They didn't want to do it, of course. The Knights of the Round Table were noble men. They, normally, would never follow such orders. But, coming from their king, they also had no choice, and were forced to do so.
Now, it is truly dark. Outside, the moon shines above Camelot, a silvery-white orb that dimly illuminates the village square. There are no stars tonight, for it had been cloudy since the afternoon. Arthur strides along the road, alone, knowing very well that his people are already inside of their small, shabby homes. If they were to see him now, out and about by himself, they would certainly wonder what his intentions are. In fact, they would probably consider him unpredictable, ever since the events of this morning. And Arthur wouldn't blame them for thinking so.
Tonight, there is nothing to be heard but the soft humming of nature, Arthur's movements through the dirt ground, and the beating of his heart. Now that he really thinks over his actions, he wonders if he truly wants to do this as well. But there is no going back, now.
As he passes the town tavern, a yellowish glow comes from a window. He hears the heavy sound of men's laughter, the clinking of glass. He remembers when he was once like that, every year, when his birthday would come and pass. Happy, foolish, and free. It has been a while since he has had those privileges, and to his sorrowing heart, it feels like even longer.
But those people in the tavern, the people of Camelot, the women, children, and men who live under his reign... surely, they must want for him to be a powerful king. If he does not act now, they will look up to him no more. They will see him as a coward, a weak king, a king who does actions only just out of harm's way, never taking a risk. Never leading their kingdom into any kind of greatness. Before, he had been young. They must not have expected much from their young king, but now... he is supposed to be ready to lead his kingdom as a real man.
The Knights have been sent to the nearby Druid village, where Arthur's men will take their people, and make them a part of Camelot by force. If they disagree, they will be thrown out of the land, or worse. No more will those people of magic hide from him. Instead, they will bow down to their new king, and they will see how much better it is to be a part of Camelot. This is the kind of thing Father should have done much sooner, Arthur reasons with himself. They will see how great of a king I can be. They will all see, the Druids and my people. They will no longer have to fear my cowardice.
"They may have believed me to be a fool once," he says aloud, under his breath. "But I am no fool. I am not a coward, as they think. I am Arthur Pendragon, King of Camelot, ruler of this land, and I shall do whatever it takes for the people to recognize me as so."
He reaches the forest, following the trail of his knights, and he sees a sight that causes his heart to stop for a beat.
The sword, fixed into the stone, stays were it had been this morning. Only tonight, it seems to glow softly in the moonlight. Arthur thinks for a moment, recalling all of the times he had been told he was the one whom that sword belonged to. And now, he no longer need its help. He will find another way, a more rash way, of becoming a powerful king. If it is power they want, then he will show them power.
Something from within begins to burn a dark hole in his heart. Arthur, trapped in his deep thoughts, decides to pass the stone for one final time. As he walks by, he does not notice a change in the atmosphere.
He does not notice the sword's glow become brighter. Nor does he notice as the sword moves slightly, for a split second, changing from its original position.
Today, King Arthur has turned down the power of Excalibur, for when he had tried for it's ownership, he was not brave enough. Now that he has gained that courage, he is doomed to spiral down a path that no one could have foreseen.
Today was the day.
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Not About a Stone -- twistfatechallenge WINNER (1 of 35)Fantasy
Today is the day. This morning, the people of Camelot are gathered to see young Arthur remove the sword from the stone. But today, Arthur doubts himself. ~~~ What if Arthur wasn't able to remove Excalibur from the stone? -Thanks for getting me this...