3.39 – Who you Want to Be

Disclaimer: Awful. Sort of.

Lancelot du Lac had a terrible feeling.

Over the years, the would-be knight had learnt to trust the strange, inexplicable instincts that Nimueh’s misaligned gifts had brought him. He’d always been able to see the truth. Lancelot could tell when a confrontation was about to become hostile. He knew when people’s masks did not match the feelings within. Lancelot had learned to de-escalate countless situations before they could turn violent, simply by saying the right thing at the right time.

He had learnt to trust his insights without question.

And this time, his instincts were telling him to leave Camelot.

Lancelot ran out of town as fast as he could, dashing into the rapidly setting darkness. The landscape around him felt wrong. Everything about it felt off. Lancelot could sense it all around him; a strange, charged feeling of unease, like nature itself was watching. Waiting with bated breath. Lancelot hadn’t felt a sensation like that for a very long time.

He knew what it meant.

As Lancelot ran, he could feel his stomach twist into a hard, painful knot. The would-be knight had no idea where Guinevere was. He didn’t even begin to know where to start searching. But his gut told him to follow his senses, and that’s exactly what Lancelot did. The future Duke dashed past the tournament grounds, quickly leaving the outskirts of town behind and entering the surrounding wilderness.

He didn’t know how long he kept running. He couldn’t tell where he was headed. Lancelot could barely see more than two feet in front of him, relying purely on Arthur’s combat training to push through the surrounding thicket. He could feel his clothes getting snagged on thorns and branches. But he kept going, pushed forward by something that he couldn’t explain. Something intangible.
Something that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand upright.

Lancelot had a terrible feeling about this.

When his breath had turned ragged and his knees threatened to give out from under him, the future Duke finally found what he was looking for. Lancelot could see a glimpse of movement. A flash of red hair, paired with a familiar white fabric that reflected the pale moonlight from above. Lancelot ignored the now tangible feeling of dread in his stomach and sped up even more, calling out to the shape in front of him as loud as he could.

“GUINEVERE!”

But his call fell on deaf ears. Guinevere didn’t respond to him at all. She didn’t even react. It was like the maidservant hadn’t heard him at all.

Like she was already gone.

Dread turned into panic. Lancelot could feel his chest fill with a desperation that he’d only felt once before in his life. He couldn’t bear it. Not again. The future Duke leapt forward, throwing all caution to the wind as he reached for Guinevere’s arm.
“Stop! Wait! Guin-!“
He could feel his hand reach her, his fingers locking around the girl’s tiny wrist—

Before suddenly being blasted backwards.

The sheer force was enormous. Lancelot could feel himself being blasted away, his body hurled through the air like it was nothing more than a ragdoll. For a moment, he couldn’t tell up from down- and then the future Duke slammed into the ground so hard that all the air was squeezed from his lungs. His head impacted with the nearest rock, making little stars dance in front of his face as his vision immediately turned blurry.

Through the fog, Lancelot could just barely make out Guinevere’s form. His vision was swimming. He couldn’t tell how far away she was. The would-be knight blinked, furiously trying to regain focus. He could hear sounds coming out of Guinevere’s mouth. But his mind wasn’t registering any of them. It took several seconds for the maidservant’s words to reach him, and several more for Lancelot’s battered head to finally translate them to something with meaning.

He’d hoped that they were a plea for help.
They weren’t.

“Leave us alone.”

“Guinevere,” Lancelot groaned, his head throbbing as the world around him swirled and twisted before his eyes. “Stop. You’re not… thinking straight.”
“I am,” she muttered, turning away from him.
“No… you’re not. Please. Just… come back to the castle… with me. We’ll sort it out. I promise. Just come home.”

She stopped. Lancelot watched as Guinevere glanced back over her shoulder. The maidservant looked at him without a single hint of recognition, her eyes cloudy and encased in an eerie orange glow.
“I am going home.”

“I… can. But not in the way that you want.”

Damn them all.

“No… you’re not,” Lancelot growled, desperately trying to get back up from the ground. “Guinevere, listen to me. They’re tricking you. It’s not what you think. It’s never what you think—”

But she cut him off, interrupting Lancelot halfway through his sentence.
“We’re done thinking.”

