Mithian sniffed a couple of white roses with a contented smile. Their gentle scent soothed her mind and soul. She exhaled allowing Tension’s stranglehold to dissipate upon the warm late afternoon breeze. Granted she still worried about the enchanted nobles in the dungeon. She could almost smell Discontent’s toxic odor hanging over the castle. But for the moment, she would concern herself solely with the present and future. She had her friends. She had her flowers. She had the throne. She had her man. And after the chaotic state of the previous three years, that was all that mattered to her.
We finally have a chance at peace! If only everyone will work with us. She sighed with the thought of that dream. She dared to envision a world where everyone fit in together be it Nazarene, Old Religion, New Religion, priestess, secular or whatever. She wanted everyone to co-exist and be able to agree to disagree. She didn’t want to have to start a reign with bloodshed. Pity the prisoners downstairs had forced the royal hand with their actions…. They’re guilty of Father’s death, insurrection, betrayal of the royal line and consorting with the enemy. They’re all different forms of treason.
She felt Merlin’s misgivings over their shared link. I know he can strong when it matters. We have to set an example. “Something the matter, Your Highness? ” Elaine asked. Mithian turned to find Elaine, Britomart and Blancheflor watching her intently. “I’m relaxing with the roses, Lady Elaine. Gustavus raises them well. ” “They are most impressive, Milady,” Blancheflor concurred. “The lilacs that you sent to Rivermore are quite hardy. Their color and scent continues to impress. I had hoped to ask you for some to take back to the capital. ” “Guinevere and I will come up with something.
She sent the shoots for these with Arthur and the knights. ” A warm smile spread across her face. “King Merlin and I planted them together. Gustavus was still under Master Gaius’ care after Odin’s attack. The King however decided not to make me wait for my flowers. So he took it upon himself to start the planting. I came across him doing so. I asked him if I could lend a hand. ” She chuckled. “He was so shy about it. Still I insisted. ” Britomart looked about the area. “I remember how fast all of these plants grew. It was unnatural. Almost like…” Mithian nodded. “I asked him to use his magic.
After Morgana had done so much harm with hers, I wanted everyone to have an oasis of beauty and wonder. Our kingdom, much as it does now, bled with pain and hate. All of this, my friends, comes from the shared love between Merlin and me. ” “And now they can understand the true meaning behind it,” Blancheflor declared. “Percival speaks of his special character. I wish I knew him better. Perhaps you both should visit when affairs are more settled? ” “We do have a peace to negotiate. Perhaps we shall,” Mithian noted hopefully. “Forgive me for sounding evasive. It is not my wish to be so.
We have much to settle and discuss here. ” “The entire social structure, our knights and the ban on magic itself,” Britomart noted. “That’s true,” Mithian admitted. “Everything is changing. Father would tell us to allow the dust to settle before we take our next step. ” She saw Merlin enter the garden. “And there he is! ” She turned to meet him. The three guests acknowledged his presence with bows (or a bow of the head in Elaine’s case). He waved courteously at them to acknowledge their response. Instinctively he wished that he had some refreshments for the guests. How’s everyone? ” He kissed the back of Mithian’s hand.
“We’re fine, my Prince,” Mithian assured him. Are you all right? I sensed some consternation. I had a good discussion with Gwen and Lancelot. Everything’s great now, he noted telepathically. “These roses are amazing. I feared last winter would have damaged them. ” “You underestimate your talent, Milord,” Britomart complimented. “Queen Mithian was just telling us how you both planted this garden. Much as you both do in our situation, the flowers survived in the face of adversity. ” He blushed. “I did my bit.
I was inspired by a certain someone. ” Mithian arched her eyebrow. While she wanted to upbraid him (again) for the inferiority complex, she admired how he still maintained a humble outlook as King. “We work well together, my Prince. In time, Nemeth will blossom much as this garden does. ” “I have no doubt of that,” Elaine supported. “I can use my magic to help too if you think I can. ” “We’re counting on you, Lady Elaine,” he told her. “Thank you. Given everything we’re facing, I appreciate that. ”
“My father and his peers will not see it that way, Sire. Elaine trembled like a kitten. “They view us as monsters. King Uther convinced a great many people. ” “And we shall convince them otherwise,” Mithian pointed out. “We all need to have faith. The situation will work itself out. ” “There’s a lot of work to do,” he continued. “But we can all work together on it. Let’s talk about a sorcerers’ council and our own Round Table. We have several pieces in place already.
Much as with this garden, we just need to plant the seeds, take care and watch it grow. ” “Along with pulling the weeds that challenge them,” Blancheflor pointed out. I pray that Queen Guinevere is as magnanimous with Percival as she was with you, King Merlin. ” “I just put in a good word for him. Queen Guinevere is a fair person. We’ll just have to see. Sorry I can’t make promises but…. ” He stopped himself short. “You’re respecting her prerogative. You have the makings of a fine King, Milord. If I may, please do not underestimate your good qualities. I look forward to being your ally. I know Percival feels the same,” Blancheflor assured him.
“As do the other rulers among our allies,” Mithian concurred. We have a great deal to work out. All of us have much to learn and do. We can and will get there. I have spoken with Queens Elena and Annis. Before everyone departs, I believe we can draft and pass legislation to lift Uther’s ban on magic. ” “That’s a big step, Milady,” Britomart declared. “I’d like it to happen,” Elaine interjected. “We shouldn’t have to fear using our gifts for the betterment of others. Look around. This isn’t ugly. Nor would it be around us either. ”
“If only such sentiments take hold in the Five Kingdoms, we’d be a lot better off,” he pointed out. Such things take time, my Prince. We have both overcome a great deal. ” Mithian smirked at him confidently. “Now come. We all have to prepare for the feast ahead. ” “Might I offer you a hand? ” he offered Elaine. His eyes glowed. Elaine levitated and floated straight ahead. With his gentle guidance, she headed through the door and into the hallway. “Shall we follow then? ” Mithian asked while ushering the others into the passage beyond. In such ways, the garden and its levels of magic could be hoped to pollenate the landscape beyond….