In Service to the King

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It was nearly noon. The light streamed in the high windows, pooling on the floor precisely where it needed to in order to illuminate the genuflecting Knight.

It also left me in shadows. 

"You will receive no public praise. No accolades. No title nor lands," I continued, stripping all infliction beyond the faintest impression of sternness from my voice. "In fact, it's most likely you will die long before you even reach your goal. Alone. Forgotten in a foreign land."

"I understand, Your Highness," he said quietly, head still bowed in obedience, deference, and humble patience. 

The silence filled the empty throne room and my eyes flickered to the closed Grand Doorway. It had taken quite a great deal of effort to drive the courtiers from my presence for even this small amount of time and I was rapidly running out of moments to spare. My gaze returned to the Knight and I prompted, “And?”

He looked up at me. “And I will leave within the hour, Your Highness.” His tone remained matter of fact, “I will find your enemies. I will destroy them and all evidence of their schemes. I will bring the girl, safely, to the Sisters. All of this, it will be my honor to do or to, indeed, die trying.”

I stared at him for a long moment, motionless. Then I gave a slight gesture with my hand, indicating the end of this audience.

He stood, turned, and made his way to the well-hidden alcove that would conceal his retreat.

I noted the confidence in his step, the strength in the set of his shoulders, and the absolute belief in the righteousness of his cause. I could almost see the purpose that drove him, and the peace that he had some how gained in it’s pursuit.

I frowned and almost angrily dismissed the man from my thoughts.

It was not right that a King should envy a Knight.

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