He didn’t see her leave. Lancelot could hear the sound of footsteps moving away through the grass, but the would-be knight couldn’t focus his vision. The world around him swirled and spun. As Lancelot forced himself to his feet, he could feel a wave of nausea overcome him. Biting the inside of his cheek was the only thing that kept the contents of his stomach from spilling out.
Lancelot knew what those signs meant. He could tell that he probably had a concussion.

He didn’t have time to worry about injury. Not now.

He had to stop her. He had to reach her in time.

He couldn’t fail her.

Not again.

Lancelot followed Guinevere’s tracks as best he could, avoiding tree roots and trying not to fall over from dizziness as he went. He could sense that something was up ahead- something big.

And the closer he came, the more Lancelot began to feel like something had changed in the landscape around him. The forest had turned against him. His clothes kept getting snagged on shrubs and branches. His feet got tangled up in roots, tripping him and making him fall over. The air around him grew heavy as a familiar prickly feeling spread through the back of his neck.
Lancelot knew what it meant.

He knew that he was being watched.

He knew that he was not welcome.

“Faerie rings are dangerous, Lance. They might look normal, but there’s a whole different world hidden on the other side. You need to respect them. And you must never step into one without permission. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Leli.”

Lancelot had grown up around faerie rings. The duchy of Henford was riddled with them. Over the years, he’d become intimately familiar with how they worked.

To an ordinary person, they just looked like a ring of mushrooms. Or flowers. Even those with magick in their blood were often unable to see past the illusion.

But Lancelot could. He’d seen the truth for years. Ever since his encounter with Nimueh, Lancelot had been able to see the other side for what it really was.

For where it truly led.

“Suffering?”
“Yes. Magick comes with a price, child.”

He didn’t want to step in. Lancelot never wanted to go through that experience again. It was too raw and painful. Every fibre in his body was telling him to turn back, to leave this place while he still could. To turn around and get as far away from the faerie ring as humanly possible.

But… if he did…

“They jump off?”

He couldn’t do it.

He couldn’t turn back.

He couldn’t be responsible for losing anyone else.

He wouldn’t.

This time, Lancelot would stop it… if it was the last thing he did.

With a steely determination, Lancelot took a step forward and crossed into the faerie circle. The effect was immediate. The future Duke could feel the heavy weight of magick pressing down on his body, trying to force him back out. He could sense the strange tendrils of spirit that reached for his will, trying to break him- but the would-be knight refused to bend. He powered through, gritting his teeth until he could taste blood.

He would not be denied. Lancelot would not fail.

Not this time.

Lancelot took a step. Then another. And another. Before the future Duke knew it, the strange pressure on his body had stopped, and he found himself dashing through the glowing landscape at full speed. The nausea faded away. His headache vanished. The future Duke grit his teeth, pumping his legs and sprinting as fast as he could as he felt a sudden burst of strength from within flow through him.
He could see it. In the distance, warped by magick and moving away fast from him, he could see something red.

He could see Guinevere.

She was right there, in the middle of the faerie ring. Alongside something else. The sheer force of presence that radiated off the creature in front of him was overwhelming, washing over the entire clearing in fiery waves. Lancelot grimaced; his eyes hurt just from looking in its direction. But he couldn’t stop. Guinevere was right there, embracing the strange creature without pain, walking away from him as the two of them moved towards a passageway in a hollow tree— 

“Guinevere! STOP!”

The sudden force was enormous. Lancelot could feel the air violently getting squeezed from his lungs as a presence forcefully its way into his mind. His body abruptly stopped obeying him. He felt his legs buckle. Lancelot sunk to the ground, the enormous pressure threatening to crush him until nothing would be left- 

A pressure that then swiftly, rapidly, subsided. The would-be knight gasped for air. As he inhaled, he could feel the presence leave his mind as suddenly as it had come. Hastily, like a hound recoiling from a hot iron. Lancelot could feel a burning pair of eyes land on him as he rose back to his feet. He could hear a voice in his head, low-pitched and crackling like living embers. 

And more than anything… he could sense a burning, all-consuming hatred. 

Nimueh.

