The doors swung inward as the guards announced her presence “we announce the presence of princess Guinevere Cameliard”.
Walking forward, she lifted her head up and looked so regal as she entered the throne room to meet with King Uther Pendragon in front of the audiences, the councils and the aristocracies as Guinevere Cameliard, the lost princess of fallen Cameliard Kingdom. Ready or not, this was the first step to the beginning of her new life as her Kingdom’s representative and the only survivor of her fallen Kingdom. Walking down the red carpet towards where the King of Camelot, King Uther Pendragon who sat on the throne, Guinevere could hear people whispering about her and Merlin. Ever since news about her being adopted by Merlin, the strongest Sorceress of all Britannia, had been spread among the Camelot Kingdom's society, people had been wondering if the rumors about her had been true and people on this room soon whispered and chatted that the rumors about her had been true (what rumors exactly?).
“my name is Guinevere Cameliard, princess of Cameliard Kingdom. I came here with the Sorceress Merlin, my adopted mother who raised me all along this time ever since my parent’s demise”, Guinevere stopped several meters in front of the King, lifted the sides of her skirt and closed her eyes before bowing her body to show respect and greeted the King “blessings and glory upon Your Majesty as the King of Camelot Kingdom”.
“oh, come closer, princess”, King Uther reached out his hand and once Guinevere was in arm-length, King Uther looked down with those sad eyes while cupping her cheek “you have our condolences for your lost of your parent and your Kingdom. I’m so sorry for what happened on Cameliard Kingdom. I do hope I could find you and get you sooner to my Kingdom”.
This was exactly not the first time for them to meet but Guinevere felt something stab her heart as she, somehow, remembered of how Leodegrance had touched her. The way King Uther touched her, it felt like a father’s touch. She barely teared up but she closed her eyes “...It’s a honour for us to be welcomed on your Kingdom, even after the fall of Cameliard Kingdom”.
The bearded man beside King Uther (Advisor of this Kingdom, if she recalled) spoke to the audiences “as the rumors has it, the lost princess of Cameliard Kingdom has the most beautiful eyes with different colors like the rarest gems, long straight flowng blonde hair like golden thread and beauty of goddess. As you can see with your own eyes, audiences, this girl is undoubtedly the lost princess of Cameliard Kingdom, princess Guinevere Cameliard”.
Heck, Guinevere had to bite her laugh back as she blushed in embarrassment. What a such exaggerating rumors?! She could bet that behind her, Merlin had to hold her laughter back as well. Whatever rumors they had heard about her, she didn’t care. She just wanted to go through it and finish this troublesome, unnecessary formal ceremony as soon as possible.
King Uther pointed his chin to Merlin “and it thanks to Lady Merlin who has been doing excellent job on raise the princess as her adopted daughter. You have the greatest credits from our Kingdom for it, Lady Merlin”.
Merlin bowed her head “thank you, Your Majesty”.
“I believe you’ve been told that your Kingdom, Cameliard Kingdom is our closest ally and I don’t have a child as my heir”, King Uther announced to audience about his decision “thus, from now on, I will be looking into princess Guinevere’s well-being. There will be no need to worry because starting today, princess Guinevere Cameliard will be treated properly as princess. Whoever her potential partner, he will be the next King of Camelot Kingdom, with her as the next Queen”.
Copying Escanor, who decided it?!
Knowing he was going to marry off her with someone, whoever asked for her hand, Guinevere blurted out with hope the King would change his mind “but... you have a son”.
When the whispers from audiences started getting louder, King Uther lifted his hand and the Advisor warned them to be silence. Dropped one knee in front of her, King Uther cupped her cheek “interesting... so what I heard from your father once is true? Your father and your mother always said that you are the blessed child with power of the Goddess. The proof is your heterochromia eyes. Tell me, what do you see?”.
It wasn’t like Guinevere had no idea as to what she should see, she had known that her power was like two-sided coin. Her blue-colored right-eye could see the past while her green-colored left-eye could see the future but she never did this before (to see certain moment of someone’s future or past deliberately, usually she just saw what was going through into her mind) so she just blurted out what did she see of King Uther after she tried hard to concentrate “a woman... she gave birth a baby, a boy... she ran from the castle and disappeared with the baby in the middle of the storm...”.
Suddenly Guinevere felt terrible headache and her knees buckled beneath her. She felt like she started losing her consciousness as Merlin caught her from behind and cradled her on her arms while people around them only got noisier than before.
“Your Majesty, I apologize but I insist to not ask the princess to use her power too often. There will be the terrible side-effect for her health”, Merlin looked down worriedly to her “she has powerful magic strength but she is still a child, she just hasn’t able to control her power yet”.
