Victor couldn’t believe it was the night before the great Harvest Festival; it had been five years since he watched the children at games and smelled the sweet and spicy smells that came from the great banquet tables. He sat down in front of the fire thinking about all the things that had to get done before the morning when Karl walked through the door.
“My lord Tristan is back from the front with news” Karl said. “Well then out with it man I don’t have all night.” Victor demanded. He hated bad news and the look on Karl’s face said all he needed too know.
“I’m sorry Karl; I know it’s not your fault.”
“Well my lord don’t shoot the messenger, ha-ha so sorry I’ll get on with it. It seems that the army has taken the western village, the last of the french rebels have been caught. We have won sir the war is finally over.”
Victor couldn’t believe his ears. He had left the front to protect home, everything had looked so hopeless. He was completely dumb founded. “Karl you son of a bitch! You come in here looking like we have completely lost everything and then you surprise me with this! I should hit you really. ” Victor said reaching over and smacking his friend upside the head.
“I’m sorry my lord but I couldn’t help myself. Should I ring the bells?”
“Yes of course you must ring the bells. Alert everyone TOMORROW WE CELEBRATE!!!”
The sun rose bright and shining the next morning. Victor was still unbelieving about the news he received. In fact he was sure that everyone in the village didn’t believe that it was over. It had been a long gruesome battle that seemed never ending. Just as it looked hopeless his soldiers pulled together and defeated the last of the band. This was surly going to be the best festival ever.
When he got to the grounds Victor noticed a crowd all ready gathering. It was cool crisp day, leaves blowing around in all of autumn’s colors. It was a perfect day for festivities. First thing first a toast to all those who fought.
He found Tristan in sitting at one of the long oak tables, he was alone. Tristan looked up at him but didn’t speak that troubled Victor. His nephew was twenty, and he was a light blond man, with a womanly face, but years of battles did make him manlier. He was handsome in his own right.
“What’s the matter; you don’t even come to see your Uncle?” Victor sat along side of him.
“Something troubles me,” he spoke softly.
“We won the war against the French and you are troubled.”
“Yes, there’s talk about,” he stopped and stared at the ground.
Victor was puzzled, he took him by the arm, “This is a grand celebration, tell me what’s wrong now!”
“There going to kill you, there’s talk in the camp. I overheard the men talking, the battle with France, sparked anger with the men over your ruling.”
“We had too; they were going to take us over.”
“Uncle, I don’t think were safe here.”
He was lost; his noblemen were going to kill him. He thought that would have been his list of his worries. Henry II’s son Geoffrey was here visiting them, he was a dark hair youth with a scholar appeal. But then that made Victor wonder, did Henry II not approve his feud with the French sense he had affair with the King’s sister.
“Tristan tell me who has ordered this?”
“The English there going to murdered you and try to take over Wales.” His voice faltered.
So now the war wasn’t over it was at his home front, first it was the French trying to steal his home now it was supposed to be his allies.
“Well were going to get rid of our visitor.” Victor smiled.
“No, that would be too risky, we make amends if he doesn’t take then we kill him.”
Tristan smiled back and they went to the banquet table where the Knights were and Geoffrey was. Victor sat down and the knights bowed and Geoffrey just gave a smile and shook his hand.
“Your harvest party is something we don’t really have back home, my lord.” Geoffrey said nicely.
“We take pride in our harvest; everyone works hard for these bundles of vegetables. In the winter it’s quite depressing.” Victor talked while he glared at him.
“We do take pride in the harvest but the serfs must work before winter comes.”
Tristan watched both of them and watched the Knights stared at the King. Victor had noticed that too but he didn’t let it bother them. His loyal subjects were all against him.
“I never tried pumpkin.” Geoffrey took a small cooked piece; it had been boiled in a cauldron.
“My lord you must try the wine.” Sir Willem gave a goblet to him.
Victor wasn’t sure if it was poisoned or not, but he took his chances. He took a gulp and it tasted sweet. For some reason he did feel tension but it didn’t feel like the tension was on him. He noticed the eyes of his Knights on Tristan. It was odd, would they attack him?”
“It’s beautiful cool weather, I do like fall.” Geoffrey was in a kinder mood.
Tristan tapped his shoulder and walked off. They all stared at him like they had something to say. Sir John spoke first, “We don’t want to tell you this but your nephew has he talked about killing you.”
Geoffrey looked at him, “It’s true, and I find it in your best interest that you should get rid of him. He is family but you know you can’t trust family. Believe me I don’t trust my brothers”
“You mean Tristan is going to kill me?” Victor was a little lost.
Sir John bit into an apple, “Yes, he was in consorts with the King of France, that’s why the battle was over. One day were fighting next day the battle is over. You know why he paid him off and their trying to kill you. He said that if you died the battle would be over. He had to kill you at the harvest festival though.”
Geoffrey tapped his fingers on the table, “It’s true, and my father sent me here to make sure nothing happens.”
Tristan came back he had a smug looked on his face, “Hello, I was just talking to Madeline, she wants to see you.” He said to Victor.
“I see, I’ll go see her, where?”
I’ll show you, it’s by the cathedral, she hurt herself.”
What a terrible excuse Victor thought but he followed him already. He walked close to him and noticed a dagger in his pocket. Great this was true; he couldn’t believe it his own flesh and blood. He wanted to get this over with and drink some mead wine.
They stopped at the end of the castle, where nobody was around. Victor shook his head, poor Tristan he was so confused. In his defense thought mental illness did run in his family.
“I don’t want to kill you but I have too.” His voice was quiet.
“I heard, they told me. You don’t have to kill me. “
“I never go back on my word.” He took out his dagger and tried to attack him.
Victor threw him on the ground and stabbed him. He had too, the kid was insane anyway. Geoffrey was right you couldn’t trust family. This harvest festival had a sad ending; he saw the children play, the cool winds, and the sun that parted. He saw Karl come over; he just looked away from him.
“My Lord I’m sorry, I should have told you.”
“Karl let’s just go, the deed is done. I need some mead wine and away from this place.”Victor walked away and went back to the celebration.