Lancelot slowly exhaled, staring down the creature in front of him. The magnitude of raw anger that surrounded it was almost tangible. He watched as it turned sideways, pulling Guinevere along with it. As he braced himself, Lancelot could hear its voice ring through his head again.  

Fool. She must really enjoy seeing her toys burn.

The sheer hatred in its voice was enough to take Lancelot’s breath away. But at the same time, the Sidhe’s words awakened a sense of anger in him that Lancelot didn’t know he’d possessed. With an angry snarl, he took a step forward.
“I’m not here for Nimueh. I’m here for her.”

But Guinevere didn’t respond. The maidservant stood motionless in the clearing, her arms wrapped around the Sidhe’s neck as the Fae stared him down.

Leave. She is mine.

“She is not yours,” Lancelot growled. He took another step forward, ignoring the heat from the flames and calling out to his friend a second time.

“Guinevere. Please. Look at me. Think about what you’re doing—”

But he never got to finish his sentence. Lancelot watched as the Sidhe pulled Guinevere’s head against its shoulder, covering her ear with its clawed hand as bouts of flame blocked the girl from view.

No, child. Stop thinking. Start feeling.

He was losing her. Lancelot could tell. The realisation made the knot in his stomach turn into downright panic. The future Duke desperately searched his memory for something, anything, anything he could think of that would ground her to this world.
“Guinevere, listen to me,” he warned. “There’s no coming back from this. There are people that you’ll leave behind, people you care for that you’ll have abandoned—”

An audible growl escaped from the Fae in front of him. Lancelot could feel a wave of scorching heat wash over him, scalding his skin and threatening to scorch his eyebrows.

Be quiet, human, or I’ll burn that mouth shut—

But the future Duke would not back down. He couldn’t.

He’d never back down again.

“No! Think!” Lancelot yelled in desperation. “Guinevere, if you step through, you will never be able to come back!”

It happened in a split second. Lancelot could feel an odd sensation in the depths of his chest – a strange imbalance in the world around him, as something shifted. Something big. Something intangible that passed from the Sidhe to Guinevere, that Lancelot couldn’t begin to explain. He didn’t know what it was.

But the would-be knight didn’t have to wait for long. The next second, he could feel a wave of rage erupt from the girl in front of him. The sheer force of it was so raw and powerful that it took his breath away. The would-be knight watched as, like an exploding powder keg, Guinevere finally detonated.

“I DON’T WANT TO COME BACK!”

The Sidhe spread its wings, rising into the air as it looked down on the flames that spread beneath it. Lancelot didn’t stop it. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t think. The would-be knight stood frozen in place, paralyzed as his mind was scorched by an all-consuming rage that wasn’t his. He could feel everything. Every shred of anger, every bit of hatred, resentment, wrath, outrage- every single moment of fury that Guinevere had killed and buried over the years. It all came flooding back at once.

It was too much. He couldn’t handle it.
And neither could she. Lancelot could feel it consume her.

“Leave me alone! I don’t want to come back! I don’t want to do any of this- I don’t want to THINK! I don’t want to feel ANYTHING! I HATE IT!”

He could feel it burn her alive.

“I HATE ALL OF IT!” she screamed, the flames around her growing in strength with each word. “I hate everyone! I hate the castle, I hate being a servant, being good, being patient, being forgotten – I HATE EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING! I WISH IT WOULD ALL DIE! I WISH IT WOULD ALL BURN TO ASHES!”

It was too much. Lancelot staggered back, losing track of all senses as Guinevere’s rage consumed him. He couldn’t see. He couldn’t hear. The would-be knight couldn’t feel the heat from the fire in front of him anymore, completely numb to the raging inferno. It felt like his insides were tearing themselves apart. The urge to scream was overwhelming – but Lancelot couldn’t remember how to use his voice. His chest convulsed violently as his lungs filled themselves with fire. He could feel the flames on his skin. The anger was burning him alive.

He couldn’t regulate it.
He couldn’t turn it off.

It hurt.

It hurt.

It hurt.

It hurt.

It hurt…. so much.

