The Secrets of Kings: Episode 9

10:49 PM

The Veiled Lady

July 7, 1390, 9:21AM

The Prince was finally dressed in one of his official event outfits and his hair was properly groomed. After placing his small, but elaborate, crown atop his head, the veiled lady took Remedy’s hand in her own and began to lead him through the dimly lit tapestry path and out of the room. Peering down the hall, toward the entrance to the corridor, she spotted Ponce just down the way, rushing from his room and stopping dead in his tracks. She thought it was slightly odd behavior but she did not have time to dwell as the Prince was tugging on her hand to divert her attention to a lone pair of shoes sitting on the other side of his chamber doorway.
“Someone’s left their shoes!” Remedy remedy pointed out with a bit of confusion. “Do you think they meant them as a gift to me?”
“I don’t know, darling.” She said half uninvested, looking back towards Ponce just in time to see the back of his heel as he re-entered his chamber.
“Well that would be a strange gift. Why would they leave me girl shoes? They aren’t even my size!”
The Veiled Lady turned her attention back to her charge. “Perhaps they were meant for your sister.” Her mind floated back to the slight disturbance she thought she had heard earlier on and a slight nervous stirring began in her mid-section. Perhaps someone had been there and seen things they were not meant to see. She swallowed in an uneasy gulp and stood up tall as not to suggest anything was off, as she was about to walk through the palace in front of several house attendants and visitors. She had to ensure her body-language did not convey any unease. With that, she began to walk to the corridor exit with the Prince at her side.
The Prince continued to fixate on the shoes outside of his chamber, asking questions as to why they might have been there. “But why were they outside of my room?”
“You ask very good questions, my prince. I’ll bet there is someone new in the castle who was confused about which room your sister is in.” She attempted to reason.
“Maybe they shouldn’t work here then. I mean if they cannot get it right…” He said as the Veiled Lady opened the doors to exit the royal quarters. A fat boy and a skinny boy sprung to attention and then kneeled as the young prince passed. The Veiled Lady took a moment to nod in each of their directions as a recognition of their service, but the prince paid no attention and continued on.
“Darling, if that is the case, you must be compassionate and allow people some time to learn. Remember how long it took you to learn the alphabet or master simple mathematics? It took you some time but I did not release you as a pupil.”
“But it is their job.” The prince reasoned.
“As was it your job to be an apt pupil. However, you needed time to master your tasks as do others. You should always be kind, considerate, and patient with people as they learn new things. Sometimes repeated failure can lead down a path to eventual success.” She explained.
“Perhaps you are right, Veiled Lady.”
“I’m sure you will find, in time, that I am.” She looked down to see Remedy nod in approval of her statement. She loved these moments outside of his usual childish innocence, where he would become exceedingly mature for his age and fully display his capacity for learning. In this moment, it made her feel somewhat emboldened. “Might I make an additional observation and provide council?”
“Yes.” The young prince responded as they continued their walk to the King’s council room. He looked up at her.
“As we walked out of the royal quarter, you neglected to recognize the young men bowing to you… I feel this is a mistake.”
“Why?” He inquired genuinely.
“Any ruler can command shows of respect from their constituents out of fear of the consequences for not complying, but it takes a special ruler to have their constituents bend their knee out of honest adoration and respect. I recommend finding the time in all circumstance to show mutual respect for your subjects. A simple ‘good day’ or a nod in their direction will make your people feel a sense of pride and may help to ensure their continued loyalty.”
The prince stopped in his tracks. The Veiled Lady turned to the prince to see him give her a slight, thankful nod. “I will be sure to heed your advice in the future, Veiled Lady.” He smiled at her, and although he could not see it, she smiled back at him as well. She was impressed to see that the prince truly took her word to heart. As they moved through the more populated sections of the castle, as his subjects bowed down as he passed, he took a moment to recognize each and every one of them.
They finally came upon the King’s council chambers, where two tall men stood, clad with armour. As the pair approached, the knights unsheathed their swords, holding them before them, straight up and down, hilts to their chests.
“What business have you with the King’s council?” the one closest to them bellowed?
“I have been asked by the King to accompany the prince to today’s meeting.” The Veiled Lady explained.
“You’re late.” The other knight accused.
“His presence was only requested for the last hour, which should be starting momentarily.”
The second knight let out a bothered groan and rolled his eyes before each knight pushed through their respective side of the double doors. “Pardon the interruption my lord. The Prince has arrived.”
The Veiled Lady could see the mass of men collected around a large table all turn at once to face the door. The king stood at the head of the table, his hair gray and his face with tired, and untimely wrinkles, and motioned for entrance. The prince immediately scuttled through the doors towards the King. As the Veiled Lady began to move forward, the Knights crossed their swords in front of her to block her entrance.
“No entrance.” The first guard stated.
“I was asked to accompany the Prince to th…” She began to explain.
The second knight cut her off before she could finish her thought. “Women have never been and are not now permitted in the council chambers.”
“But the King gestured for our entrance.” She pleaded.
“He gestured for the prince. You can wait outside. There is a chair down the corridor.”
She looked to the King who gave a slight shrug of the shoulders and apologetic eyes.
“But…” She continued.
“Women have never been and are not now permitted in the council chambers.” The second knight reiterated.
The Veiled Lady put her head down in defeat. She knew, strictly speaking, that their assertion about women in the chamber was not entirely accurate, but now was not the time nor the place to make a scene. Feeling slighted by the bodily accessories of her sex, she walked to the chair down the hall and waited for an hour for Remedy to reemerge.

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