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Captain of the Guard: Before the King

October 20, 2019

So it was that Silas arrived at the city in the afternoon of the second day. He did not tarry, but headed straight for the castle, he was ushered through the gates by the guards that recognized him, left his horses in the ward and headed into the keep proper.
Briefly, the thought scurried through his mind about messengers bearing bad news and what happened to him, but the king was not known for his violent outbursts. The princess however was another story.

He headed directly to the throne room where the kings was holding court. There was a line of citizens, peasants, artisans, merchants and others lined up outside the large doors that led into the room. Two guards were eyeing the ground, confiscating any weapons that anyone happened to bring with them, and generally keeping the people quiet and waiting their turn.

Silas was ushered past them.

While he had in fact spent considerable amount of time standing guard both outside the hall and within it, this was the first time he was approaching the throne directly. It was a deciding uncomfortable feeling from this perspective.

On one side of the hall where stained glass windows filled with the exploits of hero kings from days long past, on the other where the terraced balconies where nobles often watched the proceedings.

Before him was a crowd of other courtiers, he had never been sure of it was a bigger honor to be on the floor, closer to the king, or in the balconies. Ahead on the dais was the king, flanked by two guards behind him, his daughter in a smaller chair to the kings right, the Chancellor, the Arbiter and a couple other lords of higher office.

Silas avoided looking at the princess and kept his eyes directly on the king. When he was within ten paces of the king, and next to the Seneschal. “I am Silas, I have news of Ro for the king.” He whispered out of the corner of his mouth to the Seneschal, a tall thin aging man that was a distant relative of the king.

Silas knew better than to interrupt the king or to speak more than a whisper. The Seneschal nodded almost imperceptibly.

Before the king were a couple of bakers, presenting the king with a large pie. The woman, a large matronly woman did all of the talking, while a thin, sad faced man looked on, “Its our honor to give his majesty this pie we made of the bounty we have received from you.”

King Argov looked at the pie, to Silas’ eyes it looked like any other pie but the king seemed pleased with it, “It looks like a fine pie.”

“Indeed your majesty, it contains everything you could wish for in a pie, doesn’t it?”
This last was directed at her husband, who bobbled his head nervously, “yes, dear.”

It seemed like such boastfulness would be risky to a king, promising that something could be everything someone of his station was that good, could lead to consequences if it failed to rise to the hype. Several of the people in the room shifted uncomfortably for this very reason, but the king seemed even more pleased. “I thank you, and will enjoy what you have given me and if I need of your baking skills in the future, I will seek you out.”

“We are pleased,” said the female baker. She and her husband bowed and made their leave of the king. The passed Silas and he could smell flour and sweat and something else. The matronly baker eyed him and he got the distinct impression he was being sized up.

Her husband trailed behind her, glancing over a Silas with a mournful look.

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