His Majesty's Secretive Service

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by TickingTimebomb, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Two men stood in a large, white room, the marble floor and walls causing their words to echo up into the rafters. Giant, ridged columns lined the walls, and a brilliant red carpet ran down the center from one end of the room to the other. Headless statues stood in the corners, and several paintings were hung on the high walls depicting scenes of battle and mythology.

    “Father, I don’t need another guard!”

    “Laderic, the decision has been made.”

    The younger of the two men – also the shorter of the two despite his tall, strong stature – crossed his arms stubbornly in front of his broad chest. “Do you doubt my ability to protect myself?” He asked, the question sounding almost like a growl. Brown eyes glared at his father.

    “It isn’t a matter of ability,” said the older, grey-haired male. “I cannot have the crown prince wandering around unattended. As you’ve proven, you are very capable… of sneaking off without your squad.”

    And it was true: for a few years now, Laderic had developed a habit of leaving the castle without permission to mingle with the commoners unattended. It had never turned into anything dangerous, but the King and Queen were desperate to keep their boy under closer watch - ideally within the palace walls. The large, stone walls were certainly imposing in stature, but they did very little to hold in a prince who liked to roam. The village just beyond those walls had plenty of markets and other attractions to amuse a young man, and while his parents were completely unaware, Laderic sometimes went as far as the forest on the outskirts of town, where there was really no authoritative presence.

    Laderic’s frown deepened. “That’s because I don’t need them,” he shot back, though he knew this conversation was as good as over. “I’ll go wheresoe’er I choose.” He tugged at his collar; the clothing he was wearing looked good on him, but he found it exceedingly uncomfortable. Said clothing was mostly black, decorated with the green and purple Coat of Arms of the royal family. His father was wearing similar clothing, and neither man wore a crown upon his head.

    The King sighed, head shaking slightly. “Eric…”

    “It’s Laderic,” the young man protested, arms dropping off to his sides. “And fine. I’ll take on another guard. This is absurd, though.”

    King Claudius smirked: his son’s insolence was often exhausting, but at the very least he had relented this once. With all that was going on in the Kingdom, including several tense inter-state relations that were close to breaking down altogether, he would feel more comfortable knowing his son would be flanked by members of the royal guard. “The people of Loathiel will thank you,” he replied.

    Laderic shrugged his broad shoulders, lifting a gloved hand to push black bangs out of eyes. “Bring this guard to me,” the twenty-year-old stated simply; only the prince could get away with ordering the king around like this, not that the king ever actually did his bidding.

    “He’s on his way here as we speak.”
  2. This was a new form of entertainment for Raphael. Never before had he decided to take on a position such as this, serving a human king as a knight. It presented its share of risks, of course, but all interesting distractions were. And this was nothing more than a distraction. Raphael had a very long lifespan, and he was still in his early years. Relatively speaking. For his kind, the "early years" stretched on for a couple hundred years. Raphael himself was nearing three hundred years of age. Practically still a child, by some standards. He knew others of his kind that were positively ancient, thousands upon thousands of years old. But no, Raphael was not among those elder ranks. Regretfully.

    Spending time among humans was a young demon's game, and Raphael was taking it to a new level. While some demons did form contracts with humans in exchange for a soul, Raphael had not entered into such a contract. Not officially. The king was aware that Raphael was not human. The two had a bit of a...history together. It had been some time since they'd seen each other, though. And when Raphael returned to the castle, the king had been very quick to offer him this position as a knight and the prince's personal bodyguard. He took on this position without asking for anything in return from the king. He considered it a favor for an old friend. Besides, it did give Raphael something to do. The life of a demon could get so painfully boring.

    As he stood in his new room admiring his appearance in a mirror, he had to admit that he looked the part. His black hair was tied back in a low ponytail, kept out of his face and allowing his russet eyes to be very easily seen. He had somewhat pale skin, but that just came with the territory of being a demon. His black nails were also typical for his kind, though he was keeping those hidden under gloves. He was wearing a tunic with the royal family's crest on the front of it, making it quite clear that he was in service to them. He wore no armor, but he had a longsword sheathed at his right hip.

