Location: The Yellow Castle, Orion
Formendacil wrote:However, before either Jayko or Arthur could speak, the crowd parted as another high-ranking Cavalier passed through. Unlike Quorandis, however, Captain-Colonel E'terriole was on-duty, as the commander of the security and escorts at the banquet. His golden ceremonial armour glistened in the light of the chandeliers.
"Cadets!" he said, and they stood sharply at attention, "what on earth is going on here?"
As Quorandis and Vanderdious ended their little duel, and the bystanders started to disperse, E'terriole turned to Jayko and Arthur, a wry smile on his face. He gave them no reproach, but shook his head.
"You're offduty now, boys," he told them, "until half an hour before the fireworks. Go visit the punchbowl, have a dance, do whatever it is you youngsters do. Just be in proper form when the time comes."
"Yes sir," saluted Jayko and Arthur.
As E'terriole resumed his inspection of the Cavaliers on duty, Jayko and Arthur headed, as he had suggested, towards the punchbowl. They weren't the only ones, and as Jayko was bending over to spoon some of the raspberry-pear-mango punch into his glass, he was bumped a bit from behind.
"Oh, sorry," came a somewhat familiar voice from behind him. "Didn't mean to..." As Jayko turned around, the voice stopped. It was Sir Jayson deTalon.
"Jayko Falconensis!" he breathed. "What on earth!"
"Jayson!" said Jayko with loathing. "What are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same question," said Jayson coldly. "But the answer is that, as one of the chief lords of the Eastern Kingdom, I am here as one of the guests."
"Chief lords?" said Jayko, knowing what Jayson meant. "Your only title is knight. Since when is a knight a chief lord?"
"Since he became Baron and Governor," replied Sir Jayson.
"Jayko," injected Arthur, "do you know this man? Who is he?"
"Sir Jayson deTalon," replied Jayko, keeping his eyes on him, "a traitor and usurper."
"Traitor?" snapped Jayson. "When have I ever betrayed the king? Unlike you, I have done my duty to the people, and have served Matthias loyally. Barleyburg, and all Talonjay, has prospered under my rule- which is more than you could ever say."
"Let's take this outside!" said Jayko.
"What?" said Jayson, pretending to be shocked. "YOU would fight ME? Do you wish for a drubbing that badly?"
"I may not be a genius, but I can fight!" said Jayko. "I'd take you on, any day."
"I seem to remember you trying that in sparring practice several times, over a year ago," replied Jayson. "I gave you a severe drubbing each time, and I was on your side then."
"I've learnt a lot since then," said Jayko stubbornly. "Can't you see what I'm wearing? This is the armour of a Cavalier! The Cavaliers are the finest fighting unit in Dametreos."
"Unit, maybe," said Jayson, "but that doesn't mean that each individual is all that good, CADET!"
"Are you afraid to fight me?" said Jayko. "Is that why you keep talking, instead of heading outside?"
"Hardly," said Jayson, coldly.
It was at about this time that King Matthias and Ambassador Jaythus came to check on Sir Jayson.
"Jayson," came Matthias' voice. "What is going on? Are you getting into a fight?"
"Just settling some unfinished business," said Jayson.
"With a Cavalier?" said Matthias, raising an eyebrow. "What sort of nonsense is this? Do you want to cause trouble with the Emperor?" Matthias looked at Jayko. "You look familiar, boy. Do I know you?"
"You should," said Jayko. "For I am Sir Jayko Falconensis, Baron of Talonjay!" Matthias and Jaythus were both a bit surprised.
"Really?" said Jaythus. "Where on earth have you been?"
"Deserting his post," said Jayson. "And then having the audacity to call me a traitor."
"Really?" said Matthias, chidingly. "Young Jayko, that is most impolitic. You, of all people, ought to know how devoted Sir Jayson is to the realm."
"He usurped and attacked his rightful lord," said Jayko, "that makes him a traitor."
"Jayson has never harmed the king," said Jaythus. "What are you talking about?"
"Me," said Jayko. "I am the Baron of Talonjay and Governor of Barleyburg."
"Baron of Talonjay you may have been," said Matthias, "but the Governorship of Barleyburg is mine to distribute, and I have given it to Sir Jayson. And your departure from Talonjay in its time of trouble is tantamount to abdication."
"When I returned, I was never even given a chance to reclaim it!" said Jayko, hotly. Matthias shook his head sadly.
"I'm sorry, my boy," he said. "I knew your father, and he would have been aggrieved at this state of affairs. But the goings on of the provinces are their own affairs. If Jayson has been accepted by Talonjay, I will not interfere. I suggest you put it behind yourself, and try to make a name for yourself in the Emperor's service."
And with a nod, King Matthias headed away, to talk with a Royal delegate. Jayson gave Jayko an evil grin, and headed away himself. Jaythus paused before heading off to follow his king.
"Sorry," he said with a half-smile.
"Um, mate," said Arthur to Jayko. "Would you mind explaining all that to me?"