royal daffodil

Daffodils

Chapter three of the Royal Gardener au.


Oooooh I finally uploaded! Hope you guys enjoy!

(Not beta-read but I’ll be getting my coconut soon! Hopefully😂)


Keith has been summoned to the King’s chambers when they meet for the third time.

He’s walking purposefully, one foot in front of another when he goes past the windows again and sees the girl (yes, he will keep calling her “the girl”, he does not need to use her name, he is far too important for that) leaning over the well, trying to reach some yellow flowers growing on the other side.

“You there!” He shouts angrily (the roses are in need of tending, dammit, why does she keep insisting on), and the girl’s head shoots up, and she falls in.

is he that terrifying

Keith’s eyes bug out, and he rushes toward the nearest opening.

is she 

He races toward the well, and looks down.

She’s floating in the bottom, face-down, and he curses. 

dammit

He strips, dropping his military-standard jacket (which he somehow has even though he has never been to the front; it seems to be the fashion for some reason, among the court, to have completely spot-and-stainless military clothes, like you actually fight, instead of sit on gilded thrones) and shucking off his boots, and leans over again.

This time, however, he realizes it wasn’t just pure terror that caused her to fall in: the grass is wet.

And he realizes this just as he slips and trips and falls in as well, landing with a tremendous splash right next to the girl.

He surfaces, coughing up water as he looks around. 

It’s got to be at least fifteen feet to the opening, and he barely pushes five foot six.

The feeling of something on his arm makes him jolt, and he’s reminded of the other body in the water.

He turns the girl over with some difficulty, and tries to feel for a pulse.

he might be doing it wrong, but she’s as cold as a rock

He tries pumping her chest, but he was never really good at this sort of stuff even when his tutor was sober enough to review basic procedures for this type of situation, so he has no idea if it’s working or not.

After several tries, he is reminded something one of the servants said in passing (something about someone in the nearby river). The way he remembers it, more vulgar terms were used, but he’s desperate (he has no idea why, it’s just a servant girl).

well, someone’s got to tend to the roses

So he tilts the girl’s head back, pinches her nostrils shut, and presses his mouth to hers.

he’s not expecting it to work

at all

So it’s a surprise when she suddenly jolts upward and slams her face into his.

“Agh!” He cries, and cups his nose. He can already feel blood dripping down his chin.

the bitch

She flounders a bit, hacking up mouthfuls of water. When she’s finished emptying her lungs, she turns to him, eyes watering.

“W-what are you doing?” She says angrily.

“Saving your life!” He retorts, voice muffled through his hand. “And look what you’ve done!” 

She gasps, and reaches for his face. “Milord, I-,”

He waves her off. “I’m fine. We’ve got bigger problems to worry about.”

She swipes her nose, which is running as well for some reason, and looks around. “W-where am I?”

Keith looks around as well, a sullen expression on his face. “It’s no use. We’re at least fifteen feet down.”

The girl swallows. “I’m so sorry.” 

“I said, it’s fine.” He puffs out a blast of air. “So, were they worth it?”

The girl frowns. “What?”

“Those yellow flowers. The ones you were reaching for.”

The girl’s eyes brighten in understanding. “The daffodils?”

He sniffs. “So that’s what they’re called.”

She glares. “At least you didn’t call them weeds this time.”

He glares back. “So, were they worth it? All of this?” He motions all around. “Because now we’re stuck in this hellhole, and it’s all your fault!”

“My fault?” Her voice raises. “You were the one that yelled at me! I would have never-,”

“BECAUSE, ONCE AGAIN, YOU DISOBEYED MY INSTRUCTIONS!” He thunders.

Her mouth drops open. “AND WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT, YOUR HIGHNESS?” She shouts back. 

“THE ROSES!” He near screams. 

“THE ROSES, OF COURSE! THE ROSES!” She cries, and moves across the bottom of the well toward him, finger out. “WHY, WHEN YOU SEEM TO ONLY CHANCE UPON THIS PLACE ONCE IN A BLUE MOON, WHEN YOU SEEM TO NOT CARE ABOUT THIS, THIS GARDEN OF WEEDS, AS YOU SEEM TO KNOW IT, DO YOU CARE SO MUCH ABOUT SOME DAMN ROSES?” She yells. 

Her words echo up, up into the free air, and Keith is quiet.

It’s when he looks up that she swallows. “I am sorry, I meant no-,”

“I admit, it was unfair of me.” He says, avoiding her gaze again. “To blame you, I mean.”

She gulped. “It was not my place, I-,”

“My mother.” He cuts her off, and she looks confused. “Excuse me?”

“My mother.” He replies. “The reason why I-how did you put it? Care so much about the damn roses.”

Her face is red (red as the roses, he thinks for a second). “Milord, I-,”

“My mother-she was born here, but she grew up in one of the Southern kingdoms. This was when the war was just beginning-the emperor had just attacked Altea for the first time. It was not safe. So she lived in the south for quite some time, where she was betrothed to my father. He came to claim her and bring her back when she came of age, but-,” He shook his head. “She did not want to come. So she brought the roses with her, to remind her of her second home. In the south, the roses were thought to be the blood of the gods, fallen down during their great battles.”

The girl is quiet, and he turns away, thoroughly regretting everything he said when he hears-, “I lost my brother in the war.”

