As Merlin attempted to navigate his way through the castle, holding on pricariously to the bowl of fruit he had been given to take to the lady's chambers, he could not help but keep one eye out for Arthur. The Prince had an annoying habit of catching him halfway through doing one task in order to order him to do yet another, and sometimes, it was rather annoying. Not that he didn't... well... enjoy was too strong a word sometimes, but not that he wasn't grateful for the chance to work under the Prince, but still. Sometimes a catch of breath would have been nice.
He shook the thought away, feeling guilty for complaining - even inside his own head. He knew that there were others who worked much more than he did, who perhaps were treated far worse. Given everything, Arthur was a fairly decent master; if not a bit... annoying... at times.
Taking a breath, the warlock finally reached the chambers of the new Lady staying, and knocked thrice upon the door, before entering, a bit cautiously, glancing around. "My Lady?" he called.
Timeline: Sometime within Season 3 Location: The guest chambers of Camelot Tag: Queen Celestina Caden
Queen Celestina was being very calm all of the sudden. She had been quite nervous as she had arrived in Camelot, but here she was, almost completely settled in and with time to spare. As such, she had undone her hair and was attempting to coax the knots out of it; an impressive feat, considering how much of it was on her head. With a sharp tug, she managed to pull the comb out of her hair, only to grimace at the amount of strands she had removed. Giving up, she set the comb down on her dresser as someone knocked and entered her chambers.
She turned to see a slightly nervous-looking young man standing just inside the door, holding a bowl of fruits in his hands. She smiled a little. At least her hosts were generous people. She had heard rumors about the whole household, and a select few of them were positive. It was one reason why she was so nervous to show up in Camelot, even after she secured her ties with the kingdom, but she hoped to be proven wrong.
"Thank you," she told him, smiling gently. "It is very kind of Uther."
She rose, plaiting her hair back in a rope as she approached the servant. She gestured to the table, so that he might not be standing with the bowl for long.
Merlin hesitated at the offer, but, deciding that it would be rude to just stand there, he nodded, giving the Queen a hesitant smile before moving over to the table and setting the bowl gently upon it. "My Lady," he bowed to her as he stepped back, hesitantly. "King Uther and Prince Arthur wish to offer My Lady their greetings, and assure her that any assistance she wishes for, she shall have," he said, remembering the words he'd been taught to say a while ago, when he'd first become a servant of Camelot.
Celeste smiled again, sensing the polite repetition of words that must have been spoken a hundred, maybe even a thousand times. She picked up an apple and held it in her hands for just a moment. Then she brought it to her nose and inhaled deeply, reveling in the scent of the fragrant fruit. She realized it must have looked extremely odd for her to be doing so, and she quickly replaced the fruit in the bowl. "My apologies," she said. "It just reminded me a bit of home."
Then she thought that it was a rather odd thing for a woman of her stature to be saying to a servant. She had spent far too much time away from any court to remember to behave correctly. She blinked the thought away, hoping she hadn't taken a step in the wrong direction, and smiled again at the servant. "Any assistance at all? What I would like right now is some company," she admitted. "If it does not intrude on your duties, would you stay just for a few moments? If not, at least give me your name."
Merlin smiled, shaking his head, trying to ignore the slight sense of curiosity about the woman that he had. "No need to apologise, my Lady," he said softly, respectfully.
At her ... rather unusual request, the manservant smiled a bit, and shook his head. "Delivering your gift was the last duty for a little while, at least until my master finds another task - I am happy to stay awhile if your Lady wishes it," he said softly, feeling a little sorry for the woman, who must be very far from home by the way she was speaking. "My name is Merlin, my Lady," he added softly. "You... are a long way from home?"
"Merlin," Celeste said, tasting the name on her tongue. "A very exotic name, Merlin. Are you from Essetir, by any chance?" She smiled again. "You are correct. My kingdom lies in the north, further north than Bayard's lands. It is a cold place, often cloaked in winter, but it is a beautiful winter, with soft, crystalline snow and silence in the woods."