    Once prepared to meet with the royal family, he made his way through the hallways of the castle. He didn't get lost in places like these. He had a very sharp sense of direction, and he easily found the columned room where he was to meet them. No doubt the king had already told the prince he had a new guard. Hopefully whatever protests the prince had had already been voiced and dismissed. He was likely to have a few more at the sight of Raphael, though. The man didn't necessarily look the part of a knight. He was hugely built with muscle, but he was very athletic. His strength was greatly disguised, but one might safely--and correctly--assume him to be very quick. He was tall, at least. That worked very much in his favor.

    "My lord," Raphael greeted smoothly upon entering the room. He bowed gracefully to the king, then straightened and looked toward the prince. "My prince." He gave the prince a small bow, simply playing the part of the loyal knight while it amused him to do so. He looked over at the king, expecting that the man would make to make introductions for him. There was a gleam of humor in Raphael's eyes as he gazed at the king, as though he was sharing in a private, unspoken joke with the man.
  3. Laderic was, of course, completely in the dark with regards to any history there might be between his father and this new guard of his. That said, he was not entirely sure what to expect, but he was confident he could find something to complain about when the time came. And when the man entered the room, the sheath of his longsword wagging behind him as he walked, the crown prince knew exactly what that would be.

    "Is this a joke?" He asked, scarcely able to keep his initial reaction to himself. His arms found their way to his chest once more.

    The king turned towards his son, amused curiosity on his face. "Something wrong, my boy?" He asked, well knowing the answer before the question was voiced.

    "He's... he's scrawny!" Laderic announced, gesturing with one folded hand towards the stranger and ignoring the other's formalities. Scrawny wasn't exactly accurate or fair, but the dark-haired boy was used to his guards being fairly muscular - at least more outwardly so than himself. "I could throw him as a discus."

    The king chuckled. "Not all strength is outward," he replied sagely before turning towards the guard. "Son, may I introduce you to Sir Raphael the Knight," he stated, turning towards the other to give him a knowing smile. "He will be joining the ranks of the royal guard as your personal protector." His smile turned into a smirk: if Laderic didn't like this, then perhaps he would think twice next time before going off on his own.

    Laderic was frowning, but he gave a polite nod towards Raphael. "Charmed," he stated sarcastically. He felt quite angry towards his father, thinking this entire situation to be wholly unnecessary, but he did not want to argue in front of this stranger: he had to keep up appearances as next in line for the Loathielian throne. "I'm going into town now," he announced, not bothering to ask permission. The way he saw it, now that his father had assigned him another guard, he no longer needed to ask. With that, he was on his way towards the door.

    The king turned towards Raphael. "Best follow him," he stated with a nod. "I doubt he will wait up. And... thank you."

    ((Apologies if I misinterpreted his appearance. I figured you meant that he wasn't buff, thus his strength wasn't obvious.))
  4. ((You interpreted it correctly. No worries.))

    Raphael kept his amusement at the prince's reaction to himself. Of course the prince would complain that he wasn't some muscle-headed pile of meat. Raphael had seen the real knights around here, and they definitely looked like they could break Raphael in two. However, they'd be in for quite the nasty surprise if they tried.

    The prince's sarcasm further amused the demon, who barely bit back a comment in return. He watched as the prince walked away, a grin appearing on his face at last. He looked over at the king, still grinning at the prince's antics. "You're most welcome, my lord." He gave the king another almost ironic bow, then strode off after the prince. It would be interesting to see just where the prince went. Raphael would be surprised indeed if the prince made no attempt to test him. Perhaps the prince would willingly seek out trouble. Assuming the prince didn't already do that when he went out, that is.
  5. The king merely nodded in response, watching Raphael as he took off after his son. A sigh escaped his throat; this was certainly an interesting match - his headstrong son and a, well, demonic knight - and he wasn't entirely certain he had made the right decision in putting them together. Whether they would be at one another's throats or find a way to 'get along,' he would just have to wait and see.

    Suffice it to say he was certain he would be hearing all about it either way.

    Laderic was walking down a large marble hallway, his heavy, booted footsteps ringing behind him. He heard Raphael's softer pacing catching up behind him; he made no effort to slow down, nor did he speed up to get away from his new guard. He figured there was no escaping this, so he'd might as well carry on with his life and let Raphael pick up the pieces as necessary.

