∴ A Fruit of Battle ∴
You press your palm against the familiar globe of the pommel, and try instead to recall the fruit. How you marvelled in the palace garden as the duke plucked a pomegranate from the Queen’s own tree, breaking apart the tough skin with his nails to reveal jewel-like innards. The pleasing tartness of those precious seeds, and the strange dryness to its juice – a nectar that would never sate your thirst.
You recall gasping in recognition the first time you glimpsed the same round, ribbed fancies adorning the halls of palace itself – emboidered, gilded and carved. It was the emblem of Granada, the duke explained, and a symbol of Queen Catherine. A symbol of the union between our kingdom and her father’s.
Those innocent days of bitter-sweet pips and perusing the royal halls are gone now, you remind yourself. Your hand tightens about the wire grip of your weapon, and you contemplate the cage of black crosses that protects your curled fist. Those seeds were not garnets after all, you think, but drops of ruby rich blood waiting to be spilled. Your queen is gone – banished – a new mistress, and a new faith found in her place.
The sword is all you have left of that simpler time – and the familiar weight of it brings the simplicity of your mission home. You once swore on this blade to protect your Queen – and heresy or not, you intend to do just that.