I can't bloody hell believe that I'm here! When the twins were born, I never thought I'd be here again! I don't even think I wanted to come back here until I saw how Habren was struggling with life since I left.
He glanced at his sister and smiled.
I'm so glad that we finally talked. After that rough week at the beginning, I glad we were able to come to an understanding: I'd come back with them so mother and father can meet Emmy, the twins, and Cadman, and welcome them into the Lion Tribe as potential heirs to the Sarmatian Thrown. Also, while we're here I'd get her marriage annulled.
He eyed his sister curiously and with a tiny hint of suspicion as he ended now that I think about it, her anxiousness and drive to get me home vanished after that and she and Emmy became great friends.
Lancelot took a deep, cleansing breath as he and the other
Knights and their Sarmatian brothers crested the hill that separated him from the tribesmen of his past. He had known this day would come for nearly three months now, but he still couldn't bring himself to believe that he was really here.
When he turned to the right, his emerald green standard came into view, but the one who normally carried it with pride and honor was not.
He sighed sadly; Alec had been his best Squire-but no longer.
Then he grinned with pride!
On the other hand, I'm so proud of him! He passed his Trial with the highest marks of all the 'Of Age' squires according to Sir Alymere! In fact, Alymere said that he flew like Siolae upon the winds.
Then he smirked as he remembered Alec's face when Enys told him that the woman he helped whist traveling to the Wall, Ina, was safe and sound and was hoping to name her first-born child after him.
He looked like he would faint! His face was so hilarious I couldn't believe it.
Then he shrugged and added with a mental smirk directed to his mental picture of Alec, I told him that he'd gain women's attention when he achieved Knight-hood status.
When Emogen turned to him with raised eyebrows, he smiled to say that he was fine, and added with a bland face and controlled emotions, to bad Dainera didn't think it was as funny as I did.
As his sister and brother, shouted out in happiness, which jolted him into awareness once more, for their elation in seeing the land of their forefathers, he cast his mind back to how he ended up here in Sarmatia once more...
As the courtroom emptied, Miskoc turned to Arthur and said respectfully, "If you'll release the accused into my care, King Arthur of Briton, I shall hand out their punishments as quickly as they can be laid down so as they do not become a further harm to you and yours."
Arthur bowed his head and said seriously, "Attila, I cannot hand to you as he was tried in our courts. As such Lords Connor, Tristran, Lancelot, and myself shall levy his punishment. As for Prince Tor of the Bear Tribe, Artur of the Bear Tribe, and Princess Agrimpasa of the Wolf Tribe, their punishments are yours to handle with my sorrow for the actions you must undertake."
Miskoc bowed his head in understanding.
As they were taken away, Lancelot said, "Arthur, whatever you choose for Attila, is fine with me, I'm sure. But..."
He paused and looked into the eyes of his best friend and ended with confliction clear in his brown-black eyes, "I MUST see Agrimpasa's fate to the end."
At his friend's confused look, Gawain piped up, "As much as
Lancelot wants to deny it, he WAS to be Agrimpasa's husband AND he IS the First Crown Prince of the Lion Tribe. As such, he MUST go and witness Agrimpasa's punishment...as well and Galahad and myself as we are her older brothers."
Lancelot smiled sadly at Arthur in agreement.
When Agrimpasa was brought before Miskoc with irons wrapped around her wrists and ankles, Tarkan said gravely, "Let's get this over with."
Arthur added as they vanished into the darkened hall of the wall,
"Just do it outside of the Wall."
He couldn't believe that he had actually sat there and watched as
Agrimpasa was beheaded by Miskoc, as was the Sarmatian's way of handling those who broke their sworn oaths as the leaders of the Eleven Tribes of Sarmatia.
Moreover, he couldn't believe that Gawain and Galahad had witnessed it too, and not tried to prevent it. He knew that they had wanted to, if only for the reason that Agrimpasa WAS their baby sister and twin.
What surprised him were Agrimpasa's last words to the three of them...
As Miskoc respectfully pulled her wavy blond hair away from her neck, to make the beheading as smooth and bloodless as possible,
Agrimpasa said softly into the wind, as though she was entrusting Britannia to deliver to them her last message...
"I know I am not innocent, and for the many evils that I have done, I take much of the blame as it was my decision. But, not all of my life was mind to choose. My life and innocence was stolen from me the day mother, no, Dowager Queen Malana of the Wolf Tribe, handed me over to the brute for him to use me as he willed. She did this because she was loosing you and Gawain to Rome and I was her only leverage to the Lion's power and influence. Lancelot, please forgive me for the pain I might have caused you and your family and know that I DO love the children even though it didn't look like towards the end."
Then her eyes lifted and she said with a beautiful shine, a deep peacefulness, deep with in them, "Remember me as I was before Malana ruined me, I love you all."
He closed his eyes in sadness and was shocked to feel a tear fall. He couldn't believe that he still felt so strongly of her death and last message. He spared a glance at his wife and smiled. She was watching him with a soft, understanding smile. This is one of the reasons I love her so, she always knows what I am thinking and understands me so easily...like Arthur.