“that’s why, we need you by her side”, King Uther sighed in understanding before apologizing, for push the little princess to use her power “I believe her on your care like you’ve been doing all this time, Lady Merlin”.
Before Merlin left with Guinevere on her arms, the Advisor asked King Uther about what Guinevere had witnessed. King Uther clarified that he indeed had a child with a concubine but she ran away from the castle with the baby and disappeared, no one had ever seen that woman and the baby after that, so King Uther thought it couldn’t be counted.
Merlin had an idea about how to find King Uther’s firstborn child (a boy, the one who could be his heir considering what Guinevere had seen) “there’s a sword is known as Excalibur, stuck in an enormous boulder which no Holy Knight could pull it out. Only those with the blood of Royalty in their veins and chosen by the Sword as the King who can pull the sword out”.
King Uther Pendragon stood and announced his Royal Decree that he considered as his final wish “thus I decide, whoever can pull the Excalibur sword out of the enormous boulder, will be the next King of Camelot Kingdom and marry with princess Guinevere Cameliard once they reach adulthood. I order to my people to consider this as my final wish, as the King of this nation”.
“I know trying to survive is a difficult task but I feel like I become hypocrite...”, Guinevere leaned her chin on the table before she dropped her forehead on the table “being princess is a suck”.
“now, now, this is just the beginning. Remember what your daddy said about you to just act like your age?”, Merlin touched her forehead. Good, at least she didn’t have fever “and watch your mouth. What I told you before to not copy your uncle Ban’s foul-mouthed?”.
Nuzzling her head on Merlin’s chest as she sat on Merlin’s lap, Guinevere sighed “...I wonder if daddy and everyone are okay, godmother?”.
“they will not die easily”, Merlin stated the matter of fact, fixing her hair into pigtail-style hair for today “speaking of which, I heard you just ran away from your suitor again?”.
“godmother, I’m just 7 years old!? Copying uncle Escanor, who decided it?! And if you mean Kei, yes, I do run away because I don’t like him, he’s so annoying and arrogant?! Thanks to sneak-out techniques that I’ve got from Ellie, I could run”, Guinevere snickered with mischievous glint on her eyes before sighing loudly “being Royalty is such a pain”.
“indeed”, ignoring Guinevere’s yelp as Tristan lifted her off of Merlin’s lap, he commented about how light she was “I don’t doubt that Merlin surely took a great care of you and for sure, you eat and sleep properly here, from how chubby your rosy cheeks, but I still think you’re really light”.
Guinevere beamed up at her expectant guest “Mr. Tristan!?”.
“nah, needn’t to call me Mr. because it makes me sounded old, and needn’t use honorifics. You can just call me ‘Tristan’, just like Merlin and your daddy do”, Tristan rolled his eyes, tucking his hand into his pocket “speaking of which, I drop by here to give you something as your 7th birthday gift. Here, Sacred Treasure like your Merlin’s Aldan. This is known as Galadriel Mirror. Usually people would use it as an oracle to show the future but depend on your ability and magic power, you can use it to communicate, observe something or even to fight, too”.
“really?”, Guinevere tried to test it as she holding the beautiful carved mirror on her hands and just like what she imagined, she could see Meliodas wandering on the place that looked like market “for real?!”.
Tristan smirked smugly (with note in his head to quickly meet Meliodas at the market that he recognized as the black market on the capital of Camelot Kingdom. Honestly, what did he do at that place?) as he patted her hair “see? Like I said, depend on your magic power”.
“thank you, Tristan!? I love it?!”, Guinevere floated on the air and giggled seeing Tristan’s dumb-struck expression as he saw her levitate. After telling Merlin and Tristan that she would ‘hide’ from her suitor on the library, she kissed Tristan’s cheek “love you too~”.
After Guinevere ran off to the library, Tristan rubbed his cheek, pointing out “so cute of her... I guess I get it now why could she steal your heart”.
“you sure spoiled my daughter so much, while I tried to not spoil her too much”, Merlin shrugged “don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I mind it, how you treated her. I just... intrigued and surprised, contemplating that I never saw this part of you before”.
“I guess I can’t help it, Merlin. When I saw her crying on his arms for the first time, I felt like I want to run to her side to wrap my arms around her to hide her and keep her safe after I saw how fragile and delicate she was, but then there’s a warmth in my heart... something that made me want to run to her side, to pull her into my tight embrace, something that had only become visible to me, that made me itch to wrap my arms around her, to rock her back and forth and whisper gentle words in her ears until she fell asleep in my arms”, looking down to his palm, Tristan referred to when he witnessed Meliodas carrying the crying Guinevere who just got her power, back then on Istar. Running his fingers on his bangs, Tristan smirked bitterly “she truly ignited the bizarre feeling of warmth and protectiveness that I thought had been lost of me... maybe only you who could explain it?”.
