They were king and Queen.
One of noble blood, one a servant
William stood up again and took the sword much higher. His breath ran fast and his heart followed his movement with a heavy beat. He couldn't relax and he wouldn't as long as he was fighting him.
William's calm character had turned to dust since he knew he would fight the prince to be tested. He fought the great Arthur Pendragon. The one everyone told him about what a good fighter he was. The best.
William himself wasn't bad either, otherwise he wouldn't be here. But he was far from being that good. Arthur controlled him, controlled him with his sword and William could only react and try to stand firm. Arthur's eyes looked directly at him as if he could feel how hard it was for him. William was only a young knight, he was still learning.
Suddenly the prince hold his sword still and Will used the moment to breathe and eventually calm down. The prince looked down on him without showing any emotion but it was like William could feel his royal blood that lay upon him. The chance to calm down became thinner and disappeared completely when Arthur raised his voice.
"You fought well", he said with his eyes still steady. "Really not bad. In time you will be a good knight." He twitched the corner of his mouth a little. Then he gave William a friendly hit and the knight felt like he would fall down by any moment. "Just keep practicing".
The voice of the prince sounded relaxed, in someway cheerful. That made William look up to the prince for the first time since he had begun speaking.
Arthur smiled. Small wrinkles appeared around his eyes and the expression in his face seemed unusual real. William had never seen such a look in the eyes of the king or in the eyes of any noble man.
The prince turned away without saying another word and without loosing his smile. He went his way to the castle and passed the servants who respectfully bowed. And they weren't only bowing, they bowed because they had faith for this prince more than they had for his father. William could see this in the way they were watching him.
And suddenly he realized with his own eyes how right the others were about him. He had this something that would make him a good king.
A better king than his father.
Maybe the greatest king Camelot had ever had.
After a moment went away Williams breath had calmed down enough so that he could go his own way. He slowly went back to the other knights who had been watching them.
"Congratulation"; they said. "You did great."
William hardly listened to them. He handed his sword over to his servant and watched the green grass beneath him. At the moment he needed time to order his flying thoughts. His look flew from the grass to the sky and between. That was were he glanced someone.
William didn't know why his eyes stopped on her out of all the people she was walking with, but in some way she stood out.
His look became more careful. Who was she?
She was a servant girl for certain at least from her outlook. She was wearing a nice but simple Lavender dress. Beautiful of course but far from what would wear a princess. William had to twinkle. Why did he just compare her with a princess?
Maybe it was the way she walked, the way she carried the basket full of clothes as if she would carry a golden treasure, perhaps the way she smiled to the knights, servants and anyone who caught her eyes.
William shook his head. He really shouldn't think that much. He needed some time to relax.
As soon as the woman escaped his view William turned to say goodbye to the knights and turned back to the castle. He ignored their surprised questions and just promised them a talk when it was needed. Suddenly he was feeling tired. It had been a long day and it was time to finish it.
Without thinking any more he passed the banner with the golden dragon on red and turned to the gate that would take him inside the castle.
There it was silent, pleasantly silent. William stopped for a moment and closed his eyes to calm down, then he took the steps to his chamber.
His mind drifted away. The tension on his shoulders disappeared. He was beginning to feel better.
"Arthur, you shouldn't do this."
The voice of woman, silent and soft.
William stopped in his movement and froze.
"You have to think of the people and Camelot."
It was the voice of a woman. And she was talking to the prince.
Actually it was something William shouldn't care about. It wasn't important. A lot of women probably talked to the prince. In that case he had nothing to miss. William took another step. It was time to go to bed.
"I won't let anything happen to you, Guinevere."
William froze again. Now that sounded different. Arthur's voice was just as silent and soft as the voice of the women, and he sounded serious.
Guinevere.Who was she?
"You won't. I can take care of myself, you know that."
As quiet as possible William continued his way, he completely forgot that he actually wanted to calm down.
He took another step and another. Then the stairs ended. William heart beat faster.
"Yes, I know, but maybe that isn't enough."
There they stood on the right side of a floor that was usually very empty. Obviously they didn't want to be found.
The prince stood with his back to him, but he could catch a view of the women he was talking to.
His eyes widened from one moment to another and as fast as he could he went a few steps down again.
What did he just see?
William took a deep breath. He had to see it again! As carefully as possible he looked around the corner. To his own shock he wasn't mistaken.
The woman he saw was that servant girl he noticed just moments before on the training place outside the castle.
That left only one thoughtful conclusion...
" We can't hide it from my father forever... if he finds out..."
"Don't think about it Arthur."
"But I do. I do my best to hide it. But you can't always hide your feeling, can you Guinevere?"
William already heard the deep breath that followed.
He could think only one thing.
The prince had an affair with a servant girl.
It was almost unbearable, unthinkable. And still they stood there side by side, talking to each other. Already this was beyond Williams mind.
"If he ever finds out..." The servant girl called Guinevere lowered her head then she looked up again. "...if he ever finds out, the dream that I not dared to dream will end forever."
William saw the prince lower his head, too how he never did to anyone but the king.
How could that be? How could that what he saw make any sense?
"I think we should better go back to our...normal behavior."
"No!" Arthur's voice was louder than usual and not that controlled like it should be.
Somewhere in between William found it fascinating and thrilling exactly because it was something that never had been.
"You know I can't do this." The voice of the prince suddenly sounded so broken that it hurt. Maybe there was something between this two people that nobody would ever understand least of all the king. And William realized the dilemma they were in.
"We have to," said the servant girl. Then she did something unexpected.
She bowed before her prince. Just like a servant girl would do.
The air lifted and stood completely still for a moment. The only thing William could feel was the time that rebounded from the walls again and again and with it the heaviness of the princes' feelings.
There was so much sadness so much bitterness that William couldn't bear it.
He turned away from the corner and out of the view from the two people. It just hurt too much.
He quickly took his way down the stairs again. There certainly had to be another way.
His thoughts were even running faster than before and he was still asking himself if what he saw really was the truth.
If it was true he could only look at the black side. There wasn't any hope for this love and there would never be.
William caught the green grass outside and the flowers blooming in the sun which still shone.
But then again, if Arthur could not be with Guinevere it would break him completely. William had seen it with his own eyes.
And then he no longer would be the greatest king of the future.
Two birds landed in the green and flew away again as a sound disturbed their moment alone. William shook his head in disbelief.
However, a prince who married a servant girl who later would become queen? He almost felt like laughing.
How could that be possible?