#NaNoWriMo Day 8: Vyrdin and Draeden
In the midst of Draeden’s lamentations, King Dorrin at last called for dinner to begin. He approached the table, kissed his son, and much to Vyrdin’s astonishment kissed Bryeison, whose pale complexion darkened momentarily and he turned aside, smiling abashedly to himself, leaving Vyrdin to wonder at whether Bryeison was considered as much his son as Draeden was. How he had come to deserving of such a position occupied Vyrdin’s thoughts even as the king approached his seat, poured his wine, and raised his cup. He gave a concise benediction, and when everyone resounded their approbation with Onne Bennath Aconna, the king claimed his seat, music was called for, wine was poured, and the dinner was begun. Draeden attacked the goose and rabbit, taking the carved slices and shoving them into his mouth with all the alacrity that his rapaciousness could recommend. Plates and even the necessary mastications seemed irrelevant to a prince who was only desirous of quelling the vicious grumblings of his stomach. He tore through his meal with ravening pride, a leg of mutton in one hand, a whole coney in the other, and his present enjoyment was to be got through only to declare himself absolutely starved and collect another few cuts for his hands. Bryeison ate with a more moderate consumption, but laughed at Draeden’s continual train of leg after breast after thigh with intermittent spoonfuls of soups and stews, leaving little occasion for any conversation other than Draeden’s ardent approval of Ruta’s powers at cookery.
Vyrdin watched the prince’s unabated fressing in amazement. Never had he seen someone so slender eat so much, and so fascinated by he was the prospect that he had forgotten to fill his own plate until the king asked him whether there were anything he would have from the table. He revived from his reverie, said he should like to try the pheasant, and was instantly given an immense cut of the breast and both the wings for himself.
“Here, Vyrdin,” said the king, putting some of the stewed yams and garlic potatoes in his plate. “Eat, and eat well, child. Do not be afraid. Take whatever you like.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty,” said Vyrdin, overwhelmed by the mountain of food he had been served. He ate in quiet soliloquy, his musings active and wondering as he examined the goings on at the upper end of the table: the king barely ate, his hands in a constant state of anticipation around his roast as he spoke to his friend Baronet Breandan UiBrien who claimed the seat to his left; the musicians began to play Tyr’s Tydhg and a few pairs began to couple for early dancing; Draeden triumphed in his endeavour to conquer every dish before him and was succeeding admirably, much to Bryeison’s amusement; silver charms and fried honey dough were giving round, and all the customs of the day were attended and enjoyed. Vyrdin’s heart warmed: so much blithesomeness and generosity, he felt equal to smiling and almost did when the king suddenly turned to him with a speaking solicitation.
“Are you not hungry, Vyrdin? You have barely eaten anything on your plate. Would you prefer something else?”
“No, Your Majesty,” was Vyrdin’s eager assurance. “I’m just taking my time.”
The slight curl in the corners of Vyrdin’s mouth suggested a budding exultation, and here the king must be satisfied. “If you would like to be better acquainted with the room, stand up and walk about if you like. I will make certain my son does not eat what you leave behind.”
Dorrin laughed and Vyrdin simpered as they spied Draeden quarreling with Bryeison over the whole duck he had just placed onto his plate.
“Bryeison was just as quiet as you when he came here,” said Dorrin. “He opened his heart to my son, and now you see they are inseparable.”
Vyrdin narrowed his gaze, listening to the king and attending the adoring remonstrances of the two friends beside him simultaneously, his mind sifting through the various discourse and his aspect smiling at one and suffering humility at the other.
“I know that you are conscious of distinction, Vyrdin, but do not be afraid to speak to my son. Your ability to approach others will improve in time if you befriend someone like Draeden first. He has an excellent heart. Take him into your confidence. He may be leaving the keep soon. Make it your object to better acquaint yourself with his character before he goes.”
All the promises requisite to appease the king were made, and as Dorrin at last was allowed to tend to his small slice of roast, Vyrdin moved closer to Draeden to begin his efforts. He had little idea what could be said to remove the prince’s attention from the duck that had been thoroughly cleaned, but before he could even fathom an introduction, Draeden spoke first.
“Did you like your earring?” said he, his eye perusing the table in quest of the roast. “You’ll have to grow accustomed wearing them.”
Vyrdin was all humble astonishment. He turned, smiled to himself, and then turning back, said with a brightened tone, “I did- I will- Thank you-“ but he stopped, uncertain as to whether to address Draeden by his martial rank or noble title.“Draeden,” said the prince, hunting after the garlic bread as it hovered near him. “Bryeison and I are off duty for the day, and I get out of being called Your Highness as often as Bryeison allows.” He gave Bryeison a flat look, who was on the point of reminding Draeden of his claims to heraldry, and then turning back, he added, “Have you decided where you are going to have your ear pierced? I think such a piece would look famously as a cuff, hanging down from the back of your ear. I think the design is Lucentian. Are you going to eat that wing, because if not I shall gladly take it from you.” And without waiting for an answer, Draeden plucked the wing from Vyrdin’s plate and sucked the meat from the bones before standing and surveying the table to discover whither the roast had gone.