When Lancelot finally came to his senses, he wasn’t in the faerie ring anymore. He found himself on the ground, lying inside a large puddle of water. Lancelot couldn’t recall how he got there. The future Duke didn’t remember moving. He didn’t really remember anything. As Lancelot slowly lifted himself up, he could see dozens of droplets falling to the ground around him.

Lancelot didn’t know why.
He didn’t really care.

Slowly, his gaze trailed over to the middle of the clearing. It had become unrecognisable. Not a single mushroom remained. The faerie tree had turned black as coal, smoking and smouldering at its roots. The ground itself had become cracked, the soil still glowing with heat.

Nothing living remained.

But despite all of that… Guinevere still burned.

Eventually, after what felt like an eternity, the fire finally died down. The heat lessened. Lancelot watched as the roaring flames slowly receded, turning into wisps and embers before vanishing entirely. The destruction of it had burned away everything.

The only thing that remained… was a single, broken girl.

Slowly, gently, Lancelot sat down and gradually leaned backwards, until he felt his back connect with hers. He could feel the warmth radiating from her skin. It seeped through the cloth of his jacket like he was sitting in front of a fireplace. The ground beneath him had completely turned to ash. It still felt warm to his touch, crumbling under his fingers as he dug into the soil.

Lancelot could still feel her pain.

For a long time, the future Duke did not say anything. He didn’t know what to say. The words would not come to him.

Until, eventually… they did.

“Guinevere… you don’t have to do any of those things.”

She didn’t answer. She didn’t have to. Lancelot could feel the turmoil stirring inside of her, burnt out and dulled by sheer exhaustion. He could sense the frustration and sorrow. The fear of being abandoned.
The fear of losing all she had.

“You’ve always changed yourself for other people, haven’t you?” Lancelot muttered softly. He could feel the girl behind him shift in response, burying her head in her knees.
“I have to,” she mumbled. “I need to be useful. I need to help. If I don’t… I’ll be worthless.”
Her words were barely audible. But they felt like a knife being stabbed straight into Lancelot’s heart. He shook his head, softly pushing against her back.
“That’s not true. You don’t have to serve anyone to have worth. You’re allowed to say no, Guinevere,” he continued. “If you don’t want to, you don’t have to be entangled with Arthur, or minimise yourself at the castle, or change who you are to suit other people. You don’t have to change yourself, Guinevere. Not this much.”

For a moment, the would-be knight was convinced that she was not going to answer him at all. Then, the girl behind him let out a dry, hollow, sarcastic chuckle that he had never heard from her before.
“Hypocrite. Aren’t you the one always wearing a mask?”

“That is true,” he replied, bowing his head in response. “But there is a difference between holding up a mask and trying to change who you are. I still know what kind of person lies underneath. I haven’t lost sight of myself.”

She didn’t believe him. Lancelot could tell. He could sense another wave of worry, of fear and anxiety, course through her body. He wondered if she could even feel it herself at this point. When she spoke, it was in that same dry, hollow tone as before.
“They only stay if I’m useful. If I’m not, they’ll abandon me. They’ll forget about me. They always have.”

He could feel the pain simmering beneath those words. Lancelot didn’t know what had happened in Guinevere’s past to make her believe that. But he could warrant a pretty good guess. Lancelot let out a soft sigh.
“That’s… that’s not right. Love isn’t transactional, Guin. You shouldn’t have to earn it by being useful.”

“…What?”

“You’re afraid that people will leave you,” he explained. “I understand. I really do. But… you’re misunderstanding what a connection really is. The people around you shouldn’t want to stay with you because you’re useful. And you shouldn’t have to change yourself to benefit them. That’s not love, Guinevere.”
“…It’s not?”
“No. It’s not. A relationship like that… it’s nothing but an illusion. A very sad one.”

“It’s… all I know.”

“I know,” Lancelot muttered. “But that’s not right. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. Please believe me. You… you should be whoever you want to be. Not who is convenient for others. You should be true to your own spirit, Guin, and do whatever it is that you want to do.”
“Even if it’s not… what people want?” the girl said softly. Lancelot nodded.
“Especially if it’s not what they want. If the relationship that you have with them is real, then they will stay with you anyway. Not because of what you can give them. But because they love you. Even if you change, even if you don’t service them anymore… a real friend will still see you.”