    "At the risk of speaking in a manner unbecoming a member of the royal family," he stated as Raphael fell in line with him, "I think this is most idiotic." A pair of guards opened the doors leading out of the castle, and Laderic squinted slightly from the sudden sunlight. "I am plenty capable, as I am sure you can imagine, of taking care of myself." He was speaking to Raphael, but he did not turn towards him as he spoke: as far as he was concerned, this man was less a companion and more an inconvenience; he had not intention of changing his mind on the matter.
  6. "Be that as it may, my prince," Raphael returned, "you would be foolish to believe yourself capable of handling all situations which might arise when away from the guards of the castle. If someone made an attempt on your life while you were on your own, would you be able to save yourself? Would you even anticipate the attack and have any time to respond?"

    He paused a few moments, letting his words sink in, before he continued, "It is less enjoyable being out on your own when you constantly feel the need to look over your shoulder for signs of danger. Consider my presence a blessing rather than an inconvenience. You can leave the paranoia to me, and you can simply focus on enjoying yourself. Is that so horrible?"
  7. Laderic practically fell on the ground. Was his own guard calling him foolish now? His own guard whom he had only just met? It was unnerving. But he seemed to know his father in some way despite the apparent age difference, so he simply dismissed this. "You may doubt my abilities to handle myself in any given situation, but I do not," he replied carefully, figuring that was an appropriate way of asserting his confidence while not starting an argument. "I'm still not convinced your presence will do any good to that effect." He did look pretty weak, after all.

    At the man's next statement, the prince had to admit that there was a point there. Not that he often spent much time worrying about what might befall him while he was out on his own, but he supposed this could make things a bit easier. "I suppose that makes sense," he stated, and that was as close as he would ever get to admitting he had misjudged. By now, they were getting close to the market, which was where Laderic was headed.

    "So, what is your story, anyway?" He asked curiously, finally turning to face the other man. "For what reason were you assigned to me over anyone else?" This had, after all, been news to him that very day.
  8. Raphael didn't argue with the prince any further. He just let the prince have his delusions for now. If a real threat came up, he doubted the prince could manage to handle it on his own. Sure the prince looked strong--impressive, really--he wasn't sure just how capable he was at fighting. Part of him really hoped he'd find out.

    The question about Raphael's past made the knight smirk slightly. "Oh, I doubt it would be of much interest to you," he said, dodging the question. "My life could hardly be considered exciting." Untrue. Totally, totally untrue. From a human perspective. Raphael, however, really did find his life somewhat dull on the whole. "As for why I was selected as your guard, the king is aware of my talents and he thought I would be a wonderful guard for you. I certainly hope you will come to see just how right he was." Humility wasn't one of Raphael's strong suits.
  9. An eyebrow quirked high on Laderic's forehead as Raphael said his life until that point had been uninteresting. "I don't think people usually say something like that unless there is little truth to it," he replied, though this was less out of perception than meant as a joke. "If you were selected to be my guard without my ever having met you, then surely there is something that has meritted this recognition." Protecting the crown prince was no small assignment.

    The man nodded. "Ah, so there is something," he stated as they made their way towards the marketplace, where festive music could already be heard. "And what is it that the king, my father, saw in you, I wonder," he asked. "What talents do you possess?" As for whether Laderic would ever come to see Raphael as a skilled warrior, well, that had yet to be seen. Anyone who wanted to vocally doubt his abilities had best have some of his own. Of course, had he even the slightest inkling of Raphael's true background, he would never have questioned the demon's powers.
  10. "I possess many talents, I assure you," Raphael said vaguely, his voice little more than a purr as he spoke. He found this entire conversation amusing. There was so little that the prince knew. It was almost cute. "Perhaps you might see some today."

    Of course he wasn't going to outright tell the prince his talents. It would be more interesting to let the prince discover his new guard's talents as the need for them arose. If they arose. Raphael was just toying with him for now, which would undoubtedly annoy the prince on some level. Then again, it had to be more entertaining for the prince than being around a stale, overly-professional knight. That was probably what the prince was used to dealing with. Raphael certainly was like no other knight the prince had ever seen.