Valun had stood waiting at the window for about ten minutes when he began to hear sounds of a scuffle approaching his chamber. He could hear the fugitive yelling, and then Richard answering.
“Unhand me! I’m equal to you!”
“I doubt that will hold up for long now; the king wants to see you, and he is very upset. You, man! Aren’t you the king’s special man, David?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Well open the door quickly before this excuse for an advisor gets out of my grip.”
At this request, David threw open the door with one hand; his other hand was wrapped in a tight grip around the left wrist of the foreign traveler, Sir John. Sir John was continuing his attempts to wriggle out of the judgment which he knew was coming. “I’m serious! Valun is going to complain about this treatment when I tell him!”
“If you have not realized this already, which is clear by your behavior,” Valun bellowed at the top of his lungs “Who do think it was who told him to bring you up to my chamber straightaway?”
Just noticing at that moment that the door was wide open and Valun was standing in clear view of the doorway, Sir John immediately dropped all pretenses and refused to say another word.
Staring down at the singularly unkempt individual spread out on his floor, Valun continued to shout “I want an answer! What kept you back so long?”
Not daring to look up at his irate sovereign, Sir John mumbled into the floor, which he had his face flat to.
“What did you say?! Has my what arrived?!”
“I said” Sir John repeated, lifting his head and shoulders from the floor “has your foreign Queen arrived here at the capital?”
“Let me explain, John. I never requested that you bring anything home from your journey, much less a person, even less a person already in line to rule their own country!”
“Unfortunately,” Sir John answered “She is already less than two days from here, so you’ll have to make the best of it.”
“And if anything that has been happening has to be altered because of this, you shall be thrown out! I can see what this is!” Valun continued “This is a plan by you to undermine me! You’ve stretched too far along this line! Showing your colors at last, you’re not my friend any more than you are a low-born peasant! Get this creature locked up tight somewhere, carefully watched!”
The scene fell silent as Sir Richard and David lifted John and dragged him out of the chamber. Valun, still wearing his battle armor, strode out to the landing, where he found the helmet in a sack where David had dropped it. The discovery was not very helpful, as he soon found that crouching in full armor was a particularly painful experience, and barely saved himself from an embarrassing crash.
David returned shortly afterwards and retrieved the helmet, taking it into Valun’s room as Valun followed. As David was setting the helmet down upon the desk, Valun asked “Well, is he locked up?”
“Yes, he is. We brought him to Sir Robert, and he assigned four men to watch him to ensure that he stays where he’s been put.”
“That is very helpful; now we can move forward with the original plan without wasting time worrying about anything he may get up to.” Valun replied, continuing “Get this armor off of me, I’m tiring.”
After David had removed the armor and it had been safely stowed in its cases once more, Valun stretched out on the bed and David took the opportunity to set himself down on the desk chair. Resting in silence for the next ten minutes, both eventually drifted off to sleep.
Much later, they were roused out of their dreams by loud knocking on the chamber door. At Valun’s order, David went to open it.
A man dressed in Guardsman’s livery stepped into the room and, after coming to attention, loudly exclaimed “I am ordered to announce the arrival of Her Highness the Princess of Gairbairia, accompanied by her slaves, and followed by the army of Berunthia!”
Valun stared at the herald for several seconds before asking “Where are they? Outside the gates?”
“Yes, my Lord, they are just outside the castle.”
“Then you must return to the gates to convey my welcome, and then escort the royalty up to this room.”
As the herald exited, Valun sighed and said “It is hard to tally and rectify to the best of your abilities everything that wayward minions may do behind your back, and it is possible to make the case even worse than it was. Keep that in mind if you ever hold power over anyone else. But now, we must prepare.” He added, causing David to leap out of the chair.