How to Polish Swords (Prince Arthur's Diary, Dragon's Call)
19th day of July, 548 of our Lord
A good, thick clove oil must be used to polish one's sword. A rag of cotton will do. Coat the rag with the oil so it is good and slick, then slide it up and down the sword, slow and careful. Try not to touch the sword with bare fingertips as steel is sensitive and may ware far too quickly. Store the sword outside its scabbard unless the scabbard is wood, in which case thrust the sword in hard, and store it like that for long periods of time, until good and ready to pull it out again, for polishing, for practicing manoeuvres with other knights, or for penetrating enemies.
For best results, polish once a month. It certainly makes me feel better knowing my sword is well-polished on a regular basis.
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21st day of July, 548 of our Lord
Before noon my good Knights and I were walking through the Upper Town, throwing knives and minding our own business, when some bumpkin walked past and called me 'friend'. The nerve! I told him to get on his knees, and when he refused, I threw him in the dungeons. That would teach him to try and punch me like a drunken gorilla!
I am about to go to bed, and for the first time in my grand life as Prince of Camelot, I wish for the dungeons to be close to the royal quarters. I would like to lie in bed tonight and listen to him scream my name from underneath me. It would give me great satisfaction indeed.
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22nd day of July, 548 of our Lord
Gaius came to me this morning to request that Merlin be released; that he was only the tender age of sixteen and new to Camelot and I dare write now: I relented, on condition that Merlin suffer the stocks for the day. I wish I was there to bend him over and secure his neck and wrists in wood and chains myself, but alas, I was busy with Father then the usual knight training, after which Merlin had already been released from the stocks.
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23rd day of July, 548 of our Lord
I write this quickly, as I am due in court, but I must write that I challenged that idiot Merlin and had him falling to his knees in front of me, just as I dreamed. It was a good day today! This memory will keep me happy for some time to come.
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24th day of July, 548 of our Lord
Training today brought a surprise from two squires: they gossip like common womenfolk and spoke of Merlin as 'tender' and as having the appearance of virility. Further investigation found that it was their masters' words and the squires were engaged jealous whining when I caught them. I try to avoid such implications of sodomy among my knights, but somehow I feel as if I cannot let this go. As Gaius implied days earlier, Merlin is only a young boy and impressionable. I shall thrash Sir Augustine and Sir Ivanhoe in training tomorrow, for Merlin is now a member of the Camelot public and it is my duty to protect him.
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25th day of July, 548 of our Lord
My hands still shake a little as I write this! How shameful - I hope Morgana never finds this diary. That boy Merlin has just saved my life from a knife throwing witch! I almost feel ashamed of myself (and Morgana really must not find this diary!) for being so slow and lack-witted, for the knife came at me and I reacted much too late. If it had not been for Merlin, I fear I would be dead and cold by now.
With less excitement I write that he is, by consequence, my manservant. While he did save my life, this does not mean that I desire his company. In any way. But I have already devised a list of laborious chores for him to work through, such as polishing my sword. I cannot wait to sit back on my bed while he sits on the floor at my feet and watch him hold the hilt unsteadily while he smooths the oil up the blade, carefully applying pressure to the fuller and central ridge, flicking the point quickly with two oil-slicked fingers and the rag, then moving back down again, slowly.
Author's notes: Um..... what can I say? =/