11 December 2012 @ 11:23 pm
*NaNo Project* Part the Second - Section the Seventh - The Student 950 AD  
Fortunately, there were no naked displays during the Bonfire and the next day I was able to go to the market and buy a few more books, although none on the Old Religion, they were rare as most of the religious lore was kept orally. I wondered though, with a new religion spreading throughout Albion – the kingdom of Powys had recently decreed that they would follow Christianity too – if the Durids would begin to write things down, to make sure their history wasn’t lost forever.

With my fifteenth birthday fast approaching I began to wonder if I might be given more freedom, to travel to various places in Caerleon and find out about them. I was sure that I wouldn’t suffer nervousness about being separated from my parents, I was almost a man after all!

Mother, Father and I remained in the city until the end of June, during which I saw Dylis more than a few times. I realised later on, much later on that she was flirting with me! Sometimes I wondered what would have happened if I’d realised such a thing…although I’m sure I’d still be blushing to this day.

I think Dylis decided I was lost cause before I left, because the last time I saw her before our departure, she was talking with one of the new squires, I could tell he was a squire because he had the patch of one on his tunic.

She noticed me shortly after I saw her and moved forward with a wave. “Geoff!”

“Hello, Dylis,” I greeted her with a smile and a nod. The squire she was with looked at me closely, but there was no sense of danger in his gaze.

“This is Padrig, he’s the son of Lord Eurig of Wysg and has just arrived in the city to begin his training.”

“Hello, Padrig,” I rather awkwardly stuck out my hand for him to shake, I never knew how to properly greet people. Padrig seemed more amused than anything else, however, and shook my hand briskly with a very tight grip.

“And this is Geoff, from Monmouth, its north of here, but that’s about all I know.” Dylis gave a laugh and shook her head.

Padrig though gave me a nod of recognition. “I know of Monmouth, my mother was from there. A very fine town, although I haven’t visited there for some years. Is Rhys still blacksmith there?”

“He is,” I answered with a nod and for a few moments we exchanged news about my birthplace and then Padrig excused himself, citing a meeting with the knight who was sponsoring him.

Once he was gone, I turned to Dylis. “I’m afraid I’ve come to say farewell, Father, Mother and I are returning to Monmouth this afternoon.”

Dylis’s face fell. “All ready? You only just got here, Geoff.”

Perhaps I was wrong about her having lost interest in me – though I could hardly think why she’d be interested in the first place – I patted her hand because that was all I could think to do.

“We’ve been here for almost three weeks, and Father is needed back at Monmouth, he is bishop after all.”

“Well, you don’t have to go with them do you?” Dylis asked, threading her arm through mine. “You’re of age to be a squire yourself, you know.”

I couldn’t help blanching at that. “I would be an absolutely awful knight, Dylis, I have no warrior skills whatsoever.”

Dylis looked me up and down then grinned. “You have no illusions of yourself, do you, Geoff?”

“Well, there’s not much point in that, is there?” I asked, looking at her slightly confused.

“I suppose,” Dylis patted my cheek now. “Still very honest of you.” She tilted her head at me curiously. “I’ll miss you, Geoff. If you’re back in the capital you have to visit with me.”

“Of course,” I promised, although I really wasn’t sure when next I’d visit the capital, it did not appear that it would be getting a library any time soon. I supposed there were royal archives, but the idea of going anywhere near the Prince Caerleon wasn’t the least bit appealing.

Dylis wrapped her arms around me in a tight embrace and planted a kiss on my lips much to my embarrassment. Somehow we weren’t noticed doing so there were no repercussions for either of us for such a public display.

Before I left Dylis, she showed me where she lived, a rather modest house, but one that was not too far from the castle. She took the opportunity to introduce me to her mother, her father, being a commander in the army was away on patrol somewhere. Her mother was a rather portly woman, with the same bright red hair as her daughter’s.

“Geoffrey, is it? Dylis has mentioned you,” she greeted me rather politely, but all the same she seemed rather bemused. “I am Lady Gladys.”

I bowed my head to her. “Honoured to meet you.” Her husband being a commander and all I had to assume she was a lady of some position.

Lady Gladys invited me to sit and a servant brought us some cold meat and honey drink for lunch.

The conversation proved to be slightly stilted seeing as I had no idea what one was supposed to talk about in such situations. Somehow we ended up talking about how I learnt to read here in the capital. Lady Gladys was extremely excited to hear that I had met the King and Prince, admittedly I didn’t tell them the whole truth about the Prince, because, well, that would have been treason.

After about an hour, Lady Gladys excused herself and I told Dylis I had to go. I promised that I would remember it – the door of the house was painted a bright red – and with a final wave I headed off towards the Bishop’s Palace making sure to arrive in time to check my room and assure myself I hadn’t forgotten anything before Mother, Father and I bid the Bishop of Caerleon farewell and climbed into our cart for our journey.

As travelled up the road, I leaned back and thought about what the future would hold for me. Dylis had had a good point, many boys of my age….well, were no longer boys, they were men. It would not be all that long until I was expected to put in a year of soldiering, and while it wasn’t as if I didn’t feel a sort of…loyalty to Caerleon I knew more than anything else, that there was no possible way I could undertake such a thing.

Besides, it didn’t take me long to figure out what it was that I wanted to be.

A scholar, a dedicated researcher, someone who would always have books close at hand.

The question was…how would I achieve such a thing?
Current Mood: thoughtful