Chapter 013: Unwilling to Yield
Sages in the ancient mythology have always existed in the shadows of the world.
Usually, astrologers and wise men knowledgeable in the affairs of the world would accompany the king. But Merlin was different. She was a person who on top of having boundless intelligence comparable to astrologers and wise men, she had the power of magic backing her. Hence she was at a higher position whom even King Uther had to please.
But what little sage? How can he be counted as a disciple of Merlin?
It’s truly too absurd!
The lords and dukes shouted in succession in their hearts. When they saw Kailar dare speak to the king in such casual manner, they inwardly reprimanded the king’s whimsical attitude shown thus far.
Then they saw Kailar smiling lightly.
Ah… the king surely has gone crazy. He’d allow a kid to become a sage? How outrageous!
They turned their head and looked at Andrea Ettorek whose face beamed brightly with a wide crooked smile. Their hearts sunk seeing such display.
But of course, the reason Andrea Ettorek smiled so happily was the same reason as Merlin. Andrea Ettorek thought it cute and refreshing to see his little spawn smile so unexpectedly after ten years.
He’d never seen his son show interesting in anything. All things Andrea and his wife asked of their son he’d do without question or complaints. To see Kailar showing interest for once in these past ten years and genuine smile written on his face, Andrea Ettorek was nothing but a happy gleeful father.
“Hmm…” King Uther raised his brows slightly. Thereafter, his eyes softened and his lips curved. “Attaining the title of a sage isn’t easy. How about this, I have three questions for you. If you answer all correctly, I’ll consider you a sage in training.”
Merlin smiled. She didn’t wish to see Kailar make a fool of himself. Rather, she wanted to know how this little monster would cope with the king’s martyrdom.
“Please speak, Your Majesty.” Kailar was neither surprised nor alerted. Rather, he remained serenely calm as if nothing in this world could possibly pose a problem to him like the wise Socrates of Ancient Greece.
“What is it that can sustain a nation?” Asked King Uther. His smile remained plastered on his face. He knew this kid had extraordinary qualities so it should prove interesting for him.
The correct answer should be the king. In this world, a kingdom without a ruler, a king leading them—then they’re no different from savages.
“Justice,” Kailar said, a half smile written on his face.
“Oh, why?” The king smiled but rather than say the child was wrong, he asked for further clarification.
“If there is war and His Majesty is unjust, the knight will be immoral. In terms of political decision, if His Majesty is unjust, then His Majesty’s ministers will be corrupt. If there is no justice, there is no kingdom.” Kailar would’ve loved to speak about the forms of different governments such the English Parliament or the U.S legislative, executive, and judicial branches but he knew they’d not understand a thing of it so he chose to dumb it down.
“Haha, well said.” King Uther clapped his hands and laughed.
“You passed. Barely. Now here’s the second question.” Under King Uther’s diction, Kailar was barely qualified but he deemed the answer sufficient. Kailar sighed inwardly and labeled this king standing before as one without insufficient strength regardless of his calm attitude. He was a soft king. It’s no wonder that until the Gauls had gone thousands of miles into Camelot that King Uther decided to make a move. This indecisive decision was unfit to be king.
“What are the code of principles knights stand by?” King Uther asked further. This is a simple question. So long as the children who aimed to become a knight, they’d know of the answer.
Be just. Never be angry nor murder.
Be loyal. Never betray your companion.
Be merciful. Give forgiveness to those who ask for forgiveness.
Be generous. Always give assistance those in need.
Be honorable. Respect the honor of women.
Be temperamental. Never fight because of love nor sharp words.
This are but the few codes of principles. Sadly, it’d shock the crowds were he to say them all perfunctorily so Kailar just smiled lightly. “Loyalty, Integrity, Honor, Courage, Valor, Fearlessness, and Sacrifice.”
Kailar’s proposition perked King Uther’s interest. “Loyalty, integrity, valor, and courage I understand but what of honor?”
“A woman isn’t so weak as we think. But too often we find the woman lacking, often leading us to take advantage of them. This isn’t right. A knight should be able to fight for the woman’s honor. A knight must be able to sacrifice himself for what he believes in whether it be his family, loved ones, or his nation. He must be fearless to fight his aggressors to keep the honor of the people.
King Uther nodded. He felt the answer was right.
“Pass. This is the third question.” King Uther didn’t wish to argue with the little kid. He’d given a good answer too.
“What is magic?”
Everybody here knew magic. At least they think they did. After all, isn’t Merlin a magician? Kailar frowned. Though Merlin’s a well-known figure, what she can do and what she’s capable of would surely spread throughout the world like a wildfire. What troubles would it bring? It is something worth gossiping about. Though travel highly depends on walking, information between various nations are still being passed. Whether it be on the other side of the sea or their enemies in the land, it’ll surely cause a great stir.
“Magic is the heart.” Kailar smiled once more. “Believe in it, then you can use it. Don’t believe, you won’t be able to.”
“Oh, that’s not right. I believe in magic but I can’t seem to use it.” King Uther laughed. He thought it rather interesting to find Kailar in a rather awkward situation. How could he get himself out?
“You believe in magic yes, but do you really believe you can use it?”
“This…” King Uther hesitated. The little kid was right. Though he knew of magic and believed in it, in his heart he knew he’d never be able to use it.
“This won’t count. I’m unable to make a fair decision regarding this answer so let’s take the simple route.” King Uther smiled bitterly. “Tell us what your magic is.”
“If you want to know my magic…” Kailar smiled and suddenly, a brilliant fragment of light appeared in the palm of his hand. It shrouded the audience blind. Then a dark shadow appeared and quickly lunged straight towards King Uther.
A ripple of white shields roared and stomped the ground.
“Assassins! Protect His Majesty!” A group of knights shouted and they swiftly moved in succession.
Andrea Ettorek reacted just as fast. With a roar, he pulled out the slender sword from his waist and rushed towards the assassin, chopping the assassin in two.
Inside the banquet, Kailar Ettorek grabbed the title of Little Sage without question.