He bit his lip as he looked around. His brother's-n-arms, who had decided to travel to Sarmatia with him and his family, all stared back at him in silence. Their wary excitement of returning to the land of their birth was shadowed by the knowledge that their children were still in danger. Even though those who had traveled to Briton had accepted their children and wives, their parents and those of the Tribe had yet to lay down their decisions. Their children were still in potential danger.
They were patiently awaiting his orders-silent or verbally.
He sighed-he missed Arthur and those they left behind. He took a deep breath and nudged his horse into a slow walk down the hill that separated him from his childhood memories.
As they made their way down the hill, he thought about how he was going to explain his reasoning for staying to his mother.
When he could easily feel the harsh yet curiously weighted stare of his Tribesmen, Lancelot leaned over and said in a whisper, "You
Then he froze-Arthur wasn't there.
He had grown accustomed to just knowing that whenever he leaned over to the left, Arthur would be there with a quizzical expression on his face, which was always open for him to talk to. He had to chock back a sudden urge to gallop back in the direction he had come from because for the first time since they had started the journey back to Sarmatia, he realized that Arthur was thousands of miles away safe on their island and NOT by his side.
He gulped and awkwardly cleared his throat as Emogen smiled knowingly at him once more with a serene, gentle smile. She understood-Cordelia wasn't by her side either.
He had to quickly whip a tear from his eye before it made a tiny river trail along his cheek as he remembered his and Arthur's parting...
Lancelot was smirking at his friend and King, but they both knew it lacked its normal luster and cockiness.
With Emogen and Cordelia by their side and tearfully saying their farewells, Arthur said in a forcefully cheerful tone, "It's going to be great around the castle with you gone!"
Lancelot snorted and said, "Yeah, and who knows, I just might
LIKE Sarmatia so much that I'll decide to stay with Emmy and the kids."
They fell silent. This was the first time in a very long time that neither one of them could think up anything to say to fill the suddenly stifling silence that surrounded them.
Arthur lunged and closed the gap that had formed between them and pulled him in for a fiercely protective hug that spoke the volumes of objections and emotions that Arthur was feeling about them leaving.
Lancelot blinked in shock for a minute before his smirking face melted into a gentle smile and his arms wrapped around Arthur, subconsciously, to return the heartfelt hug.
As they pulled apart Arthur confessed, "I'm going to miss you,
Lancelot grinned slightly and said, "I'll miss you too."
Then he added in an attempt to lighten the mood, "Besides, I only stayed to help you govern Briton anyways. I think you know what your doing now, perhaps it IS time for me to go back to Sarmatia after all..."
Arthur snorted and said dryly as they parted, "Yeah right, I can just see you sitting in a room full of hot-blooded Sarmatians and arrogant Roman officials-they'd all be dead before the first hour died."
Lancelot threw back his head and laughed out loud in joy. This is what he loved about Arthur most of all-it wasn't his honor, his views on equality, or even his dreams of a peaceful world. He loved Arthur so much because of his dry wit and humor in any situation-it complemented his own sarcastic wit flawlessly!
Arthur's smile fell as he added, "Seriously, I don't want to think about how these next six months will be without you and the others
Lancelot. It'll be a nightmare I'm sure."
Lancelot shook his head and said equally seriously and confidently,
"Arthur, don't worry. I sincerely doubt that you and Cordelia can utterly ruin Camelot and Briton in six months time. Besides, Aldus is highly trained and you will have Bors, Dagonet, Merlin, Merkin, and Duncan as well to advise you. You'll do fine."
He grinned wryly to himself and said with a shrug and small smile-as if he didn't truly believe what was coming out of his own mouth, "Who knows, you might like Aldus' work so much that you'll forget all about me and Emmy."
Cordelia cut in with a soft, loving smile as she slipped between them and wrapped her arms around him and Emogen did the same to Arthur, "Not bloody likely!"
He shook himself and groaned. The stares from his Sarmatian family were bold and demanding. He cast his commanding gaze around those that had gathered around his siblings, Habren and Tarkan, and couldn't believe what he saw.
The eldest man in the group, was gray hared and time had weathered the man's once strong body. The only thing that identified the eldest man as his once well-loved father was his snapping chestnut brown eyes.
The eldest woman was one he could never forget-no matter how hard he tried. Where her once chestnut, elegant brown hair flowed in a river down her back, it now hung in a tightly controlled white braid down to her waist. Her brown eyes, so like his, were clouded and blurred-time had apparently stolen a part of her eyesight as well.
Then there were the two youngest-his baby brother and his baby sister, Zimkar and Hera. The man he supposed was Zimkar had his black raven hair, but it was straight like his mother's and Habren's and her eyes were the snapping chestnut of his father.
Lastly, was his baby sister, Hera, daughter of Babai and Ama. She had curly chestnut hair and dark black-brown eyes. Her face was flawless and innocent. She was no older than sixteen. Am I truly so old, as to say that my youngest sister is a child in this world?
He shook his head again, cleared his throat, and dismounted after he raised both hands to prove that he was unarmed.
As he moved to Emogen to relieve her of their son, Cadman, he said stoically, "Hello father, mother."
The Third story, The Return to Sarmatia, will be a sporadic update as school starts once again and since the classes are U.S. Government and U.S. History-I'll be busy! Be on the look out though!