31 December 2012 @ 09:29 pm
*NaNo Project* Part the Fourth - Section the Twelveth - Camelot 954AD  
My duties at the library were not all to do with shelving, that was only the start. I had proved myself an enthusiastic worker and soon Cedas had me working on small projects, researching this and that and getting to see the inner workings of a royal archive.

It was indeed everything I had ever dreamed and I took to every task enthusiastically, which seemed to please Cedas greatly.

“You know, young man, before you came I truly believed I was one of a kind and no-one would appreciate the finer points of learning. My past apprentices were certainly proof of that, but in half a year you’ve proven yourself just as curious and intelligent as I am.” One could never accuse Cedas of not having a healthy ego. “This is of great comfort to me, I worried who would take my place when the time came, but now you’ve put my mind at ease. Thank you.”

I wasn’t entirely sure of the appropriate way to respond to such a speech, furthermore I was rather taken by the promise it held, that I would be the next Archivist of Camelot! Could I really have secured my future so quickly? I decided not to take things too much for granted, that had a way of coming back to bite one the posterior.

As it happened it was a good strategy because life does like to surprise, and the surprise it gave me was nothing short of completely and utterly incomprehensible.

The morning started normally enough I woke up in my little closet room and got to work with my latest project, arrange the maps of Camelot, which looked as if it would be a lengthy task indeed, there were hundreds of scrolls none of which seemed to be in any order whatsoever. So I wasn’t expecting to emerge from that task for quite a few days at least, which is why I was so surprised when Cedas appeared at the doorway. The Map room was separate from the archives down a spiral flight of stairs that I was certain he’d rather avoid, he hadn’t even come down with me the first time, but now here he was.

I didn’t have time to ask any questions about why he was here because he immediately spoke in an almost breathless voice. “Geoffrey, come quickly, lad, the King wishes to speak with you.”

“The King?”

“Yes, come on, you can’t keep him waiting.”

My brow furrowed with concern and I hesitated even as I got to my feet. “What for?”

“I have no idea, but the servant who delivered the message spoke in no uncertain terms that you get there as soon as possible. Royalty doesn’t like waiting, so come on, move, move.”

So I did, quickly outpacing Cedas who told me to hurry on ahead ad he’d catch up eventually. I hoped so because by that point he was sounding rather out of breath and I was worried he might stop all together.

I arrived at the Council Chambers to find two guards flanking the doors, this was usual, but what was unusual was that they opened the doors and nodded me through.

I gave a nervous nod as I passed by them and wished I could ask them what if anything they knew about why I was being summoned. I have since learnt that it was quite unlikely they’d have any idea, guards were hardly kept in royal confidence.

I was surprised to see the Queen beside the King when I entered, I didn’t think the Queen attended councils and then I noticed Prince Ambrosius lurking for a lack of a better word in the shadows with a scowl on his face. I wondered what was behind that and as it turned out I didn’t have to wonder for long.

“Geoffrey of Monmouth,” the King addressed me, immediately grabbing my attention, I wasn’t aware he even knew my name!

“Yes…er…Your Majesties.” I bumbled and realising I hadn’t bowed yet, hastily did so, almost overbalancing and ending up on the floor.

An awkward silence followed, I wondered if I was supposed to say more, but I couldn’t think what. I knew one wasn’t supposed to address royalty without being addressed first and the King had only said my name, I didn’t think that was an invitation to say anything more.

Then I remembered that Prince Ambrosius was in the room and I quickly turned to give him a little bow. “Your Highness.” I stuttered.

“Cedas has mentioned you,” the King finally continued, satisfied that all the protocols had been met. “He says you’re extremely diligent in your tasks, quick to learn and articulate.”

“Er…thank you, sire.” I certainly wasn’t showing much articulation right at that moment.

The King gave me a look and I realised that wasn’t a statement that needed a response, talking with royalty was a quagmire, no doubt about it.

“You’re currently working on a number of projects, I understand?”

This did call for a response. “Yes, sire, I am.” I wondered if I should elaborate, but I decided to err on the side of caution.

“Well, I have a project for you.”

I blinked a few times, a project from the King? I couldn’t imagine what such a project could possibly entail. Was I supposed to catalogue his office perhaps, all the important treaties? That actually sounded rather…interesting.

But those possibilities quickly evaporated at the King’s next words.

“You imbue all the necessary qualities of a tutor.”

I gave a start. A tutor? What on earth would the King need tutoring in? More to the point why would he want me to be his tutor? I was barely older than his own son!

The King turned to Prince Ambrosius and gave a sharp gesture that evidentially translated into ‘get over here now!’ and sullenly the man stepped forward, it looked as if he’d rather be anywhere else but here. Little did I know I was going to sympathise with him in just a few moments.

“My brother, Prince Ambrosius’s son has recently reached his seventh year. The boy is woefully uneducated and whilst he is never going to take the throne of Camelot, I will not have the Pendragon name equated with ignorance on any front.”

I have to confess that I was a little...slow, at the time I had no idea why the King was telling me this. It wasn’t as if Prince Ambrosius’s son was a well-known figure, I didn’t even know his name at the time!

“My brother has dragged his heels on finding a tutor for the boy and frankly I’ve lost patience with it. The boy doesn’t need to be a scholar, he just needs to know the basics.”

I nodded, the basics were good, yes, he might not have a future as King, but surely anyone related to the King would be expected to know the ins and outs of Albion’s history, for treaty purposes. I still didn’t see what this had to do with me.

“To that end I think that with your presence the need to conduct a widespread search for a suitable tutor is unnecessary.”

You would think it would have dawned on me at that particular moment, but you’d be wrong.

At that point I heard the doors open behind me and I heard Cedas’s voice immediately greeting the King, Queen and Prince.

“Ah, Cedas there you are. I was starting to think we might have lost you.” The King chuckled and then he dropped the pitch ball. “But you’re just in time, your protégé was just about to accept the post of Prince Uther’s tutor.”
 
 
Current Mood: shocked