Albert’s chest swelled with joy to the point where he thought he would break the buckles of his battered harness. Such a fight! Such a victory! Even the King was content at last! Albert had won many a tournament like today’s, but never before had his father’s approval been among his prizes. The King hadn’t smiled since the elder of his sons had exiled himself, but after today Albert would no longer be the runt, only suffered in his brother’s stead. Today, his skills and speed had been the downfall of the strongest knight on the field.
Divested of his armour, Albert retreated to his chambers to prepare for the customary banquet in the victor’s honour. His honour! He held the defeated knight’s sword, by right of tournament rules now his, close to his chest. Years ago, as a boy and his brother’s knave, he had carried Gerhard’s prize swords. Now the honour was his own, as was his growing collection.