, instead I came face to face with someone I never expected.

I thought she had left, but then I hadn’t really being paying attention, Gaius had made it sound like the priestess spent most of their time on the Isle and any visits from it were fleeting at best.

And now, nearly three days later, they were here, or at least the younger one was…the one called Nimueh.

I might have given a little jump of surprise, which seemed to amuse her, her lips curving into a smile and her eyes twinkled with mirth.

“Good morning,” she spoke, her voice was rich and smooth. “You’re not Cedas.”

“No,” I shook my head, thoroughly confused and on the back foot. “I’m Geoffrey…his apprentice. I…what are you doing here?”

Nimueh gave a laugh. “Why do you think I’m here? It’s a library, isn’t it?’

“Oh,” I flushed in embarrassment. “Right…umm….do you need a book or…a record or something?”

Nimueh gave a shrug. “No, not really.”

My brow furrowed in confusion, I had the feeling she was teasing me, but I had no idea why, we’d never met before.

“Are you here to visit Cedas?” I tried.

“Cedas? That ancient? Definitely not.”

Finally I just had to come right out and ask. “Then why are you here?”

“Curious one, aren’t you,” she replied cheerily. “Which makes me wonder…why didn’t you take one of our apples?”

This time I really did give a start of surprise. Had she seen that? How? We had been all the way on the other side of the square and well hidden by the alcove.

“Silly boy,” she admonished me. “I see with far more than just my eyes.”

I felt a shiver go up my spine, what did she mean by that. Obviously, that she was watching me, but why?

“Don’t think yourself as special,” she continued airly, waving a hand. “I don’t really care, I’m just curious. Neither you or your parents.” She looked at me keenly. “Some sort or…religious objection.”

I wasn’t sure if she was just simply guessing or if she actually knew that, but either way I was at a loss.

“Oh don’t look so petrified, I’m not going to kill you for refusing to give the Goddess her due. What do I care if you choose not to believe.”

If that was the case, why was she asking me about it?

“I’m just intrigued is all,” Nimueh once again seemed to know what I was thinking, but then it was probably written all over my face. “You’ve come to a strange place if you want to avoid magic. Not that it isn’t everywhere, but here in Camelot, it’s all around.”

“I have nothing against magic,” I said, and it was true, I wasn’t all that comfortable around it, that was true, but I wasn’t going to stop anyone else from doing it or judge them for it.

Nimueh looked at me curiously, a smile playing around the corners of her mouth.

“I suppose not, interesting view for the son of a clergyman to have.”

“How did you -?” I stopped in confusion.

“As I said, I see with more than just my eyes and I can hear with more than just my ears.”

Well, that was unsettlingly.

Before anything more could be said however, the Prince entered the library looking less than pleased to be here. “Geoffrey do we have to do this today, the apprentices are going to be put through their –“ He broke off, gaping in surprise when Nimueh turned to face him.

“Why hello there, little dragon,” she grinned at him.

The Prince looked up at her, blinking his mouth moving but no sound came out. He was clearly in absolute awe of her.

Nimueh gave a laugh and looked over at me. “It seems you’ll have trouble getting this one to be quiet. He’s meant to be a warrior.”

Prince Uther looked as if he had been awarded untold riches at Nimueh’s comment, he actually smiled and straightened his shoulders and stood tall.

“Well…I…I only aim to do what I’ve been hired to do.” I stuttered unsure how else to answer that remark.

Nimueh waved a hand again. “You always follow the rules then, Geoffrey of Monmouth?”

“I…yes…no…mostly,” she seemed to have a talent to completely confuse me, but then I expected she was probably able to do that with many people.

She laughed. “Well, you probably should pay attention to some of your lessons at least, little dragon,” she addressed the Prince. “They may come in handy later.”

And with that she swept out of the library, her laugh trailing behind her.

I shook my head, wondering if all Priestesses were so strange.
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