“out of the fact she’s related with you... it’s so-called fatherly instincts, perhaps? I guess... maybe it’s because you saw your daughter’s ghost on her?”, Merlin touched her chin thoughtfully before narrowing her eyes “...you missed your late daughter and your late wife, right?”.
Tristan intertwined his fingers, his bangs masking his expression “well, I was thinking... just if Irina were still alive, she would be on the same age with her and maybe... they would be a good friends... so yeah, like I said, I can’t help it but want to spoil her rotten. She is indeed so lovely and you’re a great mother while I... I’m such a sorry excuse for a husband and a father”.
“Tristan, never ever think that I would hate you, ever, for what happened to Isolde and Irina. It was not your fault. After all, you were always there when my little sister needed you the most. You loved her like how she loved you and my niece, Irina was the proof of your love with her”, Merlin cupped his cheek and turned his face to look straight into her eyes before leaning her forehead into his “you’ve given everything to her, you’re her lifeline, so please, never ever think that my sister suffered because of you. Instead, you already made her be the happiest woman alive and for that, you have my thanks. Stop beating yourself over it, okay?”.
“much appreciated. Thank you very much, Merlin”, Tristan smiled genuinely before throwing his bag over his shoulder “okay, since I have finished my business here, I need to go to find gifts for those two annoying brats before continue my errand”.
Merlin tilted her head “last time I checked, you only have a little brother?”.
“indeed, he has been the Holy Knight Apprentice for a while but when he’s not working as Holy Knight Apprentice, he’s working as the private bodyguard and sword instructor for pampered, spoiled young master of certain rich family on his town. Heck, that young master is still such a little brat and I wonder how my little brother could stand with the brat”, Tristan shook his head as he remembering how the so-called young master had asked him to play with him when he visited his little brother. Looking behind over his shoulder, Tristan smirked “though that little brat is a radiant kid, almost like Gwen. I bet they can get along well together if they meet”.
Though his harsh words and foul-mouthed, Merlin smiled lopsided, knowing that Tristan must have liked this kid a lot. If he didn’t like the kid, why would he bother himself with looking for the gift for the kid as well?
You could see the nursemaids of Camelot Kingdom’s Castle, once again, wandered around the Castle, looking for the certain princess who, once again, hid (a.k.a run away) from her suitor.
A nursemaid opened the bushes, looking for her “princess?! Lord Kei is looking for you?! He has kindly brought a gift for you, too?!”.
Other nursemaid told them that the princess was not on the library “honestly, where is the princess?”.
One of nursemaid came after checking on the kitchen and warehouse “we really can’t find her. Should we ask Lady Merlin to find her?”.
“if they think I will come out of my hiding place just because Kei brought the gift for me, they better think twice”, after the nursemaids went to ask Merlin’s help, Guinevere mumbled, swinging her legs up and down as she sat on the tree branch “like Ellie said, adults have blind spot when it comes to the hiding place and the perfect place to hide is on the high place. Now, I wonder how long they can find me?”.
Just when she thought she could use this advantage to watch Meliodas through her Sacred Treasure that she’d just gotten from Tristan, Galadriel Mirror, before she could reach her Mirror, she heard someone from below “I can see your white panty from here~”.
Looking down to the familiar blonde-haired teenager below, Guinevere quickly curled her legs “KYA?! Pervert?!”.
That blonde-teenager smirked mischievously and lifted his hand “I lied, sorry~”.
A vein popped on Guinevere’s head as she floated on the air, lifting both hands with piercing looks (the expression that she had learned from Merlin to threat people). Looking down to the shocked teenager disdainfully, Guinevere glared as fire ball and ice blocks appeared above her hands “which one do you prefer? Hot or cold?”.
Lifting his hands in surrender, Lancelot gulped “wait, I swear I don’t have evil intention at all!? I just thought it’s dangerous for you to climb the tree that high?! More so, it's not proper for a princess to climb a tree like that?! I don’t know you can levitate and use magic power like this?!”.
“don’t tell my nursemaids, then”, Guinevere sighed as she clenched her tiny fists, both fire ball and ice blocks disappeared before she landing on the ground “how could you tell that I am the princess?”.
Lancelot tilted his head “well, you see... just from your appearance now, also from those exaggerating rumors about your appearance and beauty—”.
“stop”, her cheeks flushed at that. With some authority on the air surrounding her body that she’d gained thanks to from how long she had lived on the castle (either she realize it or not), she demanded “second, what are you doing here?”.
