The Secrets of Kings: Episode 6

1:16 PM

The Veiled Lady

July 7, 1390, 8:26AM

The Veiled Lady gently tugged the finely made bedding from atop the declared Prince of Frowena. The child was not particularly fond of mornings so she made every attempt to be as delicate as possible as she eased him out of bed. As light touched his slowly opening eyes, Prince Remedy let out a frustrated groan and pulled the blanket back over his head.
“Awake, awake my prince. The day has officially begun without you.”
“Why me?” The prince exclaimed.
“Because everyone needs to get up eventually. Especially those who will inherit a country. Besides, today is a very special day.” The Veiled Lady explained.
“What’s so special ‘bout it?” He grumbled in response.
“Today,” She began. “The King has invited you to sit in on on a council meeting.”
“Boooooorrrrinng.” Remedy dramatically drawled.
“Yes. Well, you will need to learn how these things function at some point. I insisted the King get you started. You can thank me later,” she teased. "I requested that you only be required to attend part of the meeting. They have already begun and you will attend only the last hour.”
Remedy released a sigh. For a child who had not even reached the age of six, he was surprisingly afflicted with ennui during the early hours. She smiled at the thought and yanked the blankets from atop the prince, exclaiming, “ARISE fair Prince! We do not want to keep the King waiting. Remember, one day you will be the King and will want your subjects and family to respect your time.”
Instead of verbally responding, Remedy arose and rubbed the sleep from his eyes in-between menacing glances at his care-taker. “We have not got all day, love.” She said. “I had breakfast brought in before you got up.” She watched as the Prince’s eyes traveled to a small table in the corner of the room that had been packed with an array of fruits, juice, bacon, and breads. It was not often that he had anything besides oats and, perhaps, the occasional bacon on the side. He hopped out of bed, suddenly energized and ready to start the day. He filled his plate with strawberries, cherries, and meat, slowly eating every morsel as to savor the special tastes that so often were discluded from his breakfast spread. Before long, his face and hands were a mess of red stains and grease which signaled to the Veiled Lady that it was time for the prince to take a bath.
As the prince finished the last few bits of food that he could fit into his small tummy, the veiled lady removed her long gray gloves and set them aside. She lingered for a few moments on the wedding ring that she still wore. It reminded her of a time that seemed so far removed from her current life, yet all wrapped up in it. She rarely took her gloves off; only during her private time, which was rare, and when she would give Remedy his weekly washing. Although the women of the clarity sect were not mandated to wear hand coverings, it was the only way that she would be able to hide the ring, which she refused to remove. Although small, the piece of jewelry was visually distinct and she could not risk anyone recognizing it and endangering her position in the castle. She had a reason for being here and her work had not yet been completed.
She reached down into the metal tub that held the Prince’s bath water. Although it had cooled some, it was still too hot for the young child so she poured in a bit of cool water from a bucket that was left at the end of the tub to take the heat down just a bit. After another quick feel, she caught the prince’s attention and waved him over.  “Bath is ready.” She announced as he pushed himself up off of the chair he was occupying. He scuttled over and pushed his hands straight up into the air so the Veiled Lady could assist him in removing his bed clothes.
Once the Lady had assisted him with entering the tub, he sat down promptly. “Veiled Lady? Can I pleeeeeease play for a bit?” He begged. He was fond of the water but was only in it once per week. She smiled at the prince and walked over to a chest that contained his toys, retrieving a carved wooden ship, one little carved stone man, and one little carved stone woman. She plopped them in the tub with her ward, where he joyfully scooped them up and began imagining convoluted tales of pirates plundering in far off waters.
“Ten minutes, love. After that I will need to help you wash so that you will not be late for the meeting.”
Remedy took full advantage of the time he was able to spend playing and convincing him to give up his toys when his ten minutes had expired proved to be another challenge of the morning. After finally retrieving the last of his toys, she laid them out on the sun-bathed window-sill both so they were a great distance from the tub and so they would dry more quickly.
After helping the prince add soap to his washing rag, she assisted with cleansing his hair, back, and other hard to reach places. As she scrubbed down his back she thought she heard a small ruffling and movement from behind the tapestries. She handed the rag to Remedy instructed the prince to clean the rest; his arms, legs, face, and secret place so that she could investigate. As she rose from her knees, a great rush of wind came in through the stone arched windows, knocking the prince’s little man figurine down from the window only to crash to the floor where it swiftly shattered into several small pieces. She looked from the shattered man to the tapestries and concluded that it must have been the wind.

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