A small silence fell. For a moment, Lancelot was convinced that he’d lost her. Then, that moment ended, and Guinevere quietly voiced her thoughts.
“You really think so?”
“Yes. I do.”
“What if they don’t? What if they leave?”

“Some people will,” Lancelot admitted reluctantly. “Being true to yourself means that you’ll lose people. That you’ll lose friends. But that’s okay. Let them go.”

“Because everyone who remains will be real,” he continued, turning around to face her. “I promise. And they’ll want to be with you for you.”

He turned back, carefully avoiding looking down. Lancelot didn’t have any more words. The conversation had taken all the wisdom that he had to offer.

He didn’t have anything more.

But… it was enough. He could sense it. The turmoil inside of Guinevere slowly calmed, like a flame that finally simmered down. It was still there, but… softer. Quieter. Tranquil, almost. He could feel her relax, finally leaning into him.

Neither of them said anything. Neither of them had to. Guinevere and Lancelot stayed that way for a very long time, sitting together in silence.

Until, eventually, the girl behind him spoke up.
“Lancelot. I… think I want to leave.”

Right. No clothes.
…Bollocks.

“Ah. Er. Hold on, I’ll take off my coat and-”
But the girl cut him off.
“No. That’s not what I meant. I meant… Guinevere. The servant.”

“I think I want to leave her here.”

“Then leave her. Be who you want to be.”

He got up from the ground, keeping his eyes firmly trained on her head as Guinevere stood up next to him. The girl had changed. Lancelot could tell. She still looked the same as before, but… something inside of her had shifted. A tiny seed had taken root. A small revelation. An idea for the future Not enough to really notice now.

Just enough to promise change.

Lancelot gave her a smile, trying his hardest to mask the intense feelings of relief in his chest.
“Are you sure you don’t want that coat?”
“I’ll take it. Thank you,” Guinevere said, returning his smile. He wasn’t fooling anyone. And Lancelot knew that, too.

But that was all right. He didn’t need to. Not with her.

“So… Tell me.”

He just needed to watch.

“Guinevere… who do you want to be?”

11 thoughts on “3.39 – Who you Want to Be

  1. I can imagine knowing the sorts of things Lance knows being more a blessing than a curse. At least with any other person, you might worry about something about that might not actually happen. Not the case with him. I like the sort of opposite here. Lancelot who knows the truth of the Fae, and Gwen, who is happy to let them guide her to where she thinks is where she wants to go. Then again how much of that voice is Gwen, and how much Ifri? And by extension, the fact that the Fae could fool almost anyone is powerful enough, but Lance can see past that, which is something I doubt the Fae would be too keen on. Then again I guess they’re Fae, they find a way around everything. I like Lance, though. Like Arthur, he’s quick enough to try and fix things if he’s made a mistake most of the time. Also he has always had a very warming presence about him, like he’d always be on your side if you needed someone to lean on, as he is with Gwen here. And what he says to her honestly warmed my heart.

    YES! Another Fae! It can drag me into the faerie ring if it wants. Just saying! Oof, to feel someone else’s complete rage so intensely…That scene sounds horrific. To feel so much inner rage, not even your own and no way to release it, would feel worse than death. The screenshots are incredible though, so much intensity. I was thinking what Gwen said when Lance told her she didn’t need to cover himself up since he and Morgana like to play the game of masks. I like his response to it though. Under the mask Lance is still the same core person. Gwen has been changing herself over and over, to the point where she probably doesn’t even know who Gwen is anymore because there are so many versions of her, each one more broken than the last.

    “Especially if it’s not what they want. If the relationship that you have with them is real, then they will stay with you anyway. Not because of what you can give them. But because they love you. Even if you change, even if you don’t service them anymore… a real friend will still see you.” This made me especially emotional. I’m glad he could help her to realise she did not need to be who others wanted to be, and I like this whole chapter’s vibe. Gwen coming out of the flames completely naked, I like that kind of rebirth imagery. Didn’t think of that until now.

    Somehow, I sense a sort of eventual confrontation of sorts with Ifri down the line, though I’m not sure how. All I know, is that I hope things go well for Gwen in reinventing herself for herself and for others.

