Chapter 11: Gawain
If he’d put words to it, Kailar found the banquet rather boring. He sat on the edge of the indoor flower, a glass of juice in hand as he watched those petty nobles of elevated status laughing carelessly and speaking of rumors amongst each other. He despised it so, despised their feigned act. He despised it all.
Losing interest, he turned his head and looked at the outside view. He wondered how he could adopt the pace of nature. Her secret was patience, after all.
“Are you the son of the Grand Duke, Andrea Ettorek?” A voice echoed in groups, and soon, a figure blocked Kailar’s view, posture foolishly arrogant.
“Hm?” Kailar looked up only to see groups of children a few centimeters shorter than him. He thought they weren’t worth his time. Smiling softly, he raised his arm and sipped on his juice, then looked away. He’s not too interested in petty conversations.
He thought nothing much of the children in his generations. They were more or less scums of society. After all, they’re unable to think for themselves much less for others. They could only abide by the will of their parents and as what society dictated them so. Strip them bare of all their wealthy possessions, they were nothing.
The longer they lingered, the longer their presence irked him. Fed up, Kailar’s lips parted slightly, ready to frighten them so till he heard a loud clamor.
The bodies of the children quivered, trembling even. They turned their heads rigidly only to see what they dreaded the most. They saw a youthful boy with blonde hair rushing towards them fervently.
“Sola, Lira, Moses, what are you doing?”
“Gawain, we aren’t afraid of you! This is the royal court. Surely you wouldn’t dare cause such a ruckus in a place like this.” A voice said disdainfully, lips frowning and lipped-tight.
They believed they’d finally gained the upper hand over Gawain, however, much to their dismay, Gawain’s lips curved to a wide smile.
“Oh?” Said Gawain, head tilted sideways. “But His Majesty’s not out yet. I wonder… what should I do with you all till then…”
The groups shivered, suddenly feeling a chill running through their backs. They quickly turned around and ran away in fright.
Gawain scoffed and stuck out his chest proudly. Then, he faced Kailar, eyes twinkling. “Are you my cousin?” He prodded, repeatedly asking the question nonstop.
“Who are you?’ Sighing, Kailar replied wistfully. He’d attempted to ignore this young lad, but it seemed the struggle was futile. Looking up, Kailar saw Gawain’s big eyes brimming with vibrancy and vigor.
“It’s really amazing…” Gawain sighed, rather content. Kailar’s brows tightened, unsure what this young lad was speaking of. “Are you my cousin?” Gawain asked once more.
“Truth be told, I myself am not sure. I don’t know who you are. As for me being your cousin, it’s unlikely to be true.” This young lad, there was the slight possibility of him being the son of one of his aunts or uncles. Even then, he could not be sure till he had the facts.
“Ah, cousin, don’t be cold. My name is Gawain.” Said the young lad.
“Gawain?” Kailar’s eyes flashed.
Upon learning of Uther Pendragon, Kailar’s mind wandered and thought of King Arthur; when he thought of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table came to him; and when pondering over King Arthur’s knights, Lancelot and Gawain, King Arthur’s left and right arm were a legend told and passed down through history. King Arthur trusted his two men dearly. They were the knights who’d shine brightly like a jewel in the rough. Their legends were told time after time.
It seemed as if Camelot’s prosperity would be everlasting, but to think it’d fall to ruins when Lancelot and Guinevere betrayed their king. His love for the king’s wife had set the motion of Camelot’s fall, and ultimately, King Arthur’s death.
As the threat of the Gauls and Romans loomed from the outside, Lancelot caused the spiral end of Camelot internally.
It’s a tragedy, truly. A tragic legend. Even the great Arthur Pendragon himself failed to move past the betrayal of a friend and wife whom he trusted dearly.
Kailar believed that if King Arthur held the notion of quick decisiveness and ability to move forward despite his hardships, maybe the fall of Camelot would cease to be, maybe their nation would cease to be a lamb robbed of their future. They’d not be robbed and exploited by those savages nor plundered by the Romans.
Without the presence of their king, and the people knew fairly well the reason of his absence, they felt no remorse to those who’d betrayed him. Turning your back on the king and betraying him was simply an abandonment of their own nation. Who’d have sympathy for that kind of people?
Kailar suddenly grew interested in this young lad who claimed to be his cousin.
Gawain suddenly felt his cousin’s ice-cold chilly gaze looming over him. He gulped subconsciously and staggered a couple steps backwards, but once gaining back a semblance of his composure, Gawain returned back to his usually bright and carefree self. He opened his mouth, taking the initiative to begin a conversation. “Cousin, I’ve heard of you inventing the red wine? Is that true?”
“That’s right.” Kailar nodded. “Made from grapes. All wines are made from crushed grapes.”
“Oh, that’s really great! My old man loves red wine too much.” Gawain laughed. “You know, he complains about wine frequently as it comes straight from our own enemy. But such is a sin he’d have to face. He truly could not resist the magnificent taste of wine whilst feeling as if he’d betrayed his own. But because of your invention, now my old man can drink happily.”
Kailar’s calm heart moved slightly. He’d not believed there’d still be others of his age who’d think of the well-being of others rather than for their own selfish gains.
Soon after, the court sounded off. Serene music roamed the air. It was time.
“Seems His Majesty will soon make his appearance.” Gawain grinned foolheartedly as he pulled his cousin to the front. “Come. Let’s go and take a look.”
Groups of knights stepped foot out of the corridors, walking together side by side in tandem, heading towards the middle of the court. Their footsteps thumped rhythmically.
Soon after, an exalter figure dressed in grandeur clothing walked out rather dignified. Sapphires engraved the golden crown and a long snow white marten cloak hugged the figure’s back. His name was Uther Pendragon.
Kailar’s heartbeat thumped sporadically.
This was the first he’d seen the so-called legend that is Uther Pendragon. Though he’d imagined his appearance much different for odd reasons, but it seemed reality’s always different from one’s own imagination. King Uther was a man nearing his old age, but regardless of his old age, his skill was well maintained and his facial hair was groomed neatly. Add to the symbolic crown of royalty and supreme, Uther Pendragon exuded quite a manly charm.
He was a man of power.
Kailar looked around, eyes suddenly landing on a familiar figure standing behind Uther Pendragon. How nose scrunched and groaned softly.
Merlin, why are you here?