“well, you know my job, princess”, Lancelot shrugged “I only accompany my young master, that’s it”.
Guinevere trailed off “wait, it means...”.
Like she expected, they heard Arthur coming from behind “ah!? Lily girl!?”.
“it’s not my name”, Guinevere blinked to him, though deep down her heart, she felt delightful to see her friend again “and why did you call me Lily girl?”.
“well, because I saw it, you see… on your nape, you have birth mark in shape of ‘Lily’ flower, right? Your name… Gwen, isn’t it? It’s a good name. I’m glad we can meet again?!”, Arthur scratched his cheek, donning sheepish smile before he approached her and wondered why she didn’t smile. He felt it that she was different, that she had changed “...what’s wrong? Why are you sulking? Did Lancelot do something bad to you?”.
Lancelot put his hands on his hips “please don’t talk as if I always do something bad”.
Puffed her cheeks, Guinevere pointed him “peeking on my panty”.
Arthur blushed furiously, horrified as he apologizing to her “Lancelot!? I don’t know you’re a pervert”.
Guinevere convinced it was okay “maybe you can count it as ‘pedophile’, Arthur”.
Lancelot grumbled, enough with the bickering “it’s not funny, kids”.
“and here I wondered how could you my panty’s color if you really didn’t see it?”, Guinevere crossed her arms before her chest as she looking up, talking to Lancelot through telepath “don’t tell Arthur that I am the princess or I swear, you will not like the consequences~”.
Lancelot gulped, he had heard that the princess was prodigy child who had powerful magic strength in her young age but this? “what a terrifying princess”.
After that, Guinevere (and Lancelot, not like he wanted it or he had a choice) kept her real identity as princess, because only in front of Arthur, she could be carefree ‘Gwen’ again. The latter seemed clueless on her real identity as princess, thankfully. Guinevere didn’t tell that she was the princess, only told him that her godmother, Merlin worked here on the palace, that was why she was here.
Arthur beamed up, telling her that Merlin was her Master, her irreplacable Mentor and friend “I have no idea that Merlin is your godmother, Gwen!? Let’s study together?! Promise?”.
“good idea?!”, Guinevere smiled and linked her pinky into Arthur’s “promise”.
After Arthur mentioned that she looked wary, Guinevere spilled the beans, a bit “well, you see... I have no choice but to accept the circumstances as long as we have place to stay”.
Lancelot blurted out, fully knowing the complicated circumstances the little girl was into “poor li’l girl, you should just say ‘no’ if you don’t like it and you don’t want the Lord to marry you off with his son”.
“do you listen to me or not? It’s not like I have any choice?!”, Guinevere groaned and covered her face as she kicking her legs up and down “argh?! let’s just hope he will not find his son and I can get out of his clutches?!”.
Arthur tilted his head “hm... let me give you the spell to make you feel better”.
Guinevere turned to Arthur who stood up “how?”.
Without warning, Arthur touched her shoulders and leaned down to give a light peck on her forehead and Guinevere’s eyes widened. Lancelot whistled before he had to bite back his laughter as Guinevere’s face turned bright red as tomatoes.
Arthur cheerfully lifted his hands “my master told me that she always did it for her daughter... well, I know it’s you now, when you were feeling down, like when you were sad or upset and it always works so I hope you will feel better?!”.
Guinevere indeed gave thanks to Arthur before she fled again (well, this time not with levitate, but with flying at full-speed).
Turning to his care-taker after gust of wind blew his hair, Arthur blinked confusedly “did I do something wrong?”.
Lancelot smacked his palm to the ground, howling in laughter and ignoring Arthur’s complaints in his confusion. Oh, it was too funny?!
Patting Arthur’s head after he gathered himself together, Lancelot cleared his throat “just ask her next time you meet her. Eventually, you will meet her again, for sure”.
When Merlin, the nursemaids and guards finally found her, they found Guinevere on the riverbank. At first, Merlin had prepared herself to, at least, scolding her to make her nursemaids and guards in trouble but when they found her with bright red face, Merlin picked her and touched her forehead instead “oh my, why did your face turn bright red like this? do you have a fever again?”.
Well, the reason was stupid so she would never say it to anyone. Guinevere simply slumped her head on Merlin’s chest “...dizzy... I apologize, that I have made trouble for the nursemaids and guards...”.
The nursemaids and guards exchanged worried and stunned glances to her, they convinced her that no need for her to apologize before Merlin brought her back to her room with half of her nursemaids and the half others called for the doctor or prepare the necessity for sick-princess. The guards went back for their errand, except for the guards who were installed to protect the princess so they had to stick close with the princess.