Perwyn (i)Mature

They walked in silence for a while. Artur was a quiet boy when he was thinking, a blessing of his, Perwyn considered. He was a young man on his fourteenth year with chestnut hair which he kept parted and brown eyes that normally moved quickly, watching and seeing everything.
                “That was quite entertaining sir.” He finally remarked. The boy smiled in his usual easy manner as they passed through the entrance hall.
                Perwyn took out a roll and slipped a piece of sweetleaf into his mouth, chewing with anticipation.
                “You really ought to stop with that.” He said, his nose crinkled with distaste, not for the first time, “I have an uncle who—“
                “—raked out his own eyes for taking too much, yes, I remember.” He hit a bubble and, and a pleasant, thick juice washed over his mouth, almost sickly. “And those words were necessary. You must assert yourself. If you cannot gain your men’s love, then you work through fear. A shame but a necessary all the same. Old hounds often don’t take kindly to orders from younger pups, but sooner or later the hounds strength fails and change is necessary.”
                Artur looked at him with strange calculation working behind his eyes. “Bold words.” He finally spoke.
                Hardly, a simple truth of life, Perwyn thought.
                “I still think you’d be better shot of sweetleaf.” He quipped.
                “You try dealing with the likes of Sir Dunsul and my mother without it.” He grunted. This talk was grating on him, but the pain in his head softened as they cross a hall towards the front of the castle.
                “Please sir, you still haven’t told me how you took the head wound.” He rolled his eyes as they neared the Great Hall.
                “Nor will I.” Servants moved about the area, at great speed, amongst the few petitioners who awaited His presence.
                “At least tell me why you took me away from that lout of a Highwater.” The boys thoughts seemed to be far away as they approached the door.
                “Yes I noticed that.” He was ready to clout the boy around the ear but he hadn’t the time. “What was that?” He asked, artfully dodging the question.
                “Highwaters think Aldreids should look down on them. I’ll show him. I showed him!” He sneered, then winced from the cut on his lip that Perwyn hadn’t noticed before.
                “Sir Perwyn Hellespont, Captain of the King’s Household Guard!” The steward sang as he opened the door for them.
                Artur stopped at the door. “What about me?”
                This time Perwyn did smack him on the ear.
                “You watch yourself, boy. You are a reflection on me.” He hissed. “I’ll not have you making a fool of the both of us.”
                “Artur Aldreid, Esquire to Sir Perwyn of Hellespont.”
                “There we go.” Artur smiled, brandishing his arms.
                At the bottom  of the hall, the King and Lady Layla where still in deep discussion as Perwyn approached with the sound of heavy mail clinking and steel boots on stone. I’ve always loved that sound.
                He halted, a respectful distance away. They spoke too quietly for him to hear anything.

The End

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