"Where is the King?" He asked impatiently.
"His Majesty is in the Queen's chamber, Sir. The Queen is at childbed."
Unintentionally pushing the innocent maid to the side, Sir Gerhardt darted up the stone stairways and torched passages to arrive at the royal quarters. Breathing heavily and pushing all decorum and propriety aside he intruded into the room. They have already lost too much time.
When he finally did register the happenings within the chamber, Sir Gerhardt cast his eyes away as screams of Queen Athena filled the room. He was met with a murderous glare from King Sylas and he wished he had knocked before entering.
"Your Majesty, we...we were deceived at Kraken's hill. We haven't got much time." Sir Gerhardt declared in distress. The words flew out of his mouth before he could cease his well practised low bow. He watched as King Syla's face paled, but the surprising revelation was not registered with the shock he had expected. It was almost as if the King had been expecting this.
"How much time have we got, Sir Gerhardt?" King Sylas addressed.
"We will besieged before dawn at best, Your Majesty." As if on time and reinforcing this message through the silent capital, bells from the west tower started to sound.
"Gather the council!"
"We cannot, Your Majesty. There is a snoop within the Council"
A blood-curdling scream resonated off the stone walls of the ancient room where many Queens had birthed heirs, as King Sylas left the room with Sir Gerhardt at his heel. The many midwives and ladies-in-waiting surrounding Queen Athena lulled her, attacking her sweating body with wet cloths. Some of them chanted prayers repeatedly, holding beaded strings garnished with branches of rosemary leaves, beseeching for the health of the mother and the child.
"The child is coming, get the water ready." The eldest midwife among the lot ordered. She looked to be ancestral. As if on cue, another daunting scream overtook the room. The eldest midwife urged Queen Athena to push. Time seemed to slow while the grains of sand dripping in the hourglass appeared to be sluggish. Slowly, the form of a stout baby appeared in between the Queen's legs as blood stained the embroidered bedding red.
"Is it a boy or a girl?" The plump lady-in-waiting to the left side of the Queen adorned in a simple brown dress asked. She was well into womanhood and if one didn't know that noble blood streamed through her veins, she could have easily been mistaken for a maid. Her facial features were plain and her thick dark hair already had prematurely greying strands, expertly hidden in her basic plaited bun.
"It's a boy, Lady Wulcey." A midwife uttered, handing the cleaned babe to Queen Athena. The queen, now a dejected mother held her firstborn, caressing the robust little thing at her breast, knowing that fate will soon part their ways. She had done her task of providing an heir to the kingdom.
The door to the chamber opened as King Sylas stormed in garmented in fine armour, having heard the news of his newborn son. Sir Gerhardt and a couple of guards were at his tail.
Queen Athena yelled in pain, occluding the words of the King.
"Why is she in pain?" The King questioned, sorrow and panic taking over his expression. The newborn was handed over to Lady Wulcey as the midwives surrounded the Queen once again and a maid was sent to fetch a physician in haste.
YOU ARE READING
The Lost RoyalsHistorical Fiction
Ophelia was a maid at Thourmount castle, her ordinary life was as insignificant as any stone on the streets. As she navigates a kingdom of high social stratification, her endeavors constantly keep leading her right into the hands of a certain mischi...