03 January 2013 @ 10:55 pm
*NaNo Project* Part the Fifth - Section the Second - The Tutor 954AD  
Tutoring Prince Uther proved to be a truly exhausting experience, but I supposed I could count myself lucky that the King and the Prince’s father didn’t seem too much care about what, if any progress he made. In fact they seemed completely uninterested in anything the boy did. I had to wonder why I had even been engaged to tutor the boy, something I brought up with Gaius the next time I saw him.

“For appearances of course,” he shook his head, “I mean you can’t have a member of the royal family being illiterate and thought of as stupid. The King has no time for Prince Uther, but the people of Camelot do know who he is.” He paused for a few moments going through his satchel producing a small hunk of cheese, he offered some to me, but I declined. He took a bite and chewed thoughtfully. “Although, the Crown Prince is somewhat fond of Prince Uther it has to be said. And the Crown Prince will one day be king and Prince Uther may well have a bigger part to play in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if Prince Kentigern had a hand in your position.”

I made a face. “I’m not sure if he should have his hopes up, Prince Uther certainly doesn’t pay much attention to me or anything that I say. I’ll be lucky if he ever learns to read.”

Gaius chuckled. “I’m sure you’re more talented than you think, Geoffrey. Prince Uther generally ignores his servants at best and makes their lives a misery at worse.”

I blinked. “He does?” Well, in that case, being ignored suddenly seemed a whole lot better.

“You haven’t heard the stories?” Gaius looks at me in surprise, he laughs. “Really, you need to do more with your life than just read books. There’s a whole world out there, you know.”

I was somewhat offended by his tone, why wouldn’t I spend my time in the library? It was what I had come here for! Besides, I had been to plenty of places in the seven kingdoms, possibly more than Gaius had. As far as I knew, he had lived in a tiny village just across the Camelot border in the kingdom of Cenred, I meanwhile had visited quite a number of places.

“You should come with us tomorrow,” Gaius suddenly offered much to my surprise.

“Come where?” I couldn’t help being slightly curious. “And what do you mean us?”

“Honestly, Geoffrey, you do realize there’s other people in Camelot, don’t you? There’s a whole town out there! You should visit the tavern now and then.”

“The tavern? I don’t even drink.” I objected.

“Neither do I…all that much,” Gaius gave me a grin. “But there’s plenty of other things to do there, play darts, people watch. Anyway, that’s where we meet.”

“Meet? For what?”

Gaius rolled his eyes. “To discuss the Old Religion, of course.”

Well, of all the things I expected him to say, that was nowhere on my list. It was true that Gaius was an apprentice to the Court Physician and physicians often used old herbal remedies as part of their work, but I hadn’t really considered that the Old Religion might be involved too.

“Anyway,” Gaius continued, “we’re going to visit the Labyrinth of Gedref tomorrow.”

I couldn’t say I’d ever heard of it.

“Why would I want to go there? Is it some sort of historical site?”

Gaius gave a snort. “Hardly, it’s still in use now. The priests and priestess of the Old Religion still conduct certain rites there. Not that any of us know what they are, not being priests.”

I was immediately cautious. “So, it’s a sacred place? Do you really think it’s a good idea to go there then? What if you anger whoever these priests are?”

Gaius gave a sniff. “And why would we do that? We’re not planning on burning the place down or anything. We just want to see what its like, aren’t you curious?”

I gave a shrug. “Not really.”

“This isn’t because your father is a bishop, is it? You’re not going to have carry a druid’s staff or draw runes on yourself.”

“No, it’s not that,” I shook my head, “it’s just…certain places shouldn’t be entered by lay people, at least in churches, this might be the same thing. Why don’t you just wait to ask a priest when one comes by? I’m sure plenty of them do.”

“Where’s the fun in that?” Gaius looked appalled as if I’d just suggested he do something truly disgusting. “You can’t get all your information from reading and second hand, you need to experience things!”

“I have experienced things! I’m teaching a prince after all, it’s not as if that happens to everyone.”

Gaius gave a chuckle. “You have a point there. But really, Geoffrey, it’ll be an adventure!”

“I’ve been traveling plenty of times, you realise and I really don’t care for it.” I was making excuse I suppose, but really, it was the truth! Why would I want to willingly engage in an activity I didn’t enjoy in the least?

Gaius heaved a rather irritated sounding sigh and rolled his eyes, looking at me somewhat despairingly. “Will you at least come to the tavern with me tonight then? And get to meet the rest of the group, see how you like them and get out of the castle for once?”

I supposed I couldn’t really argue with doing that, so I agreed, though I warned Gaius that I had never played darts in my life and judging from my archery abilities I didn’t think it would be in anyone’s interest if I did.

Gaius laughed and gave me a part on the back telling me to meet him outside The Rising Sun just after evening bells.

“And don’t back out,” he warned me.

“I won’t,” I promised, rolling my eyes.
Current Mood: amused