25 Days of Writing – Day 18

Day 18: Your character has a conversation with an influential person in their life. It can be a parent, a teacher, a mentor, anyone your character looks up to. Why are they having the conversation? Write the scene.

——

“Markus! You—,” cried Trey.

“Why suddenly concern yourself so with that woman, aye?” returned Markus. “What in God’s name was she doing on the battlefield?”

“Markus, please.”

“What fool are you for this? Think you that she is a proper warrior?”

“Her orders—.”

“Orders, aye? In what fevered delusion did you deliver such an order?”

“I made not the order, Markus.”

“No woman has business on the battlefield! Your bodily desires are best served in your chambers!”

“I never!”

“I truly pray that her presence did not result in the unnecessary death of our own men, aye.”

“Uncle! Surely I would be dead were it not for her actions!” cried Trey.

“Iain could have shielded you.”

“Hanna is a better swordsman.”

“How can she be better, aye? A woman?!”

“Uncle, please! Hear me! Her orders.”

“What orders!” yelled Markus.

“You know,” said Trey. “Don’t you?”

The men stared at each other, breathing hard from the angry exchange, trying hopelessly to read each other’s thoughts.

“What order?” asked Markus more calmly.

Trey looked around, checking for curious bystanders.

“We must talk, Uncle,” Trey said trying to regain his composure. “We must speak privately.” Trey put a hand to Markus’ shoulder and pointing down the hall toward the King’s Hall.

They entered, and Trey shut the door behind them. Markus turned abruptly.

“Now you’ll explain? Why was she with you?” Markus carefully pronounced each word of the last sentence.

“Uncle,” said Trey, making great effort to remain calm. “You recall the order given her by His Majesty?”

“Of course! She was to attend to your injuries, then serve with the other Ladies.”

“Is that all you know?”

“What more is there to know, Trey?”

“Surely, His Majesty told you.”

“Told me what?” Markus was growing impatient.

Trey drew a breath and straightened up. He didn’t know how to say what needed to be said, so he decided to just spit it out. He looked Markus in the eyes. “Neither His Majesty, nor I, nor Lord Gilbert was confident that Balayn would adequately protect me.”

Markus sighed. “Yes, I felt the same,” Markus replied, feeling shame that his own son would be considered untrustworthy. “But you were fit, aye?”

“No.”

Markus frowned and regarded his nephew. “No?”

Trey shook his head. “Though I may be fit now, it took many weeks to recover well enough.”

Markus looked away, examining the tapestries that hung in the hall.

“I am surprised that His Majesty did not share this with you,” said Trey softly.

“What order was she given?”

“She was tested for skill with the sword,” said Trey. Markus looked back at him shocked. “It was decided that she should remain close to me, and defend me — with sword, if need be.”

“Her?!”

“She has a talent, but had no training. I—.” Trey hesitated. “I have provided her some training since. She’s a fair fighter.”

“Training?!”

“By order, Uncle. Only by order of the King himself.”

Markus looked away. He began to walk around the room.

“Uncle, please. The decision was difficult to make, but seemed the best in the interest of our nation. That, and we did not wish to insult the honor of Lord Balayn, nor your own. Perhaps this is why my father has not told you.”

“So she is your protector?”

“Yes.”

“Then why do you act as though you love her?”

Trey was stymied, momentarily. “Wha—, I do love her.”

Markus turned to Trey, raising an eyebrow.

“These are unrelated things, Uncle.”

“Unrelated?”

“I have grown to love her, these months. But her duty has been to protect me, and that is what she has done.”

“Jason told me of the attack near Maldok.”

“Yes, and she killed many last night. In my defense, of course. I owe her my life!”

“And how do you know you love her?”

Trey paused. He drew a breath and closed his eyes. “I love her,” he stated. “I wept when I thought her dead. I wept when I thought I’d not see her again.” He sighed. “And when I found she had survived, I thought I could fly.”

Markus smiled.

“I fear for her now, Uncle. Where could she be? She was with me. Right beside me! But she was injured.” Trey looked around the room. “And now she’s disappeared and no one cares!”

“Jason has expressed concern,” remarked Markus. “Does he know of this order?”

“No, Uncle. Jason knows not. Of course, he is aware that Hanna is not helpless with a sword.”

Markus nodded. “Your father would not approve of this – er — relationship.”

“I would be dead without her, Uncle. I assure you.”

“Aye, Trey. Your loss would be terrible. Then I pray she is found. But you must not forget your duties to Herongarde, Trey.”

“Yes, Uncle. I know.” Trey looked at the banner of Herongarde hanging over the head table. “I swore to her I would ever remember my duty and my place in Herongarde. She would refuse my love otherwise.”

“You have professed your love to her?”

“Aye, Uncle. And I will honor her convictions. But, please God, let her live!” Trey’s eyes were moist with tears.

Markus smiled warmly at Trey, approaching him then embracing him. “Here is the man I knew once. Our future King.” He gripped Treys shoulders and looked him in the eye. “I will pray for her safety, and will advocate for you to your father. But you must be strong and remember your duties, aye?”

Trey smiled and nodded wearily. The men embraced again. Then with a heavy slap on the back, Markus reminded Trey that they had duties yet this day. They left the King’s Hall, both happier, returning to a world of war and chaos.

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