My medieval story has been submitted! So if you’re wondering what happens to Nadia, here’s a little more. Being stuck in a convent was bit of a bleak future, so her father, under instruction from the king, has arranged a marriage for her. Baron Arnaud, a Norman knight has arrived to collect his bride. In his entourage is a young pilgrim, Edgar, whom Arnaud owes a big favour.
Edgar stood towards the back of the hall and observed the formalities of noble courtship. Lord Arnaud presented Lord Thurstan with gifts: a jewel encrusted dagger and a bale of crimson linen. Thurstan was impressed and he passed the items to his steward with delight. Behind the lord of the manor, veiled and largely ignored, his daughter.
Peering around the shoulders of the baron’s entourage, Edgar waited for the maid to lift her veil. She had a comely figure, wore a yellow gown and embroidered girdle—fine clothes indeed. What little he knew about Nadia had been discussed amongst the baron’s men around the campfire during the previous days. He’d spent several nights with the group as they travelled north. The men, battle hardened and from across Europe, were vocal with their opinions even in the presence of their lord, whom frequently laughed at their collective wit.
“Plain, my liege. When a girl is described by her kin as a beauty, she is invariably plain,” had said the man sat cross-legged next to Edgar.
“Or plump,” had suggested another.
“She’ll be a talker. Women chatter too much,” grumbled a bald headed man. “Even in bed.”
“I agree,” snickered a red-head. “Your sister does.” That ill-advised comment had led to a playful brawl. Arnaud had seemed not to mind the rough antics of his men and merely chided them when blood was drawn.
The companionship had been welcome after weeks of wandering the countryside alone. Of Arnaud, Edgar had learnt that his men trusted the baron with their lives, considered him an able leader and chivalrous. As for his late wife, that subject remained taboo. The loyalty of the Arnaud’s men impressed Edgar.
By the time they had reached Beckthorpe Manor, Arnaud and Edgar had formed a friendship. Whether it would influence Edgar’s decision to bed Arnaud’s new wife was dependent on seeing Nadia. Arnaud hadn’t raised the topic since their first encounter in the woods. Perhaps, he’d changed his mind?