She sat down in a chair and gestured for Merlin to follow. There was strange feeling in her that wanted this servant to feel like her equal, though it would never happen. For too long had she only her fiancé with which to speak, and he had remained in Eliaa to watch over the kingdom for her, saving her the trouble of recruiting a distant noble. She had showed up alone, and to be frank, she was intimidated by the Pendragons. It was irrational as she looked over her past, musing that the deaths of three kings and the defeat of over half of the northern region of Albion at her hands should not make her fear Camelot. But she did. "Merlin, how long have you been in the service of the Pendragons?"
The manservant raised an eyebrow at the suggestion of his name being exotic, but declined to say anything, not wanting to embarrass the young woman. He shook his head at her guess though, smiling a bit still. "No, my Lady. My home is in Ealdor, a small town outside Camelot," he said softly. He nodded, listening to her talk of her homeland, feeling a wae of sympathy. "You must miss home a great deal, my Lady," he said softly.
Following her hesitantly, Merlin sat down, hoping that Arthur wouldn't find him, because he was sure that the Pendragon prince would have something to say about it if he did. "A little over three years, my Lady," he said softly, with a smile.
Celeste nodded in confirmation. Ealdor was indeed in Essetir, but had enough influence from the Camelotian side of the border that they wouldn't identify themselves with Cenred's crown. "That I do, but I know that I will return in short time," she assured him. "It doesn't bother me as much as being in battle on home soil." She picked up her apple again and pulled a dagger from around her ankle, shearing off pieces of the fruit to eat it delicately.
As Merlin sat down, she felt a pang of sympathy for the servant. He looked wary, like if he was caught just sitting for a moment, he'd be scolded. "Have one," she urged. "Pick anything. I can't eat all of this on my own, and I wouldn't want any of it to go to waste. Please. You don't have to tell anyone. It'll be our secret." She held her palm flat against her chest in a gesture of promise.
Merlin nodded, with a slight smile. "I can understand that, my Lady," he assured, then wondered if she'd believe him. After all, he was only a manservant - and usually, man-servants weren't the type to go into war with their masters, were they? But then, Arthur wasn't just any master, and Merlin, strange as it seemed, liked to think that his and Arthur's friendship was leaning more towards a brotherhood than a friendship.
He hesitated at the offer of the fruit, but nodded, not wanting to insult her, and smiled, reaching forward and taking a peach from the pile of fruit, smiling a bit. "Thank-you, my Lady," he said softly. He hesitated. "If it does not seem too rude, may I ask you what you think of Camelot thus far?"
Celeste thought for a moment, pondering the answer to her question. When she finally came up with a suitable answer, she hoped that this servant was as good as he seemed, and wouldn't go telling his prince that she had yet to be impressed. "Camelot has very... strict policies, regarding magic. Its arms have barely skimmed Eliaa, and our first magical experience as a kingdom, with such an extensive history, was only a few years ago." She shivered a little. "The perpetrators were dealt with accordingly, but not because they were capable of wielding such a paranormal power, but because of what they did with it. I don't really like the concept of magic, to be honest. It seems too... oh, I don't know. It just doesn't conform with my religious beliefs. There are creatures that are a part of our religious mythology, called Lunae, that are supposed to be an angel's gift to God, just a rung below the angels themselves in power. That a normal human could have the power to defeat them... defeat even the angels themselves... it just doesn't fit, you know? It makes me nervous. But don't mind me. I know Lunae don't exist... it just goes against my teachings."
She caught herself in her opinions quickly and elaborated further. "Of course, I have nothing against sorcerers and the like. I might just be kicked out of Camelot for saying such a thing, but there is no evil in being who you are. What if you were born that way? We shun that kind of segregation in Eliaa. No, I do not despise magic-wielders... only those who have proven to have ill will towards those without." She looked towards Merlin, a little surprised with herself for sharing such a weighted opinion with a servant. "Keep this between us, will you? I'd rather not damage my relationship with the Pendragons."
Keeping his features carefully neutral though interested, Merlin listened carefully to what the Queen was saying, surprised and gratified by her words. Part of him felt an unexpected sadness - sadness that his mother had sent him to Camelot to be safe, and not Eliaa. It made sense, of course, because she had sent him to Gaius, not to someone he hadn't known, but how different life could have been if he had lived somewhere where magic was accepted, and not shunned. If this was the Queen saying this, then what did the people think? Were they in the same mind as this lady, or were they of a different thought?
