26 December 2012 @ 10:45 pm
*NaNo Project* Part the Fourth - Section the Seventh - Camelot 953AD  
And start at the bottom I did. As Gaius had mentioned I was well immersed in dust and the monotonous busy work of an archive. I do believe weeks passed without me having a chance to open a book and actually read what was inside.

I will say however, that I seemed to make quite a good impression on Cedas, or perhaps he just enjoyed having someone to boss around. It seemed he’d never had an assistant before, or if he had they hadn’t lasted very long - not that that was a surprise. He had me hauling books from one place to another for reasons that weren’t clear to me, dusting shelves and even scrubbing the floors and walls of the huge space that the library took up!

There was one rather interesting aspect of the job however and that was the delivering of books, it didn’t happen all that often, but every now and then someone in the castle would request a volume or volumes to be brought to them and I of course was given that duty.

It was how I met my first member of the royal family, in fact, a few weeks after I began my apprenticeship.

It seems strange, that I was living in the castle and had thus far not met a single one of them, but considering the fact I wasn’t a courtier and a foreigner besides it wasn’t as if I had been invited to any royal functions. And royalty of course kept itself aloof from the part of the castle I was in. And it didn’t seem like the royal family were readers since Cedas seemed quite surprised when the request came in, delivered by a rather out of breath servant who had to rush off somewhere else hence I was the one instructed to be deliver the book...or scroll as it turned it.

“What is it?” I asked curiously as Cedas shoved it into my hands.

“None of your business,” he snapped. “Just deliver it to Prince Ambrosius.”

I stopped short at his words, blinking a few times, wondering if I’d heard him right. “Prince Ambrosius.”

“The King’s youngest brother.” Cedas said, impatiently. “And stop standing there, the Pendragons aren’t a patient lot.”

I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to meet one of the royal family, I hadn’t had the best luck with royalty thus far, but it didn’t look as if Cedas was going to accept any excuse I had.

“Where exactly will I find him?”I asked, swallowing nervously.

Cedas had all ready returned to his desk and didn’t notice my unease. “Just go to the royal wing, then ask any of the guards you pass by, Royalty can’t go anywhere without them knowing, they can point you in the right direction. Now go on, move it.”

Without any further ado, I headed off briskly, almost running really, the castle was a very large and if I walked at normal pace it would probably take me a good five minutes to even get to the Royal wing.

Upon my arrival at the large double doors that separated that wing from the rest of the castle I was greeted by two stony face guards.

“I have something to deliver to Prince Ambrosius,” I said somewhat out of breath, I held up the scroll. “From the Royal Archives.”

One of the guards looked me over and turned to his partner, who also gave me a brief cursory look.

“He’s in his chambers,” the first guard said curtly and he and the other guard pulled open the doors.

“Er...” I bit my lip, embarrassed to have to ask this. “Where exactly is that? I’ve never...um...I’m new here...to Camelot, I’m not sure where the Prince’s chambers are.”

The guards looked at each other as if they couldn’t believe it, the first one rolled his eyes, but the second one decided to be helpful. “It’s up the first flight of stairs, down the hallway, then left, then another hallway and the last door on your right.”

I wasn’t all that sure I could remember that and I repeated it a few times silently hoping to commit it to memory finally the first guard spoke.

“Anyone you meet can direct you, move along, buddy, this door is heavy.”

I apologised and scurried past, hoping that I would indeed come across someone, because the second guard’s directions had flown pretty much out of my head.

I did remember to go up the staircase however, and at the top I did see a maid and managed to catch her attention.

“Prince Ambrosius’s chambers?” She looked at me somewhat sympathetically and I had to wonder if Cedas had sent me on this errand on purpose. He seemed to enjoy seeing me out of depth. And having to deliver a scroll to a very bad tempered member of the royal family was undoubtedly out of my depth. The fact that if this went badly Cedas was certain to hear about it was probably how he was planning on enjoying this particular indignity.

The maid gave me the necessary directions, these ones I managed to retain and soon I was standing before the door, trying to screw up enough courage to knock on it. I wasn’t sure of the etiquette here, were servants allowed to just knock on doors uninvited? And I certainly couldn’t imagine a royal deigning themselves to answer a knock, but I couldn’t think of any other way.

There was a silence that seemed to last forever after I knocked, but finally I heard a muffled voice.

“Enter!”

I couldn’t tell if it was the Prince, having never even seen him let alone heard his voice, but I had to assume it was, or at least someone who had the right to be in his room and to let someone else in.

I turned the knob and pushed the door open, stepping inside.

I’d never seen royal chambers before, they were really quite amazing and I don’t think that was just because I had been spending the last few weeks sleeping in what amounted to a closet. I suppose it wasn’t all that surprising, royalty are a pampered lot, still, I hadn’t expected anything quite so...well, opulent.

There were soft bearskin rugs scattered here and there, and on the walls various animal heads hung, no doubt trophies of the various hunts the prince had been on. And the furniture was ornate and of a dark wood, oak, I assumed, it was covered with a intricate carvings and I wondered how long it had taken the woodworker to create even one chair, let alone the dozen or so that were scattered about the room.

“You have something for me?” A sharp voice rang out interrupting my reverie. My head jerked towards the sound and I came face to face with a nearly middled aged man, with a scowl on his face. It was about then that I noticed the various weaponry that also hung on the walls, this was not a good place to anger someone.

I gave what had to have been the worst bow in history, holding out the scroll. “Your...my...Your highness, I’m from the Archives, Cedas sent me, you wanted this?” It all came out in rather a pathetic jumble and the prince stared at me for a moment, his brow furrowing. I’m not sure if he understood what I said, but the scroll made it clear enough.

“Set it down here,” he gestured to the table before turning away.

I wondered why he didn’t just come over and take the scroll from me and I realised with a start that he didn’t actually want to take it, apparently I was too far beneath him to be given that privilege.

It seemed a bit much, but then Caerleon the younger had been less polite than that, he probably would have mentioned something about not wanting to come into contact with the lesser people. Still the reason was rather implicit and I still felt offended.

But, I suppose that’s how royals were, so I stepped forward and set the scroll down...then wondered about my next move, something told me, despite the standoffish nature of the prince that I couldn’t just leave, I had to wait to be dismissed. The prince wasn’t facing me however and it didn’t look like he’d be turning back round any time soon, so I was forced to stand there feeling quite stupid until finally, after what seemed like hours, he did.

“Is there something else? Some message from Cedas for me? Has he found a tutor?”

“Uh...no, not that I’ve heard of.” I didn’t have a clue as to what the man was referring to, a tutor for what? But one didn’t ask questions of royalty.

The prince frowned. “Then what are you standing around here for? Move along, get back to Cedas.”

I felt a bit like an errant child being scolded, but I had no recourse to complain, so instead I gave another rather sloppy bow and hurried out, almost tripping on one of the rugs as I did.

It was quite a relief to be finally out of there and I hoped fevorently that I wouldn’t have to do anything like that again.
 
 
Current Mood: intimidated