"I'm the new ambassador from Eire. The old one has some things to take care of back home so they sent me out here to take over. He has been showing me my way around your court here for the last week or so. You know, making sure I know who to bow to and all that rigmarole."
Ah, Eire, the island in the west. That would explain the flaxen hair and comfortable manners. She had thought that perhaps he was related to her mother's people, the Saxons. Still, she was not disappointed to discover otherwise, having heard many tales of the hardiness and valor of the Eirians.
He spoke thoughtfully, as if slow to commit himself to a dangerous idea. "Aye, authority never had the same siren's song for me as with others. Sure you can tell a legion of knights what to do, but who is to say what is the right thing to do with them? And even if you do the right thing, you may sometimes end up regretting it.
Royalty have the worst of it. Each and every one of them is held up to some kind of standard by the entire kingdom, and if they fail to live up to it... well, let's just say that the results are not always pretty.
A young prince must become a paladin, leading the kingdom's forces into battle. A princess, the ever perfect picture of a proper lady. What happens if the princess wants to become a knight or the prince a monk? It may seem as if royalty lives cushy lives, but that comfort hides chains stronger then steel."
Galahad shook her head. Blair was not chained, not by the King, at least. She had been given every good thing in life, and the chance to prove herself a worthy fighter before now.
She remembered well the day that she and Gabe had been brought back from the hunt, both injured but with the tale of her bravery being sung by their companions. The King himself had come out of the gates to greet them and embraced her. She had been elated, in the rush of pride and joy that only came from the approval of her leige-lord.
But in all the excitement, some corner of her eye had noticed the princess standing the courtyard, covered in dirt and sweat and dressed in commoner's clothes. She had later heard that the princess regularly exercised and practiced swordplay. At first, Galahad was perfectly content if some other woman chose to follow her footsteps and become a knight. But on her first meeting with Blair, she found her instantly unlikable. The princess was cold and proud, with none of Gabe's open countenance or penchant for harmless jokes. She wore a disdainful look most of the time, as if everything and everyone was not good enough for her. The name "Blair" meant "plain" in the older tongue, but Galahad privately thought that the King's daughter should have been named "Frosty".
There was silence for a second before he spoke up again, this time in a much more cheerful tone. "Well, what do you think our fine will prince will do now that he has won his spurs? Go on a quest perhaps?"
She brightened at the mere possibility. If he did, she would surely ride with him, delaying the time when he would have to meld with the Pendragons and be separated from her. However, she was not insensible to the fact that the King might wish to keep his son close for a while, instructing him in the ways of the kingdom he was to inherit. "I think Gabe will want to go questing, but he'll most likely need to stay and help his father. He's not just a knight now; he's the royal son, and I'm sure he has all sorts of new duties to learn."
She glanced up at the royal table to look at her friend, but found he was absent from the King's side. So too was the Lady Morgan, for some reason. "Odd. I thought he was... Maybe he left to get some air not tainted by his sister," she muttered.