He looks at her, and she’s staring up into the sky. “It was my fault, really. I wasn’t thinking clearly and-,” She stopped. “Well, no use dwelling on the past.”

They were silent again.

“How d’you suppose we get out of here?” He says suddenly.

he told the story to prove a point

but now, it seemed, a point was being proved to him

She looks around. “Hmmmm…..,”


“For such a tiny person, how are you so damn heavy?” He says through gritted teeth.

“Stop wriggling so much!” She (Pidge, he thought; what, he remembers the name she gave him) gripes back. “Almost-,” Her balance shifts and she comes crashing down on top of him. 

Grunting, he pushes her off. “Damn.” He sighs. “We’re stuck here forever, aren’t we?”

She swallows. “Perhaps not.” She reaches over and grips his arm. “I’m going to do something, but you cannot tell anyone. Promise?”

He rolls his eyes. “Just do it. Even if you produced a dragon out of thin air, I wouldn’t be surprised.”

She glares, and suddenly slams her hand into the wall next to him.

He freezes. “What the-,”

There’s a rumbling all around them, and suddenly the ground shakes and jolts, and they’re shot upward into the air.

Pidge (he still can’t get used to the idea that she has a name), as they’re falling towards the earth, shouts something into the wind, and it’s like he’s been dipped in freezing water, and they’re somehow lying on the grass, wheezing for breath.

It feels as though he’s been trampled by a Weblum and he struggles to sit up.

“What-,” He gasps. “Did you do?”

She’s on her knees, wiping her eyes. “Simple enlargement charm. The teleportation was tricky, I haven’t done it in so long.”

He looks at her, eyes bugged out. “You have magic.”

She meets his gaze. “You cannot tell anyone.”

and it’s a simple enough statement

but there’s a threat in there as well

“Understood.” He replies, voice even. 

“Good.” She swallows.

He stands up, wobbling a bit. With his balance restored, he offers a hand to her.

She hesitates, then grips the offered hand. He pulls her up so they are face-to-face.

“Your secret’s safe with me.” He says quietly, and then stoops down, gathering his jacket and boots.

He begins to walk away. “Wait!” He hears her say, and he turns around.

“Y-your nose, Sire.” She says, eyes wide.

He waves her off. “I’ll be fine. I’ll go to see-,” She moves forward.

“May I see?” 

He lets her take his face into her hands, and she squints. “Your septum is deviated.”

“The druids can-,” She clasps his nose, and he yelps as hot, white pain rushes through his face.

Suddenly, the pain is gone, and the girl steps back. 

He gingerly touches his face, and finds the blood gone.

“How-,” He stops. “Thank…you.” He says instead.

She bows, and he starts walking again, but not before turning around one last time. “And tend to those roses, dammit.”

it’s a new beginning, perhaps

in more ways than one

Yet Nolan’s film chooses to ignore tales such as that of the Medway Queen, a paddle steamer that brought home 7,000 troops in seven round trips and shot down three German planes, or the Royal Daffodil, which returned 9,500 soldiers after blocking a hole below the waterline with a mattress. Instead, we encounter just one boat, skippered by a saintly Mark Rylance, comically attired in his Sunday best.

So, in spite of his film’s $150m budget, the Royal Air Force seems to consist of three Spitfires, although real-life pilots flew 3,500 sorties at Dunkirk. The Luftwaffe, which Hitler made solely responsible for wiping out the beached Brits, seems able to summon up little more than a couple of Messerschmitts, three Stukas and one bomber. The Royal Navy appears to comprise just two destroyers; in fact, it deployed 39 destroyers and 309 other craft.

Women are excluded from the action by being confined to stereotypical roles, such as providing tea for the homecoming menfolk. In real life, female Auxiliary Territorial Service telephonists – who received two-thirds of a male soldier’s pay – were some of the last military personnel to leave the beach. The evacuees also included female civilians, including girls, caught up in the turmoil.
— 

David Cox, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk left me cold

There’s a lot of interesting points in this review, one that I think could’ve really fleshed out what Nolan did with Dunkirk. I do disagree though with this reviewer wanting the bloody aspect of combat to be showcased, I think a lot of that is gratuitous and unnecessary when it comes to war films. You can imply and still have a film feel visceral and horrific without doing that. 

I also DO appreciate Nolan’s decision in not showcasing the Germans and keeping the enemy faceless. I thought that was a smart decision, so some of  what David Cox is mentioning fails to take into account that Dunkirk’s theme of survival is the sole focus, it’s not what happens to the soldiers at Dunkirk, but how they respond. 

Cox does bring up good points however on elements that could’ve enhanced the narrative. I would’ve loved to see more of the above.

Whatever else it ends up doing, that upcoming Dunkirk movie got me to look up the actual event and learn lots of stuff about a military moment I did not know much about. Learned some cool stuff. Like some of the evacuation was done by a riverboat ferry (Royal Daffodil, evacuated 7461 people), and paddle steamer (the Medway Queen, made a record seven trips back and forth) and ships less than fifteen feet long (the Tamzine was the smallest, and was a fishing boat). Pretty interesting and impessive stuff.

                                 The Royal Daffodils by Romain Maly

   A infinite field of Daffodils (alt 1180m), near the Sancy in Auvergne (France)

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