He was brought back to the present as Celeste spoke to him of keeping her words between the two of them, and nodded with a smile, bowing his head a little in respect. "Of course, my Lady," he assured. "Though if I may say, I greatly admire your thoughts on the matter," he paused, wondering if he could get away with saying that he hoped the Pendragons could learn the same - but resisted from saying it. After all, he didn't want Arthur suspecting anything... sometimes it seemed like the man almost did, anyway. "Your people must be grateful to be able to live so freely," he added, almost without thinking.
Celeste was glad that Merlin didn't seem to be too upset with her opinion. In fact, he seemed a little relieved. She wondered silently what secrets this boy was keeping, but said nothing on the matter. "Thank you," she said in response to his statement. She relaxed a little, finishing off her apple in silence as she pondered his next statement.
She supposed Eliaa was free in comparison to most kingdoms, which caused a bit of a stir at regional meetings. It was really just the way they had been raised as a country. Maybe it was fear that they would become what Lirameth was before the war. Maybe it was apprehension at the way the Queen Victoria of neighboring Ibelisa thought herself so above the petty needs of her people. "I think our wars changed our view on the world," she finally said. "We lost a great deal of soldiers in a very recent and bloody war. As a whole, Eliaa was just too close to death to think such things. Even I, and my sister before me, had to change our way of living. Our parents were too keen on trying to keep the peace that we almost collapsed of poverty and weakness. We are a very careful society. Be thankful that you have never experienced such bloodshed." She shuddered as flashes of red streaks on white snow flashed before her eyes.
Seeing the look that the Queen was giving him, Merlin shifted just a bit in his seat, hoping he hadn't somehow given something away about himself without meaning to. Perhaps he was being overcautious, but in Camelot, he could never be too careful. Who knew what Arthur would do if he ever found out about Merlin's powers.
However, the Queen continued to talk, and Merlin listened to her with great intrigue, managing - just - to avoid a bitter smile crossing his lips at her last words. He sighed softly, about to say something when he saw her shudder. "My Lady, are you alright?" he asked, quietly, concerned.
Celeste managed a small smile, wiping the image from her mind without a second thought. That time was over. This was a new era. "I'm quite alright," she assured Merlin. "Memories, that's all. Some were more painful than others."
She felt as if she was being too idle. The queen was getting restless, an attribute she blamed upon the peacefulness of... peace. She needed to be up and about, learning to spar, riding a horse, or wandering through the forest or by a lake. Even the gardens would suffice. However, she would wait. This boy's surface was hard to crack, and even from the conversation they had barely begun, she knew that it was really no more than chatting. She was quickly going to bore if she did not take action. He was boring of her already; she could tell.
"When was the last time you sat down for a break?" she prompted. "Tell me about yourself. I get the feeling the answer is next to nil, and you won't get another chance unless you manage to impress me, Merlin."
Merlin nodded, watching her carefully. "Your suffering was great, my Lady, from all you say. That you can bear such memories with such grace tells much about you," he gave her a small, hesitant smile.
He laughed softly at her question, and gave a gentle shrug. "The life of a manservant means there is little time for rest, my Lady. There is always something to do," he paused. "Though there is no credence in the task, of course. I am happy to be my master's servant." he frowned a bit at the possibility of wanting to impress the Lady, but said nothing on the matter. "What would you like to know of me, my lady?" he asked, a bit warily.
In Character Chat
This chat box is for IC [In Character] Chat! It is a place for members to muse and converse as their characters with lots of IC shenanigans! Happy Chatting Everyone!
My name is Catherine by the way; Call me Kate. *Smiles* You're lucky to have your mother, I ... wish I had at least someone I can talk to, You know? At least i have Arthur. *sits by the window and looks out*
How are you ? Forgive me, I'm Princess Emily Dawson of Anglia, I'm here to a visit with Arthur! *Smiles light Curtsy *
Feb 24, 2019 21:03:14 GMT -5
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