Continued from the previous chapter, here.
𝔗he mail-clad man continued to follow the green-clad man for a time, both of them wandering east across Logres, following traders’ routes as they went. Still did the knight pray and fast as he had been bidden, marking each day that he did with solemnity upon the scabbard of his sword. They did overtake some of the merchants who made their own way across the land, gathering from them what news was to be had and exchanging some they had learned–mostly of the Lady Maelis, for the mail-clad man could not speak of the battle, and the green-clad man would not, for which his companion was grateful. Such as they heard was not to the knight’s liking, for it told of the unraveling already begun although news of the battle could not have reached far in so short a time, but the green-clad man seemed pleased to learn what he learned of the growing unease in the southeastern parts of Logres.
He saw the knight looking at him from the side of his eye and said “The work that I would do requires that things be in motion and unsettled, Sir Knight. I knew that if unraveling there would be, it would be there. And so, Sir Knight, I can tell you that we are heading towards that town which has been called Anderitum. The thought comes to me that there will be great changes there, and I think they will be of the sort that I can turn to my advantage–and yours, since you will be with me. Gules, on a bend argent a baton gules wavy can show forth at Anderitum in ways that it has not elsewhere, and to more effect. For I think there will be no adder there to reenact the words said spoken to your early foremother, nor to have you enact them upon it.”
“Do you mean to have me fight there for you, then? For I will do that thing, seeing as I am a knight and so trained, although I have not much worship–and the less for not being part of the fellowship with which I set out before. But I wonder if you might say to me aught of the foes that will be there, if there they will be. And if it will not be for fighting that you would have me with you, then I would ask to what purpose I would be put, how it is that I might serve you as I have said I would do and as I have been charged.”
“They are good questions that you ask, my friend. And I will answer them, at least in part. I have you with me because there may be fighting, and you will serve in that role well if it arises. I rather think there will be some call for it at Anderitum, and there may be some along the way. But it is not that for which I would have you, had I my druthers. No, I have other plans for you. You do not happen to be of Cornwall, do you?”
The knight shook his head. “Indeed not. Rather am I of Ternyllwg, from a small holding therein, where my father was lord and my elder brother his heir. But I went with a knight who came to the town and sad that he would have a squire, for he was growing somewhat older and knew that he would soon either take up the holy life of a hermit or else leave this life behind him utterly. And his name was Sir Erflet, and he said to me that he had come from the home of his youth not far from Londinium. But when I was with him, we never went that way, and I am told that Anderitum is on the other side of that city from here. But why would it matter if I were from Cornwall?”
“It might have been a thing that would help if you were. But it will not hurt that you are not. Think nothing of it, but rather on what kind of man you would follow, were you not bound to follow me, or after what I would have you do is done.”
“I shall think such thoughts, but I am still not certain what you would have me do.”
“Nor yet I, Sir Knight, for what I would have you do will depend on what we find. But we are bound for Anderitum, that much I do know, and I have hopes for things we may find along our way and at the end of it, but I will not speak of them. There are those who would thwart my intent, and their ears hear many things in many places.”
The knight did not reply when the green-clad man had done, but rode beside him in silence for a time. They came as happened, to another small village, there staying with the local priest, as was becoming something of a custom for them. And at his table after evening services, when the knight could eat and the green-clad man did, they heard him speak what he knew. “For it is said by those who live not far away that but two days ago, a sad riding of knights in arms brightly marked passed by, and a man neither the old king or the new rode at their head with a crown upon his. I have heard that he was bound for Londinium, the crown-wearer, and that he is the son of a Cornishman. But it is wonder that another man wears a crown, for was not there to be accord between the two who were crowned and anointed? Or so the words were spoken to my ear.”
The knight and the green-clad man looked each at the other, and the green-clad man said that they were wearied from their travels and thanked the priest his hospitality to them, and they retired for the evening both.
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