It was intolerable, one of his “loyal” knights suggesting that he, the King, would consider accepting the responsibilities of a mere squire. Disrespectful! Arrogant! Treacherous!
The arena was silent. Deathly silent. For two long minutes, there was no sound. No rustling of clothes, no tapping of feet, no sniffling, and even the flies did not dare to buzz.
When sound returned, it was with the loud and steady rapping of a hefty gold ring on the gilt right arm of the king’s chair. This was worse than the silence, and anyone who could safely depart the vicinity did so, unobtrusively and immediately.
The rapping continued briefly. The king motioned to one of his guardsmen. “Sir Bic and Sir Jonathan shall be seated on the left side of the dais for this evening’s banquet. They shall entertain us after dinner by dancing at the end of a rope. Take that message to the castellan, Lord Robert. Quickly!”