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    1. You can see it as a blessing and a curse both, depending on your perspective, yes. On the bright side, he knows the truth. On the flipside, he knows the truth even if he doesn’t want to. Always. He’s a compassionate person who has grown to always help those around him because of it. Guinevere and Lancelot have that in common, though their foundations are different.

      Are you sure about that? 😆 This one is not as nice as Nimueh, lol. There’s numerous stories about telepaths being able to read people’s thoughts, but I don’t see nearly as many about empaths that can feel people’s emotions. I don’t know which is worse, to be honest. If you had to choose one, which would it be?
      [Gwen has been changing herself over and over, to the point where she probably doesn’t even know who Gwen is anymore because there are so many versions of her, each one more broken than the last.] Hit the nail on the head there, you did. If you change yourself often enough to accommodate everyone else, at some point you lose who you are completely. So many masks with nothing but a void underneath.

      I was absolutely going for rebirth symbolism there, yes 😄 I’m glad that landed properly. Also it is very hard to pose naked sims with nothing around to strategically cover them up, my gods. I spent more time angling those shots than I want to admit 🤣

      This was an emotional chapter to write for likely the same reasons that it was emotional to read. For everyone who needs to hear it: You shouldn’t have to change yourself this much. Please be true to yourself. The real friends will stay. ❤

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  2. Interesting. I was preparing for the worst bt Guin came out unscathed? Even has her emotions back? Strange. 🤔 Maybe the fae will strike later and this is the beginning? Maybe Guin is not a means to an end but a stepping stone to what it really wants so there’s more value in letting her go? Maybe the fae got absorbed into guin along with all her rage and madness. But that wouldn’t make sense. Whats so special about human bodies. 🤔

    Anyway, you can tell I don’t trust this scene one bit.

    I suppose one silver lining is that guin will have a character change after this. Though its hard to know what other indirect transaction the fae has had with her without her knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I have firmly trained you to expect the worst, I see 🤭 There’s very few characters in this story without ulterior motives, but what those motives are is not always clear. In the meantime I’d say a healthy dose of mistrust is definitely not a bad thing in ToC. 😁

      Woo! Silver linings! Maybe it’s not all that bad in the end. Or maybe it is. You know me well by now, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions 🤭

      Like

  3. …Is it safe to come out of my comment hole? “Awful. Sort of.” OK, that sounds promising by ToC standards, probably safe to venture out, tentatively, with my inflatable sword and shield made of cheese.

    Lancelot du Lac had a terrible feeling” well, fuckity bugger, now Snuffy bu Ket has a terrible feeling too. Oof. Ouch. Poor Lance, that blast looked painful, even if Guin looked super cute in that close up eye shot. “He’d hoped that they were a plea for help.” Well. Lance, come on. Maybe Guin likes being this crazy ass demon thing. Is it better than ‘wet blanket’? I don’t know. Possibly? I know he’s projecting memories of his sister here and there’s so much more going on, but that line bugged the heck outta me.

    Oh Guin… I wanna feel bad for you but YES. BURN EVERYTHING. LISTEN TO THE IGGY VOICE. BURN THE THINGS. BuRn ThE tHiNgS. 🔥🔥🔥🧯🪣

    I admit, I’m not sure what happened there, before Lance hit the deck. Maybe his brain melted. Maybe mine did. Anyway, there’s naked Guin, tactfully posed which is no mean feat so bravo. Now, see, I understand the not having to be anything, not having to please anyone but really, unless you’re a psychopath or a hermit, you do have to do some things you don’t want to do or cater to people. I also disagree that he hasn’t lost sight of himself. I very much feel he has, drowning, as he is, in everyone else.

    Love isn’t transactional, Guin. You shouldn’t have to earn it by being useful.” Again, I get where he’s coming from, and I don’t disagree, but there does have to be something ‘transactional’ about it. There’s something the other one wants from you, be that company, or conversation or solace or to be waited on hand and foot. No one can give wholly and completely and expect nothing back, not even Guinevere, as she is proving here. There needs to be balance. I hope she isn’t going to swing from one extreme to the other. She’s certainly fragile enough to. And it’s a fallacy that if one changes beyond recognition, everyone they knew should still stay if they truly cared… because are they then being true to themselves, or are they bending to accommodate you? The ones that stay, do they like the real you, or pine for the old one? Is anyone ever truly happy? Are we all simply floating through life, hating everything with no idea who we are?

