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And They Lived Happily For As Long As They Wanted

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And the Lady Guinevere did speak thusly:

“My King, Arthur, and my Lord, Lancelot, I cannot bear to be parted from you, both of you hold my love in equal measure.”

And the King spoke:

“My Queen, it cannot be done! You must be gone from here, both of you, for I cannot bear to look at you even one more minute, lest I go insane.”

“My King,” cried Guinevere. “Please, do not cast me aside, for I shall surely die without you!”

Lancelot had not yet spoken, but now he let his natural deference be cast aside:

“My King, my liege, I wish not to be parted from thee, but I will go, for I want nothing more than to see thee and the Queen happy.”

“Yes, this shall be done. You shall leave this place, I can see no other solution,” the King said, but it was with heavy heart. “I do not wish to lose my best knight either, but what shall happen if you stay?”

The Queen did then fall down to her knees and cried out:

“No, my King, no!”

Lancelot knelt next to her, and took her in his arms. He looked imploringly at his King.

“My liege, I have sworn allegiance to thee, and if it is thy wish, I will go, but please, I beg thee, as thy humble servant, to consider this.

“Can a King not do as he pleases? Is it not the right of a King to change the rules as he sees fit? Is it not true that the Land chooses its King, and it has chosen most wisely, my King?”

“All this is true, Lancelot, but what would you have me do?” asked the King, looking down at Lancelot, his once most treasured knight, and Guinevere, his beautiful Queen. He felt in his heart that to be parted from them was more than one man could bear. He quite forgot his place and knelt down next to Lancelot. He took Lancelot’s hand in his.

“My most trusted of knights, what would you have me do?”

Lancelot held the King’s hand against his cheek as he bent his head and wept silent tears. The Queen Guinevere, who was a woman wise beyond her years, kept her silence. The King was quick in his temper, but also a generous man, and she hoped he would find the solution she had already thought of.

“My Guinevere, my Lancelot, I can see no solution to this. I wish not for you to leave, but what else can be done? But it may be that the best thing right now is for you both to stay, to let us all think upon this matter, for is it not so that everything is clearer in the morning?” the King said, shaken by the events. “We must retire now to my chambers, and I shall send the servants away, so that we may speak freely.”

“My King,” Queen Guinevere said, and kissed the King upon his cheek.

“My Queen,” said Lancelot, and kissed Guinevere’s hand. He then did likewise to the King’s hand, before standing up and offering his hand to help the Queen stand up.

“Let us retire now,” said the King, and they went.