The two men stood there on the outskirts of the city while the sun settled for the day.
“Your ring,” Arthur held out his hand like a parent scolding a child to return a toy.
Lancelot looked down at the ring set with the red ruby, given to him on his knighthood. The embodiment of power bestowed upon him and all Knights of the Round Table by Arthur himself. “Stripping a knight of his jewellery can never take away from his authority.”
“Ah but it does. Without this, you cannot prove you are anything. You are now truly dead to me and this land.”
“Heavy is my heart to see you become the king I feared you would be. To finally command the power I always knew you craved.”
“Do not dare speak to me of such things, boy! You, who could not even keep in check that most simple of cravings. Any other king would have had you executed for what you have done, Lancelot. Betraying my dream that we fought so long to achieve. It is your cravings that broke my heart and that of my queen’s.”
Lancelot watched his former friend carefully, “Her heart does not break for me the way it has broken for you.”
“Do not be hasty to presume what of hers is broken or not. For the most delicate of flowers proves the easiest to tear.”
“You shall not punish her for your jealousy, Arthur! This most deep and wide rift between us is your and my responsibility alone,” Lancelot sneered.
“Tell me, how does it feel to have her choose to stay here with me rather than leave with you?”
“Guinevere has not chosen you, she is loyal to Camelot. So be warned brother, I shall put you and Camelot to the ash if any harm should come to her. Your keeping her safe is what shall keep me from returning here, ablaze with destiny.”
Lancelot turned his steed towards the darkening grove that led out from Camelot.
The king chuckled, “Such empty threats from an exile. What will the world make of our plume plucked Lancelot?” Arthur taunted after him, “Without your home here, no longer will they see you as the grand White Knight. You are now nothing more than a mere wandering knave.”