    OK, gonna stop there before I upset the monkeys, they’re already eyeing up random levers and scratching their heads. Inside a head. This sounds insane, moving on.

    He is remarkably relaxed for a man standing before a naked woman who was just involved in some crazy fae shit. Definitely concussion. Off to the lovely infirmary for you, du Lac. Good luck explaining this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Inflatable sword and shield made of cheese 😆 it’s always dangerous to come out of safety where ToC is concerned. Bwahaha you are killing me with your comment this time around 🤣 all the terrible feelings! Maybe Guin does like being a crazy ass demon thing. Can’t say you dislike it until you’ve gone through the experience, right? There is much more going on but if that line bugged you, it bugged you for a reason.

      His brain did melt, together with almost getting his entire body burnt to a crisp, so Lance really is missing some moments between fiery inferno and waking up in a puddle. Said puddle also holds most of the answers to those missing moments, though she’ll probably never tell you.

      There does need to be a balance, in every relationship – but would you really want to discuss the details of that reality with the mentally fragile girl who just tried to leave this world? Would they even be able to like the “real you” if you yourself don’t know who the “real you” is? Do we ever really know? And if we change too much, does that turn us into a stranger to the ones we care for? Are we all simply attached to illusions of people that we make in our minds? Yes, let’s not go deeper into these, before we both lose our heads completely.

      Ha 😆 maybe he has incredible self-control, or maybe he’s less bothered by female nudeness. Who knows? Well, Lance knows, but he’s not going to share that information. He’s too busy anyway, trying to explain why he couldn’t lend very a nude Guin his coat (because I couldn’t find the CC for it anywhere and now I had to strategically angle everything and cut out what could have been a very funny scene next chapter *grumble grumble*)

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  4. I like Lancelot a lot, but this chapter makes me worry about him. I appreciate him wanting to save Guinevere, but I would also like for him to have a slightly stronger sense of self-preservation. It’s not his job to save everyone from everything and if it weren’t for Nimueh (maybe?) he would have burnt to death. What happened to his sister isn’t his fault. 😦 Lancelot also saw a horrible mess with Guinevere coming a long time ago when Arthur discussed his feelings for her with him, so if he were willing to risk his life over her, it would have been better if he had strongly counseled Arthur against the whole situation in the beginning but hindsight is 20/20, so…

    And who are his real friends? Who does he let actually see him? He’s telling her about all of these true/real people who will stick by her, when he lets his guard down around maybe 2 people at the absolute most. And even with that, can he say that anyone loves him by the standards he’s set? He seems to be in a sad situation himself.

    Anyway, I’m glad that he was there to comfort her a bit, but what he said doesn’t sit well with me because it’s not exactly true or at least it will likely be very hard for her going forward. BUT I think he said the right things because spouting hard truths would have been mean and inappropriate, and fundamentally, Guinevere shouldn’t do anything that makes her so miserable. But being a servant doesn’t have to be a bad. It’s a respectable job and she isn’t necessarily leveling up just because she wants to quit. But if she still wants to date Arthur, I think she should definitely quit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lancelot absolutely was in over his head, despite his confidence after the fact. He did come very close to burning to death there but the dice (and a certain someone indeed) were very kind to him. Poor Lancelot never had someone to talk him through his sister’s death and although he might have logically learned that what happened to her wasn’t his fault, to know it emotionally is another matter entirely. Heh, hindsight is 20/20 for a lot of things in this story. Sometimes you just have to burn things down before you can start anew, though.

      True. Lancelot is great at providing comfort but, as another commenter said, in some ways he is very much drowning himself.

      Being a servant can be a great thing – there’s loads of people that find their happiness there. But if it’s not for you, it’ll just make you miserable. Still being a servant and trying to date Arthur both might not be viable in the long term though, no. We’ll see what the future brings there.

      Liked by 1 person

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